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Employment Conditions For Private Businesses Bill To Pass Despite ECE Sector Opposition

A Bill giving the Education Minister power to impose employment conditions on private ECE businesses is set to be passed, despite strong opposition from the early learning sector.

Over 560 submissions were received on the Education and Training (Grants—Budget Measures) Amendment Bill, with the majority opposed to giving the Mister power to saddle community and privately owned centres with employment conditions aligned to a collective agreement they hadn’t signed up for.

“We support Pay Parity, we don’t support putting centres out of business. The new conditions in the works will inflate centres’ wage bill despite the shortfall on subsidies,” said Early Childhood Council CEO Peter Reynolds.

Regardless, the Ministry of Education has confirmed two employment conditions are being prepared to impose Kindergarten Teachers Collective Agreement conditions on private centres, around tenure and employment history when mapping teachers to the six step pay scale.

“Teachers will now move inexorably to step six on the KTCA, putting even more financial pressure on centres. This is despite Chris Hipkins telling the Select Committee he had no intention of imposing employment conditions on centres. Providers have held deep reservations about this Bill from the start, which look well founded,” said Mr Reynolds.

Centres have the option to adopt the KTCA six step pay scale from 1 January 2022.

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