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Early Childhood Providers Landed With Increased Salary Rates For Overseas Teachers

Early Childhood providers landed with increased salary rates for overseas teachers, with no notification or funding from government

The Early Childhood Council is labelling rules as grossly unfair that mean ECE teachers recruited from overseas, through initiatives like the Accredited Employer Work Visa, are paid more than New Zealand trained ECE teachers.

The situation is made worse as the Median Wage for Immigration has increased by 6.6% , an increase that is unfunded by the government, and introduced in February with no official notice to centres with licences to operate from the Ministry of Education.

“When the government introduces a compulsory pay rise, they should at least tell the employers that pay the bill. The lack of communication is disappointing and sub-standard,” said Simon Laube, ECC CEO.

“If you were a centre manager, how would you explain to your existing experienced and qualified teachers why an overseas recruit is being paid more than them, and is getting a pay rise? This isn’t the overseas teachers’ fault, but the government’s, and it must be sorted out quickly.”

“Pay Parity is unworkable for many centres and the Immigration rules just make it worse. We expect more centres to close because of Pay Parity funding issues, starting with smaller centres that have the most highly qualified and experienced teaching teams, where funding is well short of what is required to pay the teachers properly.”

“Enough is enough - we should be trying to solve the teacher shortage, not maintaining confused policies like this that discourage people in New Zealand from being ECE teachers,” said Simon Laube.

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The ECC has written to the Education and Immigration Minister asking for a review of the current Immigration settings and a simplification or removal of the conflicting requirements.


Current Immigration policy states that internationally recruited teachers must be paid the Median Wage of $31.61 as a minimum, irrespective of their qualifications. This salary minimum is higher than Pay Parity step four ($30.83) and lower than pay step five ($32.59) across all three of the Pay Parity funding options (Parity, Extended Parity and Full Parity)

ECE has been the biggest education user of the Accredited Employer Work Visa initiative

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