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Kindergarten Teachers' Pay Parity Working Group

19 September 2001 Media Statement

Former Minister of Labour Stan Rodger will chair the working group which will plan the introduction of pay parity for kindergarten teachers with teachers in the schools sector, Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced today.

"We are well on track to keeping our promise the negotiation of benchmarks and a process for phasing in pay parity to be completed during the first term in government," Trevor Mallard said.

“That commitment was reflected in the recently settled collective employment agreement which included a commitment to implementing pay parity for kindergarten teachers, including head teachers and senior teachers.

“It was agreed that a working group would establish benchmarks and make recommendations to the Minister of Education on the benchmarking of positions and phasing in of pay parity.”

Trevor Mallard said that, given the important task of this group, it was fitting that the group would be chaired a person with the skills and experience of Stan Rodger. Other members of the group include:

- Helen Kelly, Judith Nowotarski and Dawn Osman from NZEI Te Riu Roa;

- Jen McCutcheon from NZPPTA, with Ruth Chapman as an alternate;

- Merren Dobson from NZ Kindergartens Inc;

- Jan Ballantyne from the NZ Federation of Free Kindergartens; and

- Raywyn Ramage will lend a perspective from the wider early childhood education sector to the Group’s deliberations.

"The inclusion of Raewyn Ramage recognises that the implementation of pay parity for kindergarten teachers will have flow-on labour market effects for the rest of the early childhood education sector. In its terms of reference the working group is required to give consideration to and describe the immediate and longer term effects on the early childhood teaching labour market of pay parity for kindergarten teachers.

In addition, a sector working group is currently developing proposals for the Strategic Plan for Early Childhood Education. This group is considering the issue of pay parity in the wider ECE sector as part of their deliberations.

The working group will convene in Wellington later this month, and will present a final report to the Minister of Education by the end of the year.

“This is yet another example of the importance the Government is giving to early childhood education,” Trevor Mallard said.

Ends

Terms of Reference for the Working Group on Pay Parity for Kindergarten Teachers

Preamble

1 As part of the settlement of the Kindergarten Teachers’ Collective Agreement (KTCA), NZEI Te Riu Roa and the Government committed themselves to the implementation of pay parity for kindergarten teachers (including head teachers and senior teachers).

2 It was agreed that a working group would be established under the auspices of the Minister of Education. It was also agreed that the working group would convene from 1 July 2001 and would make recommendations to the Minister of Education, with a final report due by 31 December 2001. The working group’s recommendations for benchmarking of positions and the phasing in of pay parity will then be presented by the Minister to Cabinet for approval, with phasing in of the agreed implementation to commence from 1 July 2002.

3 The working group should note that the Unified Pay System (UPS) will set the internal relativities within the kindergarten and compulsory schools sector. External relativities are established through the bargaining process and are not part of the scope of this exercise.

Issues

4 Currently there is a pay scale which applies to all kindergarten teachers, head teachers and senior teachers and the UPS which applies to primary and secondary teachers, including assistant principals and deputy principals. These pay scales differ in terms of the salary rates, the number of steps in each pay scale and the rules around salary progression. The goal of the exercise is to bring kindergarten teachers within the UPS by establishing suitable benchmarks for the translation of kindergarten teachers. In doing so the group should consider the following issues:

- roles, responsibilities and workload;

- qualifications and training;

- relevant knowledge and experience;

- skills and competencies;

- the link between performance assessment and salary progression;

- entry points; and

- translation between the scales.

5 The working group shall take into account the findings of the 1999 report Kindergarten and Primary Teachers: A Comparison of their Work prepared for NZEI Te Riu Roa, the NZ Federation of Free Kindergartens, and the Auckland Kindergarten Association insofar as it informs these issues, and may draw on whatever other information it decides is appropriate.

6 Further the working group needs to give consideration to the costs of implementation, including the financial risks to kindergarten associations and the fiscal risks to the Crown. The working group needs to give consideration transition mechanisms, particularly the phasing in the implementation of pay parity, to manage these fiscal risks.

7 The working group should also, in making its recommendations on the phasing and implementation of pay parity for kindergarten teachers, give consideration to and describe the immediate and longer term effects on the early childhood teaching labour market. The working group is not to consider or make recommendations on the issue of pay parity for the wider early childhood sector itself.

Key Deliverables

8 The working group will have the following key deliverables:

- an interim report, in November 2001; and

- a final report in late December 2001.

9 Each report should include:

- background discussion of the issues relating to pay parity;

- options for benchmarking and translation, including an indication of the working group’s preferred option(s);

- options for transition mechanisms for phasing in the implementation of pay parity for kindergarten teachers from 1 July 2002; and

- indicative costings for any options proposed by the group.


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