What does the issue of pay mean for you as a teacher, and the tamariki you teach?
I am a contract reliever. On my contracted days I get paid for my experience as per the Collective Agreement. I am well aware of the reliever shortage and would consider increasing my availability on my non contracted days (especially for kindergartens I regularly relieve at) however the fact that casual reliever days are capped at step 6 is a barrier. This means I get paid $5 less an hour for essentially doing the same job.
With the cost of living skyrocketing, petrol prices come in to consideration meaning I am less likely to agree to a job if it is further away from home. I also need to pay for childcare for my two children in order to attend work. When you deduct these costs, it is often not worth picking up the extra shifts.
It would also be beneficial for the kindergartens I regularly relieve at as tamariki and kaiako would have a familiar kaiako providing consistent education and care. Furthermore, by lifting the pay cap, experienced teachers nearing or in retirement may consider relieving as an option. It is often these kaiako who are extremely experienced and passionate and deserve to be paid their regular rate.
What will it take to fix pay for kindergarten teachers?
Lifting the pay cap for casual relievers and paying them at the appropriate level/step.
When we fix pay for kindergarten teachers, what impact will that change have on you as a teacher, and the tamariki you teach?
Acknowledging the important contribution relievers make to teaching teams, reflecting their experience. In turn, this will increase relivers self worth, sense of belonging and greater job satisfaction, impacting tamariki positively.