The terms of settlement for Ministry of Education Support Workers represents an historic and life-changing moment in what has been a 12-year battle.


They are the first education sector group to achieve a pay equity settlement.

The 329 support workers directly employed by the Ministry of Education spent several years in pay equity processes under the previous Labour Government, before the National Government scrapped the pay equity unit in 2008 and refused to consider pay equity claims in collective agreement negotiations.

It wasn't until 2015, following the successful Terranova proceedings taken by New Zealander of the Year Kristine Bartlett and the then Service and Food Workers' Union, that NZEI filed a pay equity case in the Employment Relations Authority on behalf of Ministry-employed Support Workers.

After two years of wrangling and negotiating, we have our long-awaited settlement, which those members are in the process of ratifying at meetings around the country. Check out details for meetings

The settlement includes an immediate average pay increase of 27% and further increases over three years for all Education, Communications and Behaviour Support Workers employed by the Ministry of Education.


The Settlement also includes:

  • Agreement to the principle of guaranteed minimum hours, starting with a minimum of 5 hours a week for all support workers on permanent variable hours;
  • Agreement to a new four step pay scale so that support workers reach higher pay rates faster, with a fifth step recognising support workers with 10+ years experience
  • A one-off compensation payment up to $1500 to all Ministry of Education support workers, based on years of experience
  • Agreement to a qualifications and recognition of experience framework to be developed by 1 July 2019.
  • You can read the full Terms of Settlement here.


Authorised by Paul Goulter, National Secretary, NZEI Te Riu Roa, 178 Willis Street Wellington