Our pay equity campaign for educators

Take action | Our pay equity claims | About pay equity  | For ECE employers

Work with hands, heads, or hearts — it's all equal

No matter who you are or what kind of work you do, you deserve to be paid fairly for your work. But for women, achieving fair pay has been a long, hard battle which is not over yet.

Despite the passing of the Equal Pay Act 40 years ago, women are still paid $4 an hour less, on average, than men. In many cases that's because work that's traditionally done by women—such as caring and working with young children—has been historically undervalued. Entire sectors of the workforce have been underpaid as a result.

But the Equal Pay Amendment Act has come into force on 6 November 2020 - which means we have big new opportunities to achieve fair pay for people who work in education, through pay equity claims

An exciting new era for pay equity in education

On 6 November 2020, making a pay equity claim became a whole lot simpler when the Equal Pay Amendment Act came into force. 

Because the education sector is 85% female, the Act opens up major opportunities for all NZEI Te Riu Roa members. The Act gives us a much clearer path to pay equity for the many female-dominated roles that have historically been undervalued because they involve “women’s work” and the care and education of children. 

IMG_7482-1

That’s why we’re putting a stake in the ground and initiating pay equity claims for 10 groups of employees represented by NZEI Te Riu Roa. This is a long-term process to uncover the full extent of the undervaluing of women across education, so it’s essential that NZEI Te Riu Roa begins this work now!  

We have already completed pay equity settlements for Ministry of Education support workers, and more recently teacher aides.  The process is now well underway for school administrators and kaiārahi i te reo. Seeing a claim through takes time, resources and expertise. Where our union represents a group of workers, we’re best placed to initiate the pay equity process and bring it to a successful settlement. 

Who is covered by the pay equity claims raised on 6 November 2020? 

The claims cover:  

  • Early childhood teachers (a new claim that covers all qualified early childhood teachers including kindergarten teachers) 
  • Librarians and library assistants 
  • Science technicians 
  • Therapists (including occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech language therapists) 
  • Advisers (Adviser On Deaf Children, Special Education/Learning Support Adviser) 
  • Psychologists 
  • Service Managers 
  • Kindergarten administrators 
  • Kindergarten cooks 
  • Kindergarten teacher aides 

The three ECE support staff claims will begin with kindergarten staff as these roles are already well definedAdmin, teacher aides and cooks at other employers will be added as they are identified. If you are ECE support staff and an NZEI Te Riu Roa member, please let us know at payequity@nzei.org.nz which group you and your employer should be added to. If you are not yet a member, you can join and let us know which support staff group you are in. 

Claims already underway: 

  • School administrators 
  • Kaiārahi i te reo 

We are consulting with these member groups about whether to include them in a broader claim covering all of the teaching profession working in primary and area schools:

  • primary and area school teachers, resource teachers, deputy principals and associate principals
  • primary and area school principals

We are also exploring what opportunities pay equity processes offer for kaiako and kaimahi working in Kōhanga Reo. 

Male-dominated roles not eligible for pay equity claims: 

  • District Māori Advisers 
  • Kaitakawaenga 

*Unqualified teachers in ECE: As the Government has indicated their commitment to a qualified teaching workforce in ECE, we now plan to include your work as a subset of the qualified ECE teacher process. The pay equity process is about recognizing the skills you contribute to ECE and working towards this contribution being recognised alongside a qualified workforce.  

Settlements completed: 

  • Ministry of Education Support Workers (2018) 
  • School teacher aides (2020) 

Join up to join in

You can help make the movement for fair pay unstoppable. Stand alongside us as a member of NZEI Te Riu Roa. It takes just a few minutes to become a member.

Our settlements

Since we started our pay equity campaign we have won a settlement for Education Support Workers and in 2020, we won a settlement for teacher aides in schools. Both of these were long-found campaigns with NZEI Te Riu Roa members taking the lead.

We've made history and we're just getting started, now's the time to get involved. 

School teacher aides

Teacher aides have voted to endorse their pay equity settlement! They will be automatically translated to their new rates and will receive their new rates by November 2020, back paid to 12 February 2020.

Part of the pay equity settlement was an increase to the PLD fund to teacher aides. You can find out more here. 

Ministry of Education Support Workers

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

nzei_payequity_press1
Admin Leaders 20200128

Show your support

Show your support for pay equity by adding a Fair's Fair/Mana Taurite frame to your Facebook profile picture.

Kathy, Mary, and Denise walk alongside NZEI President Lynda Stuart and supporters as they head off to pay equity mediation.
Photo: Mark Coote.