Our pay equity campaign for educators

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Pay equity for school administration staff

Starting in late 2017, we began building a pay equity case for school administration staff. Find out how to get involved, and see some of the work we've done so far.


Timeline for pay equity for school administration staff

  • Phase 1

    The Ministry agrees there are grounds for a case

    Goal: The employer (Ministry of Education) agrees there are grounds to believe the work of administration staff in schools has been undervalued due to gender. 

    Progress: Complete. We're on the road to pay equity!

    What happened: In September of 2018, NZEI Te Riu Roa wrote to the Ministry of Education to advise them that we believed there are grounds for a pay equity claim and the Ministry of Education agreed there are grounds to begin this work. 

    In June 2020 we agreed a Terms of Reference for this mahi and started the process.

  • Phase 2

    Information gathering

    Goal: Gather information about the work that admin staff do, especially the less visible parts of the work. 

    Progress: Completed

    What's happening: In Term 3 of 2020, 10 NZEI Te Riu Roa members who work in various administration roles began interviewing their colleagues across the country about what they do. They interviewed administrators and the people who direct their work, either the direct supervisor or principal. We used a random sample to ensure we could quickly and efficiently interview a good range of roles and cover the full range of administrators' skills, responsibilities and demands.

  • Phase 3

    Building a picture

    Goal: We'll use the information gathered to get a clear picture of what the work of administrators in schools involves. 

    We use this picture to form the basis of a work matrix and to identify appropriate comparators.

    Progress: Completed

    What's happening: The Ministry of Education and NZEI Te Riu Roa analysed all of the information we received from interviews. From this we have built a wide-ranging picture of administration work and made sure we have all the information we need. 

  • Phase 4

    Finding comparators

    Goal: To find appropriate comparators; those doing the work of equal value. Equal value means work may be similar or different, but requires a similar level of skill, hold similar levels of responsibilities, and has similar demands and working conditions as administration staff in schools.

    Appropriate comparators may include:

    • Male dominated roles with jobs of equal value
    • Female dominated roles that have settled a pay equity claim (so are no longer affected by gender-based undervaluation) 

    Progress: Completed

    What's happening: The comparators for administrators that were agreed with the Ministry of Education are: 

    • Fishery and Senior Fishery Officers, Ministry for Primary Industries  
    • Civil Engineers, Local Council  
    • Parking wardens, Local Council 

    We may also use Corrections Officers, and/or Customs Officers as comparators, as we’ve already interviewed these groups for the teacher aide process. It’s good to have wide range of roles to ensure we cover the large range of mahi that admin do everyday.  

  • Phase 5


    Goal: Assess the information we have gathered about admin staff and the information we have gathered about the comparators using the Pay Equity Aromatawai Mahi. 

    Progress: Completed

    What's happened: We agreed with the Ministry of Education that we will use the Aromatawai Mahi Tool to assess the information we gather. This work was then compiled to go to Government to sign off so we can move to negotiations.

  • Phase 6

    Moving to Settlement

    Goal: The discussions to settle the claim will take place.

    Progress: We expect to start moving towards a settlement in late 2021.

    What will happen: This will be a particularly crucial time for administration staff in schools, the Ministry of Education and the Government.

    In establishing pay equity, other conditions of employment cannot be reduced.

    Schools must not be placed in financial disadvantage as a result of these pay increases.

    This is the time when our negotiation team needs your support - a strong and large membership is one of the best ways to do this. Have you joined us yet?

  • Winning pay equity!

    We're on the final stretch to winning pay equity!

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.