Teacher aide mana taurite / pay equity settlement

Teacher aides have now endorsed this pay equity settlement!

Teacher aides will be automatically translated to new pay steps.

This settlement only applies to school teacher aides. We are working to progress pay equity claims for other support staff groups.

Watch a pre-recorded Zoom hui

Our NZEI Te Riu Roa advocate and teacher aide member talks through the settlement details.


Today’s teacher aides are highly skilled educators, assisting the learning and ensuring the wellbeing of children with often complex medical, physical, learning and/or behavioural needs. However, their pay and conditions do not fairly value this work.

In September 2017, NZEI Te Riu Roa lodged a pay equity claim on behalf of all teacher aides, providing evidence that their work is mostly done by women and that it is undervalued as “women’s work.”

This settlement is the result of the collective strength and action of NZEI Te Riu Roa members and a long pay equity process that has involved evidence gathering, interviews with comparitors and negotiations with the Ministry of Education.

About the settlement

The pay equity settlement for teacher aides includes pay increases, changes to the way skills are assessed, a new allowance, changes to how much hours can be varied, and the development of career pathways.

Combining last year’s collective agreement pay rise with the pay equity settlement, teacher aides will receive pay rises of 23-34% across 2020.

That’s an increase of $4 to $6.60 an hour, recognising the true value of teacher aides’ skills, responsibilities and experience.

It is important to know that these pay increases are funded.

The increases are funded by the Ministry increasing the operations grant every term – based on actual hours teacher aides work – and then requiring schools to specifically target that money to the teacher aide pay increases.

Therefore, there is no reason why teacher aides’ hours of work should be reduced because of the pay equity settlement. If you believe this has happened or might happen, call the NZEI Te Riu Roa Member Support Centre on 0800 693 443.

Pay equity backpay

On Wednesday 4 November 2020, teacher aides will receive their new pay equity rates and backpay to 12 February 2020.

A number of teacher aides are still working through regrading, and the regrading backpay won't come through until next year, everyone will receive backpay dating from 12 February for the automatic point-to-point translation to the new matrix. This is a huge milestone after years of collective effort and determination as NZEI Te Riu Roa members.

If, after receiving your payslip, you have any concerns about the backpay calculations for your point-to-point translation, your Member Support Centre can check the details(If you have only just joined NZEI Te Riu Roa, you may not receive the backpay until the following pay cycle). To avoid undue delays in checking your payslipemail nzei@nzei.org.nz and include: 

  1. A copy of payslip of 4 November that records the backpay that you have received, 
  2. A copy of a payslip from November of last year (if you were already working as support staff at that time) that shows your pay grade and step on the pay scale, and 
  3. A copy of your annualisation agreement if your pay is annualised. 

 In addition to the documents mentioned above, we will need to know the following information about your employment to give you an accurate estimate about the backpay you should have received on 4 November 2020. 

  1. How many hours per week are you employed for this year? If this has changed over the year, please let us know about this as well. 
  2. When did you start working this year?  
  3. What days of the week are you working and how many hours are you working on each day? 
  4. Have you had any salary increments in 2020? If you have had a salary increment when did this happen?  
  5. Have you worked any additional hours over and above your regular hours of work?  Can you recall or estimate how many additional hours you have worked this year? 
  6. Have you taken any leave without pay this year? 

Teacher aides should also be aware that the lump sum of backpay will incur a higher tax rate than usual, but most of this will be reclaimable at the end of the tax year (31 March 2021). More importantly, your higher pay rate that now reflects your skills and responsibilities will likely affect any Working for Families tax credits or benefits you receive. It’s important that you advise Inland Revenue of your new rates so your credits and benefits can be adjusted as needed. Otherwise, you may need to pay back any overpayment at the end of the tax year. Find out more here. 

But some non-members are going to miss out... 

The Ministry of Education has advised that up to 15% of teacher aides are neither members of NZEI Te Riu Roa nohave they signed a new Individual Employment Agreement that includes the pay equity settlement. Those teacher aides are not likely to receive the backpay and new rates on 4 November! If you have a colleague in that situation, please urge them to join NZEI Te Riu Roa without delay to ensure they are automatically covered by the Support Staff in Schools Collective Agreement, which includes the settlement. Alternatively, they will need to arrange a new Individual Employment Agreement with their principal/supervisor - also without delay! 

15% pay equity

New pay rates

Other settlement details

Teacher aide job descriptions

NZEI Te Riu Roa have put together some guidance on what a job descriptions should look like for a teacher aide. This is to help ensure that your job descriptions reflect the work you do.

Watch a Zoom recording to find out details of the settlement

NZEI Te Riu Roa hosted a series of Zoom hui to help teacher aides understand the settlement and have their frequently asked questions answered.

If you are a teacher aide but were unable to attend one of these hui, you can watch an on-demand hui to find out all the settlement details.

Frequently asked questions from the teacher aide paid union meetings

NZEI Te Riu Roa held paid union meetings for teacher aides between July-August. We've collated some of the most common questions we received during those meetings around the pay equity settlement.

Voting to endorse the settlement

Teacher aides have voted to endorse the settlement.

The next steps are that NZEI Te Riu Roa support staff members will vote to vary their collective agreement to take in the pay equity settlement.

Settlement timeline

  • 2 - 14 June

    Zoom hui series to discuss the proposed settlement

    Zoom hui series for teacher aides to learn about the settlement and ask questions. Attendees will receive a $25 payment once the endorsement process is complete.

  • 15 - 19 June

    Online settlement endorsement voting

    Teacher aides will vote online to endorse the settlement

  • 24 - 29 June

    Electronic ballot to vary the collective agreement

    NZEI Te Riu Roa support staff members vote in an electronic ballot to vary their collective agreement to include the settlement.

  • By 3 July

    Result of the electronic ballot

    Support staff are notified of the ballot result.

  • From 3 July


    Teacher aides are translated to the new pay steps

    Teacher aides are automatically translated to the new pay grades. NZEI Te Riu Roa members will receive advice and support to make sure they are on the right grade.

  • By November


    Payment of new rates begins

    Payment of new rates begins, back-paid to 12 February. Some negotiated translations to higher steps may take effect later.

Frequently asked questions

Resources to download