Support staff are making a difference ... and now they're making history
For too long, the crucial work of school staff has been undervalued and insecure from one term to the next. This year is different.
Teacher aides are about to start negotiating a pay equity settlement with the Ministry of Education.
A Government-funded settlement that finally sees Teacher Aides fairly paid for their skills and responsibilities will be life-changing for this mostly female workforce that works with our most vulnerable learners.
If you're a teacher aide, we need your input and for you to join your colleagues in applying pressure to get fair pay delivered by the end of 2019. Click here to be involved.
As we head into negotiations, it is vital we do what we can to grow our membership so we are in the strongest possible position for these negotiations. If you're support staff you can join us so we're all stronger together!
Teacher aides are paving the way for other support staff groups - you're next!
This pay equity campaign is just as relevant for administrators, kaiarahi i te reo, science techs, co-ordinators and all other support staff.
We've been working with the Ministry to establish terms of reference for pay equity processes for both administrators and kaiarahi members.
We've been taking what we have learnt during the teacher aide process to make these ones more streamlined, as our aim is always to win pay equity outcomes as smoothly and as quickly as possible.
This work will also be helpful when we move to the process for librarians, science techs and co-ordinators.
Collective agreement negotiations
At the same time as the pay equity process happening, our collective agreement negotiation team continue to meet with the Ministry of Education to discuss the claims for Support Staff collective agreements.
The government wants to raise the minimum wage over the next few years. which is something we've supported for a long time. We want to see wages lifted for everyone. For support staff, pay equity is the best lever we have for improving our pay and conditions beyond the minimum.
However, in the meantime the Ministry has agreed that over the term of the next collective agreement we don't ever want to see the printed rates in the collective fall below the minimum wage, as we did when the minimum wage increased last time.
We're also focusing our collective agreement negotiations on claims that address immediate issues like pay increases and changes to the existing Dirty Work Allowance. We would also like to introduce new entitlements that support the pay equity settlements, for example the study leave fund.
It’s time for support staff to build their collective power to make a real difference to their pay and working conditions. Sign on to make a difference and show your support.
Paid union meetings will be held between 21 October - 1 November, primarily to discuss where we're at with our collective agreement negotiations and our pay equity claims. The meetings are an important part of our democratic processes.
School administrators keep our schools running smoothly, day in and day out.
We're kicking off our pay equity claim for school administration staff—first of all, by finding out exactly what it is that these staff do. We'll use this information as part of the claim to help understand the value that you bring to your workplace.
Support Staff Day 2019
We celebrated International Day of Education Support Staff Personnel on 16 May 2019 with a number of events and festivities across the country.
Given that this year is a big year for support staff, we're also planning campaign events for our traditional Support Staff Day - the second Wednesday of June. There will be more information available closer to the time, so keep an eye out for this.
101 reasons why support staff need better funding
We asked the community to tell us why it's so important that support staff are valued. We asked for 101 reasons why - and we got dozens more than that.
Many of our support staff members are specialists who work alongside disabled children and their whānau to make sure that they're getting access to an equitable education.