Pay equity claim to unite ECE sector

27 June 2017

NZEI Te Riu Roa is today launching a new claim for pay equity for early childhood teachers and staff, uniting the private and public early childhood sector in a historic bid for fair pay.

"Early childhood teachers and staff nurture children's learning at the most crucial time in their education, yet are some of the lowest paid people in New Zealand," said NZEI Te Riu Roa president Lynda Stuart.

"ECE teachers and support staff have been undervalued and underpaid for too long, just because their work has historically been done by women.

"Today, we're uniting the entire early childhood sector in a bid for pay equity, reaching out to teachers and staff in the private and community sector who are not part of a union, and inviting everyone to join the campaign for fair pay."

The bottom line will be that the Government fully funds the increases, in the same way it did the $2billion pay equity settlement for aged care workers.

The claim has two parts:

The first would see unqualified support staff paid in line with aged care workers, who recently won 20 to 40 percent pay rises as part of their pay equity settlement in April.

The second would see qualified teachers working outside of the kindergarten sector paid in line with their kindergarten colleagues. This would result in pay rises of between $2000 and $9000 a year.

"This is not to say that kindergarten teachers are paid fairly. But by bringing the groups together on one pay scale, this is the first crucial step toward pay equity for all teachers in ECE," Ms Stuart said.

"This is an enormous opportunity for ECE teachers and staff working all over New Zealand, in private and community centres, to join a campaign for better pay without needing to be a member of the union, or being obliged to let their boss know.

"With enough people on board, the movement for fair pay will be unstoppable."

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