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New Zealand: Pay Parity for Early Childhood Education Teachers

EI affiliate NZEI Te Riu Roa and the New Zealand Childcare Association/Te Tari Puna Ora o Aotearoa have negotiated pay parity with principals and deputy principals in primary schools for more than 400 teachers in leadership positions in 181 early childhood education centres throughout New Zealand.

“This represents another step forward in the extension of pay parity to qualified and registered teachers in the early child education sector,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Irene Cooper. In 2002 NZEI negotiated pay parity for the country’s 1790 kindergarten teachers. Since then their salaries have been rising each year and in July they’ll reach full parity with primary and secondary teachers. In 2004 the union negotiated an extension of pay parity to a thousand teachers working in the early childhood education centres, covered by the consenting parties’ agreement. Their salaries have also been rising in yearly installments and they’ll achieve full parity in July 2008. Now more than 400 teachers, who have leadership position in those consenting parties’ centres, have gained pay parity with principals and deputy principals in primary schools. Their pay will begin rising in July and they will also reach parity in July 2008. “NZEI believes all qualified and registered teachers in the early childhood education sector should have pay parity,” says Irene Cooper. “That’s because they spend the same length of time gaining their qualification as primary and secondary teachers and job evaluations have shown that they have a comparable workload and responsibilities.” “It’s only fair that early childhood teachers are rewarded at the same level as their colleagues in the primary and secondary sectors,” she concluded.