Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January, 2022, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins confirmed today.
The Government signalled this work in Budget 2021.
“From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be required to pay equivalent certificated teachers at the same level as those on the first five steps on the kindergarten teachers’ collective agreement,” Chris Hipkins said.
“It’s a significant step in the Government’s long-term strategy to lift pay, starting with those at or near the bottom end of the pay scale, and repair long-standing pay inequities.
“Teachers who meet the requirements for pay step six and work in services that have opted into the higher rates will also need to be paid at that rate from 1 January 2023. Those at higher steps will be progressed in future Budget rounds, as previously indicated.
“We’ve now separated step six from steps one to five to encourage more early learning services to opt in immediately. It’s a pragmatic decision that reflects a complex sector with public, private and NGO operators using a range of business models. It will benefit a significant number of preschool children and their families from 2022.
“I’ve asked the Ministry of Education for advice on improving funding approaches to help deliver pay parity. This work will need ongoing stakeholder buy-in to achieve sustained progress,” Chris Hipkins said.
Notes for editors:
A further change is that teachers must meet the Teaching Council’s standards to qualify for wage progression, not simply length of service as previously announced. This is consistent with the approach in the Kindergarten Teachers Collective Agreement.
Due to the way funding for ECE is currently structured, it is not possible to know exactly how many teachers will benefit from the pay increase.
Service providers attest as to which rates they will pay their teachers, when they submit their RS7 funding return. This happens three times per year; in February, June, and October.
The Ministry will regularly publish a list of services that have attested to receive the parity rates for each period.
The attestation requirement covers all employed certificated teachers, and could include permanent, fixed term or casual staff. Where the employment relationship is not directly between the service and teacher, for example if relievers are engaged through an agency, service providers should ensure there is an agreement in place that enables them to show they are, or have been, paid at the appropriate level.