Local teacher aides can expect significant pay rises after the sector voted to endorse a historic settlement that includes pay rises of up to 28 percent.
Last month’s vote follows a pay equity claim that the NZEI Te Riu Roa union initiated with the Ministry of Education in 2016.
The vote followed two weeks of webinars in which teacher aides across the country scrutinised and discussed the settlement. Added to Living Wage pay increases won during collective bargaining late last year (HM December 18, 2019) most teacher aides will now receive pay rises of 23 to 34 percent this year. The union says that’s an increase of $4 to $6.60 an hour, recognising the value of teacher aides’ skills, responsibilities and experience that has been undervalued in the past.
Schools will be funded to pay the increased rates. Teacher aides care for some of the most vulnerable children in schools, and can deal with challenging behaviour every day, yet until now, 90 percent of them were paid less than the Living Wage ($21.15 per hour).
In addition to pay increases, the settlement changes the way skills are assessed, includes a more flexible and increased Tiaki (“dirty work”) allowance, makes changes to how much hours can be varied and increases professional learning and development funding. A commitment has also been made to investigate central funding, the use of fixed term contracts and the development of career pathways.