Fair pay process begins for ECE employees

The process for a fair pay agreement in the early childhood sector began on Monday May 1, with the submission of an initial application.

On Monday May 1, NZEI Te Riu Roa began the Fair Pay Agreement process for kaiako and kaimahi (employees) in the early childhood sector by submitting an initial application to the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment.

A Fair Pay Agreement such as this would aim to outline pay and working conditions across the sector.

Read the Term 1 edition of School News HERE.  

Over 5000 workers signed in support of a Fair Pay Agreement for ECE workers. If successful, the policy will cover over 30,000 early childhood teachers and employees. 

NZEI Te Riu Roa early childhood representative Sandie Burn, who is a kindergarten teacher, detailed some of the changes the sector is seeking with the Fair Pay Agreement.  

“Pay parity, non-contact time, teacher-to-child ratios, recognition of the special skills and contribution of our teachers or te reo Māori, and health and safety are important issues for us all.” 

Margaret Barclay, an ECE kaiako that has worked in the sector for almost 50 years, says this announcement could benefit the “diverse and fragmented” ECE sector.  

“I am aware of the wide range of working conditions and remuneration in ECE. Now is our opportunity to bargain which will help achieve quality early childhood education across the motu for every child out there.”  

Naomii Seah

Naomii Seah is a writer and journalist from Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. She enjoys crochet, painting, and a coffee or two at the beach. Her work can be found at The Spinoff, The Pantograph Punch, Stuff, and of course, School News NZ.
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