School Support Staff vote to launch pay equity negotiations

22 August 2017

School support staff have voted to ratify a new Collective Agreement, triggering the beginning of teacher aide pay equity negotiations between NZEI Te Riu Roa and the Ministry of Education.

In meetings around the country this month, a clear majority (88%) of NZEI support staff members who attended voted in favour of the terms of settlement.

The NZEI Executive member representing support staff, Sue Poole, said support staff were very disappointed at the government’s pay offer (1.1-1.6% increase without any extra funding to schools to pay for it), but pay equity negotiations would have been delayed if the agreement wasn’t ratified.

“It was a big deal for support staff to accept such a low offer, but we have high expectations that pay equity is going to change our lives – first for teacher aides, and with admin staff and other support staff to follow soon. The ministry has already agreed we have a case and now we can sit down and work out a prompt and reasonable timeline to fair pay,” she said.

“This is such an important issue for many support staff who struggle to pay their bills, and is part of a union-wide movement for women in low-paid women-dominated jobs to achieve wage justice.”


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