Thousands of women in education sector to benefit from pay equity claims

As the Equal Pay Amendment Act comes into force, 10 pay equity claims affecting thousands of women across the education sector, including for all early childhood education teachers have been raised by their union, NZEI Te Riu Roa.

This Saturday 7 November, NZEI Te Riu Roa will be part of a cross-union media launch hosted by the Council of Trade Unions, to mark the new Act coming into force. The Act aims to make the pay equity claim process simpler and more accessible for women.

NZEI Te Riu Roa ECE representative Virginia Oakly says that because the education sector is 85% female, the Act opens up major opportunities for all NZEI Te Riu Roa members.

“Women are still paid $4 an hour less, on average, than men. The new Act means there is a clear pathway to ensure women in roles that have been historically undervalued can be paid fairly for their work,” says Oakly.

The claims cover early childhood teachers; school librarians; science technicians; therapists, advisers, psychologists and service managers working for the Ministry of Education; and administrators, cooks and teacher aides in ECE, beginning with kindergartens where those roles are already clearly defined.

These claims are in in addition to claims already underway for school administrators and kaiārahi i te reo.  NZEI is also continuing to campaign for immediate funding for full pay parity for early childhood teachers who face a pay gap of up to 49% with their kindergarten and schooling colleagues.

Today’s raising of claims follows the successful settlement of the teacher aide pay equity claim which saw 20,000 teacher aides receive their new rates and backpay this week.

At the Saturday launch, members from NZEI Te Riu Roa, NZNO and PSA will be speaking at the event alongside Kristine Bartlett, who successfully campaigned for pay equity of caregivers in the aged-care sector, teacher aide Ally Kemplen and representatives of early childhood teachers and learning support advisers.

In the coming months NZEI Te Riu Roa will also be consulting other members, including principals and school teachers, to determine how the new legislation and new claims in education could affect them.

The media launch will be livestreamed on the NZEI Facebook page and will be followed by a Q&A session of the pay equity process at 1pm, also on the NZEI Te Riu Roa page.

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