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Pay equity changes with new government

Pay equity claims for NZEI support staff in schools and staff in early childhood have new hope with the change in Government. An early childhood teacher and a teacher aide share their stories about how pay equity would make a difference to their lives.

Any new government would be an improvement when it comes to pay equity.

National no longer has the numbers to pass their bill that would place barriers in the way of women achieving fair pay.

With New Zealand First, Labour and the Greens all voting against the Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill on first reading, there is now a clear parliamentary majority for a fairer system for women workers.

Several groups of NZEI Te Riu Roa members are leading the way to correct underpayment in female-dominated jobs.  Education support workers are in negotiations with the Ministry of Education to resolve their claim.

When it comes to school support staff, teacher aides are the first cab off the rank and have begun their work programme agreed with the Ministry of Education in collective agreement negotiations.

An early phase of the work is to assess and evaluate the wide range of tasks and roles teacher aides take on every day.

To support this, hundreds of members have completed a “Day in the Life” exercise to help describe the work that they do. A next step is more structured interviews with teacher aides around the country, to help get more detail of the some less well-recognised work skills and responsibilities relevant to their job.

In early childhood education, a big group from right across the sector have stepped up to be leaders of a claim. This group includes NZEI Te Riu Roa members and non-members, and staff from private and not for profit centres as well as kindergartens. – Rebecca Matthews-Heron

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