Government’s Pay Parity promise is broken

28 August 2023

Early learning providers’ funding is going backwards, despite government promises of Pay Parity for teachers employed in Education & Care services.

Despite kindergarten teachers’ representatives agreeing to a new teacher pay scale the day after Budget 2023, when the Ministry of Education published Full Parity rates to be effective from 1 November, these rates weren’t Parity, creating much concern for ECE providers and their teachers alike.

Now, secondary teachers have won further salary increases, which is set to affect all teacher wages. When asked on 2 August if there would be knock on effects for ECE teacher pay parity, Minster Tinetti replied: “Yes – the unified base scale does have knock on effects for primary through to kindergarten – yes, there will be knock on impacts that come through. That (funding) has all been figured into this package.”

“If that really was the case, it’s gone very quiet,” said ECC CEO Simon Laube.

“As it stands, there are different rates and dates for kindergarten, primary and secondary teacher pay changes, with no certainty if or how it will flow through to teachers employed in the large Education & Care subsector. Teachers in Education & Care services are set to miss out, and are already losing parity again compared to kindergarten teachers. Where is the transparency and pay parity commitment from the Government?”

Pay Parity is about closing the pay gap between teachers in education and care centres and their colleagues in kindergartens, who are paid more. Changes to secondary school teacher collective agreements have triggered a complicated series of flow on changes to teacher pay, but we don’t know if all early learning teachers will get parity or when that will happen.

“The November Full Parity policy feels like a broken promise, with a lack of good faith from the Government. There is nothing “full” about it. We would welcome it, however, if they turned around and re-committed to Pay Parity, said Simon Laube.”

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