80% of surveyed ECE centres say Pay Parity deal is unaffordable

11 June 2021

A survey of early childhood providers shows 80% can’t opt-in to the proposed six step teacher Pay Parity proposed by the Government.

Only 40% of those surveyed are planning to opt-in to the Kindergarten Teachers Collective Agreement pay scale the government is proposing, despite being put in an uncertain and possibly illegal position.

Surveyed Early Childhood Council members estimate losses of between $14,000 and $110,000 if they take the pay deal, with one centre saying they’d have to pay out $60,000 in wages despite receiving just $25,000 in funding.

“Something’s seriously wrong when there’s $170 million set aside in the Budget and centres are finding it’s well short of the wages cost,” said ECC CEO Peter Reynolds.

“Any centre knowingly signing up to make a loss is literally breaking the law. Teachers deserve and expect Pay Parity but yet again, providers being hung out to dry to get there.”

Providers said that taking the pay deal would mean increasing parent fees, laying off teachers or support staff, asking managers to work on the floor or cutting resources or maintenance. Comments from those surveyed include:

“Can't afford to lose quality teachers...also can't afford to not opt in.”

“If we don’t, we could potentially lose all our teachers. If we do, we’ll have to reduce our teaching staff to minimum ratios compromising quality, or significantly increased fees to whanau - or a mixture of the two. This is a no-win, everyone loses scenario.”

“Unsure about opting in, as all out team are on the highest step. Will be watching this very closely and seeing where we can cut back to try and make it work.”

“We’re told there’s more detail on the way – we hope the offer is being re-worked completely,” said Mr Reynolds. “We’re certainly keen to engage with officials to get this mess sorted out.”

Login to have your say