May 2, 2024
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Resolution expected for NZ ECE teacher Median Wage issue, but when?

Early in April the Early Childhood Council raised concerns over the Median Wage paid to Early Childhood Education teachers recruited from overseas negatively affecting those trained in New Zealand. The Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation advises they expect the confusion to be resolved following an upcoming Ministerial review, an outcome that will assist a wide range of industries and sectors.

Currently two teachers with the same entry-level ECE teaching qualifications must be paid at different minimum starting rates, with ECE teachers in NZ on work visas and seeking residency earning a much higher rate. Overseas recruits currently earn a starting rate of $29.66 for the Accredited Employer Work Visa and $31.61 if the individual applies for residency, as opposed to a $27.58 starting rate for an NZ teacher working in a centre with Pay Parity.  

MBIE’s adjustments to the Median Wage don’t align with similar adjustments to the funding rates all ECE centres are paid, so inflated salary costs must either be absorbed or passed on to parents through increased childcare fees.

“Our members are telling us parents can least afford price increases right now, so we must ask for the policy confusion to be fixed on their behalf ASAP,” said ECC CEO Simon Laube.

“Policy confusion like this sets a dangerous precedent that further undermines our locally trained NZ ECE teachers. That’s the last thing we need when there’s a massive shortage of teaching talent, well short of what we need to meet demand.”

“The message has to be, ‘When making your career choices, you need to consider ECE teaching.’”

“We appreciate MBIE’s pragmatic approach and early indication that they understand the current situation is not working,” said Simon Laube.

Related: Early Childhood providers landed with increased salary rates for overseas teachers, with no notification or funding from government (5 April 2024)

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