Kindergarten educators are the only early childhood educators to negotiate a collective agreement with the Ministry of Education. Photo: 123RF READ MORE: Kindergarten educators vote on new pay offer – “Teachers are teachers”: early childhood educators are calling for pay parity – Kindergarten teachers are the next to negotiate government collective agreements “We are very pleased that kindergarten teachers have received a pay increase and maintained pay parity with primary and secondary teachers. We still need to look at wage rates and working conditions throughout childhood, and we will continue to work on them and explore ways to address workload and well-being in other forums,” she said. Kindergarten educators have voted in favour of a new agreement that will pay educators and teachers on an equal footing. Negotiator Virginia Oakly says she is pleased that the educators have received a significant pay increase and that hard work continues to improve pay and conditions for the rest of the early childhood sector. NZEI Te Riu Roa kindergarten educators voted overwhelmingly in favour of a collective agreement that maintains pay parity with its primary and secondary counterparts. MEPs voted on the proposed regulation in an online vote closed on Thursday evening. The vote took place after four days of negotiations between the members of NZEI Te Riu Roa kindergarten, the Ministry of Education and the employers of the kindergarten. The offer includes a new higher level of $90,000 for teachers and an increase in the child care allowance for principals and head teachers. While educators now have a pay parity with primary and secondary teachers, their negotiations have highlighted wage issues across the sector. Non-teachers working in associations are most often covered by an Individual Labour Agreement (IEA). The agreement is negotiated directly by the employee and the employer.
There is a collective agreement, the Preschool Assistance Contract (KASSCA), which includes support staff working in kindergartens of the school of thought, currently available to people in non-pedagogical positions, such as administrative.B tasks. The agreement gives them the same pay increases and the same standardized pay scales for primary and secondary teachers that were accepted following the May 29 mega-strike. The Training Institute stated that pay parity with teachers was part of the collective agreement for educators and that it needed an initial increase of about 5% to compete, followed by two further increases of 3% each and a further step forward on their $90,000 pay scale by 2021.