Pay Parity means just that, it’s Early Childhood Education’s turn

Early Childhood Education provider Te Rito Maioha is pleased that the government have recognised the Post Primary pay claim in a manner that demonstrates they value kaiako|teachers in Aotearoa. Now the government needs to do the right by Early Childhood Education (ECE) teachers as well, because a teacher is a teacher is a teacher!

“It’s long overdue for kaiako in secondary schools and encouraging that this settlement recognises the value of kaiako” says Kathy Wolfe Te Rito Maioha Chief Executive.”

“Primary school teachers and kindergartens have pay parity clauses meaning that the offer now must flow into these teachers|kaiako pay. And by extension, the government have been promoting ‘pay parity’ within the ECE sector, which means that the wage increase offered to kindergarten kaiako, a  single part of ECE sector, will need to flow on to other ECE kaiako in the sector.”

“Teachers positively influence tamariki, young people and young adults’ lives and have an enormous impact on their learning journey and successes in education.”

“The ECE sector trust that the government will do the right thing for ECE teachers and centres as well through the Pay Parity process because a teacher is a teacher is a teacher! ECE employers want more than anything to pay at parity for their teachers, but many are stuck between a rock and hard place to fund the gap, hence the government need to step up.  The government fund and regulate the sector but constrain the ability to charge fees. This is not a good solution for parents and tamariki as it creates barriers to access services and affordability issues.”

“One of the major concerns in the sector is the ongoing teacher shortage. While a potential increase in renumeration is welcome, it still begs the question that the government has no Education Workforce Strategy to ensure that people are attracted into the profession, retained, valued, remunerated accordingly, and provided professional development.”

“The purpose of any workforce strategy is a vision for this workforce, there is none, so how can we be sure we do not find ourselves in the same environment again where teacher shortages, workload, pay and valuing the profession is in such dire circumstances?”

“We have some way to go to remedy the teaching profession challenges, but at least the settlements for Secondary, Primary, Primary Principals and Kindergarten will ensure a meaningful Pay Parity offer for ECE. That would be an important step in the right direction, but one that needs to be future-proofed and sustained.”

“Now we wait for positive outcomes from government and MoE to announce what occurs next,” says Mrs Wolfe.

  • The government has accepted an arbitration panel's recommendation to increase secondary teacher pay by about 14.5 percent. Te Rito Maioha’s call to action of the government is a Five Point Plan to address the ECE Crisis.
  1. Urgently replace the outdated, dysfunctional ECE funding model to meet the real needs of today’s working whānau, tamariki and ECE services.
  2. Fund ECE services sufficiently to deliver pay parity for kaiako and quality education to tamariki without centres needing to charge high fees to parents.
  3. Tackle teacher shortages with a meaningful Education Workforce Strategy and action plan to attract, retain and develop a professional, culturally responsive ECE teaching workforce from within Aotearoa New Zealand.
  4. Improve child-teacher ratios – so that tamariki can thrive, learn and be safe with quality education and attention from teachers. You can view our 1:4-U3! petition here
  5. Simplify regulations to support quality education delivery without over-burdening ECE services with labour-intensive administration demands from multiple agencies.