Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Early learning pay parity pathway confirmed

Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January next year, Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins, confirmed today.

“From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be required to pay equivalent certificated teachers at the same level as those on the first five steps on the kindergarten teachers’ collective agreement,” Minister Hipkins said.

“It’s a significant step in the Government’s long-term strategy to lift pay, starting with those at or near the bottom end of the pay scale, and repair long-standing pay inequities.”

Teachers who meet the requirements for pay step six and work in services that have opted into the higher rates will also need to be paid at that rate from 1 January 2023, he said.

“Those at higher steps will be progressed in future Budget rounds, as previously indicated.”

“We’ve now separated step six from steps one to five to encourage more early learning services to opt in immediately. It’s a pragmatic decision that reflects a complex sector with public, private and NGO operators using a range of business models. It will benefit a significant number of preschool children and their families from 2022.      

“I’ve asked the Ministry of Education for advice on improving funding approaches to help deliver pay parity. This work will need ongoing stakeholder buy-in to achieve sustained progress,” Mr Hipkins said.

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