Our pay equity claim is about addressing the historical undervaluing of the work of some professions. This undervaluation has occurred because the work has been traditionally done by women. The skills, effort and responsibility in roles that society has perceived to be ‘women’s work’ have been undervalued in both status and pay. It’s time to fix this, because fair’s fair!

The Ministry of Education Support Workers and Kristine Bartlett's pay equity cases have paved the way for women in education to win pay equity. When we win pay equity, it will benefit the women, but also the small number of men, employed in these jobs or industries.

Mana Taurite is te reo Māori for equal status or equity.

What is Pay Equity or Mana Taurite? What does this have to do with me?

No matter who you are or what kind of work you do, you deserve to be paid fairly for your work. But for women, achieving fair pay has been a long, hard battle which is not over yet.

Despite the passing of the Equal Pay Act 40 years ago, women are still paid $4 an hour less, on average, than men. In many cases that's because work that's traditionally done by women—such as caring and working with young children—has been historically undervalued. Entire sectors of the workforce have been underpaid as a result.

The good news is, recent landmark court decisions have clarified that our right to equal pay covers the right to pay equity too. And NZEI Te Riu Roa members are leading the charge.

Work with hands, heads, or hearts—it's all equal.

Early childhood education

Teachers and staff are joining forces from all over the country, in private and community-run centres, in an unprecedented show of strength and unity. We're calling on ECE workers to join in now.

Teacher aides

The Ministry of Education agreed with us and E tū to start pay equity talks within a month of settling teacher aides' pay equity claim. There's been some good progress—see what's been happening.

Support Staff

The Ministry of Education has been notified that you have a pay equity claim to be addressed. Our next step is to meet with then and establish a process, including how all of the different groups can be progressed.

Pay equity claims.

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Your Pay Equity Journey

Check out the steps below, which outline the basic process for pay equity claims. Please note, that some groups have slightly differing journeys than others.

Click on a step below to find out more!

SUPPORT WORKERS
YOU ARE HERE

ADMIN STAFF
YOU ARE HERE

KINDERGARTEN SUPPORT STAFF
YOU ARE HERE

SUPPORT STAFF
STAFF YOU ARE HERE

SALVATION ARMY STAFF
YOU ARE HERE

BARNARDOS STAFF
YOU ARE HERE

ECE COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT
YOU ARE HERE

TEACHER AIDE STAFF
YOU ARE HERE

FINISH

START

Step 1

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The employer agrees there are grounds for a case.

Goal: The employer agrees there are grounds to believe that work has been undervalued.

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Information gathering.

Goal: Gather information about the work done, especially the parts of the work that has been undervalued.

Step 3

Building a picture

Goals: We'll use the information gathered to get a clear picture of what the work involves so that an appropriate comparator can be found.

We will ensure that the skills that are commonly overlooked in “women’s work” are included in this picture.

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Step 4

Finding comparators

Goal: We will find male dominated jobs (‘comparators’) to compare the work to. Appropriate comparators may include: those doing the same or similar work or; different work that involves similar skills, responsibilities, efforts and conditions and are paid more.

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Step 5

Negotiations

Goal: The negotiations to settle the claim will take place.

What will happen: This will be a particularly crucial time.

In establishing pay equity, other conditions of employment cannot be reduced.

Schools and Early Childhood Centres must not be placed in financial disadvantage as a result of these pay increases.

It will be the time when our negotiation team will need support – a strong and large membership is one of the best ways to do this. Have you joined us yet?

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Step 6

Winning pay equity!

We're on the road to winning pay equity!

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They are the first education sector group to achieve a pay equity settlement.

The 329 support workers directly employed by the Ministry of Education spent several years in pay equity processes under the previous Labour Government, before the National Government scrapped the pay equity unit in 2008 and refused to consider pay equity claims in collective agreement negotiations. It wasn't until 2015, following the successful Terranova proceedings taken by New Zealander of the Year Kristine Bartlett and the then Service and Food Workers’ Union, that NZEI filed a pay equity case in the Employment Relations Authority on behalf of Ministry-employed Support Workers.

After two years of wrangling and negotiating, we have our long-awaited settlement, which those members are in the process of ratifying at meetings around the country.

The terms of settlement for Ministry of Education Support Workers represents an historic and life-changing moment in what has been a 12-year battle.

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The Settlement also includes:

- Agreement to the principle of guaranteed minimum hours, starting with a minimum of 5 hours a week for all support workers on permanent variable hours;
- Agreement to a new four step pay scale so that support workers reach higher pay rates faster, with a fifth step recognising support workers with 10+ years experience
-A one-off compensation payment up to $1500 to all Ministry of Education support workers, based on years of experience
-Agreement to a qualifications and recognition of experience framework to be developed by 1 July 2019.

The settlement includes an immediate average pay increase of 27% and further increases over three years for all Education, Communications and Behaviour Support Workers employed by the Ministry of Education.

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Pledge Map : Pledge Today

Join the pay equity pledge:

You can now sign up to the Pay Equity Pledge and display it to show that you and your colleagues support government-funded pay equity for school support staff and early childhood educators.

This will be a great way to initiate conversations, and for our communities and whānau to see and understand what we are doing as we seek pay justice for educators in women-dominated jobs.

1. Download the pledge
2. Discuss it with your colleagues
3. Ask them to sign it
4. Display in your workplace
5. Add your school or centre to the map

English ECE pledgeTe Reo Support Staff pledgeTe Reo ECE pledgeEnglish Support Staff pledge

Put your school or centre on the map!