The Ministry and NZEI Te Riu Roa have signed the terms of reference for the administration and clerical staff in schools, and Kaiārahi i te reo pay equity claims.
NZSTA are representing the interests of school boards as the employer of record. We will provide regular updates now that the pay equity process for these staff is underway.
There are 5 main stages of a pay equity claim:
- Raising the claim
NZEI Te Riu Roa, the union representing administration support staff and kaiārahi i te reo have notified the Secretary of Education that, because most people working in these occupations are women, their work is likely to be undervalued and underpaid.
- Investigation of claimant role
Ministry and NZEI Te Riu Roa take a random sample of administration staff from schools throughout New Zealand. They look at job descriptions and talk to school administrators, supervisors and principals to learn more about the work they are doing, including their skills, responsibilities, working conditions and demands.
- Investigation of comparator roles
They research male-dominated occupations where similar skills, responsibilities, working conditions and demands are needed.
- Assessment/analysis of evidence
They then compare the skills, responsibilities, working conditions and demands of administration support staff and the comparator occupations, and look at how much each group is being paid for their work. Then they decide if the staff in those occupations mostly done by women are paid less than staff in those mostly done by men.
If they find there is no gender-based discrimination the claim is denied. If they find there is gender-based undervaluation the parties will negotiate a settlement with fair remuneration.
The signing of the terms of reference has allowed the parties to move into the assessment of the claims, with interviews that started on the 27 July 2020 for administration staff and in the week beginning 10 August 2020 for Kaiārahi i te reo.
The staff covered by these claims are an important part of the education workforce, with approximately 10,000 administration and clerical staff, and 79 Kaiārahi i te reo working in primary, intermediate, area, secondary schools, kura and Te Kura.
The main purpose for the assessment is to find out whether these staff are being paid less than comparable roles in male dominated workforces. If the assessment process confirms this, then the parties move into negotiating a settlement outcome that sees their pay adjusted to remove any element of gender undervaluation.
The claims will be worked on together by the Ministry, NZEI Te Riu Roa (on behalf of the claimants) and New Zealand School Trustees Association (on behalf of school boards).
November 20, 2020 Update:
Administration Support Staff & Kaiārahi i Te Reo Pay Equity Claim Important Update
Parliament passed the Equal Pay Amendment Act (the Act), which introduces several new requirements for how pay equity claims are processed.
These changes came into law on 6 November 2020 and NZEI Te Riu Roa and others have raised a number of new pay equity claims which the MoE are reviewing.
There are two existing claims which the MoE and NZEI Te Riu Roa are already investigating which are also impacted by the changes:
• Administration Support Staff Pay Equity Claim (APEC)
• Kaiārahi i Te Reo Pay Equity Claim (KPEC)
From 6 November 2020, all school administrators or kaiārahi i te reo and employees performing the same or similar work will automatically be covered by these claims, unless they choose to opt-out. The MoE have written to all affected employees to advise them that they are covered by the claim and to provide them with the opportunity to opt-out of the claim process. A copy of the MoE letter to staff and the factsheet can be viewed here.
Principals and school leaders need to talk to your employees who are working as an administrator, kaiārahi i te reo or in the same or similar roles to make sure they have received a copy of this letter and place a copy of the letter and factsheet on your staff noticeboard
An explanatory letter has also be sent to all principals and a copy of that letter can be viewed here.
From 21 November 2020, until the claim is settled, the factsheet will need to be given to any new employees who start a role covered by one of the designations set out in the explanatory letter. We are working with the MoE on updating the requisite employment documentation to meet this requirement.
Should your affected employees choose to “opt-out” they will still receive the benefit of any settlement but they will not receive any updates from NZEI nor will they be able to vote on the ratification of any settlement reached between the parties.
Please contact our Advisory and Support Centre 0800 782 435 (option 2 “employment”) if you have any queries.