Teacher aide pay equity claim updates and resources


Teacher aide pay equity claim ratified and new IEA available for non-union teacher aides

NZSTA is pleased to announce that NZEI Te Riu Roa members have ratified (agreed to) a variation to the Support Staff in Schools Collective Agreement that includes the teacher aide pay equity settlement outcomes.

The settlement applies to all staff designated as teacher aides at state and state-integrated schools and kura. 

In November 2020 NZEI Te Riu Roa members will automatically receive the new pay equity rates and back-pay (backdated from 12 February 2020) through the Collective Agreement. Schools will receive additional pay equity operational funding to meet the cost of these new rates.

If schools and kura do not use the additional pay equity funding for this specific purpose then the Ministry will recover these funds.

You are expected to offer all teacher aides who are not union members an Individual Employment Agreement (IEA), so they can access the settlement and receive the new pay rates in November. This will need to be done by term 3.

This has been a positive and collaborative effort alongside the Ministry and NZEI Te Riu Roa, and we are committed to developing guidance, resources, tools, and support for all School Boards of Trustees.

Our priority is to help members understand these changes from the settlement outcomes and provide support in ensuring that all teacher aides have access to the benefits of this settlement and good employer practice. 

NZSTA recommends that schools and kura engage with their teacher aide staff now ensure preparedness for the transition to the new pay equity rates.

The link to the new IEA and the Ministry’s circular are linked.

To download the cover letter, click here.

More information will be available early in Term 3 from The Ministry’s website https://www.education.govt.nz/school/people-and-employment/pay-equity/teacher-aide-pay-equity-claim/  

For further advice and guidance please contact our Advisory and Support Centre on 0800 782 435.

Professional Learning and Development Fund for Teacher Aides 

From 1 July 2020, a new pilot fund will provide teacher aides with easier access to professional learning and development (PLD) opportunities. The new $2.29 million fund will pay for course fees and it will also compensate teacher aides for their time to attend PLD courses when this is required.
 
The pilot fund is the first of its kind and recognises the value and importance of teacher aides in schools, in their communities and to ākonga. In the medium term, this contribution will be recognised through developing a career framework as part of the Education Accord.  
 
The fund can pay for courses offered by private providers, polytechnics and universities, as well as schools, kura or clusters of schools. It covers both face-to-face and distance/online delivery and travel expenses. After receiving appropriate approval, teacher aides can apply to attend a course via an online process. Principals/tumuaki and the teacher aide will be notified when the application has been approved.
 
To apply for the fund teacher aides will need an Education Sector Logon (ESL). The new accounts for teacher aides will be available by 1 July. A notification that this new role has been set up will be sent to all delegated authorisers (DA) and full instructions are on the website.
 
The training opportunities should focus on courses that support learners, build cultural capability and contribute to student wellbeing. Wherever possible, this funding should be used for PLD in term breaks and the Christmas/New Year break or otherwise outside of the teacher aide’s work hours.
 
However, you will be able to pay for a reliever to back-fill if a course is delivered within the teacher aide’s usual working hours, as the fund reimburses schools for the teacher aide’s wages.
 
For more information please go to: https://capability.education.govt.nz/home/teacher-aide-pld/

PLD Pilot Fund for Teacher Aides launched

From 1 July 2020 a new pilot fund will provide teacher aides with easier access to professional learning and development (PLD) opportunities. 

The new $2.29 million fund will not only pay for course fees, it will also compensate teacher aides for their time to attend PLD courses when this is required. 

The pilot fund is the first of its kind and recognises the value and importance of teacher aides in schools, in their communities and to ākonga. In the medium term, this contribution will be recognised through developing a career framework as part of the Education Accord.

The PLD pilot fund aims to break down some of these barriers, encourages teacher aides to apply for funding for training and for schools and kura to be better able to support them.  

The fund can pay for courses which are offered by private providers, polytechnics and universities as well as schools, kura or clusters of schools. It covers both face to face and distance/online delivery.

After discussing their plans with their supervisor, teacher aides can apply to attend a course via a simple online process.  Principals/tumuaki and the teacher aide will be notified when the application has been approved.

The training opportunities should focus on courses that support learners, build cultural capability and contribute to student wellbeing. 

Wherever possible, this funding should be used for PLD in term breaks and the Christmas/New Year break or otherwise outside of the teacher aide’s work hours.  

However, schools will be able to pay for a reliever to back-fill if a course is delivered within the teacher aide’s usual working hours as the fund reimburses the school for the teacher aide’s wages.

For more information for schools and teacher aides please go to: https://capability.education.govt.nz/home/teacher-aide-pld/

Recognising the work of teacher aides

In July 2017, the New Zealand School Trustees Association along with the Ministry of Education and NZEI Te Riu Roa entered into a joint process to examine the claim raised by NZEI that because teachers aides are mostly women their work is likely to be undervalued and underpaid.

We agreed to work in partnership to resolve the detailed and complex claim, following the Pay Equity Principles and the Equal Pay Amendment Bill to ensure the correct processes were used.

The process

During the investigation 842 schools were contacted, 800 job descriptions assessed, and 365 in-depth interviews were conducted. The process was thorough and collaborative to achieve an outcome that is robust, fair and equitable for the 22,000 teacher aides who work in schools and kura across the country.

From mid-2017 to mid-2019, NZSTA, the Ministry, and NZEI worked together to research the teacher aide occupation and the work of comparator occupations. The objective was to answer two key questions:

  1. Are teacher aides’ remuneration rates affected by gender-based undervaluation?
  2. If so, what is the extent of the undervaluation and how can it be corrected?

The findings

You can read the full report here

The conclusion of the investigation was that teacher aides’ pay suffered from gender-based undervaluation and needed to be corrected. That correction is now underway with a variation to the terms of the collective agreement being presented to teacher aides who are members of NZEI for approval.

Next steps

NZEI members are expected to vote on the variation to the Support Staff in Schools’ Collective Agreement 2019-2022 in July. If the agreement is ratified, non-union members will be able sign up to the settlement through a new IEA. The terms of settlement include the following key elements:

  • Teacher Aide pay rates will increase to a range from $21.20 to $34.68 per hour, and be effective from 12 February 2020, for most teacher aides upwards this is an increase of 19-30% over the rates paid in 2019
  • The Tiaki allowance has been increased and made more accessible
  • Variation of hours of permanent teacher aides is limited up to 25% of their existing contract. Any excess of the 25% threshold would need to occur by mutual agreement or the surplus staffing provisions will apply 
  • The PLD Fund will receive a further funding increase in addition to the increases funding agreed provided in the settlement of the Support Staff in Schools’ Collective Agreement 2019 – 2022
  • The settlement will be reviewed after three years.

Should the ratification process, proceed as expected then schools will receive additional funding by October 2020 and teacher aides will receive the new fair pay rates by November, backdated to 12 February 2020.

You can find further information about the settlement outcomes and fact sheets here.

Should you have any further queries please call our Advisory and Support Centre team: 0800 782 435 (Option 2). 

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