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Union membership, why join NZEI Te Riu Roa, problems staff face and challenges facing the union

We are the union for early childhood teachers and support staff working in early childhood services including centres, kindergartens, kōhanga reo, language nests, home based services, and Te Kura (the Correspondence School).
By joining NZEI you will become a member of an active and vibrant union which works with you to ensure New Zealand children continue to get the high quality education they deserve.
We negotiate a range of collective agreements covering around 6,000 ECE teachers and support staff, and assist other members with individual agreements and issues. (Source: NZEI’s website).

campaign protestA question asking people who were employed in the early childhood sector whether they were members or not of the union that represents early childhood staff in NZ (NZEI Te Riu Roa), and if not then why were they not a member, was included in the ChildForum Early Childhood National Organisation Employment 2014 Survey.

Of the 762 respondents, 65% were not members of NZEI Te Riu Roa and 45% were not members: 

Of 762 respondents who were ECE employees, 65% surveyed were not members of NZEI Te Riu Roa and 45% were members.

It was found that being a union member or not made no difference when it came to:

  • Being happy in their workplace.
  • Whether they wanted to leave their current position or were seeking a change of job.
  • How often they felt stressed at work.
  • Whether or not they experienced a work-place related injury, mental health or physical problem.
  • Their employer paying the costs of teacher registration for them.

But the data showed that those who were members of NZEI Te Riu Roa had a much higher probability of:

  • Being well paid - according to their own perception of what this meant.
  • Having a greater number of hours of non-contact time per week.
  • Being given more days paid study or professional development leave.
  • Having the cost of first-aid training covered by their employer.
  • Working in a service where the adult-child ratios are at least at legal minimum (as opposed to below legal minimum).
  • Having a workload that they rate as 'fine" (not just "bearable" or alternatively "excessive").

 

Contents

The survey data is discussed below and analysis covers the following topics:

1. Differences between what early childhood staff actually want of a union and NZEI’s perception of its role
2. The ability of the NZEI Te Riu Roa to represent staff at privately-owned ECE services
3. Its relevance to staff at different types of services (e.g. home-based, hospital-based, childcare, kindergarten, kohanga reo etc.)
4. Relevance of union membership for staff in casual and permanent teaching positions, students, and management positions
5. Who the union mostly attracts - staff who are younger, middle-aged or older?
6. Why some early childhood staff join NZEI and others don’t.
7. Summary of key findings

 


To keep reading and view the full article login with your member's username and password

Here’s how our membership plans work:

  • Individual Membership plans can view both Individual member-only articles and our library of Research Journals (but not the ECE Service management article area). In addition, individual members can discuss and ask questions of fellow members any time through the online childcare and early childhood education practice, policy, and research discussion forum.
  • Early Childhood Service plans can view ALL member articles: Individual, Research Journals and Early Childhood Service articles. Also on this membership plan members can access the online discussion forum for individual members AND the online ECE service management / business forum.
  • Research Journal subscription plans can view our library of Research Journals and related research articles only

Should you not hold a current membership –  you are welcome to apply now.

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Membership Options

Individual
Member

Who is this for?
This plan is for any person who works with children or has an interest in early childcare and early childhood education.

$98.00 12 months from the date of joining
$60.00 6 months student-only

Your own personal username and password.

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Who is this for?
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Does your ECE group have more than 1 service? See our discounted rates

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in ECE Journal Subscriber

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$125.00 annual renewable in November each year

A username and password for your library users linked to your IP address.