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).
A 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 762 respondents who were ECE employees, 65% surveyed were not members of NZEI Te Riu Roa and 35% 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").
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
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Here’s how our membership plans work
- Individual Membership plans can view both Individual member-only articles and our library of Research Journals.
- Early Childhood Service plans can view ALL member articles: Individual, Research Journals and Early Childhood Service articles - along with support and a range of other benefits as outlined on the Join Us page
- Research Journal subscription plans can view our library of Research Journals and the articles in all past and current jounral issues.
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