A 1% rise in minimum wage rates stipulated by the Ministry of Education for most teachers in early childhood centres

Money 100 new brighter bank noteThis article was last updated on 26/06/2019 to show that the ministry has now confirmed that the new rates will take effect from 1 August 2019

The Ministry of Education has now reviewed the minimum rates that must be paid for attestation of certificated teachers’ salaries/ wages.

It has been 2 years since the rates were last increased. From 1 August 2019 the rates for teachers with a 3 or 4 year teaching degree will increase by 1%. 


   2015  2017
(from 1 July)
(from 1 Aug) 
Q1 & Q2 rates
(a Diploma of Teaching or equivalent) 
 $40,458 $41,067 or $19.74 hour $45,491 or $21.87 hour
(10.8% wage increase)
 Q3 rate (holds a recognised 3yr teaching degree, an advance diploma or has done an upgrade on teaching diploma to a degree)  $44,373 $45,041 or $21.65 hour  $45,491 or $21.87 hour
(Only a 1.1% wage increase)
 Q3+ rate (examples of quals at this level:  a 4 yr B.Tchg degree, a Bachelors degree together with a recognised ECE qualification)  $45,680 $46,368 or $22.29 hour  $46,832 or 
or $22.51 hour
(Only a 1% wage increase)


Closing the gap in minimum wages (no difference between Q1 - Q3 and only a tiny difference for a teacher at Q3+) radically diminishes the incentive to get higher teaching qualifications.

There is no financial incentive to engage in study beyond a 4 year basic teaching degree.

Compare the percentage increases between 2017 and 2019 for each of the Q1 - Q3+ scales to the increase in the adult minimum wage for all workers in NZ.  IN 2017 the minimum adult wage was $15.75. Now in 2019 it is $17.70. The adult minimum wage in NZ has increased by 12.3%.

The attestation rates are set at the lowest or entry level wage bands in the ECE Collective Agreement.

The Ministry does not require services to pay staff more than this, based on experience, higher qualifications or even responsibilities. Employers may pay higher than the minimums set by the Ministry, and we know of employers who do. So why does it not set the minimum rates higher or set salary/ wage steps?

It does not require service providers to provide other things that the collective agreement includes as part of the total remuneration package. 
Other things include for example: teachers paid by the hour (waged) "shall receive $1.50 per day as reimbursement for clothing purchased except where a uniform is provided by the employer."  "Where permanent early childhood teachers/kaiako complete or renew First Aid certificates, the employer shall meet any costs incurred." 


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