Wage rates and pay parity

No teacher should be paid less than another teacher with identical qualifications and meeting the same professional requirements because they work in ECE.  But it's a fact that ECE is not valued highly and teachers who work in ECE can be paid less - a lot less.  It is time to stop taking for granted the goodwill and the kindness that teachers have for children, families, and their employer and ensure no teacher in ECE is underpaid. (Quote: Dr Sarah Alexander, 14 July 2019). 


Pay Parity Poster same pay scale as kindergarten schools

Our Position on Teacher Pay

Our position is that all teachers whose qualifications are recognised for working in publicly-funded licensed ECE services must not be paid less than what a teacher who works at primary or secondary level is paid.

What you can do

Join the official Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pay.parity

Check the names of service providers who are prepared to pass on funding for pay parity to their teachers and have agreed to be held accountable.  Unfortunately while many other service providers may say they want more funding and support pay parity, they have not agreed to be held accountable to pass on funding and pay their teachers at pay parity rates.  

What we have done so far

We got the ball rolling for a political and sector focus on achieving pay parity for ECE teachers.  We organised the first national meeting in July 2019 in Wellington. At this meeting NZEI reps tried to get us to support its pay equity campaign (pay based on gender) and argued that pay parity (pay based on being a teacher) was not achievable. So, we realised it was up to us to work to generate interest, and do the research and thinking for pay parity. We formed a small pay parity steering group, and worked to transform thinking and create a sea change, thereby getting the issue of pay parity to the top of the political agenda. 

Teacher Pay book

In May 2020 the Government announced that the minimum salary attestation rate for teachers in teacher-led centres would change from being based on the first step of pay for a teacher under the Early Childhood Collective Agreement to instead to be based on the Kindergarten Teachers, Head Teachers and Senior Collective Agreement.  The Education Minister has stated he supports Pay Parity. 

The Pay Parity Petition Petition - find out more and see who signed
The names of ECE services who support Pay Parity for their teaching staff
The ECE Pay Parity Book - read online or print a copy  
Open Letter by teachers to Prime Minister Hon Jacinda Ardern and to Hon Chris Hipkins 
Stuff article: Same qualifications, same duties, different pay
Stuff article: Teachers are teachers
Stuff article:  Our pay is the lowest of the low
NZ Herald opinion: Why would anyone mind low pay and hours of unpaid work when stepping into the shoes of an early childhood teacher

Now we have raised awareness, this is what we are focussing on

Now there is political will for pay parity. It is incumbent on the Ministry of Education to advise government and do the work that needs to be done to see that pay parity is delivered. We are now prompting and working with the Ministry to make sure it does its job.

Read:  Evidence for the Ministry of Education to Use in Advising Government
Read:  Minutes of our meeting with the Ministry of Education 

We are aiming to get funding to employers who agree to pay all their qualified and certificated teachers at least at the KTCA rates.

We are encouraging the Minister and the Government to introduce requirements for attestation of payment of teacher wages/salaries on higher salary steps in accordance with the KTCA. 

QR code for the ECE Teacher equal pay claimThe new Equal Pay Amendment Act 2020 provides us with an additional avenue to pursue pay claims. The Act allows individuals, not just unions, to put in equal pay claims. Individuals can appoint someone to represent them. There is a very clearly arguable case for qualified and certificated teachers working in ECE to have pay parity with all other teachers. Mr David Haynes is representing teachers to make their individual claim should they wish to be represented. David has prepared a claim that seeks a minimum of kindergarten teacher (KTCA) rates for all certificated teachers working in ECE. The claim includes additional pay elements from the recent Teacher Aides’ settlement. David will also be asking for any settlement that results from this claim to be backdated. Tap or click here to go to the online registration form  Or scan the QR code to access the online form. 

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi engari, he toa takitini (Success is not by the work of one, but by the work of many)
See articles by different people, campaign updates, and more below

Title Created Date
Video of speeches on ECE teacher pay and the effects on children of high staff turnover 09 August 2020
Service Providers - what you really need to know about equal pay claims 01 December 2020
Teachers - what you really need to know about your choices for Equal Pay Claims 01 December 2020
Early Childhood Teachers to Use New Law to Get Pay Parity 04 October 2020
Forced to take my ECE qualification and experience overseas - the choice government asks ECE teachers to make between passion and money 02 October 2020
2nd Meeting with the Ministry of Education on its work towards achieving pay parity for all ECE teachers 17 September 2020
Synthesis of Evidence on Pay Parity and Early Childhood Teacher Pay for the Ministry of Education 17 September 2020
Pay Parity Campaign Update – June 2020 09 June 2020
Help get pay parity for ECE teachers put into law - how to easily and quickly do a submission 01 February 2020
Pay Parity Campaign Update – November 2019 06 November 2019
The Pay Parity Campaign: What’s Happened in our First Week? 08 October 2019
NZEI’s 11% Campaign – It Sounds Great, but What’s Inside the Package? 03 October 2019
Exploitation of Teachers Working in ECE - What the government can do to end this 27 August 2019
Unqualified teaching staff exploited 10 August 2019
Like chalk and cheese: Pay Equity and Pay Parity an analysis of different paths to get better wages and conditions 09 August 2019
David Haynes: ECE Teachers - Pay Parity or Pay Equity? 08 August 2019
Cost Analysis: Can centres afford to pay teachers more? 26 July 2019
National Survey Results: Sector views on ECE teacher wage rates set by the Ministry of Education and on pay parity with teachers in primary schools/ kindergartens 23 July 2019
Bethany O'Hagan: "Ask an early childhood teacher why there is a teacher shortage and we can tell you" 21 July 2019
Karen Girvan: "The pay realities for teachers when moving from a kindergarten setting into another community ECE setting" 21 July 2019
Hugo van Stratum: Pay disparity, profit making, fair treatment and advocacy for a unified pay scale 21 July 2019
Janet Dixon: "Investing in teachers is investing in children - our future leaders" 20 July 2019

Are you interested in joining us? 
Become a member and also gain access to our significant online knowledge base 

Membership Options


Who is this for?
Teachers - Student Teachers - Parents
$78.00 one year
$145.00 two years
Your own personal username and password.
Includes access to research library

ECE Service Provider  

Who is this for?
Service providers with one or more licensed ECE services
Starting from $198.00 for one year
Your own unique username and password.
Includes access to research library 

Researcher Membership or
a Library Subscription

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Libraries and organisations $250 annual 
Researchers $145.00 for two years
Access to over 20 years of NZ-International Research in ECE journal issues and articles