QUESTION 3: IS THERE REGIONAL VARIATION IN PAY AND IF SO, COULD THERE BE SCOPE FOR NON-KINDERGARTEN ECE STAFF IN ANY REGION TO BE PAID MORE?
Wages for all ECE staff (not including kindergarten) were highest in the Auckland region, followed by the Waikato and Wellington.
The average was $27.47 an hour in Auckland, $27.24 an hour in Waikato, and $27.12 an hour in Wellington. Teaching staff in the Nelson region had the lowest average pay of $25.51 an hour, followed by Northland $25.79 and the Bay of Plenty $26.29.
ECE staff in some regions may have more negotiating power over wages than staff in other regions. Perhaps employers in the Auckland region may, for example, be willing to pay more in wages knowing that the cost of living for staff is higher?
Maybe there is scope for services in other regions to be paying their staff more - it could be that services in Auckland, Waikato and Wellington are accepting lower profit. But without recent data on ECE service profitability we cannot know this for sure.
The Ministry of Education should be able to work out roughly what services can afford to pay in wages. The ministry collects copies of the annual audited accounts of services and the accounts provide breakdowns of expenditure and income items. The ministry last did a national survey of service revenue and costs in 2015 because “we need to make sure we have quality information to advise Ministers about the pressures that services face”. In 2018 Dr Sarah Alexander was informed by the ministry that the 2015 results were not available because it was “currently in discussions around the future of data collection in the area, and these discussions will determine our next steps around processing and releasing current data.” (Read about the findings of the Ministry's earlier cost driver survey here)