Our offers to primary teachers and principals

The Ministry of Education announced its revised offers to primary teachers and principals on 11 September 2018.


What are the salary increases?

  • A new principal of a school with 50 students or fewer would see their roll-based salary component salary increase from $81,553, to $85,223. That would increase to $89,058 next year and $92,976 in 2020.
  • A principal with at least nine-years’ experience leading a school of 851-1025 students will see their core remuneration (made up of the roll-based component, the base leadership payment and a career payment) increase from $135,517 to $139,216. It will then increase to $143,027 next year and $146,951 in 2020.
  • Most primary principals would receive 3 percent per year for three years. That’s a cumulative increase of 9.3 per cent.
  • A smaller group of principals at the smallest and hardest to staff schools (under 100 students) would receive increases of 4.5 percent each year for two years, and 4.4 percent for the third year, a cumulative increase of 14 per cent.


What are the salary increases?

  • Primary teachers with a teaching qualification (degree or advanced diploma), would see their base salaries increase from a range of $47,980 to $71,891, to a range of $52,429 to $78,557. At the top of the range this means an increase of $6,666 over the term.
  • Primary teachers with both a teaching qualification and a subject degree – for example a Bachelor of Science – would see their base salaries increase from a range of $49,588 to $75,949, to a range of $54,186 to $82,992, At the top of the range this means an increase of $7,043 over the term.
  • More than one in three teachers (38 per cent) are paid above the top of the base scale ($75,949). They receive extra payments in recognition of management and leadership responsibilities. For example, a teacher at the top of the scale on step 12 and receiving one unit for extra responsibilities (worth $4,000) is paid $79,949. After the offer, this would be $86,992.
  • The offer is a 3 percent pay increase to teachers’ base salaries each year for the next three years. That’s a cumulative increase of 9.3 percent over three years.

The first increase will take effect when the collective agreement is settled, the second increase 12 months later and the third 24 months later.

The cost of the Ministry’s offer for teachers and principals is $569 million over four years.

What about workload?

  • The offer also confirms our commitment to work together to develop an Education Workforce strategy which will look at how to attract, recruit and retain teachers.
  • We are also reviewing how teachers assess learning, which teachers have told us also impacts on workload and their ability focus on teaching.
  • The Government has already removed National Standards in response to teachers’ claims it was a large driver of workload
  • A joint taskforce has been set up to identify the compliance-related administrative tasks that can be reduced or eliminated to free up time for principals and teachers.
  • Agreement has already been reached and a well-being strategy and plans to implement it are being developed.

How are concerns about Teacher Supply and Learning Support being addressed?

Teacher Supply - $40 million

  • In October 2018 the Government committed a further $10.5 million for initiatives to boost teacher supply. This is on top of the $29.5 million for supply initiatives that’s been announced since late last year.
  • This funding supports initiatives that will get more graduates into permanent teaching positions, help experienced teachers get back into the profession, attract New Zealand teachers back from overseas, and encourage overseas-trained teachers to come and teach in New Zealand.
  • The extra $10.5 million provides funding for up to 230 grants of $10,000 for schools to get more graduate teachers into classrooms. It also includes funding to support the overseas recruitment campaign targeting the recruitment of 900 NZ trained and overseas trained teachers into New Zealand classrooms.

Learning Support - $500 million

  • Budget 18 provided $283 million in additional funding for Learning Support. The government has now announced a further $217 million commitment that will fund around 600 Learning Support Coordinators for schools.
  • Budget 2018 included more funding for Early Intervention (to recruit more specialists, increase places, and increase study awards); increased funding for teacher aides; expansion of the Intensive Wraparound Service; and addressed cost pressures for the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme, Sensory Schools and NZSL, and English for Speakers of Other Languages.
  • The new Learning Support Coordinators will work alongside teachers in schools and kura to connect students with the additional learning and behaviour services they need. This funding will allow about 1,000 schools to have a full or part time Learning Support Coordinator from 2020.
  • Budget 18 provided an extra $59 million for teacher aides. The NZEI and the Ministry are currently engaged in a pay equity inquiry for teacher aides.

How many primary teachers and principals are there?

There are around 40,000 primary teachers and 1943 primary principals.

How many students?

The 2017 July roll had 464,442 students enrolled in primary and Intermediate (excluding *composite and special).

How many schools are there in the primary sector?

There are around 1943 primary, intermediate and special schools (the school types covered by the Primary Teachers' Collective Agreement).

Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback