FAQ: Paying teachers

Pay parity opt-in scheme

If a service has more teachers than needed to meet regulated ratios, do all of them have to be paid at this level or only the ones that count towards the Staff Hour Count in the funding claim?

When a service opts-in to the pay parity scheme, they are agreeing to pay all employed certificated teachers in accordance with the salary scales set out in the ECE Funding Handbook(external link). The salary scales they pay will vary depending on which set of funding rates they opt-in to. The requirement is not limited only to certificated teachers counted for regulated ratio purposes. Certificated teachers who are employed to work in a management role are also covered for services who opt-in to the extended parity funding rates.   

Can a service claim the higher funding rates (base, parity or extended parity) if it is still in the process of agreeing placement on the pay scales with teachers during the course of the funding period?

Yes, if you’re still working through contractual arrangements, you can still opt-in. However, you need to ensure all employed certificated teachers are back paid in accordance with the salary scale from the beginning of the funding period, or their start date (if they have not been employed for the entire period). Failure to back pay teachers to the start of the funding period (or their start date) will mean a service is ineligible to receive the higher funding rates. 

Can I pay my certificated teachers more than the salary scale amount?

The amounts set out in the salary scale are minimums. Service providers and teachers are free to negotiate higher levels of remuneration if they wish. 

Do we pay certificated teachers who have trained overseas the same as New Zealand trained teachers?

If the international qualification is recognised by the NZQA, then the teacher should be paid based on that qualification. You can find out more about this on NZQA’s website(external link). It is important that services complete their own due diligence, working with the teacher to identify what step they should be on, based on their qualifications and experience. 

How do I convert the minimum salary amount into an hourly rate?

An indicative hourly rate can be found by dividing the salary amount by 2,080. The salary amounts reflect a full-time year of work consisting of a 40-hour week for 52 weeks. For teachers that are contracted to generally work more or less than 40 hours a week, an hourly rate could be applied. 

Will I need to back pay your certificated teachers for the full attestation period?

Yes, you will need to pay the full attestation period. For example, if you opt-in to the pay parity scheme in your RS7 February return, and you have not already paid your staff at least the pay step they are on, you will need to back pay your staff for the full period (e.g., October to January).

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