New secondary teacher offer puts top teachers on $100,000 salary by end of 2024

The Ministry has made an offer for settlement for secondary teachers.

The offer puts teachers at the top of scale on base pay of $100,000 by December 2024 (overall 11% to 14% increases for all teachers).

  • The offer also includes improvements to conditions, including time for pastoral care and recognition for cultural leadership
  • The Ministry expects PPTA to suspend industrial action while its members consider the offer.

The base pay of secondary teachers on the top of the salary scale will be $94,000 effective from 1 December last year (2022), and $100,000 by December next year if they accept the Ministry of Education’s offer for settlement, made today.

The Ministry has made an offer to PPTA/Te Wehengarua during bargaining facilitated by the Employment Relations Authority. The offer is based on the PPTA’s claims addressing remuneration and access to improved conditions.

It also includes significant improvements to conditions including, for the first time, allowances for pastoral care to provide greater support to students, cultural leadership allowances and a Pacific bilingual immersion teaching allowance.

In its letter of offer, the Ministry said it recognised the need to build the teaching workforce as a priority, and grow the support for beginning teachers to ensure the workforce is sustainable. This offer provides substantial increases for beginning teachers, including a payment of their fees to progress from provisional to full teacher certification.

Because of their qualifications, most newly trained secondary teachers start on the third step of the teachers’ salary scale and by 2 December 2024 a new teacher starting on this step will start on $63,187 – an increase of 12.9%. Teachers who start on the first step without a specialist qualification will start on $58,505 in December 2024, an increase of 13.92% on today’s starting rate.

New teachers who started in 2022 on the third step of the scale will be receiving $73,307 in 2025, including annual salary progression. This is an increase of $17,359, or 31% to their base pay over three years. 

This offer would mean progressive increases to the unified base salary scale from 1 December 2022, 1 December 2023 and 2 December 2024 moving the top of the teacher scale from the current $90,000 to $94,000 backdated to 1 December 2022, then $96,820 at the end of this year, and $100,000 at the end of 2024 – an overall 11.11% increase.

Approximately 66% of secondary teachers are on the top step of the scale and the average remuneration, including allowances and units, is around $93,000 ($92,713), so with this offer, a large proportion of the workforce would to be earning $100,000 or more by the end of next year.

Year-to-date, as of 18 April, the number of regular secondary teachers increased from the same time last year - 28,045 compared to 27,884. The growth is significantly higher than at the same time of year in 2019 (pre-COVID) when the number of regular secondary teachers was 26,454.

The pastoral care allowances provided by the offer would potentially allow a teacher to teach one less class, providing them with a day a week outside the classroom to focus on students’ needs. This is a response to issues teachers have raised around workload and the need to be able to address individual students’ learning needs.

While we have been bargaining with urgency and in good faith in order to reach a resolution, the union, of its own accord, has chosen to continue action which affects students, whānau and communities. We expect the union will pause this action while its members consider this settlement offer.

Significant components of the offer are:

  • A three-year term
    • An immediate increase of $4,000 to all steps of the Unified Base Salary Scale (UBSS) effective from 1 December 2022.
    • A second increase of the greater value of $2,000 or 3% in less than 9 months’ time, effective 1 December this year (2023).
    • A third increase of between 2 – 3.3%, lifting Step 11 of the UBSS to $100,000, effective from 2 December 2024.
  • A one-off lump sum payment of $710 to PPTA members, the gross salary equivalent to the cost to renew teacher practice certification during the term of the agreement.
  • Changes to sick leave entitlements which will significantly increase benefits over and above the Holidays Act – on commencement a new teacher would be entitled to 20 days sick leave, an increase of 13 days over the current entitlement.
  • Central payment of the cost for beginning teachers to progress from provisional to full certification ($512).
  • Introduction of 1,340 pastoral care time allowances to allow teachers to be released from their teaching programme for one class each week to support students with pastoral needs (equivalent of four allowances per secondary school) – 670 from term 1, 2024 and a further 670 from term 1, 2025.
  • Introduction of one cultural leadership allowances of $5,000 per annum for each secondary school from the start of 2024 to recognise those kaiako with additional responsibilities because they are cultural and/or community leaders who build staff capability in schools and kura.
  • An increase in the Māori Immersion Teaching Allowance from Term 3 this year, to up to $12,000 per annum for immersion level 1 (from $8,000) and $8,000 per annum for immersion level 2 (from $4,000).
  • Introduction of a Pacific Bilingual and Immersion Teaching Allowance from the start of 2024.
  • A separate agreement of up to $5 million over three years to deliver targeted professional learning and development (PLD) opportunities for secondary teachers.
  • Change the definition of the period for short term relief from the current 6 weeks to 3 weeks so that more engagements would be long-term relief where teachers would be paid their usual salary rather than relief teacher daily rates.
  • Recognition of technology teacher qualifications.
  • Increase Middle Management Allowances (MMA) for teachers at Te Kura to $2,000 per annum, to align them with the MMA rate for other secondary teachers and remove the 100-allowance limit to the number of allowances that can be allocated.
  • Increase the ability for teachers on refreshment leave to pick up short-term relief work.
  • Updating the Collective wording to align with the Holidays Act

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