Proposed pay equity claim settlement agreements reached for school librarians and science technicians

Proposed pay equity claim settlements for school librarians and science technicians have been reached between the Ministry of Education and NZEI Te Riu Roa, Secretary for Education, Iona Holsted and NZEI Te Riu Roa president, Mark Potter, announced today.

The new pay equity rates would see librarians and library assistants receive pay increases of between approximately 10 percent to 38 percent. For science technicians, their pay increase would be between approximately 20 percent to 40 percent. 

As an example, a school librarian who is currently earning $26.30 per hour would see their income rise to $32.70 per hour, while a science technician currently on $22.92 would move to $30.39. 

In November 2020, NZEI Te Riu Roa raised separate pay equity claims for librarians and library assistants, and science technicians. Since then, the Ministry and the union have undertaken comprehensive investigations to determine whether these workforces are being paid less than male-dominated occupations performing work of the same value. 

If the proposed pay equity claim settlement agreements are endorsed by employees covered by the separate claims, the new rates will apply from 23 November 2022, which was the end of the work assessment phase when a pay equity issue was confirmed. 

“It is encouraging to see two more education workforces approach pay equity settlements", Iona Holsted said. “Pay equity is a fundamental tool in addressing historical sex-based bias in education workforce pay rates, and in fairly recognising these workers’ skills,” she said.

NZEI Te Riu Roa will communicate with employees covered by the claims during February. The employees will then vote on whether to accept the proposed settlements. 

If endorsed by covered employees, the settlements will see approximately 1,200 librarians and library assistants, and around 400 science technicians in state and state-integrated schools and kura being valued and paid for the work they do in line with people working in male-dominated roles of equal value. 

These follow the pay equity settlements for school administrators and kaiārahi i te reo in July last year. The Ministry and NZEI have also settled pay equity claims for education support workers and teacher aides in recent years. 

The Ministry together with the Post Primary Teachers Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA), NZEI Te Riu Roa, the Public Service Association (PSA), the Association for Professional and Executive Employees (APEX), and the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA), are jointly working on other pay equity claims across education workforces. 

Details of these claims can be found on Pay equity.

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