Science Technicians' Pay Equity Claim

Learn more about the Science Technicians' Pay Equity Claim.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Science technicians 
    • Principals and tumuaki
    • School boards

Science technicians (and those doing same or similar work) in schools and kura are currently the subject of a pay equity claim which seeks to ensure that they are receiving equitable remuneration for their work.

Science Technicians' Pay Equity Claim

About science technicians

School science technicians are responsible for the preparation, maintenance and operation of the practical equipment, the making and safe storage of solutions and the care and collection of biological specimens used in school science labs.

They instruct and assist teachers with practical skills, including class demonstrations and advanced techniques across all science disciplines and assist students with equipment requests for individual projects. Health and safety in the school science laboratory is a key responsibility. 

 Workforce data from 2021 shows 87 percent of science technicians employed in state and state integrated schools are female.

How did the claim come about?

On 6 November 2020 NZEI Te Riu Roa raised a pay equity claim for science technicians and those doing same or similar work in state and state-integrated schools in New Zealand. The claim states that the work of science technicians is undervalued because they are currently and were historically performed mostly by women.

What’s happening now?

Negotiations to settle the Science Technicians’ Pay Equity Claim will commence in early December 2022.

From October 2021 to August 2022, we investigated the claim with NZEI Te Riu Roa. The investigation involved several activities to build a body of evidence to determine if an undervaluation exists. This included claimant and comparator interviews, analysis of remuneration and terms and conditions from collective agreements, and the use of a factor-scoring process using a gender-neutral work assessment tool.

Once negotiations are completed and a draft settlement agreed, the union will seek the mandate of all affected employees to accept the settlement.

Until the claim is settled (if this is the outcome of the investigation), this letter and factsheet will be sent to any new employees who start a role covered by the claim. You can view a copy of this notification letter [DOCX, 155 KB] and factsheet [PDF, 801 KB].

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