Science technician pay equity claim

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

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Science technicians 
  • Principals and tumuaki
  • School boards

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 disciplines and assist students with equipment requests for individual projects. Health and safety in the school science laboratory is a key responsibility. 

Census data shows that of people who recorded their occupation as ‘school laboratory technician’, 81% (2013) and 84% (2018) were 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 people doing same or similar work in state and state-integrated schools in New Zealand.

What’s happening now?

Arguability for this claim has been agreed with NZEI Te Riu Roa. A notification letter and factsheet about the claim was sent to all affected employees on 17 March. Schools received a letter and copy of the notification and factsheet in the same week, and are required to talk to their affected employees to make sure they have received a copy of this letter. 

From 17 March 2021, 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].

We have now signed Terms of Reference (which sets out how we will work together to investigate the claims) with NZEI Te Riu Roa for this claim. The signing of the Terms of Reference marks the end of the raising phase of the process, which means we’re now moving into the assessment phase.

The first part of the assessment phase involves us conducting interviews with the claimants to understand more about the skills, responsibilities, degree of effort, and conditions of their roles. We are currently travelling around the country interviewing an initial sample size of randomly selected science technicians.


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