Information for teacher aides

The teacher aide pay equity claim resulted in a variation to the Support Staff in Schools’ Collective Agreement which includes the settlement outcomes. Learn more about the settlement.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Teacher aides
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Boards

The teacher aide pay equity settlement acknowledges the value of the skills, responsibilities and demands of teacher aide work, and ensures that value is being remunerated fairly. The settlement has introduced new employment conditions for teacher aides. 

Payment for teacher aides who finished their role after 12 February 2020

The Teacher Aide Pay Equity Settlement applies to all teacher aides, even if you are no longer working at a school. If you finished employment on or after 12 February 2020, you are eligible to receive a payment for the hours you worked from 12 February to the date you finished your job.

To find out if you need to apply for back payment, use this flowchart [PDF, 113 KB].

All NZEI Te Riu Roa members will automatically receive backdated pay regardless of when they left their role.

Teacher aides who signed the pay equity Individual Employment Agreement, who finished employment after 30 June 2020 will automatically receive backdated pay. However, if you finished before 30 June and you have not started a new role at the same school or a different school, you need to sign a TAPEC previous employee agreement to receive the backdated pay.

To apply for this, you need to contact your previous employer to sign the TAPEC previous employee agreement.

By signing the TAPEC previous employee agreement, you are waiving your right to lodge a separate pay equity claim.

Teacher aides covered by the settlement

The claim applies to teacher aides and anyone who does the work described in the pay equity work matrix - even if the role is called something different, such as “learning assistant.”

The tasks need to be student facing and support the learning of a specific student or group of learners.

The settlement only applies to people employed in state or state-integrated schools.

The teacher aide settlement does not apply to:

  • private / independent schools
  • administration staff, science technicians, co-ordinators, librarians, kaiārahi i te reo - as separate pay equity claims have been raised for these groups
  • teacher aides working in kindergartens, or other early learning services.

If you’re not sure if you are on a teacher aide code in Education Payroll talk to your payroll officer.

How to receive the new rates

The Ministry will automatically translate every teacher aide who is a member of NZEI Te Riu Roa from the old pay scale to the new pay equity pay scale.

Teacher aides who are not members of NZEI Te Riu Roa will be translated when their Individual Employment Agreement (IEA) is received by Education Payroll. Please talk to your school if you haven’t been offered the new IEA.

Use our online equity pay rate calculator to see your new pay rate.

Your new pay equity rates

If you are a member of NZEI Te Riu Roa, or have signed the new individual agreement based on the varied collective, you will be automatically moved to the new pay equity scale.

Use our online equity pay rate calculator to see your new pay rate.

Find out more about the new pay equity rate scale and the translation process.

If you have any queries you can speak to your payroll officer.

NZEI Te Riu Roa members can call 0800 NZEI HELP for support.

If you receive Working for Families payments, you’ll need to let Inland Revenue know about your new pay rate and backdated pay. Update your details with Inland Revenue.(external link)

Timeline for new rates

Assuming you are a union member or you have signed your new IEA before 18 September you will start receiving the equity pay rates from 4 November, backdated to 12 February 2020. Notifications received after 18 September will be processed as soon as practicable by Education Payroll.

The new Tiaki allowance

As part of the pay equity settlement, there will now be two types of tiaki allowance – frequent and occasional.

A teacher aide can only claim one type of tiaki allowance, not both.

Teacher aides who perform tiaki duties regularly (at least once per day on average) will receive an extra $2.59 per hour on top of their hourly rate.

For teacher aides who are required to perform tiaki duties occasionally, the current allowance of $3.85 per incident (up to once per day) will be increased by 25% to the new rate of $4.81 per incident (up to once per day).

The new Tiaki provisions will apply to teacher aides only. For other support staff the existing Tiaki allowance of $3.85 per day remains in place.

Read more about the tiaki allowance.

Easier access to PLD

You can now apply online for professional learning that supports the development of your skills and knowledge in a way that contributes to the vision of your school or kura, and the learning needs of students and ākonga.

The new fund will not only pay for course fees, it will also compensate you for your time to attend PLD courses when this is required.

It pays for professional learning offered by private providers, polytechnics, universities, schools, kura, Kāhui Ako or clusters. It covers both face-to-face and distance or online delivery. 

Wherever possible, this funding should be used for PLD in term breaks and the Christmas and New Year break, or otherwise outside of the teacher aide’s work hours.

More information about the teacher aide PLD pilot fund and application form(external link)  

Certainty of hours

Before the pay equity settlement, permanent teacher aides could have their hours of work increased or reduced by their employer once every twelve months. There were no restrictions to the number of hours a teacher aide could have their hours varied and not be entitled to surplus staffing provisions.

Permanently employed teacher aides can now have their hours varied by a maximum of 25% in any twelve month period. Any variations greater than 25% require the employer to apply the surplus staffing provisions. This does not apply to teacher aides on fixed term employment agreements, as their hours are fixed by the terms of their fixed term agreement.

Teacher aides and employers can still together agree on larger or more frequent variations if mutually agreed.

Payment for online hui

You will be automatically paid the $25 payment if you’ve attended an online Zoom hui as part of NZEI Te Rui Roa’s information campaign about the settlement.

The new Work Matrix

The Work Matrix sets out the most common skills, responsibilities and demands that apply to teacher aides for each of the grades. 

Read more about the Work Matrix.

Deciding grades for new teacher aides

When the Ministry, NZSTA and NZEI Te Riu Roa investigated the teacher aide pay equity claim, we gathered information about teacher aide work, and used this to develop the Work Matrix table.

This matrix has four grades (A, B, C, D) showing the most common skills, responsibilities and demands that fall under three broad areas of Teacher Aide work:

  • General support (classroom/academic)
  • Additional support (e.g. behavioural, high health or pastoral)
  • Te Ao Māori - acknowledging the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, and the bicultural foundations of Aotearoa New Zealand, all students should have the opportunity to acquire knowledge of te reo Māori me ōna tikanga.

The Work Matrix sets out the most common skills, responsibilities and demands that apply to teacher aides for each of the grades. The grade a teacher aide is on will determine the teacher aides pay rate.

When creating a new teacher aide role, schools access the job description against the skills, demands and responsibilities outlined in the pay equity Work Matrix table to assign the grade and step. A teacher aide will be placed in the grade that reflects the highest skills, demands or responsibilities performed regularly and on an ongoing basis in their role. The teacher aide doesn’t have to do every activity in a grade in order to sit within it.

Find out more about how schools decide the grade and step of a new teacher aide role.

Annual review process

As is currently the case, you may ask your employer/principal to reconsider your salary progression and/or the grade you are on.

You have the right to representation at any stage whether that be through a union, employment advocate, lawyer, or other. NZEI Te Riu Roa members can call 0800 NZEI HELP for support in this process.

Admin staff and kaiārahi i te reo

The Ministry and NZEI Te Riu Roa have signed the terms of reference for two pay equity claims: administration and clerical support staff in schools, and Kaiārahi i te reo in kura.

There are three main stages of a pay equity claim - raising the claim, assessing the claim and settling the claim. Both claims are currently in the investigation and assessment stage.

Administration staff pay equity claim

Kaiārahi i te reo pay equity claim

Further information about the settlement outcomes

Operational guidelines for schools [PDF, 1.7 MB]

Pay rate calculator

The new pay equity rates

Tiaki allowance

Variation of hours

Professional Learning and Development (PLD)

The Work Matrix

Longer term work

Information for teacher aides

Fact sheets

Quick steps to implementation [PDF, 190 KB] 

Pay equity and the teacher aide claim fact sheet [PDF, 400 KB]

New Work Matrix for teacher aides and pay equity rates fact sheet [PDF, 428 KB]

Tiaki allowance fact sheet [PDF, 307 KB]

Variation of hours fact sheet [PDF, 439 KB]

Professional Learning and Development (PLD) fact sheet [PDF, 364 KB]

Longer term work fact sheet [PDF, 174 KB] 

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