Teachers' Pay Equity Claim

Learn more about the Teachers' Pay Equity Claim.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Early intervention teachers; early childhood, kindergarten and primary teachers (including principals)
  • Early childhood employers
  • Primary, area, composite and secondary school teachers (including principals)

NZEI Te Riu Roa and the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) have both raised a pay equity claim for the work of teachers, including principals. These claims have been consolidated into the Teachers' Pay Equity Claim.

What’s happening now

The employer parties and unions are currently working together to develop the Terms of Reference which will frame the parties’ working relationship to facilitate effective and efficient assessment and resolution of the pay equity claim.

Teacher pay equity claim process chart

What’s happened to date

A Multi-Employer Pay Equity Process Agreement (MEPA) has been signed. This sets out how the employer parties will work together during the claim process.

This claim was deemed to be ‘arguable’ on 21 July 2021. Arguability looks at whether the work is or was performed predominantly by female employees, and if it is arguable that the work is currently or was historically undervalued. Deciding that a claim is arguable does not mean the employer agrees that there is a pay equity issue or that there will be a pay correction at the end of the process. 

All employees who perform work that is the same as, or substantially similar to, the work to which the claim relates are automatically covered by the claim. These people are called “affected employees”. Employers were responsible for notifying their affected employees of the claim by 18 August 2021. 

All affected employers in schools and the Ministry were notified of the claim by 18 August 2021.

How did the claim come about

On 6 November 2020, the NZEI Te Riu Roa raised a pay equity claim for early intervention teachers; early childhood (who are working for employers which are involved in the claim), kindergarten, primary, area and composite school teachers (including principals). This is a multi-employer claim that includes over 600 employers and will cover more than 600 private and community-based early childhood centres or services.

On 17 December 2020, the PPTA raised a pay equity claim for area, intermediate, composite and secondary school teachers (including principals) in state and state-integrated schools in New Zealand.

The unions’ claims have now been consolidated into the Teachers' Pay Equity Claim.

Information for employers

The NZEI Te Riu Roa pay equity claim for early learning, early intervention, kindergarten, and primary school teachers has named 500+ private employers and community-based centres or services so the scale and complexity of the claim is quite large. In 2021, we ran local and online information sessions throughout the country to inform people of the process. You can view one of the virtual sessions in the video below.

Teachers multi-employer pay equity claim — employers briefing

Named employers can opt out of the multi-employer pay equity claim process at any stage before settlement if they have genuine reasons based on reasonable grounds to do so. Any employer that opts out must notify all other parties involved in the claim of their decision to opt out.

If an employer opts out, they must still progress the claim with the union as a separate claim.

You can read more about the pay equity claims process in Employment New Zealand’s Introduction to Pay Equity.(external link)

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