Hamilton, August 2, 2023
The government has agreed to support the Independent Arbitration Panel’s recommendation to increase secondary teachers’ base salaries by 14.5 % by December 2024, Minister of Education Jan Tinetti announced today.
The announcement comes after the arbitration panel recommended that secondary teachers get the pay rise spread over three instalments.
“We are committed to investing in our teachers to attract and retain the best to teach our young people and set them up to succeed and have a life full of choices. The increase offered by the government today would see beginner teachers receive an annual increase of almost $10,000, in addition to the $7210 lump sum payment,” Ms Tinetti said.
The change adds $680 million to the $3.76 billion set aside by the government for settling teacher and principal pay agreements, coming out of current education budget savings and the 2024 cost pressure allowance. This includes an increase to other education collective agreements which will flow on from this decision,” she said.
According to Ms Tinetti, the offer provides an increase of 36% for teachers at the top of the pay scale since Labour formed the government In 2017, compared to a 10 % increase under the last National government.
“I know how disruptive the past few months have been for our students, young people and their parents. We all want our young people back in the classroom learning, and this offer reinforces our commitment to that. After careful consideration and weighing up the current challenging financial environment, the government has agreed to find the money through savings from other parts of the Education Budget and Education’s Budget 2024 cost pressure allowance,” Ms Tinetti said.
Changes in place
To meet the additional cost, the main savings of $374 million have been found within the education budget: Savings from the Ministry of Education departmental funding; Forecast staffing underspends mostly as a result of newer teachers being employed; Removal of the option to ‘bank staffing’* for all schools, excluding Kaupapa Māori and Māori Medium Education (from July 2025); Deferring the Te Ao Marama and Hobsonville Point Secondary School projects in the Public Private Partnership Schools Expansion Programme, and rephase the current operating funding
“The remaining $306 million will be pre-committed to the Budget 2024 allowance, specifically to the cost pressure allocation which the Minister of Finance sets at the start of the Budget process. This is a balanced approach to increasing the pay of an important front-line workforce while dealing with the broader fiscal pressures that the Government faces. Our government has a proud track record of supporting teachers, who are the cornerstone of our education system,” Ms Tinetti said.
She said that the unified base scale included a pay parity clause for secondary through to primary through to kindergarten.
“We are proud of this offer and we hope the PPTA will be too. This is our final offer. We had an offer that we thought was a really good last time. Today we are saying that the arbitration panel has made a different recommendation, we are agreeing to that and it is a good offer,” Ms Tinetti said.
The PPTA members will now vote on the new offer over the next week.
Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink reporter based in Hamilton.