The proposed settlements come after the Education Minister called an urgent conference with the leadership of NZEI Te Riu Roa and PPTA last week, following historic joint strike action by 50,000 teachers and principals on May 29.

NZEI Te Riu Roa says the proposed settlements are a “significant improvement” on previous offers and is recommending that members ratify the settlements.

President Lynda Stuart said the pay increases offered to teachers are significantly larger than in previous offers, including a new top step of $90,000 to help attract and retain teachers. Schools will also get eight extra teacher-only days over the three-year term of the agreement.

Restoration of pay parity for primary teachers through the implementation of a new unified pay scale from July 1 has also been proposed.

The Education Minister says pay parity has always been on the cards.

“It’s always been the Government’s objective to sort pay parity between primary and secondary teachers over the longer term, but it became a bigger issue in these negotiations and it made sense to bring it forward and get it sorted once and for all,” says Hipkins.

All current teachers would see their base salary increase by at least 18.5% by July 2021 if they ratify the settlement, taking into account step progression. The median base salary increase by July 2021 would be $14,500.

All union members will receive a lump sum payment of $1500.

“In recognition of the tough fight our members have put up over the past 18 months to campaign for quality teaching and learning for our kids, we are pleased union members will get a $1,500 lump sum — and their pay increases will kick in three months ahead of non-members,” said Stuart.

Hipkins cited “underspends from National’s Communities of Learning programme” as the source of the increased offer, which National’s education spokesperson Nikki Kaye has described as “spin”. However, Kaye has welcomed the new offers and is optimistic they will be ratified by the unions.

The proposed settlements will be taken to teachers and principals for ratification votes next week. Area school teachers also have a new proposed settlement to consider.

Stuart said the union’s National Executive was recommending ratification of the settlements, but it is up to members to make their own decision in the end.

“The Executive believe the proposed settlements are a significant improvement on previous offers. While they do not address all of our issues, the accord gives us the framework to work with the Government to address critical issues like workload and class size.”

Meanwhile all secondary teachers will receive annual pay increases of three percent. There will also be an increase in the values of middle management and senior management allowances, and an increase in the number of management units so teachers who undertake additional duties can be supported and recognised.

PPTA president Jack Boyle says, “We are very pleased to have an offer to take to our members to consider, after months of negotiations.”

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