Another equal pay claim was brought before the Employment Relations Authority this week as PPTA members seek mediation to resolve the issue of part-time secondary teachers not receiving the same rate of non-contact time as full-time teachers.

Teachers who spend 20 hours in the classroom a week are eligible for five paid non-contact hours, while those working under 18 hours are not guaranteed non-contact hours.

PPTA president Jack Boyle says they have been trying to resolve the issue for over 16 years. He says the union has grown tired of waiting for government to get a conscience and is now taking it to the courts.

“We have developed and offered a myriad of solutions, with different models and flexible options. We have tried righting the discrimination through six rounds of collective bargaining of the Secondary Teachers Collective Agreement. There has been a long term workstream with the education ministry, facilitation with the department of labour and a four year pay and employment equity review – and still no justice.

“The case is simple. Every teacher should earn equal pay for equal work. We believe we have a very strong case and that we’ll win.”

The PPTA’s actions follow the NZEI Te Riu Roa’s recent ERA claim for qualified early childhood teachers outside of the kindergarten sector to receive the same pay as their kindergarten colleagues, and for unqualified ECE support staff to be paid in line with aged care workers, who recently won pay increases as part of the $2 billion care and support worker pay equity settlement agreement.

The NZEI also recently settled a pay equity claim with the Ministry of Education for around 12,000 teacher aides and school support staff.

Outside of the education sector, other female-dominated industries have also started pushing for pay equity, with mental health workers lodging a claim last month and social workers in talks. The New Zealand Nurses’ Organisation has filed a pay equity claim with DHBs as part of collective bargaining.


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