There is plenty to celebrate on Support Staff Day today, with pay equity negotiations between teacher aides and the Ministry of Education now well under way.
NZEI Te Riu Roa negotiators expect agreement on a timeline to settle the claim very soon, with a result within months rather than years. Up to 15,000 teacher aides will benefit from a settlement, with claims for other support staff to follow.
Support Staff Day was launched at Wellington Girls’ College today, with NZEI President Lynda Stuart and other education leaders handing senior college students hand written messages to “women of the future” about the struggle for pay equity.
As part of celebrations around the country, support staff will be writing to women of the future, telling them about the contribution they make to students’ learning and their hopes for a future in which women receive equal pay for work of equal value.
Bundles of messages will be entrusted to students at girls’ secondary schools, to be opened and read in the hopefully-not-too-distant future when pay equity is a reality for support staff and a new generation of women don’t have to explain why they’re worth as much as men.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Ms Stuart.
“But with the recent victory of aged care workers and the government’s commitment to progressing pay equity for support staff, it finally feels like genuine progress is being made.”