Research into public attitudes shows strong support for ending the historic underpayment of teacher aides and early childhood educators, who are working towards pay equity settlements.
NZEI Te Riu Roa commissioned The Navigators to undertake the research.
91% of the 1015 New Zealanders surveyed agreed that students with additional learning needs require more support, and there was strong agreement for more support (90%) and increased pay (85%) for teacher aides.
In ECE, there was also a high level of agreement (81%) that ECE teachers need more support and a pay rise (77%). Three in five New Zealanders believe ECE teachers are underpaid because they are female.
NZEI President Lynda Stuart said it was hugely encouraging to see that the wider public understood and appreciated the value of the work these educators are doing.
“The days of employers saving money by underpaying female-dominated workforces are thankfully coming to an end. The government has made it clear that it wants to end this injustice, and this research shows that New Zealanders agree,” she said.
The new research coincides with NZEI’s launch this week of a pledge for government-funded pay equity for school support staff and early childhood educators. School and centre leaders, boards of trustees, staff groups and others can sign the pledge and display it to show their support.
The pledge is part of the Mana Taurite, Fair’s Fair pay equity campaign, which aims to end the historic underpayment of workers in female-dominated education roles. NZEI has negotiations underway with the Ministry of Education for pay equity settlements for ministry support workers, teacher aides, ECE workers and school administration staff.
“This work is mainly done by women and should be valued and paid fairly. It is about your daughter, mokopuna, niece, aunty, Nan and cousin having decent jobs that value the skills and mahi they do. The handful of men in these jobs will also benefit from a pay equity settlement because they’re also being underpaid for doing ‘women’s work.’”