Press Release – NZEI Te Riu Roa
The impact of low pay on school support staff and on children’s learning will be the focus of a Living Wage for Learning community event at Parliament at 1pm on Saturday 29 March.
Child poverty and social inequality are the biggest hurdles to children succeeding educationally. The community event calls for action to ensure family incomes allow children to thrive and participate at school.
Support staff, such as teacher aides, who directly support our most needy children, face low wages and job insecurity and also need a living wage.
School support staff will be attending paid union meetings in schools all around New Zealand over the next fortnight to discuss the Education Ministry’s latest offer around career pathways and pay, and to determine their action.
School support staff such as teacher aides and administrative staff, are asking for movement towards the Living Wage, as well as achieving progress on career pathways. Around 45% of the country’s approximately 24,000 school support staff are on hourly rates below the current Living Wage of $18.80.
Many school support staff earn little more than minimum wage and have no certainty of ongoing employment as they are not centrally funded and must be paid out of schools’ already-stretched operating budgets.
NZEI National President Judith Nowotarski said support staff were crucial to student success and the effective running of schools and they deserved recognition and a fair deal.