Media Releases

Historic first ever collective agreement at large private ECE provider

18 Sep 2023

Early childhood kaiako and kaimahi are celebrating today as a first collective employment agreement is reached between Evolve Education, the country’s second largest private ECE provider, and its employees.

NZEI Te Riu Roa members who work for Evolve Education have this week accepted an offer that will improve their terms and conditions at work.

"We worked together for over a year to realise our common desire to create a positive change for our tamariki and their whānau. We knew winning a collective agreement was the way to do this because our working conditions are children's learning conditions,” says Evolve teacher, Lisa Crisp.

"This offer is a fantastic step in the right direction for our sector and the communities we serve."

Sandie Burn, National Executive ECE representative at NZEI Te Riu Roa says that many who work in the ECE sector are feeling burnt out and that by joining together to win a collective agreement offer, Evolve staff have set a precedent.

“This is an historic moment for the ECE sector where the majority of staff are employed by private organisations. Collective agreements offer transparency in the way public funding is used to pay staff and the opportunity for employees to work together towards improved pay and working conditions.”

“As a union we look forward to working with more union members and employers in privatised early childhood who are interested in improving conditions for children and staff.”

"This is the beginning of more work alongside private employers as we also move to set sector minimum terms and conditions through the ECE Fair Pay Agreement."

NZEI Te Riu Roa members have attended numerous meetings over the last 18 months and got around the table with Evolve representatives in early 2023.

Evolve Education has approximately 100 centres across the country, under the brand names of Lollipops, Active Explorers, Learning Adventures, Little Wonders, Little Earth, Little Lights and Pascals.