Media Releases

Pay equity delivers up to 40% pay increases for school librarians and science technicians

09 Feb 2023

Members of NZEI Te Riu Roa negotiating on behalf of school librarians, library assistants and science technicians are excited to announce that proposed pay equity settlements are ready to be voted on by their colleagues. 

They include pay increases of up to 40 percent which recognise the value of the work of school librarians and science technicians, covering more than 1,200 librarians and library assistants and approximately 400 science technicians.

It follows a comprehensive investigation conducted by NZEI Te Riu Roa and the Ministry of Education that confirmed the value of the skills, responsibilities, and experience of librarians, library assistants and science technicians has been significantly undervalued because of their gender.

“Science technicians and librarians do crucial work in our schools that supports tamariki to learn and develop their skills,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa President, Mark Potter.

“These proposed settlements bring us another step closer to ensuring that no one in the education sector is paid unfairly for working in roles that society has perceived to be ‘women’s work’.”

Science technicians support the functioning of school science departments. Their behind-the-scenes work includes setting up equipment, making chemicals for experiments, ensuring experiments will work properly, and purchasing supplies.

Librarians and library assistants’ mahi includes helping students find and use information and library resources, responding to queries, and developing and delivering information literacy sessions.

If the proposed pay equity settlements are endorsed by school librarians, library assistants and science technicians they could earn increases of up to 40 percent.

Other benefits include a parental payment, as well as work on how these roles are funded, the professional development they need, and research into how these roles can better support schools and kura.
NZEI Te Riu Roa will discuss the proposed settlements with the affected workforces in the coming weeks. A vote will then take place on whether to endorse or decline the proposed settlements in mid-February.

These proposed settlements are part of ongoing pay equity claims in the education sector raised by NZEI Te Riu Roa. NZEI Te Riu Roa and the Ministry of Education have successfully settled pay equity claims for school administrators and kaiārahi i te reo in 2022, education support workers in 2018 and teacher aides in 2020.

The new pay equity rates would see librarians and library assistants receive pay increases of between approximately 10 percent to 38 percent. 

For science technicians, their pay increase would be between approximately 20 percent to 40 percent.