Media Releases

Primary school teachers accept 4th collective agreement offer

07 Jun 2023

Primary teachers have voted to accept the latest Ministry of Education collective agreement offer. This was the fourth offer put to teachers and follows a long negotiation campaign which included the largest education strike in this country’s history.

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Mark Potter said there were some significant wins for teachers in the deal as well as a number of outstanding areas that need more investment from Government.

“The biggest win was the more than doubling of classroom release time - the first increase since 2005. The work demands on teachers have sky-rocketed in the last couple of decades and this means teachers will have more time to plan, assess and do individual work with students.”

Mr Potter said that moving the cap on reliever teacher pay rates was also a win for schools.

“This is a step toward paying experienced relief teachers fairly and should make it easier for schools to find relievers.”

Paeone Goonan, a resource teacher of learning and behaviour based at Ōpōtiki College and a member of the negotiating team, said that the increases in the Māori Immersion Teacher Allowance, and the introduction of a Cultural Allowance for kaiako, were important.

“The introduction of the cultural leadership allowances and the increase to the Māori Immersion Teaching Allowance are historic improvements. They acknowledge the skills and expertise of those kaiako and their culture and will compensate those teachers who are doing the mahi anyway, such as assisting with the new Aotearoa histories curriculum or teaching kapa haka.”

Pasifika teachers also benefit from the offer, with the introduction of a Pasifika Bilingual Immersion Teaching Allowance.

Nerra Lealiifano-Tamarua, a senior leader of the Samoan bilingual unit at May Road School in Auckland, said that this was a significant moment.

“This allowance means that teachers in our community will get paid fairly for their skills and knowledge. This will attract more Pasifika teachers into the sector and most importantly, it will mean that more students will be able to learn their language and connect with their culture.”

Mark Potter said that the union would continue to push forward on the issues of teacher pay, parity of remuneration for leadership and specialist roles, and improvement in staffing ratios.

“We have the opportunity to further address pay and the undervaluation of teacher work through the teacher Mana Taurite pay equity claim that is currently underway.”

“I am very proud of the collective action teacher members have shown over the past year and I also want to thank parents and the wider community for their support in this campaign."



Key features of the new primary teacher settlement:

Classroom release time increases from 10 to 25 hours per term
Lump sum payment of $3000 to be paid in July, plus an additional $1500 for union members only
$4000 or 6% pay increase in July, with two further increases in July and December 2024
Reliever pay cap lifts from step 6 to 7
$710 for Teaching Council fees
Significant increases in Māori Immersion Teacher Allowance and the introduction of the Pasifika Bilingual Immersion Teaching Allowance
Introduction of Cultural Leadership Allowance
Unit value lifts to $4500
Provisional to full certification costs paid for beginning teachers
Mileage allowance increases

Note: NZEI Te Riu Roa area school teacher members have also voted to accept their offer from the Ministry. Their collective agreement is a joint one with PPTA Te Wehengarua, and so the collective agreement is only settled when both unions ratify. If it is rejected, then both NZEI Te Riu Roa and PPTA would resume bargaining.