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Budget 2021 Funding: New Salary Attestation Rates

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Budget 2021 funding.
May 12, 2021.

The Budget 2021 funding announcement for ECE concerns a funding increase of $170 million over four years.

The salary attestation rate will change on 1 July this year – from $49,862 ($23.97 an hour) to $51,358 ($24.69).

Five New Minimum Wage Rates from 1 Jan 2022 and Funding Increase

Five new attestation rates will be added from 1 Jan 2022, so non-kindergarten teacher-led centre providers can attest to paying all their qualified and certificated teaching staff at least at the bottom six steps of the Kindergarten Teachers’ Collective Agreement in return for a greater funding amount. Centres that do not wish to pay their teaching staff at least on the first six applicable steps of the basic scale for Kindergarten Teachers, cannot claim a higher funding rate for doing so.

Chart Showing Budget 2021 Funding Impact on Prescribed New Minimum Wage Rates

The chart below shows in BOLD BLACK the wage rate non-kindergarten teacher-led centres claiming higher funding must at least pay all their qualified and certificated teachers for the purpose of salary attestation from 1 Jan 2022.
Note that:

  • employers can recognise and reward staff by paying rates that are higher than the funding attestation rates
  • employees can negotiate and ask for higher pay than the attestation rates
  • All wage rates shown below kick in from 12 July 2021 for those in kindergartens funded for full pay parity. Kindergarten Associations are part of the kindy collective agreement that has this pay scale and includes a pay scale for head teachers and for senior teachers.
Qualification Group
 1st yr2nd yr3rd yr4th yr5th yr6th yr7th yr8th yr9th yr10th yr11th yr +
P1& P2 & P3
Step 1
 Step 2$25.74$26.90$27.95$29.71$31.62$33.67$33.67$36.15$38.18$41.10$43.27
Step 3
Step 4
Step 5
 Step 6$31.62$31.62
 Step 7$33.67$36.15$38.18$41.10$43.27$43.27$43.27$43.27$43.27$43.27$43.27
 Step 8$36.15$38.18$41.10$43.27$43.27$43.27$43.27$43.27$43.27$43.27$43.27
 Step 9$38.18$41.10$43.27$43.27$43.27$43.27$43.27$43.27$43.27$43.27$43.27
P1Maximum, P2M, P3M
Step 10
P3+M, P4M, P5M
Step 11
Person responsible
acting or temp
less than 10 weeks
Person responsible
permanent or more
than 10 weeks
Manager of more
than 1 centre
Manager of senior
management staff

Service Recognition and Pay progression
For the purposes of determining annual progression from one step to the next, each teacher’s performance will be assessed annually against the appropriate professional standards (Teaching Council standards).
Each year of work as a trained early childhood teacher in a teaching capacity is recognised for pay purposes. Credit earned by working for an early childhood service can be credited over to the next.
In addition, employers shall recognise previous paid work experience that is directly relevant to the teacher’s duties and responsibilities and which has occurred within 10 years of the application for credit shall be credited as half-service up to a maximum of two steps. Half credit shall mean that each year (or part thereof) will count as six months (or part thereof) of service for salary purposes.  Examples of previous relevant paid work experience, include teacher education lecturers, teacher aides, special education workers, social workers, zoo education officers.
Teachers who improve their qualification(s), shall be moved to the step reflective of their improved qualification(s) and credited years of service.

Qualification group codes
means Entry or starting level.
M means Qualification Maxima.  The maximum step on the salary scale that a teacher with that qualification level can reach.
P1, P2 and P3 for teachers who hold a current practising certificate but no subject or specialist qualification at level 7 or above on the NZQF.
P3+ for teachers who hold a current practising certificate and:
– a subject or specialist level 7 qualification on the NZQF (i.e. not an initial teacher education qualification) which can be a Diploma (excluding a National Diploma), Graduate Diploma or Degree; or
– an honours degree of teaching; or
– equivalent overseas qualifications recognised by the NZQA or an overseas qualification where NZQA has determined that the qualification has level 7 (graduate) study in a subject or specialist area(s) i.e. any area of study that is not initial teacher education.
P4 for teachers who hold a current practising certificate and:
– a subject or specialist level 8 qualification on the NZQF which can be an honours degree or a Post Graduate Diploma; or
– two subject or specialist level 7 qualifications on the NZQF (as listed above); or
– a masters degree of teaching; or
– equivalent overseas qualifications recognised by the NZQA.
P5 for teachers who hold a current practising certificate and:
– a subject or specialist level 9 qualification on the NZQF – masters or doctorate; or
– equivalent overseas qualifications recognised by the NZQA. 

When will the next rise in rates of the Kindy teachers’ agreement be?

The current kindy collective agreement expires on 11 July 2022.  With the announcement of a public sector pay freeze for public servants who earn more than $100,000 a year and a limitation on pay rises available to people who earn more than $60,000 a year it remains to be seen if there will be any change in kindergarten teacher pay rates and salary attestation rates until 2024 or later.

What’s the biggest threat to pay parity?

The government needs to make a legal commitment to pay parity for teachers in kindergartens and non-kindergarten teacher-led centres pegged to what public school teachers earn.

Why is it important not to rely on the kindy teachers’ agreement for pay parity?

The government has backtracked on being the part-owner of kindergartens, which it now states categorically to not be state-owned.  It also states that it is not the employer of kindergarten teachers – kindergartens associations are the employer.  Should it walk away from the pay negotiating table with kindergarten associations at any time in the future, it is necessary for pay parity for ECE teachers to be enshrined in law so no government can renege on the commitment to pay parity.


The message has got through but there is still a long way to go

The good news
Salary attestation, as we have pointed out and strongly argued, is the tool already available and used to ensure accountability enabling pay parity to be delivered.  It is pleasing to see that the Ministry of Education and the Minister have shown with today’s Budget 2021 funding announcement they agree.

The Budget 2021 funding announcement means that teacher-led centres claiming funding for employing qualified and certificated teaching must pay all their qualified and certificated teaching staff at least $24.69 an hour from 1 July 2021. This increase in the salary attestation amount was expected and is good.  However, it is not really news, because in last year’s Budget the government set the salary attestation rate in line with the Kindergarten Teachers’ Collective Agreement, and salary rates for teachers on the KTCA will be going up on 12 July 2021.

529 ECE services a year ago signed an agreement in principle to pay all their teachers at the rates specified in the KTCA (2019 – 2022) in return for funding do this and to sign an attestation that they were paying at those rates.  Find the names of services supporting pay parity here

Not Fair
The government is not yet backing teachers in all licensed publicly-funded ECE services for wage increases and pay parity.

Yet home-based service providers have also indicated their agreement to pay their staff at KTCA rates.

Qualified and certificated teaching staff are also working in Playcentre and other services not covered by the pre-Budget 2021 announcement.

As the funding is “over four years” it is looking like the government will be reneging on its promise of pay parity in “this term of government”. 

Pay Parity Promise Chis Hipkins on Twitter

That would be a disappointment and would bring into question if government wishes to implement the Early Learning Action Plan to improve ECE quality in New Zealand.

For more on pay rates in different parts of the sector and salary attestation go to:  Pay rates 

For funding information go to:  Funding rate information and comparisons for different service types

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