Ministry of Education Resources for Pay Parity.
Commentary and Analysis by Dr Sarah Alexander.
The Ministry of Education has developed a guide to the requirements for opting-in to pay parity and a form to help employers and teachers determine initial salary steps. These resources are shown below (original copies are available from the MoE).
By the ministry’s own admission, the requirements are difficult to navigate. This is not fair on teachers and services. The scheme is messy, confusing, and administratively complex.
A warning before use – the resources have errors, incongruities, and poorly constructed explanations. For example, on page 2 of the teacher salary assessment form, it states:
“Note: Steps 7‐11 + management positions is only for people in management positions who have opted‐in to extend parity funding rates.”
This wrongly implies that only staff in management positions may progress above the ministry’s pay step 6, that the funding rates are parity funding rates, and that funding extends or is higher than the top rate it provides exclusively to Kindergartens Associations.
Below is a copy of the ministry’s guide. See my doodles on the form above and the guide below for additional insights, thinking points, and for help to spot errors.
As intelligent reflective practitioners and/or business operators I encourage you to look at the ministry’s materials with critical eyes, know exactly what you are getting into or not, and form your own thoughts and views.
If the ministry had advised the Minister properly as we requested it to, such a messy scheme may not now be in place.
The ministry followed our advice on using salary attestation as the mechanism for accountability (in the absence of collective employment agreements). But we also asked the ministry to restore the funding rates that it now only makes available to kindergarten associations back to being ‘teacher-led centre’ funding rates. Service providers had signed agreements in principle to indicate they were willing and ready to provide pay parity using the unified base salary scale for teachers in return for access to the same funding as kindergarten associations. Should the funding for teacher-led centres not be sufficient for pay parity with schoolteachers then the funding should be revised for all teacher-led centres and not just those owned by Kindergarten Associations. The same funding and the same salary scale for teacher-led centres would help keep it simple and certainly be fairer compared to the dog’s breakfast that the Ministry have created.
PS: At centres currently paying their teachers at least at the Step 1-5 amounts, teachers who should be above Step 5 do not have to complete 2080 hours of being physically present at work before assessment and placement on the pay step appropriate to their qualifications and experience when Step 6 comes in next year and the option for Step 1–11.
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