Living wage on offer for teacher aides, school support staff, says union

The Education Ministry is offering to pay teacher aides and other school support staff at least the living wage.

Classroom. (File photo) Source:

The primary school teachers' union - the NZEI - has been fighting for better pay for those workers.

The union has told its members the ministry was offering the $21.15 living wage as a new minimum rate for support staff earning less than that.

All other members already earning more were being offered an immediate 3 percent pay rise, the union said.

It said the new rates would be funded from new operations grants to boards of trustees.

In a statement, NZEI said support staff on the lowest four steps of the pay scale were being paid the minimum wage of $17.70, with 90 percent of teacher aides currently paid less than the living wage.

Auckland teacher aide Ally Kemplen said the offer "doesn't fix the broken system that means so many support staff have no job security and go without pay outside of the school term" but she was proud of how hard they had fought to achieve the offer.

Union members will vote on a new collective agreement next week.