Ministry of Education makes last-minute offer to primary principals, fighting for better pay

Primary and intermediate school principals have today received a last-minute collective agreement offer ahead of planned paid union meetings next week. 


The new proposed settlement from the Ministry of Education includes an entrenchment of pay parity with secondary principals, which was missing from an offer the principals rejected in June.

Members of the union NZEI will discuss the offer at paid union meetings around the country next week and vote in an online ballot from August 15 to 19. A planned strike ballot will not go ahead while the offer is considered.

Principals have been refusing to engage with the ministry since last month in protest at the previous offer.

The new offer also includes additional funding to ensure at least two adults in every school during the school day.

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Newton Central School principal Riki Teteina discussed school principals’ campaign for a better pay deal. Source: 1 NEWS

There is also a three per cent per annum pay increase for three years, a one-off $1500 payment to NZEI members and an annual $300,000 professional development fund for primary principals. 

NZEI President Lynda Stuart said an accord that sits alongside the new offer is equally important, and will address lots of outstanding issues around workload and wellbeing, as well as dealing with appraisal and additional teacher-only days. 

The ministry says the settlement offer addresses the union’s claim for pay parity.

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Langholm Primary School principal Martyn Weatherill says teachers are satisfied with their settlement, but principals are still not. Source: Breakfast

"It also significantly lifts the pay for the principals of our smallest schools and adds additional funding to ensure there are at least two adults in every school during the school day," said deputy secretary of early learning and student achievement Ellen MacGregor-Reid.

Today, some primary school students and their teachers around New Zealand have dressed in green for a "national day of support" for school principals' fight for better pay.