A Ministry of Education worker became emotional while giving thanks over the childhood support workers pay equity deal that was announced today.
Hundreds of school support workers will get a pay rise of up to 30 per cent as part of a settlement for pay equity, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced this afternoon.
Communications support worker for the Ministry of Education, Mary Jones, teared up as she read out a brief statement after the announcement was made.
"This pay equity journey has been very long, to get to the signing date where we feel truly values for the contribution that we make to the education team. It's beyond wonderful," Ms Jones said as her colleagues gave her strength.
Union NZEI and the Ministry of Education signed a terms of settlement in a pay equity claim for 329 support workers for young children in early childhood and primary schools.
"This is about fairness," Ms Ardern said in a statement. "Almost all education support workers are women, and they do vital work helping young children with severe learning and behavioural challenges to learn."
The support workers are paid hourly between $16.77 and $19.87.
The settlement would see the minimum rate boosted to $21.67 and the top rate as $24.73 for workers with four to nine years' experience and $25.70 for those with ten years or more.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins said the settlement was "about making sure that women get a fair deal in the workplace".
The pay equity settlement is expected to be made valid next month, after the support workers cast their vote on it.