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'We are delighted' - Teacher aides pay deal will bring security and decrease anxiety, union says

The New Zealand Educational Institute and teacher aides are celebrating today, saying yesterday's landmark pay increase offer will move teacher aides out of a subsistence lifestyle.

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NZEI president Liam Rutherford and teacher aide Ally Kemplen talk about the deal. Source: Breakfast

A pay increase negotiation which had being ongoing since 2016 finally ended in an offer from the Government yesterday, with increases of between 23 and 34 per cent offered to New Zealand's 22,000 teacher aides.

The new rates will range from $21.20 to $34.68 per hour and the settlement will cost $348 million over the next five years.

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NZEI members still have to vote on whether to accept the deal, but NZEI president Liam Rutherford, speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast, said it was a great deal.

"We are absolutely delighted with the proposed settlement," Mr Rutherford said.

"It has been such a long hard road for our teacher aides - if you want to hear about the value that teacher aides have in this country, all you have to do is go and talk to a teacher."

Mr Rutherford said other parts of the settlement revolving around job security and access to training were also very welcome.

Teacher aide of more than 20 years' experience Ally Kemplen said the difference made by the pay increase would mean that she could afford to buy a washing machine instead of using the laundromat.

"To relieve anxiety, people need to be seen, people need to feel they belong, people need to know what's going to happen next and people need to have control over their lives," Ms Kemplen said.

"I looked at the settlement last night through that lens and that removes all of that anxiety, because of the value that we'll feel."