20 Aug 2019

Primary and intermediate principals accept pay offer

2:18 pm on 20 August 2019

Primary and intermediate school principals have settled their long-running pay dispute with the Education Ministry.

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Primary and intermediate principals have accepted a pay deal that includes parity with secondary principals. Photo: 123RF

Educational Institute (NZEI) members have accepted a deal that gives them pay parity with secondary principals, the union said.

The agreement also increases pay rates for the principals of the smallest schools.

Negotiations began in April last year, but stalled several times prompting three strikes in conjunction with primary and intermediate school teachers.

As part of the dispute the principals began a six-week boycott of the Ministry of Education.

The Ministry said the boycott delayed support for some students.

"[Cancelling or postponing meetings due to the action] has caused minor delays to some aspects of the education work program and in a very small number of cases has meant we've had to delay decisions concerning services for individual students and their families," ministry deputy secretary Ellen MacGregor-Reid said.

Secondary principals are expected to enter mediation with the Education Ministry today over their pay talks.

The secondary principals' pay scale currently runs from about $85,000 a year for schools with 50 students or fewer through to about $160,000 a year for the biggest schools.

They also receive other payments and 60 percent of secondary principals earn more than $150,000.

Primary teachers and secondary teachers accepted government pay offers in June.

A nationwide strike by primary, secondary and area school teachers over the pay deal that was on offer took place on 29 May, but teachers at primary and intermediate schools subsequently accepted a deal giving them an 18.5 percent pay rise over three years.

Meanwhile, both of the teachers unions - NZEI and the PPTA - have confirmed they will be taking legal action against Novopay.

They have been told by Novopay the new rates and backpay for union members, which took effect from 1 July, will not be paid until 11 September.