Primary teachers' top base salary step to rise to $100,000


Primary teachers have agreed to the Government’s pay offer which will see the top base salary step rise to $100,000 by December next year.

The settlement will also see a number of improvements to primary teachers’ conditions, including more than double the classroom release time they currently have to manage workload, phased in over 2024 and 2025.

Education Minister Jan Tinetti welcomed the two-year settlement, which NZEI Te Riu Roa members have voted to accept.

“The offer addresses many of the concerns teachers have raised, goes towards easing cost of living pressures and shows how much this Government values the teaching workforce,” Jan Tinetti said.

“It includes pay rises of 18.3% for a starting teacher and up to 11.1% for an experienced teacher. Above this, teachers will also be provided with one off payments of up to $4,500 in July.

The top of the scale moves from $90,000 to $95,400 from 3 July 2023, then $98,262 on 3 July 2024, and $100,000 at the end of 2024.

This represents a 34% increase from the top salary rate of $74,460 in 2016.

The bottom of the scale will move from $51,358 to $55,358 from 3 July 2023, and to $60,735 by 2 December 2024 – an increase of 18.3%.

For new teachers this agreement means real progress. Someone who started on $55,948 at the beginning of last year because they had a specialist subject qualification, will move up the scale and be earning $73,307 in 2025 – a 31% increase in three years.

“The agreement also increased sick leave which will ensure that teachers receive at least 10 days sick leave per annum each year, and for new teachers, an increase from 31 days to 40 days in their first year of teaching, the introduction of a cultural leadership allowance, a lump sum equivalent to the cost of renewing teacher practicing certification ($710) and new teachers will have their cost of full certification paid ($512.37).

Extra classroom release time will be phased in from the start of the 2024 school year, so that by Term 1 of 2025, teachers will have at least a day a fortnight away from the classroom for planning, preparation, assessment and reporting – more than double what they have currently.

“Primary teachers will now have better certainty about pay and conditions over the next two years, which will be welcome news for schools, as well as children, parents, and wider school communities.

“The past few years have been extremely disruptive, firstly with the global pandemic and more recently with the extreme weather events. I am really pleased that we can now provide some stability for everyone.

“I am proud of the Government’s track record on education and our support of teachers. I look forward to continuing to work with teachers and school leaders to ensure our schools, and classrooms, are providing the world class education our kids deserve,” Jan Tinetti said.