NZEI Te Riu Roa to take legal action over delays in payments to teachers

Teachers fought for more than a year to get their new collective agreement.

NZEI Te Riu Roa will take legal action over the lengthy delay in implementing pay increases for teachers. Novopay announced that teachers would have to wait until 11 September to see pay increases that they won when they settled their collective agreement in June.

NZEI Te Riu Roa National Secretary Paul Goulter says the union has instructed its lawyers to file action for compliance and penalties. 

“The delay is completely unacceptable. We’re taking every effort to try and force the Ministry to speed things up,” he says.

In response to the delay, Education Minister Chris Hipkins called on education unions to work with the Ministry to simplify the system.

“We welcome the Minister’s call. We’re certainly open to working with the Ministry to simplify the system, on the strict basis that it won’t erode any of the entitlements and conditions our members have fought hard for,” Goulter says.

“Teachers fought for more than a year to get their new collective agreement. It’s entirely unacceptable that they now have to wait another 10 weeks to see pay increases in their bank accounts.

“The Ministry didn’t have trouble quickly docking teachers’ pay when they took strike action, so it’s a bit rich for them to now say it’ll take this long to make changes to teachers’ pay.

“Teachers are really unhappy with this delay and it’s tainted any trust and goodwill that the Ministry might have gained with the settlement,” Goulter said.