Over at FairDeal, NZEI have announced that the support staff in schools have managed to get a wage increase.
The campaign by support staff members and the wider union has finally resulted in a settlement of the support staff collective agreement.
There is now a $14 minimum rate for Grade A, a $14.62 minimum rate for Grade B, and all of the printed rates will increase by 1.4%. No â€˜new money’ was provided for this settlement. The pay jolt and percentage increase are to come out of the Operations Grant, which was increased by 1.95% in the May 2009 Budget.
The new agreement will run from 10 December 2009 to 31 March 2011.
The support staff negotiating team worked hard for more than a year to complete the negotiations, with the Ministry of Education offering a nil increase until the final days of negotiation. The NZEI National Executive and the support staff negotiating team are recommending this settlement to members.
Julie Fairey (our election night poster, unionist, and main person at The Hand Mirror) said in her e-mail telling me this.
I have been totally busting with this news since Friday, and it’s finally public, wahoo! Please blog about it if you get a chance, I can’t because of my work.
This is a Big Deal for these workers – and only achieved after collective action on the 27th and 28th November (nationwide on the 27th and a big march in Auckland on the 28th). For these union members this will be the first time ever that most of them have done anything like go on a march or work with their teacher colleagues in their schools together on their pay issues. You can see a few videos about how it was for these workers to do this stuff here
PS I’m not emailing you because work asked me to – I don’t work in this area. I am genuinely excited for these members and for this achievement. The pay increases aren’t huge, but they’ve had lower in the past and in this environment it’s massive!
The unions have been very persistent through the government-imposed wage freeze. Shows what can be done when people organize.