The New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA) use the term entrenchment to refer to the Unified Pay System clause in the New Zealand Educational Institute's (NZEI) primary teachers' collective agreement.
This clause requires all salary improvements negotiated for secondary teachers, in PPTA members collective agreements, be automatically offered to primary teachers. It is the belief of NZEI that this clause ensures pay parity.
New Zealand is unique in paying those with primary teacher qualifications the same as those with secondary teacher qualifications
The reality is that primary and secondary teachers are drawn from differing recruitment pools and the cost of recruitment of subject specialists in secondary is higher than the cost of recruiting generalist teachers in primary schools.
At the time entrenchment was agreed by NZEI and the government, PPTA expressed concerns that the entrenchment clause would make it more difficult to negotiate secondary teacher salaries because of the costs of automatically passing on pay settlements to primary teachers and that this would in turn depress recruitment and retention in secondary schools.
We foresaw that the mechanism would be used to hold down secondary teacher pay settlements. What time has shown are that those fears were well founded.
Secondary Teacher Collective Agreement (STCA) negotiations are undermined by the NZEI entrenchment clause
Since 2000 the entrenchment provision has hindered secondary teacher salary negotiations because of the cost of including primary teachers in such settlements. This led directly to the severe industrial unrest in 2001 and came close to causing industrial action in 2007.
Entrenchment is a mechanism used to hold down secondary teacher pay settlements
- All governments since 1996 have had a policy of supporting pay parity and entrenchment, but not the policy of paying all teachers at the rate required to recruit and retain specialist secondary teachers.
- While NZEI has gained from automatic pay increases higher than they would have otherwise been prepared to claim and without any further industrial cost to its members, secondary negotiations have been fraught with difficulty as round after round possible settlements have been blocked by the cost of passing on adequate secondary rates to primary teachers or by the government’s refusal to offer more than NZEI had already accepted or in ways other than NZEI had already agreed.
- Several settlements produced compromises to increase rates to our members without flow-on (e.g step 14 in 2003 and the middle management allowances in 2004) which didn’t meet secondary needs fully and which primary then claimed in the next round under ‘pay parity’. The G3 debacle in secondary and the crisis it has left us with in technology teacher supply are direct results of the entrenchment clause in the NZEI collective agreement.
- Significant new workload demands on secondary teachers (particularly those arising from the introduction of NCEA), have not been adequately recognised in their salaries.
- Over time recruitment and retention in our sector has been fraught and shortages in subjects like technology, maths, and science have become perpetual issues for our schools and our schools have endured several extended periods of industrial unrest as our members fought to achieve fair and effective salary increases.
- The group that has gained significantly from entrenchment has been primary principals.
TBS = top of the basic scale
The September 2007 secondary TBS rate without entrenchment might have been expected to be around $70,800 (v. $61323). The $9,000 difference may well be the annual individual cost of entrenchment to secondary teachers.