Fact check: teachers' pay and politicians' claims

What have teacher pay increases actually been over the term of the National led government?

A number of people have been asking if it’s true, as the Minister of Education has said, that teachers have had a 17% pay increase over the last nine years.

Let’s have a look at the rates for secondary teachers.

In July 1st 2008 the rate was $66,327.  From then the changes were:


% increase

Top of base scale rate

July 2009



April 2011



Jan 2013



Jan 2014



Jan 2015



Sep 2015



Sep 2016



Sep 2017



Total change from 2008



So yep, that's true.* 

However, it’s worth noting that the largest increase, 4% in 2009, came at the end of a three year settlement that was negotiated under a Labour led government.  All the increases negotiated with National governments have been lower than this one.

The response from Labour , as you’ll see in the Q & A interview above,  was that teacher pay increases were higher under the Labour government. This is true. During the previous nine years (1999 to 2008) increases were 34.93% with the top of the base scale going from $48,600 to $66,327 (a change of $17,727).

Labour has tended to give increases that related to wage movements; National has tended to give increases that relate to inflation.

 * The final two figures and asterisked line were adjusted to fix a small calculation error, on 5/9/17

Photo credit: Hazzhk https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:New_Zealand_House_of_Representatives_Debating_Chamber.png

Last modified on Tuesday, 5 September 2017 14:48