Teachers’ pay, allowances and qualifications

Qualifications

Teachers enter the salary scale at different steps, depending on their qualifications. Salary assessment uses six qualification groups, each one with a minimum and a maximum salary step.

Salary
group
NQF*
level
Example of qualification
One 5 Diploma in Professional Cookery
Two 6 Advanced Trades Certificate
Three 7 Bachelor of Teaching
Three+ 7 Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Diploma of Teaching
Four 8 Honours degree
Five 9 or 10 Masters or PhD

*NQF = National Qualifications Framework.

Notes

  • Teachers can earn more than their maximum salary step if they hold units or allowances.
  • Group One and Two teachers can move above their maximum step, to the G3M, if they hold permanent units.

Base salary

The teachers’ base scale differs slightly in different sectors (primary, area school and secondary). A teacher's starting point on the scale will depend on their qualifications and experience when obtaining a job, it is very rarely at the minimum point of the scale.

  • The base salary scale for trained primary and kindergarten teachers ranges from $35,196 to $72,645. The actual salary will depend on a teacher’s qualifications and experience.
  • The base salary scale for trained area school teachers ranges from $35,597 to $72,645. The actual salary will depend on a teacher’s qualifications and experience.
  • The base salary scale for trained secondary teachers ranges from $45,068 to $73,000. The actual salary will depend on a teacher’s qualifications and experience.
  • Untrained primary teachers can progress to $32,488; untrained area teachers can progress to $38,334.
  • Untrained and unqualified secondary teachers can progress to $37,443 or $67,262 if they have or gain subject or specialist qualifications during their teaching career.

The base salary scale for trained teachers

Salary qualification group Primary teachers Area school teachers Secondary teachers
Group 1 entry $35,196 $35,597 -
Group 2 entry $37,903 $38,334 -
  $41,962 $42,440 -
Group 3 entry $46,025 $46,548 $45,068
  - - $46,692
Group 3+ entry $47,519 $48,035 $48,316
Group 4 entry $49,409 $49,894 $50,143
Group 5 entry $52,115 $52,837 $53,290
Group 1 max $56,739 $56,749 $56,741
Group 2 max $60,839 $60,780 $60,801
  $65,657 $65,796 $66,125
Group 3 max $68,755 $68,755 $69,099
Group 3+/4/5 max $72,645 $72,645 $73,000

The base salary scale for untrained teachers

  Primary teachers   Area school teachers Salary group Secondary teachers
Entry $31,134 Entry $31,488 Group 1 entry $30,756
Max $32,488   $32,858 Group 2 entry $32,094
      $35,597   $34,769
    Max $38,334 Group 3 entry $37,443
          $41,453
        Group 4 entry $45,466
        Group 5 entry $46,803
          $48,810
          $51,482
        Group 1 max $55,496
        Group 2 max $59,507
          $64,990
        Group 3 max $67,262

Many teachers receive an allowance in addition to their base salary.

Allowances and units

Allowances are made up of units, management allowances, role-related allowances, and incentive allowances.

Units

In state primary, secondary and area schools, one unit is worth $4,000.  The purpose for awarding units to teachers differs slightly depending on the sector.

  • In primary schools a unit can be awarded for the purposes of management, responsibility, recruitment, retention and/or reward. The employer (school boards of trustees) shall consult with its teachers in determining a policy to determine the use of units at its school.
  • In secondary schools the employer (school boards of trustees) determines the use of units after consultation with the teaching staff.
  • In area schools a unit can be awarded for the purposes of management, responsibility (which may include responsibility for the curriculum), recruitment, retention and/or reward. The employer (school boards of trustees) determines the use of units following consultation with the teaching staff.

In addition to these are the role-related allowances, allowances for some schools that are geographically isolated or hard to staff, and management allowances which differ according to the sector.

Primary teachers

  • Primary teachers can get a role-related allowance if they teach at a Normal School, teach Sign Language, or teach in a Māori Immersion school or classroom.

Secondary teachers

  • Most middle and senior management allowances in secondary schools go to unit holders.
  • Secondary teachers can get a role-related allowance if they teach in a Māori Immersion school or classroom, if they are a Specialist Classroom Teacher, or if they are a Careers Advisor.

Area teachers

  • Most middle management allowances in area schools go to unit holders.
  • Area school teachers can get a role-related allowance if they are a Specialist Teacher, if they teach in a Māori Immersion school or classroom or if they are a Careers Adviser.

Payments for recruitment, retention and responsibility (3R payments)

Boards may make these payments from their operational funding to individual teachers, with the objective of enhancing educational outcomes.

The 3R payment is $2,750 for primary and up to the value of $4,000 for area and secondary teachers. Teachers may be allocated more than one payment.

Superannuation

Teachers may choose to join KiwiSaver and receive employer contributions in accordance with the scheme rules (currently set at 3% of gross earnings).

Separately, teachers may be members of a number of schemes that are now closed to new members. These include:

  • Teachers Retirement Savings Scheme and State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme – the employer matches a teacher’s contribution up to 3% of the gross salary. Teachers can elect to make voluntary contributions in excess of their subsidised contribution.
  • The Government Superannuation Fund – the employer contribution is either 10.7% or 7% of the gross salary.
  • National Provident Fund – the employer matches the teacher’s contribution up to 3% of the gross salary.

Percentage increases achieved through bargaining

The three teacher collective agreements have provided percentage increases to teachers’ base salary rates as follows.

2002-2004

  • Total increase of 6.6% over three years.
  • Total increase of about 12.1% for teachers who moved to the new G3+ salary group.

2004-2007

  • Total increase of 8.7% over three years.
  • Additional $500 lump-sum payment, representing a further 0.9% increase to the salary rates.

2007-2010

  • Total increase of 12.5% over three years.
  • Additional $750 lump-sum payment, representing a further 1.2% increase to the salary rates.

2010-2012 – Primary teachers

  • An increase of 2.75% over 20.5 months.
  • Additional $300 lump-sum payment, representing a further 0.4% increase to the salary rates.

2011-2013 – Secondary teachers

  • Average increase for trained teachers of 2.86% over 22 months.
  • Additional $300 lump-sum payment, representing a further 0.4% increase to the salary rates.
  • No salary increase for untrained teachers; a lump sum payment of $800, representing an increase of between 2.7% and 1.2% (depending on the teacher’s salary).

2011-2013 – Area school teachers

  • Average increase of 2.77% over 22 months.
  • Additional $300 lump-sum payment, representing a further 0.4% increase to the salary rates.

2013-2015 - Primary teachers

  • Average increase of 2.65% over 30.5 months.

2013-2015 - Secondary teachers

  • Average increase of 2.52% over 29.5 months.

2013-2015 - Area school teachers

  • Average increase of 2.47% over 29.5 months.