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Source: New Zealand Education Institute (NZEI)

NZEI Te Riu Roa welcomes focus on people, jobs and reducing child poverty in Budget 2020

14 May 2020

NZEI Te Riu Roa is welcoming the Government’s focus on people, jobs and reducing child poverty in Budget 2020.

NZEI Te Riu Roa President, Liam Rutherford, says the budget comes amidst extraordinary circumstances, and that the union is supportive of the Government’s approach today to cushion the blow of the Covid-19 crisis.

“We’re really encouraged by the Government’s commitment to focussing on people, jobs and reducing child poverty as part of this recovery. It’s important we shun the disastrous austerity responses we’ve seen around the world following previous economic shocks.”

“We’re encouraging the Government to focus on social infrastructure, including education, as it looks to invest the additional $20b of spending it has earmarked as part of its Covid Response and Recovery Fund.”

“With every crisis there also comes opportunity. Now more than ever, people are thinking about the kind of world we want to live in. That $20b fund represents a huge opportunity to invest in social infrastructure and build a better society for Aotearoa.”

Education spending in the budget includes:

  • A first step towards pay parity for ECE teachers – aligning their minimum rate with all other qualified teachers
  • Additional funding for ECE subsidies ($122.7m over four years)
  • A promise of further announcements for ECE in the near future
  • Additional funding for Kōhanga Reo ($93.4m over four years)
  • Support for Home-Based ECE educators to gain qualifications ($36.2m over four years)
  • Additional ESOL funding ($21.2m over four years)
  • A school property investment package of $115.1m
  • A $220 million expansion of the school lunches initiative
  • Funding for the Teaching Council to support a transition to an annual practising certificate fee of approx $157, with the increase deferred to February 2021 ($16.5m over two years)
  • Earmarked funding for a teacher aide pay equity settlement ($135.8m over two years)
  • Additional learning support funding so that it is linked to population growth ($38.859m over four years)
  • Support State Sector Decarbonisation to Deliver Low Emissions Energy Investments
  • A 1.6% increase in school operation grants