The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa says the pay gap with Australia is alive and well in education with a new report showing New Zealand teachers are still paid well below their Australian counterparts.
The OECD's Education at a Glance report compares education systems between 29 OECD countries.
It shows New Zealand primary teachers are among the lowest paid in the OECD and that applies from beginning teachers through to those with 15 years experience.
After 15 years experience a New Zealand teacher will earn $15,000-$20,000 less than the OECD average and well behind Australian teachers at the same level.
NZEI President Frances Nelson says "if the government is serious about closing the pay gap and ensuring our teachers stay in New Zealand, those figures cannot be ignored. John Key talks about building a successful economy but you can't do that without proper investment in education."
The report also shows that New Zealand teachers work harder for less pay. It says when it comes to teaching hours New Zealand teachers are second only to teachers in the United States. They put in 985 teaching hours a year - well above the OECD average of 786 hours and ahead of the 873 hours a year of Australian teachers.
"New Zealand has a world class education system which depends on the quality and commitment of its teachers. We need to make teaching as attractive as possible so our teachers feel valued and have their skills recognised. They need a reason to believe that the grass is always greener at home," says Ms Nelson.
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