Some teacher aides and trainee teachers in early childhood centres are being paid less than the minimum wage, a survey has found.
The survey by the NZ Educational Institute (NZEI) found that five out of 89 teacher aides and trainee teachers who answered a survey in August were being paid below the minimum wage of $16.50 an hour.
But it shows that the 10 teacher aides who responded to a survey of 1915 early childhood staff earned between $16.00 and $19.07 an hour, with a median wage of $16.63.
The 79 trainee teachers in the survey earned between $15.75 and $22, with a median of $18.
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The 639 qualified teachers who responded (excluding principals) earned between $17.00 and $41.35, with a median of $25 an hour.
The survey was taken to support an NZEI claim for pay equity for early childhood teachers, arguing that they are underpaid because the vast majority are women and that women's work has long been under-valued.
Virginia Oakly, a Nelson kindergarten head teacher who represents early childhood on the NZEI executive, said it was "alarming to hear that some educators are being paid below the minimum rates".
"For the people in this situation that have come to our attention, we are working to support them to resolve the issues with their employers," she said.