The Government has found an extra almost $300 million to offer teachers and principals, despite making it clear on multiple different occasions it would not budge on its last offer.

The revised offer, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins in his Beehive office this morning, now stands at almost $1.5 billion.

And he is confident that the new offer will end the dispute between the teachers' union and the Government.

Both major teachers' unions have welcomed the deal, as has National's education spokeswoman Nikki Kaye.

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But she said Hipkins was in "maximum spin mode on how he's found more money".

The new offer now goes back to teachers to vote on. Hipkins said he hoped the vote would take place within the next couple of weeks.

The new offer was hammered out at a forum held last week between teachers' unions, the Ministry of Education and the Education Minister.

Teachers march on Queen St in May. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Teachers march on Queen St in May. Photo / Brett Phibbs

At the heart of the new deal was a commitment to pay parity for teachers. The offer would see agreements expire in 2022.

As it stands, secondary school teachers are paid more than primary school teachers and the offer on the table, according to Hipkins, seeks to address that.

He said that pay parity between primary and secondary school teachers, which unions fought for in the early 2000s, has "slowly eroded away".

"This [new offer] brings forward a new unified salary scale, which means that whether you're a primary school teacher, secondary school teacher or an areas school teacher, if you're at the same step on the salary scale, you're going to be earning the same amount."

Hipkins said at last week's forum, all parties came to the table with a determination to settle.

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He said he had received confirmation from both the PPTA and the NZEI that they would endorse the pay parity deal.

"No one is saying that this is the perfect deal – we still acknowledge there is still a lot of work to do," Hipkins said.

The new offer seeks to address concerns teachers had around workloads as well.

But he said now, there was "absolutely" no more money on the table, if teachers don't take up this offer.

The Secretary for Education has developed an Accord with the teachers' unions for how the Government, teachers and principals would work to identify and address workload and wider education issues.

In a statement, the PPTA said the new offer includes a lump sum payment of $1500 for union members only and a new top salary step of $90,000.

It means all secondary teachers will receive annual pay increases of 3 per cent
PPTA president Jack Boyle said the union was pleased with the offer.

"We knew the biggest mobilisation of teachers in New Zealand's history had worked when we got a call from the Education Minister, asking the unions to come and sit at the table with him.

"Sometimes a circuit breaker is what's needed to progress an issue, and in this case, it certainly did the trick."

NZEI Te Riu Roa president Lynda Stuart said the union's executive was recommending ratification of the settlements, but it is up to members to make their own decision in the end.

In the past, Hipkins has been at pains to point out the Government had no more money for teachers.

But this morning, he did a 180-degree turn.

The Government found a further one-off $271m which he said came from underspends in the previous National Government's Communities of Learning programme.

National's education spokeswoman Nikki Kaye said Hipkins was in
National's education spokeswoman Nikki Kaye said Hipkins was in "maximum spin mode on how he's found more money".

Kaye said Hipkins was in maximum spin mode on how he's found more money, claiming this is through savings via communities of learning and the fact that, somehow, the idea of a three-year agreement is new.

"The Prime Minister and Mr Hipkins have stubbornly said there is 'no more money'. But the truth is they can miraculously find hundreds of millions of dollars when it suits them for trees and planes.

"Now, because of the pressure the Minister is under, they have proposed increased lump sums and can find an extra $271 million for teachers."