Pay Gap Increases Between Highest and Lowest Paid in Tertiary Education Sector

Posted By TEU on Dec 14, 2016 |

Figures released by the State Services Commission (SSC) provide worrying evidence of a widening pay gap between the Chief Executives and other staff of Tertiary Education Institutions (TEI).

The figures contained in the SSC’s annual Senior Pay Report show that in 2015/16 Chief Executives received an average pay increase of 2.9% compared to remuneration received in 2014/15. This compares unfavourably with an average pay rise of only 1.3% for all other TEI staff covered by collective agreement.

The Tertiary Education Union (TEU) is calling on all TEIs to urgently reduce the gap between the highest and lowest paid in their workforce and to ensure that, at the very least, all staff are paid a living wage.

Some of the largest increases in Chief Executive pay across the tertiary education sector include:

  • University of Canterbury – a $100,000 increase compared to remuneration received by the Chief Executive in 2014/15
  • Waikato Institute of Technology – an pay increase of $80,000
  • Massey University – a pay increase of $50,000
  • Unitec Institute of Technology – a pay increase of $40,000

Commenting on the SSC’s figures, National President of the TEU, Sandra Grey, said:

“Chief Executives play a vital role in the running of Tertiary Education Institutions in New Zealand. However, in no way does this justify an average pay increase over and above the rest of the sector’s workforce, without whom the provision of tertiary education simply would not be possible.


“The SSC report shows that Chief Executive pay in the tertiary education sector is increasing at a rate completely out of step with that of other TEI staff. As such, the gap between the highest and lowest paid continues to widen, serving only to increase inequality in the sector. The sector-wide pay gap must be reduced.


“We even have the absurd situation in TEIs, such at the University of Auckland, where some staff are denied the living wage whilst the Chief Executive enjoys a $30,000 pay rise.


“The TEU challenges all TEIs in future to provide a flat rate pay increase to all staff, including Chief Executives.”

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