The New Zealand Post-Primary Teachers’ Association filed a claim along with a number of part-time teachers against the Secretary for Education on the basis of sexual discrimination arising from the Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement.

It was argued that under the collective agreement, part-time teachers were not receiving non-contact hours (work outside of teaching students) at a proportional rate to full-time teachers. As more part-time teachers are females, it was contended that they were receiving a lower pay rate than their full-time male teacher counterparts for the same workload, responsibilities, skills, and effort resulting in unlawful indirect discrimination.

The Employment Court rejected these arguments. It was found that the differences in salaries could not be attributed to discrimination, rather it was the nature of the job that full-time teachers would be expected to prepare and administrate more than part-time teachers since they had more teaching hours. In some cases, part-time teachers were actually on higher hourly rates than full-time teachers.

While the Court found it relevant to analyse the historical discrimination of female teachers, it found against there being a continued male legacy and domination in the teaching profession which continues to exist and manifest itself in the collective agreement. This is because the percentage of male and female teachers reached equilibrium in the 1990s, and enough time has since passed for the effects of male influence to be neutralised.

The NZPPTA’s claim subsequently failed as it was concluded that a difference in contact vs non-contact hours for part-time teachers could not be clearly attributed to gender discrimination.

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