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Endorsement....Grantlea Downs teacher aide Penni Naylor displays a pupil's message of support. PHOTO: CHRIS TOBIN

by Chris Tobin

Grantlea Downs School made a stand for their teacher aides last Friday.

The school’s 361 children and staff gathered on the playing area and lined up to spell the letters of the word “fair”.

Support staff in schools around the country have been calling for pay equity and in a bid for “fairness”.

Grantlea Downs teacher Joy McGillivray said that a number of of the school’s support staff – teacher aides, librarians and administration staff – were on the minimum wage.

Nationally, 90% of teacher aides earned less than the living wage of $21.15 an hour.

Last week, early childhood teachers had a week of action calling for more funding for the sector, culminating in a petition with more than 10,000 signatures being handed to Education Minister Chris Hipkins in Wellington.

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) said New Zealand’s school funding system was broken.