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Teacher salaries – how far we've come

Once upon a time, teachers who were married got an extra salary allowance.

Once upon a time, advertising the fact that men scored higher positions of responsibility earlier than women was de rigeur.

Once upon a time, the Education Board was so confident in the lucrative nature of teaching that it advertised that salaries inside teaching compared “most favourably” with outside positions.

NZ teacher salaries

As this ad from 1971 shows, we’ve come a long way, baby.

But one thing has largely not changed, and that’s the fact that teachers are still underpaid.

In 1975, just four years after this ad ran, the average pay packet was $95 per week. Compare that to the biggest salary touted here – for a primary teacher with a bachelor’s degree in their eight year – and it slices down to just $88 per week.

The only educational punter looking at busting through the pay ceiling was the Head Teacher, who got a salary of $7,074.

That’s almost enough to invest in one of those new-fangled colour TVs. 

Today, teachers start on a salary of $45,000, give or take a few cookies. But the average salary last year was $52,000.

But at least in 1971, if you were married, you scored an extra $140. Who said performance pay wouldn’t work?!