Experienced teacher earns $12,000 less than her son in the same role

A Tauranga teacher has opened up on the loophole that sees her earn $59,000 a year despite 43 years experience in the profession.

Eileen Gilmour received three years of training at what was then called the Hamilton Teachers College in the 1970s.

But she didn't get a degree and that means under law she can only earn up to $59,000. Graduates who got a three-year teaching degree after the mid-1990s can earn up to $71,891 a year.

That's how much Ms Gilmour's son is earning with his teaching degree.

"I'm actually gutted, it's been like a festering sore for me," she told Newshub.

She's now left the profession full time and only relieves, saying that she felt it wasn't worth putting all her time into teaching when she could not earn very much.

A new offer from the Ministry of Education would see teachers without a degree like Ms Gilmour get a 17.1 percent pay rise to $69,857 by 2020.

But she still wouldn't be able to earn the $78,557 offered to teachers who have a degree.

"The papers were similar, practicums similar, the content was similar."

"A lot have just left and are just dong the relieving positions.

The Primary Teachers' Union says it wants to see the pay gap between such teachers removed. 

"We've been trying to get this addressed, and we're very hopeful of getting it addressed this time around."

The Ministry of Education says that Ms Gilmour is paid in line with the current collective agreement, but salary arrangements based on experience and qualifications is currently under negotiation with NZEI.

Auckland University deputy dean of education Dr Wayne Smith told NZME the pre-1996 teacher training programme and teaching degree did have some slight differences.

"Certainly there wasn't huge change, but the programmes had to be rewritten and restructured," he said.

He added teachers who trained before the change were given the chance to retrain for a further year to get the degree.