The Ministry of Education is standing by figures that put the average secondary teacher's pay at $71,000 per year.
The Post Primary Teachers Association says that is impossible, because the top pay rate for a secondary teacher is less than $69,000.
But the ministry says it arrived at its figure by dividing the secondary teacher pay roll by the number of teachers.
It notes that nearly two-thirds of teachers are at the top of the pay scale for their qualifications.
This figure includes 'management' units that teachers receive for extra responsibilities.
The PPTA says most teachers do not get management units and claims the figures are also skewed by inclusion of senior managers, including deputy principals.
President Kate Gainsford says these items skew the figures.
But the ministry says 48% of secondary teachers get the extra payments and most teachers are at the top of their pay scale.