Staff at ABC early childhood centres have been asked to take a pay cut, and forego a promised 2% pay rise.
The move follows the buy-up of the 124 centres by the Tauranga company, Kidicorp, in September last year.
Kidicorp's owner and managing director Wayne Wright says the pay cut will enable the centres to boost their child-to-teacher ratio.
He says staff can refuse the cut, but all new staff will be required to sign contracts with the new, lower pay rate.
The workers' union, the NZEI, says staff had been promised a pay rise, and are not happy about the proposed pay cut but a Kidicorp survey of staff has shown many are resigned to the offer.