Special Residential Schools' Collective Agreement
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Section 8: General Provisions
Special Residential Schools' Collective Agreement
Effective 28 February 2019 to 27 February 2021
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8.1 Discipline and Dismissal
The following principles are to be followed when dealing with disciplinary matters:
- The employee must be advised of their right to request union assistance and/or representation at any stage.
- The employee must be advised of the specific matter(s) causing concern and a reasonable opportunity provided for the employee to state any reasons or explanations.
- The employee must be advised of the corrective action required to amend their conduct and given a reasonable opportunity to do so.
- Before any substantive disciplinary action is taken, an appropriate investigation is to be undertaken by management.
- Depending upon the seriousness of the misconduct an oral warning should usually precede a written warning.
- The process and results of any disciplinary action is to be recorded in writing, sighted and signed by the employee and placed on their personal file.
- If the offence is sufficiently serious an employee is to be placed on suspension pending an investigation under (d).
- An employee aggrieved by any action taken by an employer must be advised on their right to pursue a grievance in terms of the procedure set out in Section 7.
8.2 Notice of Termination
One month's notice of termination of employment should be given by either party but this may be varied by mutual agreement. An employee who has committed serious misconduct may be dismissed without notice.
8.3 Abandonment of Employment
Where an employee is absent from work for of three consecutive working days, without appropriate authorisation from the employer, the employee will be considered by the employer as having abandoned their employment, unless the employee is able to show that they were unable to fulfil their obligation to notify their employer through no fault of their own. The employer will make all reasonable efforts to contact the employee during the three day period of un-notified absence.
8.4 Restructuring and Surplus Staffing Provisions
The parties recognise the serious consequences that the loss of permanent employment can have on employees and propose to minimise this as far as possible by using the provisions of this agreement to keep as many employees as possible in suitable employment.
8.4.1 Prior to the formal commencement of any review which may affect PSA members in a School, the School will advise the PSA of the review and will provide the PSA with the opportunity to be involved in the review. The aim of this process is to explore all options before any final decisions are made by the School.
8.4.2 When, as a result of the review, the School requires a reduction in the number of employees, or employees can no longer be employed in their current position, the process for managing the change(s) follows:
8.4.3 In consultation with the PSA and affected members, reconfirmation may be offered, subject to the following criteria:
- the new job description is the same, or very nearly the same as the employee's current job description;
- the salary for the new position is the same;
- the new position has terms and conditions of employment, including career prospects, which are no less favourable;
- the new position is in the same location, or within reasonable commuting distance.
Where the above criteria are met and there is only one clear candidate for reconfirmation, that employee is to be reconfirmed. Where there is more than one clear candidate, the School will consult with the PSA to reach agreement regarding options for filling the available positions.
Where there are employees who meet the criteria for reconfirmation, those employees shall not have access to other options in this section (except for leave without pay) until all positions available for reconfirmation are filled.
8.4.4 Following reconfirmation, the School may, in consultation with the PSA and individual employees, offer reassignment to employees who have not been reconfirmed. Reassignment means placement in a position similar to that previously occupied, which the employee is prepared to accept. Where a reassignment is to a job with a lower salary, the employee's salary can be preserved by paying a lump sum based on the loss of basic salary over the next two years.
8.4.5 Any affected staff who have not been reconfirmed or reassigned into a position will be declared surplus. The School will advise the PSA of the names of surplus employees and the date by which the surplus needs to be discharged.
The School will consult with the PSA and individual employees to see if options other than severance are appropriate; these might include leave without pay, retraining or redeployment elsewhere in the state sector.
8.5 Severance Compensation:
8.5.1 For those employees appointed on or after 1 May 1996 severance compensation as follows will be paid:
7 weeks ordinary pay for the first year (or less) of continuous service; and
2 weeks ordinary pay for the second and subsequent years of continuous service with a maximum pay out of 32 weeks ordinary pay.
8.5.2 Definitions applying to clauses 8.5.1 above.
“Ordinary pay” is defined as basic taxable salary, plus regular taxable allowances paid on a continuous basis - i.e. during paid leave. In the case of employees on parental leave ordinary pay shall be the ordinary pay at the time of taking leave.
8.6 Technical Redundancy
8.6.1 Where an employee’s employment is being terminated by the employer by reason of the sale or transfer by the employer of the whole or part of its business, nothing will require the employer to pay compensation for redundancy to the employee if
- the person or organisation acquiring the business or part being sold or transferred (“the new employer”):
- has offered the employee employment; and
- has agreed to treat the service as if it were continuous service with that service or organisation; and
- the conditions of employment being offered to the employee by the new employer are substantially the same as, or more favourable than, the employee’s conditions of employment including:
- any service related and redundancy conditions; and
- any conditions relating to superannuation under the employment being terminated; and
- the offer of employment by the new employer is an offer to employ the employee in the business either:
- in substantially the same, or in a similar capacity as that in which the employee was employed; or
- in a capacity that the employee is willing to accept; and
- that the employment remains in the local area, or is within reasonable commuting distance.
8.7 Employment Protection Provision
8.7.1 “Attention is drawn to Part 6A of the Employment Relations Act 2000 which provides certain protections to certain employee categories where the employer proposes to restructure its business so their work is to be performed by a new employer. Those relevant employees who may be covered by this agreement are those who provide cleaning services, food catering services, caretaking, or laundry services.”
8.7.2 Where work undertaken by an employee (other than a relevant employee as described under (i) above) bound by this Agreement will be, or is likely to be, undertaken by a new employer, the employer will:
- provide the new employer with details of the work currently performed by the employees concerned together with details of the terms and conditions of their employment; and
- seek a proposal for the employment of the affected employees by the new employer, including the terms and conditions upon which those employees would be offered employment by the new employer; and
- arrange to meet with the new employer for the purpose of negotiating on the proposal.
8.7.3 The following shall be matters for negotiation with the new employer in relation to employees affected by the restructuring:
- The number and type of positions that will be offered by the new employer to employees affected by the restructuring;
- The terms and conditions of employment to be offered to those employees (including whether the employees will transfer to the new employer on the same terms and conditions of employment);
- The arrangements, if required, for the transfer of any accrued benefits and entitlements in relation to those employees;
8.7.4 Employees affected by the restructuring will have any entitlement determined by 8.4 and/or 8.5 of this agreement.
8.8 Sexual Harassment
8.8.1 Sexual Harassment, as defined in s108 of the Employment Relations Act 2000 and s62 of the Human Rights Act 1993, will not be tolerated at the School.
8.8.2 Employees who believe they have been subject to sexual harassment at the School have the choice of using the grievance process in this contract, or using the service of the Human Rights Commission.
Note: Copies of the Employment Relations Act and Human Rights Act are available via the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment via www.dol.govt.nz.
8.9 Eye Conservation
Where necessary, employees in the trades, technical and institutional areas shall be provided with safety spectacles. In cases of prolonged exposure to risk and where the employee normally wears prescription spectacles, the employer will reimburse the cost of prescription safety lenses in standard safety frames.
8.10 Keyboard and VDU Provisions
8.10.1 The School will abide by the provisions of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Approved Code of Practice for the use of Visual Display Units, published in October 1995.
8.10.2 Employees who are engaged on VDU duties for at least 50 percent of their normal working time shall be entitled to an eye test at School expense. If the test discloses that prescription spectacles are required for the normal viewing distance of a VDU, or that eyesight problem has been created or worsened by VDU then costs will be met by the School within the following limits: a $250 cap for replacement lenses and a $250 cap for first provision of spectacle frames by prior agreement with the employer, who may take into account any applicable private insurance held by the employee (Education Benevolent Society or similar).
8.10.3 Employees may access replacement lens entitlement every three years.
8.11 Protective Clothing
Protective clothing, which shall remain the property of the School, shall be provided as necessary and the employee instructed in its use. Laundering or dry-cleaning of all protective clothing shall be the responsibility of the employer and shall be carried out on a regular basis.
8.12 Hearing Conservation
Employees exposed to noise from machinery including lawn mowers will be provided with the appropriate grade of hearing protectors.
8.13 Access to Personal Files
Employees have access to their personal files in accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act 1993.
8.14 Certificate of Service
Employees who leave the School may at their request be issued with a Certificate of Service and/or testimonial.
8.15 Annual Practising Fees
The employer shall approve reimbursement of admission fees, registration and annual practising fees where the qualification or holding of a practising certificate is necessary to enable the employee to carry out his/her duties fully.
8.16 Refund of Driving Licence Fee
The employer may refund the cost of a driver's licence fee where a passenger service, or similar special licence is specifically required in the normal course of an employee's duties.
8.17 Employee Assistance
The School will offer employee assistance where it is felt that an employee's performance may have been impaired by health or personal problems. Employee participation will be voluntary and such participation will not be noted in the employee's personal file, nor will it adversely affect the employee's employment or prospects.
8.18 Health and Safety
8.18.1 The employer, the union and all staff covered by this agreement are committed to the safety, health and welfare of staff in the workplace. The employer will comply with the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and any associated regulations, and related codes of practice.
8.18.2 From 1 June 2019, the employer shall also ensure that policies and procedures covering the following matters are readily accessible on the school intranet and on staff noticeboards.
- How staff are to manage challenging behaviour of students; and
- How the impact of such challenging behaviour on staff, will be dealt with by the employer and employee.
8.19 Site and Use of Photocopiers
Wherever possible, photocopiers will be located in a well ventilated area isolated from employees' work space. Where a photocopier is unable to be isolated, it shall not be located closer than 4 metres to any employee's work area and positive steps will be taken to ensure adequate ventilation and noise control.
Employees who currently contribute to Government Superannuation, pursuant to the Government Superannuation Act 1956, may continue to do so.