School Caretakers', Cleaners' and Canteen Staff Collective Agreement

This document provides the terms and conditions of employment for school caretakers, cleaners and canteen workers in state and state-integrated schools in New Zealand.

The term of this collective agreement is 8 May 2017 to 7 June 2019.

We are making improvements to our Download to Print functionality, so if you want a printed copy of this agreement please download the PDF version of the School Caretakers', Cleaners' and Canteen Workers' Collective Agreement [PDF, 287 KB] [PDF, 485 KB].

Variation to this document:

On 26 April 2018, the parties agreed to a variation to take into account the changes to the Minimum Wage Rate that increased to $16.50 from 1 April 2018. These changes have been incorporated into this webpage. The affected pay scales relate to cleaners and canteen workers (clause 2.2.1(b)), and supervisor cleaners (clause 4.1A). There have been consequential changes to the scale for supervisor grade 1 and grade 2 caretakers (clause 4.1B) but these have not affected the rates payable.

Licensing Criteria Cover

Part 3: Caretakers

School Caretakers', Cleaners' and Canteen Staff Collective Agreement
Effective 8 May 2017 to 7 June 2019

We are making improvements to our Download to Print functionality, so if you want a printed copy of this agreement please download the PDF version of the School Caretakers' and Cleaners' (including Canteen Workers) Collective Agreement.

Minimum wage rate - effective 1 April 2018:

The Minimum Wage Rate increased to $16.50 from 1 April 2018. Anyone currently paid an hourly rate below the new minimum wage rate will automatically have their pay rate increased to $16.50 per hour from 1 April 2018. Printed rates in the collective agreements will not change until the current collective agreements expire and a new collective agreement is agreed.

  • 3.1 Application/Definition
    • 3.1.1 Except as otherwise provided Part 3 shall apply to caretakers as defined below only.

      3.1.2 A Grade One caretaker (and/or a custodian) is a worker who is substantially employed to have the responsibility for the safety and good order of the grounds and buildings and to lock and unlock doors; and who may be required to perform and supervise duties of cleaning, attending to fires, heating plant and swimming pools, and to do minor maintenance but not work required to be undertaken by a registered or qualified tradesperson.

      3.1.3 A Grade Two caretaker is a worker appointed by the employer who may be employed to have the responsibility for the safety and good order of the grounds and buildings and to lock and unlock doors; and who may be required to perform and supervise duties of cleaning, attending to fires, heating plant, and swimming pools. In addition to the duties above, the Grade 2 caretaker shall undertake (and shall be available and have the necessary skills to undertake) school maintenance work (in addition to minor maintenance work) which he/she is legally able to undertake and which would normally be undertaken by a registered or qualified tradesperson.

      3.1.4 An assistant caretaker is a worker employed to assist the caretaker in the carrying out of his/her duties.

      3.1.5 A part-time caretaker is a worker who is substantially employed in the duties outlined in 3.1.2 above but where the total amount of the employer's assessment (subclause 6.5.6) is less than 35 hours per week.

      3.1.6 A caretaker in a primary school shall be responsible for the care of the grounds.

      3.1.7 In all schools where the number of hours determined by the employer for the proper care and cleaning of the school (see 6.5.6) is 35 hours per week or more, for the purposes of this Agreement a full-time caretaker shall be employed, unless otherwise mutually agreed between the affected workers and employer.

      3.1.8 A caretaker’s duties do not include locking up after evening classes, except where this is specifically required in the caretaker’s terms of employment.

  • 3.2 Remuneration
    • 3.2.1 With effect from 8 May 2017 to 7 May 2018 minimum pay rates for caretakers shall be as indicated below:


      From 1/4/15

      From 8/5/17

      Caretaker in charge of 20+ workers $731.74 $787.79 $740.52 $797.24
      Caretaker in charge of 15-19 workers $719.42 $775.45 $728.05 $784.76
      Caretaker in charge of 10-14 workers $707.09 $763.10 $715.58 $772.26
      Caretaker in charge of 5-9 workers $685.98 $741.93 $694.21 $750.83
      Caretaker in charge of 3-4 workers $675.29 $731.32 $683.39 $740.10
      Caretaker $664.58 $720.60 $672.55 $729.25
      Part-time caretaker $16.62 $18.02 $16.82 $18.24
      Assistant caretaker $653.12   $660.96   
      Part-time assistant caretaker $16.34   $16.54  

      3.2.2 With effect from 8 May 2018 caretakers will translate to the new caretakers’ scale according to the agreed translation rules detailed in Appendix D.

      Salary Chart for Caretakers and Cleaners to transition in 2018

      Note: The parties explicitly acknowledge that the scales which become operative from 8 May 2018 incorporate financial recognition for attainment of relevant L3** NZQF qualifications for caretakers (as well as L4*** NZQF qualifications for caretakers which are deemed relevant by the employer) and current "service pay" where applicable.

      From 8 May 2018, the remuneration of caretakers in charge of 3 or more workers will be incorporated in the calculation of the employee’s pre-translation remuneration rate for translation to the new supervisors’ pay scale detailed in Part 4, according to the agreed translation rules detailed in Appendix D.

  • 3.3 Meal Allowance
    • Where a caretaker completes nine and a half hours or more on any one day, the employer shall provide him/her with a suitable meal or, in lieu thereof, pay an allowance at the rate specified below.

        • meal allowance - $10.00
  • 3.4 Boiler Allowance
    • A caretaker required to operate coal-fired, oil-fired or pellet-fired boilers shall, while so employed, be paid an allowance at the rate specified below, during the period of the year when the boilers are in use.

      In the event of a power outage and subsequent resetting to gas-fired boilers, the allowance, as per this clause will also be available.

      This payment is not in lieu of the Unusually Dirty Work Allowance as provided for in clause 4.8. A worker may qualify for both the boiler operating allowance and the dirty work payment on the same day if he/she performs unusually dirty work.

        • boiler allowance - $3.09 per day or part thereof
  • 3.5 Swimming Pool Allowance
    • 3.5.1 A caretaker required to undertake the operation, chlorination and maintenance of filtered or draw and fill school swimming pools for the purposes of providing and maintaining an adequate standard of hygiene, during periods when the pool is open for official school use shall be paid the allowance specified below for each day he/she undertakes these duties during the period of the year when the school is open.

      3.5.2 Only a caretaker who is solely responsible for the complete operation and maintenance of school swimming pools, as detailed in subclause 3.5.1 qualifies for the allowance.

      3.5.3 The allowance, in addition to wages for such time worked, will also be paid where the employer authorises the opening of the pool for public use during weekends, school vacations, or other periods when the school is not officially open and where the caretaker has agreed to undertake these additional duties.

        • swimming pool allowance - $4.50 per day

      Note: Appendix A sets out the procedures to be followed in handling swimming pool chemicals.

  • 3.6 Provision of Tools
    • A caretaker required to do maintenance shall be supplied with the tools necessary to undertake the work at the employer’s expense. Such tools are to remain the property of the employer.

  • 3.7 Callback
    • 3.7.1 When a caretaker is called back to work after having completed work and left the place of employment he/she shall be paid a minimum of two hours.

      3.7.2 Paragraph 3.7.1 above shall not apply to a residential caretaker unless the callback results from an emergency and is of at least 30 minutes duration.

  • 3.8 Hours of Work
    • 3.8.1 Forty hours shall constitute a week's work to be worked on 5 consecutive days of the week, Monday to Saturday inclusive. Not more than 8 hours shall be worked in any one day without payment of overtime. Provided that a caretaker may be given one half day off during the week and work on Saturday morning as part of the ordinary 40 hour week.

      3.8.2 As far as possible the hours of work shall be continuous from the time of starting work save for the intervals for meals which shall not be more than one hour or less than 30 minutes. No caretaker shall be required to work for more than four and a half hours without a meal.

      3.8.3 Where a caretaker is residing on the premises where he/she is employed, the time during which he/she is engaged on actual work coming within the scope of his/her duties as caretaker in connection with the building shall be considered as working time.

      3.8.4 A caretaker shall be granted a rest period of ten minutes in each period of four hours' work.

  • 3.9 Overtime
    • 3.9.1 All time worked in excess or outside of the hours of work prescribed in clause 3.8 shall be worked solely at the employer's discretion and providing it is specifically required, shall be considered overtime and shall be paid for at the following rate: Time and one half.

      3.9.2 When a caretaker has been requested on the previous day to work overtime and such overtime is cancelled on the day on which it is to be worked, the caretaker shall be paid one hour's pay at the overtime rate.

  • 3.10 Retiring Leave
    • 3.10.1 Except as provided by 3.10.2 below, a full-time caretaker on completion of 40 years’ service, or on completion of 10 or more years' service at age 60 or over, is entitled to qualify for retiring leave. The entitlement in working days ranges from 22 days after 10 years' eligible service to 131 days after 40 years' service. Service in excess of 40 years does not attract a greater retiring leave entitlement.

      3.10.2 A permanent part-time caretaker who meets either criteria set out in 3.10.1 above and who was previously full-time but had his/her hours reduced as a result of clause 6.1 of this Agreement, shall also remain entitled to qualify for the Retiring Leave based upon his/her average weekly hours set over the five years immediately preceding the date of retirement (e.g., a full-time caretaker whose set hours are reduced to 30 exactly two years six months before retirement and who would have been entitled to 100 days, is entitled to 87.5 days i.e., the midpoint between 0.75 and 1).

      3.10.3 Retiring leave entitlement is set out in working days below:


      Months of Service

      Years of Service0246810
      10 22 23 24 24 25 26
      11 26 27 28 29 29 30
      12 31 31 32 33 34 34
      13 35 36 36 37 38 39
      14 39 40 41 41 42 43
      15 44 44 45 46 46 47
      16 48 49 49 50 51 51
      17 52 53 54 54 55 56
      18 56 57 58 59 59 60
      19 61 61 62 63 64 64
      20-25 65 65 65 65 65 65
      25 65 66 66 67 68 69
      26 69 70 71 71 72 73
      27 74 74 75 76 76 77
      28 78 79 79 80 81 81
      29 82 83 84 84 85 86
      30 86 87 88 89 89 90
      31 91 91 92 93 94 94
      32 95 96 96 97 98 99
      33 99 100 101 101 102 103
      34 104 104 105 106 106 107
      35 108 109 109 110 111 111
      36 112 113 114 114 115 116
      37 116 117 118 119 119 120
      38 121 121 122 123 124 124
      39 125 126 126 127 128 129
      40 or more 131  
  • 3.11 Accommodation
    • 3.11.1 Accommodation may be provided as a condition of employment. The level of rental paid for accommodation for a caretaker is set to compensate the caretaker for minor disturbances, inconveniences, and as recognition of the role they play in the security of the school.

      3.11.2 Where an employer requires a caretaker to occupy accommodation provided by the employer as a condition of employment, the rent to be deducted shall be negotiated between the employer, the employee, and the union representative. If not needed, the matter shall be determined in accordance with Part 7.

      3.11.3 Subject to the provisions of 3.11.2 above, the deductions of rent by the employer from the wages of a caretaker shall be subject to his/her agreement in writing.