Find out about the pay scales for secondary teachers, and the allowances, benefits and other entitlements covered in your employment agreement.
- Employment agreements
- Your pay
- Pay rises
- Units and allowances
- Other benefits and entitlements
- Working when school is closed
- Leaving your job
- Secondary Teacher Supply Working Group Report release
- Secondary Teacher Workload Working Group Report release
- Further information
Secondary teachers in state and state-integrated schools and kura are covered by:
- the Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement (STCA), or
- an individual employment agreement, with similar terms and conditions as the STCA.
You are covered by the STCA if your work is covered by this agreement and you’re a member of the secondary teachers’ union, the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers’ Association (NZPPTA).
You need to sign an individual employment agreement if your work is covered by the STCA but you are not a member of the NZPPTA. The Ministry of Education develops and publishes the individual employment agreement. The terms and conditions of your work are similar to the collective agreement.
- Secondary Teachers' Collective Agreement 2015–2018 – terms and conditions of employment for teachers at state and state-integrated secondary schools in New Zealand. Effective 28 October 2015 to 27 October 2018.
- Secondary Teachers' Individual Employment Agreement – published 30 October 2015.
If you are a teacher at Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu, please check part 11 of the collective agreement as there are some special employment conditions that apply to you.
Your pay is covered in part 4 of the collective agreement.
Your base salary
The amount you can be paid as a teacher depends on your qualifications, experience and whether you qualify for any units or allowances.
Untrained secondary teachers are paid between $32,600 and $71,000.
There are 6 salary groups for trained teachers, each with a minimum and a maximum salary. Your salary group depends on your qualifications.
|Salary group||Starting salary||Maximum salary||NQF* level||Example of qualifications|
|1||$47,000||$60,500||5||Diploma in Professional Cookery|
|2||$47,000||$64,800||6||Advanced Trades Certificate|
|3||$47,000||$73,650||7||Bachelor of Teaching|
|3+||$51,200||$78,000||7||Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Diploma of Teaching|
|5||$56,550||$78,000||9 or 10||Master's or PhD|
*NQF = National Qualifications Framework
You can earn more than your maximum salary step if you are entitled to units or allowances.
If you are in salary group 1 or 2, you can move above your maximum, up to the group 3 maximum, if you have been allocated permanent units.
An increment is the pay rise you get when you move up a step on your base salary scale. This is on top of base salary increases negotiated through the collective agreement bargaining process.
You will most likely move up one salary step each year until you reach the maximum salary step for your qualification.
Here's how the increment process works.
- You are assessed against the performance standards in supplement 1 of your employment agreement (by your board of trustees or principal).
- If you have met the standards, you move up a salary step on the scale.
If a teacher hasn’t met the standards, they are given a specific time to do so. If they haven't met the standards after this time, they don’t move up a salary step. In some cases, competency procedures will be needed.
The table shows the increments on the salary scale for trained secondary teachers. Your starting salary and maximum depend on which salary group you are in.
|Step||Base salary||Increment between steps (%)||Increment between steps ($)|
As well as general salary funding, schools receive a certain amount for ‘units’. Boards can allocate units as a permanent or fixed-term addition to a teacher’s salary. Each unit is worth $4,000pa.
You can read more about units in clause 4.3 of your collective agreement.
If you are a resource teacher learning and behaviour, resource teacher deaf, resource teacher vision, resource teacher intellectually impaired or regional health school teacher, you automatically qualify for an additional unit on your salary. Your board can allocate you other units in the same way as for other teachers. This is explained in clauses 4.2.8 and 4.2.9 of the agreement.
You may also qualify for one or more of the following allowances, which are added to your salary.
Your school board may pay you a 3R allowance to recognise an extra responsibility that you take on, or to achieve recruitment or retention goals. Boards need to consult with teaching staff about the allocation of these payments.
Although these payments are not covered in the Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement, boards can offer a 3R payment of up to $4,000pa for secondary teachers, which can be paid permanently or for a fixed term.
Secondary high priority teacher supply allowance
You’ll be paid the secondary high priority teacher supply allowance of $2,500pa if you work in a priority staffing status school (sometimes called ‘hard to staff’ schools).
- Find out which schools qualify for the secondary high priority teacher supply allowance.
- Read more about this allowance in clause 4.13 of your collective agreement.
Staffing incentive allowance
You'll be paid an allowance of $1,000pa if you don't get the secondary high priority teacher supply allowance and you work full time in a school that qualifies for the staffing incentive allowance.
- Find out which schools qualify for the staffing incentive allowance.
- Read more about this allowance in clause 4.12 of your collective agreement.
Specialist classroom teacher allowance
A specialist classroom teacher provides professional development, guidance, mentoring and induction to other staff. If you are appointed to this role, you will get an allowance of $8,000pa and a certain number of hours per week for your duties.
Māori immersion allowance
If you are required to use te reo Māori in approved Māori immersion classes at levels one, 2 or 3 for at least 6 hours a week, you may qualify for a Māori immersion allowance of $4,000pa.
- You can find out more about this allowance in clause 4.18 of your collective agreement.
- The levels of Māori immersion are defined in schedule 1 of the Primary Teachers’ Collective Agreement.
Careers adviser allowance
If you are appointed as a careers advisor, you will be paid an allowance of $1,500pa. This is set out in clause 4.10 of your collective agreement.
Associate teacher allowance
If you are involved in the practical training of teacher trainees, you can be paid an associate teacher allowance. The amount is a minimum of $3.19 for each hour you work with a trainee. Read the full criteria in clause 4.11 of your collective agreement.
Middle management allowance
Middle management allowances are allocated by your school. You may be able to get a middle management allowance of $1,000pa if you:
- have a specific curriculum or pastoral management responsibility (such as being a head of department or a dean), or
- are responsible for at least 5 students funded under the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme.
If you already have 4 or fewer units on your salary, you can qualify for 1 or 2 middle management allowances. If you have 5 units, you can qualify for 1 middle management allowance.
You can read full details about the middle management allowance in clause 4.3A of your collective agreement.
If you are a teacher at Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu, your management allowance is $1,000pa but it is allocated a bit differently. Please read clause 11.5.
Senior management allowance
Senior management allowances are allocated by your school. They are in clause 4.3B of your collective agreement.
You may be able to get a senior management allowance of $1,000pa if you are an assistant or deputy principal and you formally carry out some of the principal’s duties from time to time.
You can get both a middle management allowance and a senior management allowance, but only one of each at the same time.
Resource teacher learning and behaviour
If you are a resource teacher learning and behaviour (RTLB), you will be paid an extra unit and allowances.
You may also qualify for other allowances, such as higher duties, relieving principal, special duties and bus controller. These are covered in part 4 of your collective agreement.
If you are a teacher at Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu, your off-site allowance is covered in clause 11.4 of the collective agreement.
Part 6 of your collective agreement covers all your leave entitlements, including sick, parental, bereavement (tangihanga), study, refreshment and sabbatical. Your school can also allow special leave for various activities like competing in sports events or attending cultural events. Read more about the main types of leave for secondary teachers.
You are entitled to non-contact time each week. This will be at least 5 hours each week, but you may be entitled to more, depending on your responsibilities and whether you hold salary units. You can find out about non-contact time in clause 5.2 of your collective agreement.
If you move schools because you’re promoted, or you move to work in a ‘hard to staff’ school, you may qualify for a transfer and removal payment to help cover your costs.
If you have a terminal or serious illness that means you can no longer work as a teacher, you may be eligible for medical retirement.
If you have a certain type of illness or injury, your time off isn’t taken off your sick leave balance. This is called disregarded sick leave.
The Ministry of Education is able to approve different terms or conditions than those in the employment agreements, such as extra pay, allowances or benefits. This is often called concurrence. It is rarely granted to teachers because school boards have the discretion to offer 3R allowances. School boards must apply for concurrence before offering different terms or conditions.
You may be required to work at times when the school is closed to students, for professional development or duties such as administration, preparation, planning, and parent, whāanau and community liaison.
Clause 5.4 of your employment agreement states you can be required to:
- participate in professional development for a maximum of 5 days in the school year
- attend school for other duties when school is closed for up to a maximum of 5 days in the school year.
If you are a teacher at Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu who is covered by the Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement, you can be required to work during school holidays for up to a maximum of 5 days in any 12 month period. This is covered in clause 11.2.3 of the agreement.
When your board asks you to work on a closed day, they must take into account whether you have already undertaken professional development or carried out various tasks in your own time.
To resign (or retire) from your job as a teacher you need to give your school board 2 months’ written notice.
If you feel that you are being forced to resign or your work situation has become intolerable and you feel you have no choice but to leave, you may have grounds for an employment dispute. There is more information about this in part 9 of your collective agreement.
KiwiSaver is the superannuation scheme available to new and existing teachers. The employer contribution is currently 3% of your gross earnings, and you can choose to contribute 3%, 4% or 8% of your pay.
You may already belong to a superannuation scheme that is closed to new members, such as:
- the Teachers Retirement Savings Scheme and the State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme, each with an employer contribution of up to 3% of your gross salary
- the Government Superannuation Fund, which has an employer contribution of 6.5% or 7% of your gross salary
- the National Provident Fund, which has an employer contribution of up to 3% of your gross salary.
If you belong to one of the old schemes and KiwiSaver, employer contributions are only paid to KiwiSaver if the amount paid into the other scheme is less than the KiwiSaver contribution of 3%. So if the employer contribution to your other fund is 4%, you will not get any payment into KiwiSaver as well. However, if the employer contribution to your other fund is only 2%, you will also get one per cent 1% paid into your KiwiSaver scheme.
The KiwiSaver (external link) website has everything you need to know about KiwiSaver.
You can find out more about the other schemes on the State Services Commission (external link) website. If you have any questions, contact the provider directly.
A report from the Secondary Teacher Supply Working Group on secondary teacher supply and demand has just been released.
The Working Group included representatives from New Zealand Post Primary Teachers’ Association (NZPPTA), Ministry of Education, New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA), New Zealand Secondary Principals’ Council (NZSPC), Secondary Principals’ Association of New Zealand (SPANZ) and Education Council.
The report considers factors affecting current and future secondary teacher supply, and identifies a current need for teachers in key subject areas (such as science, technology, mathematics and te reo Māori).
It makes 41 recommendations across the teacher career pathway, including measures for attracting and developing new science, technology and mathematics (STM) teachers, improving initial teacher education and induction, improving systems for monitoring supply and demand, and providing more support to recruit and retain new teachers, particularly in permanent roles.
A number of recommendations have already been implemented by the Ministry. Further work is underway on implementing many of the recommendations made in the report, some of which are expected to take effect from 2017, while others cover actions in the medium and longer term.
Download the full report [PDF, 1.4 MB].
A report from the working group on secondary teacher workload has just been released.
The Working Group, established as part of the 2015-2018 Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement, included representatives from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) and the Education Council as well as New Zealand Post Primary Teachers’ Association (NZPPTA), Ministry of Education, New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA), New Zealand Secondary Principals’ Council (NZSPC), Secondary Principals’ Association of New Zealand (SPANZ) and Education Council.
The report outlines the Secondary Teacher Workload challenge and the process followed by the Working Group to gather information about the workload difficulties faced by secondary teachers. It focuses on seven key areas impacting on secondary teacher workload:
- National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA)
- School Management
- Kaiako Māori & Pasifika
- Administration & Compliance
- Performance Management, Appraisal & Certification
- New Initiatives
- People and Resourcing.
It makes 44 jointly agreed recommendations and includes a number of recommendations that seek to optimise teacher effectiveness such as identifying ways to reduce the amount of assessment and moderation associated with the NCEA. These teacher-focused recommendations are seen as a realistic and achievable short and mid-term solution to alleviate these workload issues.
The Working Group has committed to developing and agreeing an implementation plan for the Report recommendations.
Download the full report [PDF, 618 KB].
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