Changes to the Primary Principals' Collective Agreement 2023-25
Read about the recent changes in the Primary Principals' Collective Agreement.
|Level of compliance
- About this agreement
- What you need to know now
- Key aspects of the settlement
- Timeline of changes
- More information
The Primary Principals' Collective Agreement 2023-2025 (PPCA or 'the agreement') was ratified by NZEI Te Riu Roa members on 29 June 2023.
The term of the agreement is effective from 3 July 2023 to 2 July 2025.
More updates will be provided as future changes come into effect.
Changes coming into effect in Term 1 2024
- A one-off gross payment of $1,000 will be paid to each principal who is a NZEI Te Riu Roa member and bound by this collective agreement as at 1 December 2023. This will be pro-rated for part-time principals based on their full-time teacher equivalent hours as at 1 December 2023. It will be paid in pay period 19 on 12 December.
- The one-off gross payment of $1,500 to non-union principals employed as at 3 July 2023 who have signed the new individual employment agreement by 3 November will be paid in pay period 17 on 14 November.
- From the start of 2024 school year, the decile-based component of each principal’s remuneration will be replaced with Equity Index based payments.
- Overall sick leave entitlements will improve from 28 January 2024.
- Sick leave will be deducted only for days that the school is open for instruction and on which a principal would normally have worked.
- Sick leave previously deducted from entitlements over weekends since 3 July 2023 will be corrected before the start of the 2024 school year.
- From 28 January 2024, a Pacific bilingual immersion teaching allowance will be introduced for eligible principals who teach the curriculum in a Pacific language at Level 1 or Level 2.
- Effective from 28 January 2024, tumuaki/principals who are leading kura and schools which provide Level 1 or Level 2 immersion programmes in te reo Māori or a Pacific language, will be entitled to receive a cultural leadership allowance of $5,000 per annum.
- In each of 2023 and 2024, primary principals can access an entitlement of up to $6,000 per annum for professional coaching and wellbeing support for their leadership role.
- From 28 January 2024, the allowance for principals of specialist residential schools will increase from $3,000 to $10,000 per annum and the allowance for principals of specialist schools will increase from $2,000 to $5,000 per annum.
For non-union principals
The Secretary for Education published a new individual employment agreement (IEA) on 25 September 2023 that offers the terms and conditions set out in the collective agreement.
Primary school principals who are not union members should be offered the new IEA so they can access the updated terms and conditions. Both the employer and principal will need to sign the new IEA for it to be valid.
The effective date of a principal’s IEA will be the date it is signed by both parties. Pay rate increases will be effective from that date.
Changes that came into effect in 2023
- Principals will receive 3 increases to the school roll-based salary (U-grade) component of their remuneration over the term of the agreement: 1 increase in 2023 and 2 increases in 2024. The first increase will take effect from 3 July 2023 and will be paid in pay period 14 on 3 October 2023.
- A one-off gross payment of $710 will be paid to each principal who is a NZEI Te Riu Roa member and was employed as at 29 June 2023.
- A one-off gross payment of $2,000 will be paid to each principal who is a NZEI Te Riu Roa member and was employed as at 29 June 2023. This will be pro-rated for part-time principals based on their full-time teacher equivalent (FTTE) hours as at 29 June 2023.
- A one-off gross payment of $1,000 will be paid to each principal who is a NZEI Te Riu Roa member and is bound by this Collective Agreement as at 1 December 2023. This will be pro-rated for part-time principals based on their FTTE hours as at 1 December 2023.
- A one-off gross payment of $1,500 will be paid to each principal who is a NZEI Te Riu Roa member and employed as at 3 July 2023. The payment will be pro-rated for part-time principals based on their FTTE hours as at 3 July 2023.
- The one-off gross payment of $1,500 will be paid to non-union principals who have signed the new Individual Employment Agreement (IEA) published on 25 September 2023. The new IEA must be signed by 3 November 2023 to receive the payment.
- From 3 July 2023 there will be an increase to the motor vehicle allowance reimbursement rate from 62 cents per kilometre to 83 cents.
- In both 2023 and 2024 primary principals can access an entitlement of up to $6,000 per annum for professional coaching and wellbeing support for their leadership role.
Lump sum payments
All full-time primary principals employed as at 3 July 2023 who are union members will receive a one-off gross payment of $1,500.
This payment will be pro-rated for part-time principals based on their full-time teaching equivalent (FTTE) as at 3 July 2023. Principals who are union members will have received this payment in pay period 09 on 25 July 2023.
For non-union principals to be eligible for this lump sum payment, schools must ensure that both the principal and the employer have signed the new IEA by 3 November 2023.
Schools are responsible for ensuring that the payroll system reflects the IEA change, enabling principals who are not union members to receive the payment. Depending on when paperwork is submitted to EdPay, the earliest date for the lump sum to be paid is pay period 17 on 14 November 2023.
Principals who were on approved unpaid leave as at 3 July 2023 are entitled to receive the $1,500 payment on their return to their position providing that they return on or before the end of Term 3 2024, or on or before the start of Term 1 2025 for those on parental leave. The amount payable will be based on the principal’s FTTE as at their last working day before going on leave.
Application should be made using the EP31 form.
Additional payments for NZEI Te Riu Roa members
The parties to this collective agreement recognise the value in their ongoing and productive relationship, including their joint efforts to build an environment in which the teaching profession is highly regarded, sustainable, and is fit for now and the future of learning. Collective bargaining is a key part of those joint efforts.
In recognition of the benefits arising out of the parties’ relationship, including the role of NZEI Te Riu Roa in negotiating terms and conditions for primary principals, each principal who is a member of NZEI Te Riu Roa as at 29 June 2023 will have received two additional payments in pay period 9 on 25 July 2023. A third additional payment will be paid to principals who are members of NZEI Te Riu Roa as at 1 December 2023.
These payments are as follows:
- $710 payable to each NZEI Te Riu Roa member bound by this Collective Agreement as at 29 June 2023. The payment is not pro-rated, it will be paid in full to all eligible principals. The payment has been calculated to provide a net amount broadly equivalent to the cost of renewing a teaching practicing certificate.
- $2,000 payable to each NZEI Te Riu Roa member who is bound by this Collective Agreement as at 29 June 2023. The payment for eligible part time principals will be based on their FTTE hours as at 29 June 2023.
- An additional payment of $1,000 is payable to each union member bound by this Collective Agreement as at 1 December 2023. The payment is pro-rated for part-time principals based on their FFTE hours as at 1 December 2023.
Principals who were on approved unpaid leave as at 3 July 2023 or 1 December 2023 are entitled on application to receive the payments on their return to their position providing that they return on or before the end of Term 3 2024, or on or before the start of Term 1, 2025 for those on parental leave. The amount payable will be based on the principal’s FTTE as at their last working day before going on leave.
Equity Index payment
On 1 January 2023, the school decile-rating system, previously used to allocate equity funding to identify schools that would benefit from additional resources, was replaced with the Equity Index (EQI).
Principals of schools with a decile rating of 1, 2, 3 or 4 will continue to receive a decile-based component in their remuneration, for the period up to 27 January 2024.
From the start of the 2024 school year, all decile payments cease and principals in schools with an EQI between 478 to 569 will receive an Equity Index payment in addition to their base salary.
The EQI payment for each principal is determined by multiplying their school’s EQI number by nine. The EQI for each school and kura will be calculated annually, using the updates to the Stats NZ Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI).
A principal’s salary will be protected for 24 months even if there is a change in their eligibility for an EQI payment. A principal’s remuneration could be reduced because of:
- the translation from the decile-based payment to the new EQI payment, or
- the annual EQI review results in their school EQI falling below 478 (478 is the lowest EQI level which entitles a principal to an EQI payment).
Professional coaching support for principal leadership role
For each of the 2023 and 2024 school years, primary principals will have access to funding of up to $6,000 per annum for professional coaching and support for their leadership role. This is intended to support ongoing coaching, professional learning and development that assist with principals’ leadership capability.
The $6,000 in funding will be held by school boards and will be tagged in primary schools’ operational funding grants for the purposes of professional coaching and support for principals in their leadership role.
More information and guidance on how the allowance can be used is now available.
Sick leave entitlements
Effective from 28 January 2024, overall sick leave entitlements improve.
Sick leave entitlements will be based on a principal's employment history, as a teacher or a principal in any state or state-integrated school. This includes all full-time and part-time employment and any short-term relieving. It also includes employment covered under clause 7.3.3 in the Primary Principals’ Collective Agreement.
Under the new sick-leave entitlement, principals will be granted an initial allocation of 20 days of sick leave upon first appointment to a teaching or principal position (whichever is first) in a state or state integrated school. For every 6 months of continuous employment (up to 30 months) they will receive another 10 days. After that, there will be an allocation of 10 days sick leave entitlement for every 12 months of employment.
A principal employed prior to 28 January 2024 will also receive the same entitlement, which will replace previous allocations of sick leave. A principal’s new sick-leave balance will be the new translated entitlement, minus any sick days previously taken. Unused sick leave is carried over.
When transitioning to the new sick-leave entitlement, no principal will be disadvantaged. A principal will not have a sick-leave balance of less than 10 days or less than the balance they had as at 27 January 2024.
Sick leave taken will only be deducted from a principal’s entitlement for days that the school is open for instruction and on which the teacher would normally have worked.
Any sick leave deducted from entitlements since 3 July 2023 over weekends will be reinstated before the start of the 2024 school year.
If a principal exhausts their sick-leave balance before the correction is made, the board may consider using anticipated sick leave. Anticipated sick leave can be applied for using EdPay or via an EP12 form. Any anticipated sick leave will be taken into account when corrections are made.
More information on anticipated sick leave and how to apply for it can be found on the Education payroll website.
Māori immersion teaching allowance
The purpose of the Māori immersion teaching allowance (MITA) is to recognise te reo Māori as a taonga to be actively protected under Te Tiriti o Waitangi and to recognise the skills and knowledge kaiako must have to teach the curriculum in te reo Māori.
Principals are eligible for the MITA if they meet the following requirements:
- They must teach te reo Māori immersion classes.
- They need to meet the minimum teaching time requirements for the specific level of immersion.
- They must have the language proficiency necessary to effectively teach the curriculum in te reo Māori for the period required by the language immersion level they are teaching in.
From 3 July 2023, the MITA will increase for Levels 1 and 2. Rates will increase up to a maximum of $12,000 per annum for immersion Level 1 and up to a maximum of $8,000 per annum for immersion Level 2. The rates’ increase from the base to the maximum rates will depend on years of service at that Level. Rates for Level 3 are unchanged.
A principal can only receive an allowance for 1 level at any 1 time.
Years of service teaching at a level shall remain continuous, unaffected by any periods of unpaid leave, breaks in teaching service and/or teaching service in classes other than Māori immersion Level 1.
Pacific bilingual immersion teaching allowance
The purpose of the Pacific bilingual immersion teaching allowance (PBITA) is to recognise the additional skills needed to deliver teaching and learning through a Pacific language in a Pacific bilingual or immersion context in a school or kura.
A principal is eligible for the PBITA allowance if they meet the minimum teaching time criteria and possess the necessary proficiency in the Pacific language required to teach the curriculum for the required period in a Pacific bilingual or immersion programme.
From 28 January 2024, all eligible principals who teach in a Pacific language within a Pacific bilingual or immersion unit, programme, or class (as defined by the Ministry in the school roll return guidelines) at Level 1 or Level 2, will receive the allowance. The allowance they receive will depend on the highest language level they are teaching and their years of service teaching in a bilingual or immersion setting.
- To be eligible for Level 1, the principal will teach the curriculum in a Pacific language for between 81–100% of the time.
- For Level 2, the curriculum will be taught in a Pacific language between 51–80% of class time.
Hours considered for Level 2 can include hours taught at Level 1 immersion, but no Level 2 hours taught can be considered for the Level 1 allowance. A principal can only receive the allowance for one level at a time.
The starting allowance for both Levels 1 and Level 2 is $4,000. For Level 1, the allowance increases to $6,000 after 3 years of teaching in a Pacific language and then to $8,000 after 6 years. Level 2 will increase to $5,000 after 3 years and then to $6,000 after 6 years.
Schools can apply for this allowance using EdPay form EP37P:
See detailed information about the PBITA across all collective agreements:
See our guide on how to establish a Pacific bilingual or immersion unit in a school:
Cultural leadership allowance for immersion and bilingual settings
From 28 January 2024, tumuaki/principals of kura or schools offering Level 1 or Level 2 te reo Māori or Pacific language immersion programmes will be entitled to a cultural leadership allowance of $5,000 per annum.
The Ministry of Education's school roll return guidelines define Levels 1 and 2 Māori and Pacific language immersion and bilingual programmes as following.
Māori-medium programmes delivering the curriculum is in te reo Māori at either Level 1 or Level 2.
- At Level 1, the curriculum is taught in te reo Māori between 81–100% of the time. All students in the programme are expected to interact freely in te reo Māori.
- At Level 2, the curriculum is taught in te reo Māori between 51–80% of class time.
Pacific bilingual or immersion education is where a Pacific language is the language of instruction for over 50% of the time.
- At Level 1, the curriculum is taught in a Pacific language between 81– 100% of the time.
- At Level 2, the curriculum is delivered in a Pacific language between 51–80% of class time.
Specialist school principals’ allowance
A principal in one of the specialist residential schools listed below, is entitled to receive the specialist school principals’ allowance of $3,000 per annum as long as the school retains its residential function.
From 28 January 2024, this payment will increase to $10,000 per annum.
- Ko Taku Reo
From 28 January 2024, the specialist school principals’ allowance for a principal of a non-residential specialist school will increase from $2,000 to $5,000 per annum.
The purpose of sabbatical leave is to provide a paid period of leave during a principal's career, to engage in a balance of professional learning, reflection and rejuvenation.
From the start of the 2024 school year, there will be 20 newly created paid sabbaticals available nationally each year to eligible primary principals. These sabbaticals will be for 20 school weeks. These sabbaticals are in addition to the existing 105 (10 week) paid sabbaticals available to eligible principals each year.
To be considered for a 20-week sabbatical, principals must not have previously been awarded a sabbatical and must have at least 15 years or more of service as a principal in state or state-integrated schools and kura.
The application period for the 2024 10-week Primary Principals' Sabbaticals has recently closed. The 20 sabbaticals of 20 weeks for 2024 have been awarded from that pool of applications. A standard process will be implemented for the 2025 round.
Service while on secondment to a 'specified education sector agency' will be recognised as a principal’s service within the education service, unless stated otherwise.
Before starting a secondment, the principal, the employing board and the education sector agency where the principal will be seconded will agree a secondment agreement to detail the conditions of the secondment.
Future of performance agreements
The parties of this collective agreement agree in principle that the agreement should be updated to acknowledge the Teaching Council Matatū Aotearoa new Professional Growth Cycle (PGC) for principals, tumuaki and early childhood education professionals.
The parties will work together to review clauses relating to professional growth, performance matters, and the principal’s relationship with the board.
Specifically, the parties will consider the future of performance agreements and mandatory appraisal in light of the PGC. The parties may agree to make changes to performance agreements and appraisals during the term of this agreement.
Future changes and provisions
More detailed guidance for the following provisions will be provided closer to the effective dates:
- Second increase to school roll-based salary component (U-grade), effective 3 July 2024
- First increase to base payment of Leadership in Literacy and Numeracy allowance from $2,320 to $4,000, effective 22 July 2024
- Third and final increase to school roll-based salary component (U-grade), effective 2 December 2024
- Steps 1, 2 and 3 of the school roll - based salary component (U-grade) are merged to become the new merged step 1 with a new minimum rate of $118,003, effective 2 December 2024
- Second and final increase to base payment of Leadership in Literacy and Numeracy allowance from $4,000 to $8,000, effective 28 January 2025.
2023 Term 2
24 April–30 June
2023 Term 3
17 July–22 September
(Pay Period 09)
All lump sum payments made to NZEI members
IEA published and can be offered to non-union members
EPL implementing increases to salary and allowances for NZEI Te Riu Roa members
2023 Term 4
9 October–20 December
Last day for IEAs to be signed in order to receive lump sum payment
(Pay period 17)
Expected date for lump sum payment made to eligible non-union employees
2024 Term 1
28 January–12 April
Professional coaching support available for principal leadership role
2024 Term 2
29 April–5 July
Second increase to school roll-based salary component (U-grade)
2024 Term 3
22 July–27 September
First increase base payment of Leadership in Literacy and Numeracy
2024 Term 4
14 October–20 December
2025 Term 1
27 January–11 April
Second and final increase to the base payment of the Leadership in Literacy and Numeracy
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