Kindergarten Teachers, Head Teachers and Senior Teachers' Collective Agreement

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Part Six: Complaints, Competency and Discipline

Kindergarten Teachers, Head Teachers and Senior Teachers' Collective Agreement
Effective: 5 April 2023 to 4 April 2026

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  • 6.1 General Principles
      1. The following principles shall be used in addressing complaints against teachers and matters of discipline and competence to ensure that such matters can, in the interests of the parties, be fully and fairly addressed.  Many complaints will be able to be resolved by discussion between the employer and the teacher concerned without the need to take the matter any further.  Employers should, wherever appropriate, seek to resolve complaints in this manner in the first instance.  Questions of competence, conduct and/or discipline should be handled in a manner which as far as possible protects the mana and dignity of the teacher concerned.  Teachers may seek whanau, family, professional and/or NZEI Te Riu Roa support in relation to such matters.
  • 6.2 Ngā Kōrero Me Ngā Tikanga
      1. Me whakamārama atu ki te kaiwhakaako i ngā raruraru kua puta noa. Mehemea he pai ki te kaimahi rāua tahi ko tona tumuaki, i te āhua o te amuamu, e āhei ana ki te whakahaere tonutia ngā whakaritenga i raro i ngā tikanga Māori.
      2. Anei ra ētahi momo tikanga hei kōwhiringa mā rātou:
          • he huihuinga kei te marae;
          • he whakawhiti kōrero kanohi ki te kanohi;
          • ka hui mai te whānau hei tuarā mō te katoa; ā
          • ka hui mai ngā kaumātua kuia hei arahi hei tohutohu i ā rātou katoa;
      3. Mēnā ka whakaaetia te kaimahi rāua ko tōna tumuaki ō rāua kaihautū rānei, kia oti pai ai te kaupapa, mā rāua mā ngā kaihautū rānei e hainatia ngā whakaaetanga i tūhia.  Makaia atu tētahi kape o ngā whakaetanga nei ki te kōnae o te kaimahi.
      4. He māmā noa iho ēnei whakawhiringa mehemea hiahia ana tētahi taha kia waiho tārewa ake ngā tikanga Māori kia huri ke ia ki ētahi (te katoa rānei) o ngā whakaritenga, arā te waahi ono.  Engari, mehemea ka huri kē atu i ngā tikanga Māori, ehara tērā i te tino raruraru kia oti hē rawa ngā whakaritenga katoa.  Ina hoki ka tahuri mai tētahi taha ki ēnei ki te waahi ono, me tuhituhi hei whakamārama ki tērā atu taha.
  • 6.2 Discussions in a Māori Context
      1. The teacher must be advised of the specific matter(s) causing concern.  The teacher and the employer may, depending on the nature of the complaint, agree to attempt to deal with a complaint by it being heard in a Māori context and manner.
      2. A Māori context and manner relates to the following:
          • meetings can be held on marae;
          • there is face to face engagement;
          • there can be whanau support for all involved; and
          • guidance and advice is often provided by kaumatua and kuia for all involved.
      3. Should the teacher and employer, or their representatives on their behalf, agree to a resolution of the matter then this shall be recorded in writing and signed by both parties and/or their representatives on their behalf.  A copy of the agreement will be placed on the teacher’s personal file.
      4. This is a discretionary option and either party may withdraw at any time, and nothing in this section prevents the employer or the employee deciding at any time that any or all of the procedures in Part 6 will be used.  Where either party decides to withdraw from this process such a decision will not of itself give rise to any claim of procedural deficiency or unfairness.  The decision to withdraw from this process and/or for the employer to use any or all the procedures in Part 6 will be notified in writing to the other party.
  • 6.3 Competency
      1. Where there are matters of competency which are causing concern in respect of any teacher (for example failing to meet the appropriate professional standards), the employer shall put in place appropriate assistance and professional guidance to assist that teacher.  This may include obtaining at the employer’s expense, a report from a mutually agreed registered medical practitioner or other professional where appropriate.
      2. When this assistance and guidance has not remedied the situation, the following provisions should govern the action to be taken:
          1. The teacher must be advised in writing of:
              1. the specific matter(s) causing concern;
              2. the corrective action(s) required to address the matter(s);
              3. the timeframe within which this action(s) must be undertaken and the competency matter(s) addressed; and
              4. their right to seek representation at any stage.
          2. The timeframe in 6.3.2.a should be determined by the employer, or delegated person, and be relevant to the matter(s) causing concern.  In setting this timeframe the employer may take into account previous opportunities given to the teacher to address the competency matter(s) causing concern (such as provided for under the deferred progression provisions of this Agreement).
          3. The process and results of any evaluation are to be recorded in writing, sighted and signed by the teacher.
          4. A copy of any written report made to the employer or to the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand made by the person or persons undertaking the evaluation shall be given to the teacher.
          5. No action shall be taken on a report until the teacher has had a reasonable time to comment (in writing or orally or both).
          6. If the above steps (a-e) fail to resolve the matter of concern, the employer may, where justified, dismiss the teacher without the need to follow the provisions of 6.4.
  • 6.4 Discipline
      1. In any disciplinary action the following procedures shall be observed:
          1. The teacher must be advised by the employer of their right to request assistance, including union assistance, and/or representation at any stage;
          2. The teacher must be advised in writing of the specific problem and be given a reasonable opportunity to provide an explanation;
          3. Before any substantive disciplinary action is taken, an appropriate investigation is to be undertaken by the employer;
          4. The response of the teacher must be considered before a decision is made;
          5. The teacher must be, if appropriate in the circumstances, advised of any improvement required, given reasonable opportunity and assistance to change, and advised of the consequences if the problem continues; and
          6. The notification of the problem, process used and results of any action are to be recorded in writing and signed by the teacher as having been seen.
  • 6.5 Suspension
      1. If an allegation is deemed sufficiently serious a teacher may be either suspended with or without pay, or transferred temporarily to other duties.
      2. The employer shall not suspend a teacher without first allowing the teacher a reasonable opportunity to make submissions about the allegations and whether suspension is appropriate.  However, where the employer is satisfied the welfare and safety of any kindergarten child or another kindergarten employee warrants it, immediate suspension may occur.
      3. The employer shall use its best endeavours to ensure that the period of suspension is kept to the minimum possible time consistent with ensuring that the allegations are properly investigated.
      4. If the allegation that led to suspension is without substance the teacher shall be reinstated effective from the date of suspension.
  • 6.6 Instant Dismissal
      1. Nothing in sections 6.2, 6.4 or 6.5 prevents dismissal without notice in the case of serious misconduct.