Kindergarten Teachers, Head Teachers and Senior Teachers' Collective Agreement
Download this agreement
If you want a printed copy of this agreement we suggest you download the following PDF version.
Note that documents are available in Adobe PDF format only. Accessible versions, where available, can be supplied on request.
Part Two: Terms of Employment
Kindergarten Teachers, Head Teachers and Senior Teachers' Collective Agreement
Effective: 12 July 2019 to 11 July 2022
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 Kindergarten Teachers, Head Teachers and Senior Teachers' Collective Agreement.
2.1 Good Employer Practice / Equal Employment Opportunities
- Attention is drawn to s.77A of the State Sector Act 1988(external link) which outlines the responsibilities of the employer with regard to the operation of a personnel policy that complies with the principles of being a good employer and the equal employment opportunity responsibilities of the employer. These responsibilities include:
- Good and safe working conditions;
- Equal employment opportunities;
- Recognition of the aims and aspirations and employment requirements of Māori people;
- Opportunities for the enhancement of the abilities of individual teachers;
- Recognition of the aims and aspirations and the cultural differences of ethnic or minority groups;
- Recognition of the employment requirements of women; and
- Recognition of the employment requirements of persons with disabilities.
- Attention is drawn to the State Sector Act 1988(external link) insofar as it provides that the employer shall, wherever practicable, notify the vacancy in a manner sufficient to enable suitably qualified persons to apply for the position and the person best suited to the position shall be appointed.
- Equal employment opportunities principles shall be applied and demonstrated in appointments procedures. The intent of these principles is to provide equal access and consideration and equal encouragement in areas of recruitment, selection, promotion and career development. These principles are to be applied to enable people to pursue their careers without their chances being reduced by factors which are irrelevant to the requirements of the position under consideration. In particular, the employer will have regard to the experience, qualifications and abilities relevant to the position, and such other relevant matters as the employer determines.
- The employer may make payments to recruit and retain teachers in hard-to-staff kindergartens. Such payments will be at the discretion of the employer and may include but are not limited to:
- an allowance; and/or
- reimbursement of travel; and/or
- relocation costs.
- The employer may establish an alternate leadership role as a means to enhance the processional leadership in kindergarten associations, pursuant to clause 2.7.
- All part-time and full-time positions shall be permanent unless identified as fixed term positions as outlined below:
- A teacher and an employer may agree that the employment of the teacher will end:
- at the close of a specified date or period; or
- on the occurrence of a specified event; or
- at the conclusion of a specified project.
- Before a teacher and employer agree that the employment of the teacher will end in a way specified in 2.2.5.a the employer must:
- have genuine reasons based on reasonable grounds for specifying that the employment of the teacher is to end in that way; and
- advise the teacher of when or how his or her employment will end and the reasons for his or her employment ending in that way.
- The following reasons are not genuine reasons for the purpose of 2.2.5.b:
- to exclude or limit the rights of the teacher under the Employment Relations Act 2000(external link);
- to establish the suitability of the teacher for permanent employment.
- Fixed term teachers other than relievers, as defined under 1.6, are referred to and treated as relievers for the purposes of this Agreement.
- Teachers taking up a senior teacher position shall not be entitled to leave of absence from their existing position, unless the employer determines otherwise.
- Teachers appointed to another position within an association are not considered to be new teachers.
- On appointment to a position, all teachers shall receive a letter of appointment specifying their salary and total hours of work, including maximum contact hours and professional time.
2.3 Job Sharing
- The employer will decide whether a position is suitable for job sharing. If so, any two teachers may jointly apply for a position and will be considered for joint suitability.
- If one of the joint holders subsequently resigns or retires, the remaining job share participant may approach the employer with a new suitable job share partner or transfer to the vacancy arising in respect of the balance of the position thereby becoming full-time. In the event that the remaining job share participant elects to resign as a result of the end of the job share, no redundancy shall be payable.
- Salaries will be paid on a pro-rata basis. Annual increments shall be payable on the same basis as for full-time teachers. Teachers shall be entitled to public holidays, annual holidays, sick leave and other leave (on the same basis as permanently appointed full-time teachers) but will be paid on a pro-rata basis.
2.4 Health and Safety
- Where a teacher's health and safety are shown to be significantly at risk through the course of their duties, the employer shall, in consultation with the appropriate health and safety authorities, take such steps as are necessary to provide protection for the teacher.
- The employer shall ensure safe working practices and appropriate hygiene measures are in place to reduce the risk of infection by contagious disease. Where there is significantly increased risk, the situation shall be assessed on an individual basis and pre-exposure immunisation made available as advised by the Ministry of Health.
- Employers shall take all practical steps to ensure a safe working environment for teachers. Teachers also have a role in ensuring their own health and safety and that of people around them as described in the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015(external link).
2.5 Hours of Work
- Employers recognise the importance of managing a life balance.
- For a full-time teacher the normal hours of work to properly fulfil the duties and responsibilities connected with their employment should, as far as practicable, not exceed 40 hours per week to be worked from Monday to Friday inclusive.
- For a part-time teacher the normal hours of work to properly fulfil the duties and responsibilities connected with their employment should be less than 40 hours per week and, as far as practicable, not exceed the total hours of work set out in their letter of appointment to be worked from Monday to Friday inclusive.
- The hours for which a teacher is employed each week in excess of child-contact time shall be considered professional time.
- The hours of work for full-time teachers either in Kindergarten Session, as defined in clause 1.6.l, or Kindergarten Day, as defined in clause 1.6.m, operations are those described below:
Kindergarten Type Maximum child-contact hours Minimum professional time* Additional Head Teacher professional time Session - with a sessional licence 26 hours per week 15 days per annum (or three ordinary working weeks) when the kindergarten is closed for instruction (term breaks) 8 hours per quarter; can accumulate up to 32 hours per calendar year Session - with an all-day licence 28 hours per week Day - open for instruction less than 32.5 hours per week 30 hours per week 15 days per annum (or three ordinary working weeks) when the kindergarten is open or closed for instruction and shall be timetabled by the employer 8 hours per quarter; can accumulate up to 32 hours per calendar year Day - open for instruction more than 32.5 hours per week Teacher: 35 hours per week 7 days per annum when the kindergarten is open for instruction Not applicable Head Teacher: 30 hours per week
- The maximum child-contact hours for part-time teachers shall be less than the hours per week outlined in the table above.
- The maximum child-contact hours for full-time and part-time teachers, may vary from week to week provided that when averaged over a four-week period they do not exceed the maximum.
- The additional Head Teacher Professional Time, to be used as described in clause 1.6.p., will be taken at a time agreed with the employer when the kindergarten is open for instruction.
- Employers will publish, by 30 September the kindergarten calendar for the following calendar year. This calendar will include the days the kindergarten will be open for instruction and the days intended for professional time as per clause 2.5.3.
- A teacher may, be required to attend the kindergarten, or elsewhere, as per clause 2.5.3 when the kindergarten is closed for instruction to carry out duties and responsibilities connected with their employment including planning and preparation and/or professional learning and development and/or administration, except where those duties have already been satisfactorily completed by a teacher.
- A teacher shall be paid during times when the kindergarten is closed for instruction (term breaks). This shall include times when the teacher is not on annual leave and is not required by the employer to attend a kindergarten or elsewhere to carry out duties and responsibilities connected with their employment.
- The employer shall give at least two months' notice to teachers where all teachers are required to attend a kindergarten or elsewhere at specific times when the kindergarten is closed for instruction, to carry out duties and responsibilities connected with their employment. In all other situations the employer shall endeavour to give reasonable notice to the teachers affected.
- A teacher may apply to not attend the kindergarten or elsewhere during term breaks when required to do so; the employer shall take the individual needs of the teacher into account when making a decision.
- *Professional time additional to the professional time provided as part of the total hours of work
2.6 Rest and Lunch Breaks
- No child shall be left unattended during rest and lunch breaks.
- Rest breaks
- Each teacher shall be entitled to take rests during their hour of work.
- Each teacher working more than six hours per day, shall be entitled to two paid rest breaks per day of no less than 10 minutes.
- Lunch breaks (unpaid)
- Where a kindergarten is open for instruction for two separate periods of time in the same day separated by a break where no children attend, the employer shall ensure there is no less than 45 minutes between child contact sessions, during which time teachers shall take their lunch break.
- Where a kindergarten is open for instruction for more than four and up to 6.5 continuous hours on any day, each teacher working five hours or more shall be entitled to a lunch break of 30 minutes, which may be increased by mutual agreement.
- Where a kindergarten that is open for instruction for more than 6.5 continuous hours on any day each teacher working five hours or more shall be entitled to a lunch break of one hour, which may be decreased to no less than 30 minutes by mutual agreement.
- No teacher shall be required to work more than five hours without a lunch break.
Note: Attention is drawn to Part 6D of the Employment Relations Act 2000(external link).
- Principles of Change
- The parties recognise and agree that the process of change is ongoing and that effective and successful change requires the involvement of teachers. The change may relate to the:
- hours of operation; and/or
- establishment of a new kindergarten; and/or
- closure of a kindergarten; and/or
- weekly child-contact hours; and/or
- identification of hard-to-staff kindergarten(s), as per clause 2.2.3; and/or
- establishment of roles that support professional leadership, as per clause 2.2.4.
- There are positive ways in which the process of change can be undertaken to the benefit of all; this includes timely and appropriate consultation. Without limiting the extent of consultation, issues for consideration shall include whether proposed changes:
- promote quality education for children;
- are fair and reasonable for full-time and part-time teachers;
- meet the needs of families, whanau and community; and
- meet the needs of the association; and
- impact on teachers work.
- Where the decision to consider change is made, the employer will provide teachers with a genuine opportunity to be involved, recognising the right of the employer to plan, manage, organise and finally decide on the operations and management of the association.
- The employer will initiate consultation in writing to teachers potentially impacted by the change no less than six weeks prior to the proposed implementation date. A copy will be provided to the NZEI Te Riu Roa National Office.
- In the course of the consultation with the teachers the key components the change will impact on will be discussed, including change management support for the individual, team, association and community.
- Confirmation of Change
- Once the employer has determined the final outcome, the teachers shall be notified in writing of the change to be implemented, including the date of implementation, and relevant details of changes to the organisation of their work.
2.8 Transfers and Surplus Staffing Overview
- When it is known that a kindergarten may close or that the number of permanent teachers may be reduced or where the staffing structure within a kindergarten is substantially reconfigured, the teachers shall be given notice in writing.
- In the first instance the employer will consider if natural attrition and/or transfer to a suitable alternative position, as outlined below, will achieve the required decrease in positions.
2.9 Provisions for Transfers
- During the consultation process or following notification of the change, but prior to implementation of the change and on request from a teacher, the employer may at its sole discretion consider offering to transfer a teacher to a suitable alternative position within the Association.
- Notwithstanding clause 2.9.1, an employer may offer to transfer a teacher to a vacancy within the Association which has not been advertised, at any time provided that the teacher has agreed to the transfer and is suitable for the position.
- An offer of a transfer to a suitable alternative position in terms of clause 2.10.6 below must be reasonably considered by the employee. In the event that an offer to transfer is accepted, the employer's responsibilities under these provisions shall be fulfilled.
- Where the transfer is to another location which necessitates the removal of the teacher’s household, the employer shall reimburse actual and reasonable costs arising from the removal of the teacher’s family and household under such conditions as the employer may determine.
2.10 Provisions for Redeployment
- Where a reduction in permanent positions cannot be met either by attrition or transfer(s), the teachers shall be give at least three months' notice in writing, then redeployment shall be explored in consultation with the union.
- The employer and employee may take up to the whole of the notice period under clause 2.10.1 to identify a suitable alternative position as per clause 2.10.6.
- The employer will identify any available or impending vacancies for which the teacher(s) may wish to be considered.
- During the notice period in clause 2.10.1 both the employer and the permanent teacher(s) shall make reasonable efforts to locate a suitable alternative position as described in clause 2.10.6 below, in a free kindergarten (or association in the case of senior teachers).
- In the event that an offer of a suitable alternative position is made, the employer's responsibilities under these provisions shall be fulfilled.
- The suitable alternative position is one which:
- is in the same location or within reasonable commuting distance;
- has substantially similar terms and conditions of employment; and
- has comparable duties and responsibilities.
- The employer and any affected teacher and the union may, with the concurrence of the Secretary for Education, agree in writing to an alternative arrangement to the provisions contained in this clause.
- The provisions of this clause shall apply in the event of the contracting out of any work of teachers covered by this Agreement or in the event of the sale or transfer of ownership of all or part of the business.
2.11 Provisions for Severance
- Where the options of a suitable alternative position and/or alternative arrangements have been thoroughly explored and no such option is identified within the notice period, the employer shall give the affected teacher(s) one month's notice of the disestablishment of their position.
- The employer shall offer each teacher a severance payment based on average gross weekly earnings as follows:
- six weeks' pay for the first 12 months or part year of service as a teacher, head teacher or senior teacher and thereafter two weeks' pay for every year or part year of service to a maximum of 30 weeks.
- Teachers shall be entitled to all holiday pay and salary owing.
- The employer shall provide reasonable paid leave to attend job interviews, during the notice periods in 2.10.1 and 2.11.1 above.
- Where no other suitable position is available in accordance with clause 2.10.6. A permanent teacher who accepts a partial reduction in hours as an alternative to termination of employment is entitled to a partial severance payment based on the proportion of the position reduced.
2.12 Continuity of Employment in Restructuring
- For the purpose of this provision:
- Restructuring, in relation to a Kindergarten Association’s business means:
- entering into a contract or arrangement under which the Kindergarten Association’s business (or part of it) is undertaken for the Kindergarten Association by another person; or
- selling or transferring the Kindergarten Association’s business (or part of it) to another person.
- Restructuring, in relation to a Kindergarten Association’s business does not include:
- the termination of a contract or arrangement under which the Kindergarten Association carries out work on behalf of another person or organisation.
- Where it is proposed that the Kindergarten Association be restructured and, as a result of that restructuring, the work being performed by any affected teachers of the Kindergarten Association would be performed by a new employer, then:
- in accordance with the principles outlined in clause 2.7 the Kindergarten Association will inform the NZEI Te Riu Roa at the earliest opportunity, and as soon as is practicable will provide the NZEI Te Riu Roa with copies of the information outlined in 2.12.c.ii below;
- within a reasonable period prior to the restructuring taking effect the Kindergarten Association will notify the new employer of the number of affected teachers and, in relation to each affected teacher, provide details of;
- the work currently being performed by those teachers; and
- details of their terms and conditions of employment (including their total remuneration, length of service and any accrued benefits or entitlements).
- the Kindergarten Association will arrange to meet with the new employer to negotiate:
- the number and type of positions in respect of which the affected teachers may be offered employment with the new employer;
- the terms and conditions of employment on which the affected teachers may be offered employment on those conditions (including whether the affected teachers will transfer to the new employer on the same terms and conditions of employment and if those terms and conditions will be included in a collective agreement);
- the arrangements, if required, for the transfer of any existing superannuation scheme benefits or entitlements and any other accrued benefits and entitlements in relation to those affected teachers who may be offered employment by the new employer;
- the arrangements, if required, for when and how offers of employment are to be made to the affected teachers and the mode of acceptance.
- the Kindergarten Association will also endeavour to arrange a meeting between the new employer and the NZEI Te Riu Roa as soon as practicable prior to the restructuring taking place;
- the Kindergarten Association will keep the NZEI Te Riu Roa informed regarding negotiations with the new employer in respect of the matters contained in 2.12.c.iii above.
- The redeployment and redundancy provisions of this Agreement will apply to an affected teacher who either:
- is not offered employment by the new employer; or
- chooses not to accept an offer of employment from the new employer;
- A teacher who intends to decline an offer of equivalent employment should discuss with the Kindergarten Association the alternate options that might be available under the redeployment or redundancy provisions prior to formally making that decision.
- For the purposes of this clause employment in an equivalent position means employment in a position that:
- is substantially the same as the teacher’s previous position; and
- is in the same general locality; and
- is on terms and conditions of employment that are no less favourable than those that apply to the teacher immediately before the offer of equivalent employment (including any service-related, redundancy and superannuation conditions); and
- is on terms that treat the period of service with the Kindergarten Association (and any other period of service recognised by the Kindergarten Association as continuous service) as if it were continuous service with the new employer.
2.13 Termination of Employment
- In the case of all permanent teachers a minimum of one month's notice of termination of employment shall be given by either the employer or the teacher unless otherwise agreed. The employer and teacher may agree to payment in lieu of notice. However, nothing in this clause shall prevent dismissal without notice for serious misconduct.
- In accordance with the Employment Relations Act 2000(external link), a representative of the union shall be entitled to enter a workplace at all reasonable times for purposes related to the employment of its members and to the union’s business. The representative will exercise this right in a reasonable way, having regard to the normal operations of the workplace and will comply with any reasonable procedures and requirements relating to health and safety or security.
- The employer shall deduct union subscriptions from the wages payable to existing union members covered by this collective agreement as authorised by the union member and the union.
- The union may make alternative subscription arrangements with new members covered by this collective agreement.
- Union subscriptions deducted shall be deducted at fortnightly or monthly intervals. The employer may deduct and retain an administration fee of no more than 2.5% of the aggregated sum of the amount deducted on the following terms:
- That union fees be paid to the union on a fortnightly basis accompanied by a schedule of members for whom the deduction has been made; and
- That the administration fee/commission be charged at the time deductions are made.
2.16 Union Meetings
- Every teacher covered by this agreement will be allowed to attend at least two union meetings (each of a maximum of two hours duration) each year on ordinary pay. As kindergartens operate non-child contact sessions such meetings shall occur, as far as practicable, during these sessions.
- The union shall give the employer at least 14 days' notice of the date and time of any meeting to which 2.16.1 applies.
- The union shall make such arrangements with the employer as may be necessary to ensure that the employer’s business is maintained during any union meeting including, where appropriate, an arrangement for sufficient union members to remain available during the meeting to enable the employer’s operations to continue.
- Work shall resume as soon as practicable after the meeting, but the employer shall not be obliged to pay any union member for a period greater than two hours in respect of any meeting.
- Only union members who actually attend a union meeting shall be entitled to pay in respect of that meeting and to that end the union shall supply the employer with a list of members who attended and shall advise of the time the meeting finished.
2.17 Union Rights
- The employer shall make available notice board space in an agreed place for the display of NZEI Te Riu Roa notices.
- Employment relations education leave of up to 5 days per year shall be available to union members as follows.
Full-time equivalent eligible teachers as at the specified date in a year Maximum number of days of employment relations education leave that union entitled to allocate 1 – 5 3 6 – 50 55 51 – 280 1 day for every 8 full-time equivalent eligible teachers or part of that number 281 or more 35 days plus 5 days for every 100 full-time equivalent eligible teachers or part of that number that exceeds 280
- The Union is required to notify the association in writing of the maximum number of days of employment relations education leave and the basis of calculation of this maximum within one month of 1 March each year.
- The Union may not allocate leave until such time as that notice has been provided. In accordance with section 75(4) of the Employment Relations Act 2000, the maximum number of days’ leave the union may allocate in that year will reduce by one-twelfth for each complete month that the notice in 2.17.2.b. is not provided.
- Where the Union allocates employment relations education leave to an eligible teacher, the Union shall provide the employer with a copy of the notice to the teacher advising:
- that the union has allocated leave to the teacher;
- the number of days leave (up to a maximum of five days per year) allocated to the individual teacher;
- that the teacher must take the leave by the end of the year in which it is allocated; and
- the terms or effects of sections 78 and 79 of the Employment Relations Act 2000(external link).
- In accordance with section 78 of the Employment Relations Act 2000, where a teacher proposes to take the leave allocated to them, the teacher must tell their employer no later than 14 days before the first day of such leave:
- that they propose to take the leave;
- the dates on which they propose to take the leave; and
- the employment relations education that the teacher proposes to undertake during that leave.
- The employer may refuse to allow a teacher to take the leave where the notice requirements in 2.17.2.e. have not been met or, if the employer is satisfied, on reasonable grounds, that the teacher taking leave on the dates notified would unreasonably disrupt the employer’s business.
- The employer acknowledges the responsibility of any teacher who is appointed NZEI Te Riu Roa advocate/counsellor, executive member, regional representative of Early Childhood National Caucus or worksite representative.
2.18 Retirement Savings Scheme
- Teachers are eligible to join a KiwiSaver scheme in accordance with the terms of those schemes.
- Employer or government contributions to retirement or superannuation schemes which are closed to new members (including the State Sector Retirement Scheme and the Government Superannuation Fund) shall continue in accordance with the terms of those schemes.
- Where employer or government contributions are made to another retirement savings or superannuation scheme a teacher is only eligible to receive employer or government contributions to a KiwiSaver scheme to the extent that the combined contributions equal the minimum KiwiSaver employer or government contributions.
- Where the employer or government contributions made to another retirement savings or superannuation scheme equals or exceeds the minimum KiwiSaver employer or government contribution, then the teacher is not eligible to receive an employer or government contribution to a KiwiSaver scheme.
2.19 Equal Opportunities and Pay and Employment Equity Provisions
- The employers are committed to promoting, developing and monitoring equal employment opportunities and programmes in free kindergartens as defined by section 120 of the Education Act 1989(external link).