Primary Principals' (NZEI) Collective Agreement
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Part 8: Complaints/Discipline/Competency
Primary Principals' (NZEI) Collective Agreement
Effective: 3 July 2023 to 2 July 2025
8.1 General Provisions/Process
8.1.1 The following principles shall be used in addressing complaints, discipline and concerns regarding competence to ensure that such matters are, in the interests of all parties, fully and fairly addressed:
- where such issues or concerns regarding competence arise the Board shall initiate informal discussions with the principal in an attempt to resolve the matter in an informal manner. This applies following receipt of a complaint and /or concern(s) being raised in relation to any of these matters. This will occur prior to formally commencing a disciplinary or competency process, unless the nature of the complaint or concern(s) is such that this would be inappropriate;
- questions of competence, conduct and discipline should be handled in a manner which, as far as possible, protects the mana and dignity of the principal concerned. Principals may seek whānau, family, professional and / or NZEI Te Riu Roa support in relation to such matters.
8.2 Ngā Kōrero me ngā Tikanga
- Me tuku reta atu ki te kaimahi hei whakamārama atu i nga raruraru kua puta noa. Mehemea he pai ki te kaimahi rāua tahi ko tona tumuaki, e āhei ana ki te whakahaere tonutia ngā whakaritenga i raro i ngā tikanga Māori.
- 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;
- 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 whakaaetanga nei ki te kōnae o te kaimahi.
- He māmā noa iho ēnei whakawhiringa mehemea hiahia ana tētahi taha ki a waiho tārewa ake ngā tikanga Māori ki a huri ke ia ki ētahi (te katoa rānei) o ngā whakaritenga, arā 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.6 me 8.7 e whai ake nei. Engari, mehemea ka huri kē atu i ngā tikanga Māori, ehara tērā i te tino raruraru ki a oti hē rawa ngā whakaritenga katoa. Ina hoki ka tahuri mai tētahi taha ki ēnei ki 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.6 me 8.7 i raro nei, me tuhituhi hei whakamārama ki tērā atu taha.
8.2 Discussions in a Māori Context
- The principal must be advised in writing of the specific matter(s) causing concern. The principal and the Board 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.
- 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.
- Should the principal and the Board, 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 principal’s personal file.
- This is a discretionary option and either party may withdraw at any time, and nothing in this clause prevents the Board or the principal deciding, at any time, that any or all of the procedures in clauses 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.6 and 8.7 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 Board to use any or all of the procedures in clauses 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.6 and 8.7 will be notified in writing to the other party.
8.3.1 Where there are matters of competency which are causing concern (for example failing to meet the primary principals’ professional standards), the Board shall put in place appropriate individual assistance and guidance to assist the principal and for that purpose, may seek such appropriate professional advice as may be required.
8.3.2 Where this assistance and guidance has not remedied the situation, the Board shall initiate a competency process and the following provisions should govern the action to be taken:
- the principal must be advised in writing of the specific matter(s) causing concern and what, if any, corrective action is required.
- the principal is to be given a reasonable opportunity to remedy the matter(s) causing concern. This timeframe shall be determined by the Board, may take into account any previous support or guidance, and shall be relevant to the matter(s) causing concern;
- the process and results of any evaluation are to be recorded in writing, sighted and signed by the principal;
- a copy of any report made to the Board shall be given to the principal;
- no action shall be taken on a report until the principal has had a reasonable time to comment (in writing, orally or both);
- if the above steps (a-e) fail to resolve the matter(s) of concern, the Board may, where justified, dismiss the principal in accordance with clauses 8.6 or 8.7 and without the need to follow the provisions of clause 8.4 below; and
- a copy of any report given to the Teaching Council shall be given to the principal.
8.4.1 The following will apply where specific disciplinary matter(s) are cause for concern.
8.4.2 The principal must be advised of the right to have representation at any stage.
8.4.3 The principal must be advised in writing of the specific matter(s) causing concern and be given a reasonable opportunity to provide an explanation. Before making a final decision, the Board may need to make further inquiries in order to be satisfied as to the facts of the specific matter(s) causing concern.
8.4.4 If misconduct is found to have occurred then the corrective action(s) that may be imposed, following an opportunity for the principal to comment, include:
- counselling and/or mentoring intended to assist the principal amend their conduct and/or change particular behaviours;
- a verbal or written warning that includes advice of any corrective action required to amend their conduct and a reasonable opportunity to do so; and
- a final written warning which includes advice of any corrective action required to amend their conduct and giving reasonable opportunity to do so.
8.4.5 The Board may also consider that the misconduct warrants dismissal with or without notice.
8.4.6 The process and any resulting action(s) are to be recorded, then sighted and signed by the principal, and placed on their personal file.
8.4.7 A copy of any report in relation to this matter made to the Board or provided to the Teaching Council shall be given to the principal.
- If the alleged conduct is deemed sufficiently serious a principal may be either suspended with or without pay or transferred temporarily to other duties.
- The Board shall not, unless there are exceptional circumstances, suspend the principal without first allowing the principal a reasonable opportunity to make submissions to the Board about the alleged misconduct and the appropriateness of suspension in all of the circumstances. The Board shall take into account any submissions made by the principal before determining the matter of suspension.
- The Board shall use its best endeavours to ensure that the period of suspension is kept to the minimum possible consistent with ensuring that the allegations of misconduct are properly investigated and that the principal is treated fairly at all times.
- If the allegation that led to suspension is without substance the principal shall, unless they have resigned in the interim, be entitled to resume duties immediately and, if suspended without pay, to have that pay re-instated from the date of suspension.
8.6.1 The Board may, after applying the principles and processes of clauses 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4 and 8.5 above, terminate the employment of the principal by giving two months’ notice of termination. In the first instance, the Board and the principal may mutually agree to waive the requirement to work out two months’ notice. If agreement cannot be reached, the principal may be dismissed and paid two months’ salary in lieu of notice.
8.7 Instant Dismissal
8.7.1 In the case of a finding of serious misconduct, the Board may dismiss the principal without notice.