Primary Teachers' Collective Agreement

Download the agreement

If you want a printed copy of this agreement we suggest you download the following PDF version.

Primary Teachers' Collective Agreement 2023–2025 [PDF, 1.1 MB]

Speech-language therapists who are covered by the Therapists' Pay Equity Claim Settlement have additional terms and conditions not reflected in the PTCA:

Employment information for Speech-Language Therapists [PDF, 232 KB]

Documents are available in Adobe PDF format only. Accessible versions, where available, can be supplied on request.


Changes to the agreement

Read about the recent changes in the Primary Teachers' Collective Agreement.

Changes to the Primary Teachers’ Collective Agreement 2023-25

Part 2: General Provisions

Primary Teachers' Collective Agreement
Effective: 3 July 2023 to 2 July 2025

  • 2.1 Good Employer/Equal Employment Opportunities
    • Attention is drawn to sections 597-607 of the Education and Training Act 2020 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.

  • 2.2 Appointments
    • 2.2.1 Advertising Positions

      Except as provided under section 606 of the Education and Training Act 2020 positions of at least one year’s duration must be advertised nationally.  However where a permanent unit is to be allocated but there is no vacancy attached to that unit, the employer shall advertise internally the roles and responsibilities attached to the unit.

      2.2.2 Permanent Positions

      All part-time and full-time positions shall be permanent unless identified as being fixed term in accordance with clause 2.2.5.

      2.2.3 Appointment Criteria

        1. Attention is drawn to section 603 of the Education and Training Act insofar as it provides that the person best suited to the position shall be appointed. In applying that provision the employer will have regard to the experience, qualifications and abilities relevant to the position and such other relevant matters as it determines.
        2. Employers are required to make available to all applicants on request details of the duties to be carried out and the criteria being adhered to in making that appointment.
        3. 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.

      2.2.4 Letter of Appointment

      The employer will advise the employee in writing of their starting salary (including any units) and the nature of the position, i.e. fixed term or permanent. Where the appointment is fixed term the letter of appointment will need to state the way in which the employment will end, and the reasons for his or her employment ending in that way, in accordance with 2.2.5.

      2.2.5 Fixed Term Employment

        1. An employee and an employer may agree that the employment of the employee will end:
            1. At the close of a specified date or period; or
            2. On the occurrence of a specified event; or
            3. At the conclusion of a specified project.
        2. Before an employee and employer agree that the employment of the employee will end in a way specified in subsection (1) the employer must:
            1. Have genuine reasons based on reasonable grounds for specifying that the employment of the employee is to end in that way; and
            2. Advise the employee of when or how his or her employment will end and the reasons for his or her employment ending in that way.
        3. The following reasons are not genuine reasons for the purpose of subsection (2)(a):
            1. To exclude or limit the rights of the employee under the Employment Relations Act 2000;
            2. To establish the suitability of the employee for permanent employment.

      2.2.6 Job Sharing

              1. On the joint application of two holders of positions who are both permanently appointed in the school the employer may appoint the two applicants to a shared position without advertising a vacancy.
              2. If one of the joint holders subsequently resigns or retires, the other has the right to assume full-time responsibility for the position.
              3. Alternatively, the remaining joint holder may approach the employer with a new sharer with a view to establishing a new, permanent shared position without advertising a vacancy. The prospective new sharer may be any teacher already permanently appointed in the school, or a teacher from outside of the permanent staff.
              4. Notwithstanding (iii) above the employer may decide, on the resignation or retirement of one of the joint holders, to convert the position back to an individual, full-time permanent position. If the remaining joint holder declines to take up the full-time position then the employer may advertise the position for a new appointment.
              1. Any two teachers may jointly apply for appointment to an advertised position and be assessed as one applicant. On appointment the position would be a shared position.
              2. If one of the holders of a shared position resigns, the employer may appoint the other holder to the position on a full-time basis without advertising the position.
              3. If the remaining joint holder declines to take up the full-time permanent position then the provisions of clause 2.2.6(a)(iii) and (iv) above shall apply.

      2.2.7 A job sharer’s salary is paid on a pro-rata basis. Increments shall be as for full-time employees. Job sharers are entitled to:

          1. Leave on the same basis as permanent full-time employees;
          2. Sick leave as if permanent full-time. Entitlement is based on length of service, irrespective of hours worked. Deductions from the entitlement are made on a consecutive day basis;
          3. Any pupil-free inservice days during term time and teacher-only days outside of term time on the same basis as permanent full-time employees.
  • 2.3 Re-entry After Absence Due to Childcare
    • 2.3.1 A teacher who resigns from a permanent position to care for pre-school children may apply to re-enter the service under preferential provisions provided that:

        1. The absence does not exceed four years from the date of resignation or, five years from the date of cessation of duties to take up parental leave;
        2. The applicant must:
          - Produce a birth certificate for the pre-school child;
          - Sign a statutory declaration indicating that absence has been due to the care of a pre-school child and paid employment has not been entered into for more than 15 hours per week during that absence.

      2.3.2 Where the applicant meets all the provisions of clause 2.3.1 above and, at the time of application:

        1. Has the necessary skills to fill competently a vacancy which is available in the service; and
        2. The position is substantially the same in character and at the same or lower salary and/or level as the position previously held, then the applicant under these provisions is to be appointed in preference to any other applicant for the position.

      2.3.3 The period of preferential appointment expires three months after the period in clause 2.3.1(a).

      2.3.4 Absence for childcare reasons will interrupt service but not break it. The period of absence will not count as service for the purpose of sick leave or annual leave or any other leave entitlement.

  • 2.4 Hepatitis B Immunisation
    • 2.4.1 The parties agree in principle that responsibility for pre-exposure immunisation of employees rests with employers who should accept responsibility for safety in the workplace, advised as necessary by the Ministry of Health or Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

      2.4.2 In situations where employees may be at significantly increased risk of acquiring hepatitis B because of the nature of their job, the situation shall be assessed on an individual basis to decide if immunisation would be appropriate. The parties do not envisage that immunisation programmes would be set up to cover all employees covered by this Agreement. Only those working in an area with a high incidence of hepatitis B may receive immunisation.

      2.4.3 In all situations where a risk of being infected by the hepatitis B virus exists, it shall be the duty of employers to require safe working practices on the part of the employee and to ensure appropriate hygiene measures to reduce such risk to a minimum, whether or not immunisation is considered advisable.

  • 2.5 Personal Files
    • 2.5.1 The employer shall ensure that personal files are held in a secure place and access is confined to authorised personnel and the employee concerned.

      2.5.2 Attention is drawn to the Privacy Act 2020 which outlines responsibilities for the collection, storage and availability of personal information.

  • 2.6 Access
    • A representative of the union shall, be entitled to enter at all reasonable times upon the premises for purposes related to the employment of its members or for purposes related to the union’s business or both. The representative shall enter at a reasonable time and in a reasonable way and comply with existing safety, health and security procedures and requirements applying in respect of the school.

  • 2.7 Union Deductions
    • 2.7.1 Any employer, when requested in writing by the secretary of the union, shall, within one month after the receipt of such request, supply to the union a list of the names of all employees coming within the scope of this Agreement when in their employ, subject to such employees having given permission (but such request shall not be made to the employer at intervals shorter than six months).

      2.7.2 In accordance with authorities signed by individual employees, the employer shall arrange for the deduction of union subscriptions for all union members covered by this Agreement except in cases agreed to between the employer and the union.

      2.7.3 Except as may be otherwise agreed, the commission payable by the union for this service shall not exceed 2.5% of the aggregate sum of the amount deducted.

  • 2.8 Paid Union Meetings
    • 2.8.1 The employer must allow every union member employed by the employer to attend at least two union meetings (each of a maximum of two hours' duration) in each calendar year.

      2.8.2 The union must give the employer at least 14 days' notice of the date and time of any union meeting to be held.

      2.8.3 The union must make such arrangements with the employer as may be necessary to ensure that the school remains open for instruction during any union meeting, including, where appropriate, an arrangement for sufficient union members to remain available during the meeting to enable the school to remain open for instruction.

      2.8.4 Work must resume as soon as practicable after the meeting, but the employer is not obliged to pay any union member for a period longer than two hours in respect of any meeting.

      2.8.5 An employer must allow a union member employed by the employer to attend a union meeting under this clause on ordinary pay to the extent that the employee would otherwise be working for the employer during the meeting.

      2.8.6 For the purposes of this clause the union must:

        1. supply to the employer a list of members who attended the union meeting; and
        2. advise the employer of the duration of the meeting.
  • 2.9 Termination of Employment
    • 2.9.1 Employment may be terminated at any time by a permanent employee or long-term reliever giving not less than two calendar months' notice, unless a shorter period is mutually agreed.

      2.9.2 Except in cases of serious misconduct, where an employer dismisses an employee pursuant to Part 10 of this Agreement, the employer shall give a permanent employee or long-term reliever two calendar months' notice.

      2.9.3 Notwithstanding 2.9.2, where a long-term reliever's employment is to terminate on the occurrence of a specified event they shall be entitled to one month's notice unless a shorter period is mutually agreed, or payment in lieu of the whole or remaining part of the notice on the occurrence of that event, i.e. 2.9.2 does not apply.

      2.9.4 Except in the case of serious misconduct, where an employer dismisses an employee pursuant to Part 10 of this Agreement, a short-term reliever shall work the full duration of time, event or project for which they are employed. No notice is therefore required by either party.

  • 2.10 Hours of Work/Leave
    • 2.10.1 Employees shall work such hours as may be reasonably required of them to enable them to properly fulfil their responsibilities as teachers whether or not such hours exceed 40 hours per week. The normal hours of work for employees should as far as practicable however not exceed 40 hours per week Monday to Friday.

      2.10.2 It is acknowledged that employees are required to undertake such duties as:

        • Preparation, evaluation and assessment time generated by classes/sessions and the students within them, or by other requirements such as the need to report on the progress of individual students;
        • Counselling of students;
        • Administrative responsibilities of individual teachers;
        • Attending courses and meetings;
        • Professional development in addition to their normal class contact time, and that these factors have been taken into consideration in determining the employee’s hours of work and leave entitlements.

      2.10.3 Except as provided in 2.10.1 employees shall not be required to attend school during any time when the school is officially closed for instruction. However Boards may require employees to attend school or elsewhere, when the school is closed for instruction (except on weekends or public holidays unless by agreement) for up to ten days per school year (or the equivalent) for all or any of the following purposes – school administration, school preparation and co-ordination, pre-term planning curriculum and/or technical refreshment and/or professional development. The employer will endeavour to arrange matters at the school in such a way that any requirement under this section is not unreasonable and that employees’ individual needs are taken into account. Employees’ own initiatives in undertaking work for the above purposes shall be counted when applying this clause.

      2.10.4 Where employees are required to attend school or elsewhere when the school is closed pursuant to 2.10.3 they shall be reimbursed for any actual and reasonable costs incurred in accordance with Part 5 of this Agreement.

      2.10.5 Any employee required by their employer to work on a Public Holiday (as listed in section 44 Holidays Act 2003) shall be paid time and a half rates as per section 50 of that Act.

      2.10.6 Teachers will take their annual leave outside the gazetted term dates.

  • 2.11 Kapa Haka and Polyfest Relief Days
    • 2.11.1

        1. 30 teacher relief days will be made available annually for teachers to attend Polyfest to support students participating in the Festival.
        2. 140 teacher relief days will be made available biennially for primary or area teachers to attend Te Mana Kuratahi (the National Primary Kapa Haka Competition) to support students participating in the competition.