School Caretakers', Cleaners' and Canteen Staff Collective Agreement
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Appendix B: School Reorganisation
School Caretakers', Cleaners' and Canteen Staff Collective Agreement
Effective 11 December 2019 to 11 February 2022
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The purposes of these provisions are to:
- Provide, as far as is possible, employment protection for employees involved in a school reorganisation process;
- Provide a school reorganisation process that facilitates a fair and orderly transition;
- Ensure an appropriate structure is in place to enable the reorganised school to function efficiently and effectively;
- Ensure that as many employees as possible currently employed in a reorganising school are re-assigned or re-confirmed to positions in the reorganised school;
- Ensure that employees of the reorganising schools who are not reconfirmed or reassigned to positions in the reorganised school have access to redundancy compensation in a fair and timely manner.
1.1 “School reorganisation process” shall mean a process which is Ministry of Education initiated and/or approved by the Minister of Education in which the future class, or designation, or structure of a school is being reviewed in conjunction with the future class, or designation, or structure of any other school or schools.
1.2 “Reorganising schools” shall be the schools determined by the Minister of Education in accordance with SSA 77HA (3).
1.3 “Reorganised school” is the continuing school/s from the gazetted commencement date of reorganisation. This includes schools that have also decapitated or recapitated in addition to physically reorganising with another school or schools whether or not there is a change of class or designation.
1.4 “Class of school” shall mean primary, intermediate, secondary, composite as defined in section 145 of the Education Act(external link).
1.5 “Designation” shall mean ‘contributing, area, restricted composite, special character, or kura kaupapa Maori as defined in sections 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 155 and 156 of the Education Act.
1.6 “Decapitation” shall mean where a primary school is redesignated as a contributing school or a composite school is reclassified as a secondary school or a primary school.
1.7 For the purpose of the following clauses ‘employee’ shall mean a permanent employee of a school involved in a school reorganisation process and includes an employee who is subject to any staff surplus process that occurs as a consequence of the school reorganisation process.
1.8 For the purpose of the following clauses ‘union’ shall mean E tū Inc or any other such organisation they choose to represent them.
2 Initiation of a School Reorganisation Process
2.1 The Secretary for Education shall notify the union of the initiation of a school reorganisation process, and the schools involved in that process, as follows:
- Upon the Minister of Education’s announcement of a school reorganisation process; or
- At the date the Minister of Education approves an application for two or more schools to enter into a school reorganisation process.
3 Employment Protection
3.1 Actual vacancies that arise at all schools involved in a school reorganisation process following the announcement as described in clause 2 of this appendix shall be filled with temporary appointments. However, if operational needs require, the employer may determine, in consultation with the union, that any such position may be made permanent. This moratorium applies until the completion of the reconfirmation/reassignment process and notice period, except as provided elsewhere in this Appendix.
3.2 Throughout the school reorganisation process the employer shall attempt to meet any reduction required by the use of attrition.
3.3 Throughout the school reorganisation process no position (as defined under this Agreement) at the reorganised school shall be externally advertised until the reconfirmation and reassignment processes described in sub-clauses 10 and 11 below have been finalised.
4 The announcement of the final outcome of a school reorganisation process
4.1 At the conclusion of the school reorganisation process the Secretary for Education shall announce the final class, designation or structure for the schools involved in the school reorganisation process.
4.2 The final announcement shall identify the schools as follows:
- Retained unchanged or recapitated
- Decapitated but not reorganised
4.3 Each identified school shall then proceed with a Staffing Needs Analysis in accordance with this appendix.
5 Staffing Needs Analysis for reorganising schools involved in a school reorganisation process
5.1 The needs analysis is the process that designs the staffing structure for the reorganised school. This process will be conducted by representatives of all the boards involved in the merger (the joint schools’ committee or merger committee).
5.2 This committee shall conduct a needs analysis in consultation with employees and the union.
5.3 The needs analysis shall
- Identify the future support staff structure and needs of the reorganised school; and
- Ensure that the required staff roles have been clearly defined in terms of occupational category and appropriate grade
5.4 As a result of the consultation process, a draft ‘staffing plan’ shall be developed and made available to each employee, and to the nominee(s) of the union, for further consultation.
5.5 No less than ten working days shall be made available for this consultation to occur before any further step is taken, unless otherwise agreed. (Note: the parties agree that it is desirable to have the same number of days as the teachers in the affected school.)
5.6 If, as a result of consultation, there are alterations to this draft, the amended versions shall also be made available for a further five working days.
5.7 When the final staffing structure is announced, the employer shall invite all employees to express a preference (or preferences) in writing, for a position (or positions) at the reorganised school. Where this announcement identifies the possibility of a position or positions being disestablished. any affected employee(s) shall be given one month’s written notice of a possible surplus staffing situation within her/his occupational category in the school. This period of notice must be allowed before notice of termination, as described in sub-clause 13.1 of this appendix, may be given.
5.8 Employees shall have at least one calendar weeks' notice of the closing date for expressions of interest in the position(s) at the reorganised school.
6 The Appointments Process
6.1 The boards involved in the merger may agree on a Joint Appointments Committee or use the committee referred to in 5.1 of this appendix (hereafter referred to as the Committee). The Committee should be responsible for managing the reconfirmation and reassignment process for all staff. Where applicable this will include representation from the establishment board of a newly created school.
6.2 The principal of the reorganised school, once appointed, should be included on the Committee.
7 Expressions of Preference in Positions
7.1 When the new staffing structure is announced, the employer shall invite all employees of the reorganising schools to express a preference (or preferences) in writing, for a position (or positions) at the reorganised school.
7.2 Employees shall have at least seven (7) days’ notice of the closing date for expressions of preference in the position(s) at the reorganised school.
7.3 The employer shall acknowledge in writing any expression of interest arising under this clause.
8 Voluntary Option
8.1 Following the publication of the final staffing structure, the employer board shall invite written expressions of interest in the option of voluntary redundancy. Subject to the employee completing the required period of notice (two months, or less by mutual agreement) an employee whose application for voluntary redundancy is accepted shall receive her/his full entitlement to redundancy pay as prescribed by clause 6.9 (Redundancy) of the collective agreement.
8.2 An employee may continue to volunteer for this option without prejudice or withdraw from it at any point in the school reorganisation process, providing the employer has not already accepted the application in writing. No letter of acceptance will be issued without the agreement of the Committee.
8.3 The employer shall not be bound to agree to any application for voluntary redundancy.
9 Appointment/Selection Process
9.1 For the purpose of the clauses below:
- ‘Reconfirmation’ shall mean the process whereby employees are transferred to suitable positions at the re-organised school. A suitable position is one which has similar duties and/or for which the applicant is appropriately qualified and experienced or could become so with reasonable access to re-training. The new position shall have the same or a higher grading.
- ‘Reassignment’ shall mean the process that applies to equivalent positions.
- ‘Equivalent position’ shall mean employment in an equivalent position, in relation to the employee’s previous position, that is:
- generally similar in role, duties and status; and
- requires similar qualifications, training, skills and experience but may have a different title; and
- is in the same general locality; and
- is on terms and conditions of employment that are no less favourable than those that applied to the employee immediately before the offer of employment.
- Merit means the most suitable person and primarily includes assessment of qualifications, training, skills and experience.
9.2 Where any employee directly affected by a school reorganisation declines the offer of reconfirmation or reassignment to an equivalent position in a reorganised school, that employee’s employment shall be terminated without further compensation pursuant to SSA s77HA.
10.1 The employer shall reconfirm (as defined in clause 9.1(a) of this appendix) employees to suitable positions at the reorganised school.
10.2 An employee may be reconfirmed to her/his preferred position or, subject to her/his agreement, to a position for which s/he is appropriately qualified and experienced.
10.3 Where there are two or more employees eligible for re-confirmation to a single position, the employer shall reconfirm the most suitable candidate(s) based on merit
10.4 Where a permanent employee is reconfirmed, this must be into a position of at least the same hours. Provided that where an employee accepts redeployment to a position with reduced hours in a situation where a position with at least the same hours is not available, that employee will be entitled to a partial redundancy payment.
10.5 Partial redundancy will be calculated on the basis of applying the redundancy pay formula described in clause 6.9 (Redundancy) of this Agreement to the total number of reduced ordinary hours per week as set out under clause 6.1 of the collective agreement. This total shall be paid as an allowance over the number of weeks of entitlement to a maximum of 30 weeks. Should the employee’s hours increase over this period the allowance will be reduced or removed accordingly.
11 Re-assignment to Equivalent Positions
11.1 Following completion of the reconfirmation process, the employer may reassign an employee, who has not been reconfirmed in accordance with clause 10, to a suitable position at the reorganised school.
11.2 Subject to the provisions in this section, if an employee expresses a preference for a position that is equivalent (as defined under 9.1(c) of this appendix) to her/his current position, and s/he is the only suitably qualified and experienced employee for that position, s/he shall be reassigned to that position.
11.3 An employee may be reassigned to her/his preferred position or, subject to the agreement of the employee, to an equivalent position for which s/he is appropriately qualified and experienced.
11.4 Where there are more employees in positions that are equivalent than there are such positions at the reorganised school, the employer shall seek internal applications for the position(s) from those employees and shall appoint the most suitable candidate(s) based upon merit.
11.5 Subject to 11.6 and 11.7 below, employees who are not appointed to an equivalent position at the reorganised school may, by mutual agreement and consistent with the reassignment process of this appendix, be appointed to any vacant position for which they could become suitable with reasonable access to retraining.
11.6 An employee who accepts reassignment to a position assessed as being at a lower grade and/or offering a lower hourly rate/salary rate will be entitled to an equalisation allowance for a period of one year from the date on which the reassignment takes effect. The equalisation allowance will be calculated on the basis of the difference between the hourly rate paid to the employee prior to reassignment and that paid for the position to which s/he has been reassigned. Should the position be upgraded, or a higher graded position obtained during the 12 month period, the allowance would be reduced accordingly or removed.
11.7 An employee who accepts reassignment to a position with reduced hours will be entitled to a partial redundancy payment. Partial redundancy will be calculated on the basis of applying the redundancy pay formula described in clause 6.9 (Redundancy) of this Agreement to the total number of reduced ordinary hours per week, as set under clause 6.1 of the collective agreement. This total shall be paid as an allowance over the number of weeks of entitlement to a maximum of 30 weeks. Should the employee’s hours increase over this period it will be reduced or removed accordingly.
11.8 An employee who does not wish to accept reassignment to a position with less favourable terms and/or conditions will be deemed to have had her/his position disestablished. The provisions of clause 13 below will apply to any such employee.
12 Unfilled Positions
12.1 The purpose of these provisions is to provide opportunities for employees directly affected by the closure of their school to gain employment in the reorganised school. The final decision to make any or all appointments, to the vacant positions, lies with the Board of the reorganised school.
12.2 At the completion of the reconfirmation and reassignment processes described in clauses 10 and 11 of this appendix, every unfilled position in the reorganised school shall, in the first instance, be advertised in all the other schools which are identified as being part of the school reorganisation process in accordance with clause 2.1 of this appendix and section 77 HA 3 of the State Sector Act(external link) and which are being closed as a result of that process.
12.3 Employees whose positions were disestablished at any other school which is identified as being part of the school reorganisation process as described in 12.2 and is being closed as a result of that process, may seek appointment to any position advertised at the reorganised school.
12.4 Where there are unfilled positions in a reorganised school and where there are applicants from the closing school, the board of the closing school may nominate a parent member of its board to participate in the appointment process except for the decision making process.
12.5 Employees whose positions were disestablished at any other school which is identified as being part of the school reorganisation process and is being closed as a result of that process may, by mutual agreement, be appointed to any vacant position for which they could become suitable with reasonable access to retraining.
12.6 Where the employer makes an offer of an equivalent position as defined in s. 77HA (2) of the State Sector Act to an applicant from the closed school and that applicant chooses not to accept the offer, s.77HA of the State Sector Act applies whether or not the employee applied for the position.
12.7 If, at the completion of the processes described in clauses 12.1 – 12.6 of this appendix, any position or positions remain unfilled, they may be advertised externally.
13 Staff Surplus Entitlements in Schools Involved in a School Reorganisation Process
13.1 Any employee who is not reconfirmed or reassigned as per clause 11 and 12 of this appendix will be deemed to have had their position disestablished and will be given written notice of termination advising of the date that the notice will take effect. This notice period will be a minimum of one month.
13.2 If, during the two-month notice period arising from the application of both clause 5.7 and 13.1 of this appendix, a suitable permanent position arises at the reorganised school the employee may seek appointment to that position and, if s/he is suitably qualified and experienced, s/he shall be appointed to that position.
13.3 During the notice period the employer will provide reasonable paid time for the employee to attend interviews.
13.4 Subclauses 6.9.6-6.9.8 (Redundancy) of this Agreement shall apply in relation to the notice period. These provisions emphasise the responsibilities in relation to securing alternative employment on the employer and employee. Where a reasonable offer of employment, as defined, is made in the education or state service, the employer has no further obligation in relation to redundancy payments. Scope exists to co-ordinate the notice period and availability of the new position.
13.5 If at the completion of the notice period alternative employment is not found in accordance with this appendix, or subclauses 6.9.6-6.9.8 (Redundancy) of this Agreement, the employee will receive redundancy and a work reference or record of service in accordance with clauses 6.9.10-6.9.11 of this Agreement.