Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu Early Childhood Teachers' Collective Agreement
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Part Seven: Other Matters
Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu Early Childhood Teachers’ Collective Agreement
Effective: 1 December 2022 to 30 November 2024
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7.1 Termination of Employment
7.1.1 In the case of all teachers, except fixed term teachers (including temporary and relieving), a minimum of one month’s notice in writing of termination of employment shall be given by either the teacher or employer unless otherwise agreed. This shall not prevent dismissal without notice for serious misconduct. In the case of fixed term (including temporary and relieving) teachers as much notice as practicable will be given.
7.2 Surplus Staffing
7.2.1 The following clauses will apply to all teachers except for fixed term (including relievers and temporary) teachers.
- When the management structure, curriculum and/or other staffing needs within the Early Childhood section of Te Kura are being reviewed by the employer, and this may result in a decrease in the number of staff, the employer shall advise the teachers and the NZEI Te Riu Roa.
- When a review shows that a staffing surplus will exist the employer shall, at the first instance, consider in consultation with staff whether this staffing surplus can be absorbed by attrition.
- If the required number of positions cannot be achieved through attrition and if a surplus staffing situation still exists, the employer shall conduct a needs analysis in consultation with staff to identify the most appropriate area(s) for the surplus position(s) to be identified from. For determining the surplus teachers the following process shall apply:
- If the needs analysis identifies a specific position, the teacher holding that position will be deemed surplus;
- Where there is more than one position in the affected area(s) the remaining positions from the affected area(s) will be advertised internally;
- The teachers from the affected area(s) will automatically be considered for those positions in their respective area(s).
- Once the identification process is completed the employer shall provide each teacher identified as surplus with 2 months' notice in writing.
- During the notice period the employer will assist the teacher in seeking alternative employment. This may include:
- Assistance with Curriculum Vitae preparation;
- Assistance with interview techniques;
- Paid leave to attend job interviews.
- It may be that although the position the teacher currently occupies is redundant, Te Kura may offer the teacher a new position within the school. Where the offer of a new position amounts to a suitable alternative position, the teacher will not be eligible for redundancy compensation if the teacher declines such an offer.
- Whether a position is a suitable alternative will be considered on a case by case basis, taking into account the teacher’s skills, experience and employment history with Te Kura and providing that the position:
- is in the same location or within reasonable commuting distance;
- has comparable duties and responsibilities;
- has terms and conditions that are no less favourable; and
- is available to be taken up by the teacher prior to or at the conclusion of the notice of termination period.
- The teacher may be offered a position which involves a reduction in total salary. If the teacher accepts such a position the teacher will not be eligible for redundancy compensation, but they may elect either to receive two years salary protection or the payment of a lump sum (equal to two years at the difference in the current and new salary). If the teacher resigns their position during the two year period of salary protection, and they have elected to receive the lump sum payment, the employee shall refund the difference between the total number of weeks paid and the number of weeks employed under salary protection.
- No salary increases (to other than the salary related to the substantive position) shall be payable during the period of salary protection.
- The employer and any affected teacher and the union may agree in writing to an alternative arrangement to the provisions contained in these clauses. Alternative arrangements may also be discussed in the event of a change of employer.
7.2.4 Technical Redundancy
No redundancy will arise by reason of the sale or transfer of the whole or part of Te Kura’s operations where the person acquiring the operation offers the teacher employment in the same capacity on similar conditions of employment, and agrees to treat the teacher’s service as continuous.
7.2.5 Overview of surplus staffing options
- In the event of a surplus staffing situation, the following options shall be available:
- Redeployment to another position at Te Kura (under section 7.2.3)
- Supernumerary redeployment (includes mutually agreed special projects)
- Redundancy Compensation
- The following provisions relating to supernumerary redeployment/retraining/redundancy will apply at the expiry of the sunset redundancy compensation provisions for existing teachers (ie from 14 January 2016) and for new teachers from 28 August 2013.
This means that for existing teachers, the supernumerary redeployment and retraining options below will not override automatic access to the existing redundancy compensation provisions during the sunset period.
- Once the surplus teacher(s) have been identified and before the date the surplus staffing takes effect, the options set out in clauses 7.2.5(a)(i) to (iv), and further detailed in clauses 7.2.3, 7.2.6, 7.2.7 and 7.2.8 will be considered for permanently employed teachers.
- Where a surplus staffing situation exists and a teacher’s position is to be disestablished, the redeployment, supernumerary redeployment and retraining options must, in the first instance, be thoroughly explored by the employer in consultation with the employee.
- This means that the redundancy compensation provisions will only be offered by the employer after the redeployment, supernumerary redeployment and retraining options have been thoroughly explored by the employer in consultation with the employee and these options are considered inappropriate in the circumstances.
- After all options have been thoroughly explored with the employee, the employer shall agree to one of the four surplus staffing options (i) to (iv) outlined in 7.2.5 (a) above, however the employer shall not be bound to agree to any particular option. The employer’s decision shall be final.
7.2.6 Supernumerary Redeployment – in line with clause 7.2.5(a)(ii) above, the option of supernumerary redeployment within Te Kura for 30 school weeks:
- This option will not require that there is an actual vacancy to be filled.
- Should the supernumerary option involve a move to another teaching role at Te Kura, this will require the approval of the Chief Executive, with respect to confirmation that the teacher has the appropriate skills, experience, and qualifications to meet the teaching requirements for that part of Te Kura.
- Alternatively, the teacher may undertake defined special project(s) of work during the supernumerary period by mutual agreement with the employer.
- If during the period of supernumerary redeployment, a suitable permanent position at the same or lower level arises or becomes available within Te Kura, then the teacher shall be offered that vacant position, unless the position requires specialist skills not possessed by the teacher.
- If at the conclusion of that supernumerary redeployment no suitable permanent vacancy has arisen or become available, the employee’s employment shall cease with no further payment.
- If the employment is likely to be terminated in these circumstances, Te Kura will advise the teacher of this in writing not less than one month before the expiry of the period of supernumerary redeployment.
7.2.7 Retraining – in line with clause 7.2.5(a)(iii) above, the option of retraining in a course approved by the Te Kura Chief Executive, which enhances or upgrades the professional skills, experience and knowledge of the teacher:
- The maximum period for which retraining is payable is 30 school weeks. If at the conclusion of the period of retraining no permanent teaching position has been secured, the teacher’s employment shall cease with no further payment.
- If a vacancy occurs at the school after confirmation of the retraining option the position may be offered to the teacher. The teacher may elect to accept the position or continue with the retraining option.
- There is no requirement on Te Kura to meet any costs and expenses of training, including course fees.
7.2.8 Redundancy Compensation
- Where a reasonable offer of employment under clause 7.2.3 is not made by the time of the expiry of the notice period or no alternative arrangements have been agreed, the employer shall give the union and the affected teacher(s) one month's notice of redundancy.
- Notice of redundancy shall specify the number of teachers affected in the occupational grouping and the reasons for the disestablishment of the position(s).
- Teachers shall be entitled to payment for all holiday pay and salary owing.
- Affected teachers will have the following options:
- Redeployment to another position in Te Kura (as in 7.2.3 above); or
- If no suitable positions are available, redundancy compensation (as below in 7.2.8 (e).
- Teachers shall be entitled to redundancy compensation, to a maximum of 30 weeks of total salary, based on gross salary as follows:
- six weeks' pay for the first 12 months or part year of service;
- thereafter two weeks' pay for every complete year of service; and
- two weeks pro-rated for the remaining part year of service.
Service includes all service as a trained teacher in any licensed early childhood service or free kindergarten. The recognition of service with employers other than Te Kura is subject to the production of the relevant records from the previous employer.
7.2.9 Refund of redundancy payments
Where a teacher who has received redundancy compensation commences permanent employment in a state or state integrated school within a number of weeks which is less than the number of weeks of payment of redundancy compensation received under the TKECECA, the teacher shall refund the difference between the number of weeks for which they were without employment and the number of weeks for which redundancy compensation was received.
7.3 Disciplinary Matters
7.3.1 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 or delegated nominee and the teacher concerned without the need to take the matter any further. The employer or delegated nominee 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 support in relation to such matters.
In any disciplinary action the following principles shall be observed:
- the teacher must be advised in writing of the specific problem and given reasonable opportunity to provide an explanation.
- before any substantive disciplinary action is taken, appropriate investigation is to be undertaken by the employer.
- the response of the teacher must be considered before a decision is made.
- the teacher must, if appropriate in the circumstances, be advised of any improvement required, given reasonable opportunity and assistance to change, and advised of the consequences if the problem continues.
- The notification of complaint and results of any action are to be recorded in writing, and sighted and signed by the teacher as having been seen
- The teacher must be advised by the employer of their right to request union assistance, and/or representation at any stage.
7.3.3 Suspension and Instant Dismissal
Nothing in this clause prevents suspension with or without pay, temporary placement on other duties, or dismissal without notice in the case of serious misconduct.
- Where a teacher has been suspended and the allegation is subsequently found to be without substance, the teacher must be entitled to resume the position from which they were suspended and be reimbursed for any loss of pay.
- The employer shall not, unless there are exceptional circumstances, suspend the teacher without first allowing the teacher a reasonable opportunity to make submissions to the employer about the alleged misconduct and the appropriateness of suspension in all of the circumstances. The employer shall take into account any submissions made by the teacher before determining the matter of suspension.
- 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 of misconduct are properly investigated and that the teacher is treated fairly at all times.
- Where there are matters of competency which are causing concern in respect of any teacher (for example failing to meet the beginning or fully registered professional standards as appropriate) the employer or their delegated nominee shall put in place appropriate assistance and personal guidance to assist that teacher.
- When this assistance and guidance has not remedied the situation, the following provisions should govern the action to be taken:
- the teacher must be advised in writing of the specific matter(s) causing concern and of the corrective action required, and the timeframe allowed. This timeframe should be determined by the employer and be relevant to the matters causing concern.
- the process and results of any evaluation are to be recorded in writing, sighted and signed by the teacher as having been seen.
- a copy of any report made to the employer or to the Teachers Council shall be given to the teacher.
- no action shall be taken on a report until the teacher has had a reasonable time to comment.
- if the above steps (i-iv) fail to resolve the matter of concern, the employer may, where justified, dismiss the teacher immediately by providing one calendar month salary in lieu of notice without the need to follow the provisions of 7.3.2 above.
7.4 Termination for Incapacity
7.4.1 Te Kura may terminate a teacher’s employment by giving such notice as is appropriate in the circumstances if Te Kura is of the opinion that the teacher is incapable of the proper performance of his/her duties under this Agreement as a result of physical or mental illness.
7.4.2 Before taking any action under this provision Te Kura will require the teacher to undergo a medical examination by a registered medical practitioner nominated by Te Kura or if the teacher wishes, two medical practitioners, one nominated by Te Kura and one by the teacher. Te Kura will take into account any report or recommendations made available to it as a result of that examination and any other medical reports or recommendations which Te Kura might receive or which the teacher might wish to be tendered to Te Kura on the teachers behalf.