Find out about pay, allowances, leave and other entitlements for support staff. The roles support staff perform include teachers' aide, personal assistant, librarian, executive officer and general office work.
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The rights and responsibilities specified in an employment agreement must be adhered to. This page supports boards and support staff to understand the rights and responsibilities that are associated with their roles, as stated in a support staff member’s employment agreement.
Support staff employed in state or state-integrated schools are covered by the terms and conditions of:
- the Support Staff in Schools’ Collective Agreement (SSSCA), or
- an individual employment agreement (IEA), with similar terms and conditions to the collective agreement.
Who's covered by the SSSCA
You're covered by the SSSCA if:
- your work is covered by this agreement, and
- you're a member of the New Zealand Education Institute Te Riu Roa (NZEI Te Riu Roa), or E tū.
The agreement has been revised pursuant to the variation dated 29 June 2020.
Who's covered under the individual employment agreement (IEA)
You need to sign an IEA if:
- your work is covered by the SSSCA, but
- you're not a member of the NZEI Te Riu Roa, or E tū.
The Ministry of Education develops and publishes the IEA. The terms and conditions of your work are similar to the collective agreement.
Support Staff in Schools’ Individual Employment Agreement [PDF, 202 KB] (for employees not designated Teacher Aides)
Support Staff in Schools' Individual Employment Agreement [PDF, 209 KB] (for Teacher Aides)
Schools roles not covered by the agreement
Clause 1.3 of the employment agreement lists all the types of school roles that aren't covered. So essentially this agreement covers any other types of work in schools and is likely to mean you'll work directly or indirectly with teachers and students to support them, or your work will be secretarial, financial, human resources or in property management.
For information about your pay refer to Part 3 of the collective agreement for non-teacher aides and Part 3A of the collective agreement for teacher aides.
For non-teacher aides, the position is graded using the Position Elements Table as set out in clause 3.4 of the collective agreement, which then translates to your step and grade on the pay scale as set out in clause 3.2.2.
Specific information about placement on the pay scale is set out in clause 3.6.
For teacher aides, the position is graded using the Teacher Aide Work Matrix Table as set ou in 3A.3 of the collective agreement, which then translates to your step and grade on the pay scale as set out in clause 3A.4.
If you're part of the executive management group, your pay scale is different. This is explained in clause 3.1.
To be assigned to the executive management group you must:
- be part of the school's senior management team, and
- have whole-of-school responsibility for functions such as finance and/or human resources and/or property, and
- be employed for your specialist skills.
Each pay grade has steps within it and you can move up those steps based on your performance review each year. The steps are set out in clause 3.8 for non-teacher aides and 3A.8 for teacher aides of the collective agreement.
If you have a recognised qualification that your employer agrees is relevant to your job, you may be entitled to a pay increase. The allowances and the qualification levels you need to achieve are listed in clause 3.10.
You can find out more about recognised qualifications on the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) website.
If you were receiving a payment before 28 January 2012 for a recognised qualification listed in the 2009-2011 Support Staff in Schools’ Collective Agreement, you’ll still receive that payment while you’re employed by the same school in the same job.
You can get a higher duties allowance of a 5 per cent pay increase if your employer requires you to carry out duties at a higher level for 5 days or more. The allowance is set out in clause 3.11 of the collective agreement.
Other allowances are set out in Part 5 of the collective agreement. They include:
- motor vehicle (if you have to use your own car for work – $0.58 cents per kilometre)
- first aid (if you're the designated first-aider and you have a first aid certificate or nursing qualification – $0.35 cents an hour)
- tiaki allowance ($3.85 a day) for non-teacher aides
- tiaki allowance for teacher aides ($4.81 per incident for those who undertake tiaki work on an occasional basis or an hourly allowance of 10% of step 5 Grade B-C (currently $2.59) where tiaki work is undertaken on an ongoing basis)
- overnight (the employee is entitled to overtime at the current minimum adult wage rate).
Leave entitlements are set out in Part 6 of the collective agreement.
You get 4 weeks' annual leave each year and you must take this when the school is closed at the end of the year (that is, not in term time). This is on top of the normal public holidays, which are paid days off. You get Easter Tuesday as a paid day off in your first 10 years of service, and administrative staff also get the day after Boxing Day as a paid day off. These entitlements are set out in clause 6.3 of the collective agreement.
After 5 years’ continuous service, your annual leave increases to 4 weeks and 3 days.
After 10 years’ continuous service, your annual leave increases to 5 weeks but you must take Easter Tuesday as annual leave. Administrative staff must also take the day after Boxing Day as annual leave.
After 25 years’ service, you qualify for long service leave of 4 weeks as set out in clause 6.4.
Your sick leave allocation is 7 days a year as set out in clause 6.5 of the collective agreement.
If you work less than 5 days a week, your sick leave allocation is 6 days a year. You can carry forward sick leave but you can only anticipate from your next year’s entitlement if your employer agrees. You can use your sick leave to care for sick family members (called domestic leave), as set out in clause 6.6.
You're also entitled to bereavement/tangihanga leave, as set out in clause 6.7 of the collective agreement.
You may be able to get special leave, with or without pay, as set out in clause 6.10.
You may also be eligible to receive the leave provided for in the old Appendix B.
You’re entitled to parental leave, as set out in the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987. It applies to a birth mother, their partner/spouse and people who adopt a child aged under 6.
Parental leave covers 4 types of leave.
- Maternity leave – mothers can get up to 26 weeks off work from around the time of birth or from the time you start caring for an adopted child.
- Partner/paternity leave – if your partner has had a baby or you've adopted a child together, you can take up to 2 weeks off.
- Extended leave – you may be able to extend your maternity leave for an extra 52 weeks.
- Special leave – while you're pregnant, you can have up to 10 days’ pregnancy-related leave.
You need to apply to your employer before taking parental leave. The usual notice required is 3 months but this can be reduced in some circumstances, for example where an adoption is arranged in a short time. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) website explains how to apply for parental leave.
Parental leave payment
If you qualify for the parental leave payment, it's paid through Inland Revenue, so you need to apply for this payment and your school must confirm that you're entitled to parental leave. The MBIE website explains how to apply for parental leave payments.
If you work part time, information on the MBIE website can help you work out your parental leave payment.
Both you and your employer must follow the correct processes and procedures to manage your resignation, dismissal or retirement.
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