How annual increments will be funded as part of the Teacher Aide Pay Equity Settlement Agreement (TAPESA)
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Progression though the pay equity scale
One of the features of the settlement is the creation of the new BC combined grade in the pay equity pay scale. Teacher aides can now progress throughout B and C within the new BC grade unless the employer considers their work remains solely within grade B. This new merged BC grade was designed to create opportunities for progression and reduce the potential for grading issues.
From 1 January 2021, teacher aides will continue to progress annually (on the anniversary of their appointment) through the steps within their assigned grade unless the employer takes action to stop it.
If you think a teacher aide has not met the standard outlined in their job description/written requirements for the position, you need to talk to the teacher aide about this at least two months before the date of their annual review.
Progressing through grades B and C
Teacher aides can move within the new BC grade. However, the movement from BC step 5 to BC step 6 is assessed against the skills outlined in the work matrix.
From 1 January 2021, a teacher aide who has been on BC step 5 (the highest step of the B grade) for at least 12-months, will progress to step 6 unless you think their role remains solely within grade B. The employer must discuss this with the teacher aide at least two months before the date of their annual review.
Changing the way schools are funded for increments
Schools receive an annual increase in their operational grant funding in most years. While not guaranteed, these increases are usually between 1.6% and 1.8% across all funding components. Schools are expected to use some of this funding to meet their annual increment costs.
Changes in the pay scale mean that there are some increments that are the direct result of the settlement and the costs will be more than the funding that schools already receive. We will automatically calculate and pay additional funding to schools as part of your settlement funding instalments.
Below are some increment examples and explanations of when additional funding will and will not be provided:
- Grade A example
- Grade BC1 – 5 example
- Grade BC6 – 10 example
- Grade D example
- Exceptional Translation Funding example
Schools are not required to do anything in order to receive this funding as it will automatically be calculated based on their payroll data.
Schools will continue to receive additional funding while the teacher aide remains employed at that school in that role. Funding will stop when they are no longer in that specific role or if the school moves that teacher aide to a higher step.
Increment funding applies only to the base salary does not include funding for any Salary Loading (SALLO) or other allowances and payments that the school may provide on top of the teacher aide’s grade.
If you have further questions about increment funding please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teacher aides within grade A can only increment to the top of grade A (A3). This top cap is consistent with the old pay scale and the settlement has not changed the increments that a school is required to fund in this instance.
As funding for these increments has already been provided as part of the annual operational grant increase that schools receive, no additional increment funding will be provided.
Example 2: Teacher aide translating into Grade BC
The most significant change to how increments will be funded affects those within the newly merged BC grade. Previously a teacher aide could only have increased to the top of grade B. As the settlement now allows for the teacher aide to progress past BC5, all the way to the top of BC10, schools will incur additional increment costs that they would not have otherwise done.
When a teacher aide progresses beyond BC5, the school is eligible for additional increment funding. We will calculate and pay this as part of your operational grant instalments along with your other settlement funding. This funding is additional to your point to point translation funding.
No further funding will be provided for the annual increments from BC1 and BC5. The increment process for these steps has not changed as a result of the settlement and schools have already been provided funding for these as part of the annual operational grant increase that schools receive.
Once a teacher aide naturally progresses past BC5 to BC6, the schools will start to receive additional funding for the increments. This additional funding is provided as these increments would not have been possible prior to the settlement and schools will automatically incur the cost.
In this example, a teacher aide translated to BC1 (or any step up to BC5) on the new pay scale.
Previously this teacher aide would only have been able to progress to the top of grade B (BC5) where increments were capped. Now on the new pay scale, they can increment all the way to the top of the BC grade (BC10).
While the teacher aide increments up the lower part of the pay scale (from BC1 to BC5), the school is required to fund their increments from the funding that has already been provided in their operational grant instalments. This is the same as what would have occurred prior to the settlement.
However, once the teacher aide has worked for 12 months at the maximum step of the work matrix grade B (BC5), they will automatically progress into steps of the scale which correspond to grade C. The only exemption to this is if the employer advises payroll that the teacher aide’s work remains wholly within grade B, in this case they should not progress. This automatic progression between grades did not previously occur. The increments beyond the maximum step of grade B (BC5) are new and schools will be eligible for additional increment funding from the old grade C (now BC6) upward. This funding will only be provided while the teacher aide remains in that specific role. If the teacher aide changes roles or schools, then they will no longer be eligible for any additional increment funding for that specific role.
In this example, a teacher aide has translated to at least BC6 (or any step up to BC10) on the new pay scale.
These teacher aides will move from their translated step to the top of the grade where they reach the cap. Increments in the upper part of the Grade BC (BC6 upward) work the same way as the old grade C. As a teacher aide within the old grade could only increment to the top of grade C, there is no change to the increment cap for these teacher aides.
As funding for these increments has already been provided as part of the annual operational grant increase that schools receive, no further funding will be provided.
This applies to all teacher aides appointed between BC6 and BC10 after ratification of the settlement (30 June 2020).
Please note that this is different to when a teacher aide naturally increments through from the lower half of the BC grade. Refer to scenario 2A for more details about this.
While teacher aides within grade D can only increment to the top of grade D (D6), there is a change to the way grade D operates. Previously this grade had a range of rates and pay increases, following an annual review, were discretionary.
While the maximum rate is consistent with the previous pay scale, the pay equity settlement introduced an incremental scale to this grade. Where previously the employer had discretion over whether to increase the teacher aide’s pay rate, this grade will now have annual progression in the same way as other grades.
As the incremental scale is new for this grade, progression within it will be eligible for additional increment funding from the Ministry. This funding will only be provided while the teacher aide remains in that specific role. If the teacher aide changes roles or schools, the school will no longer receive any additional increment funding.
Where an Exceptional Translation Funding application is approved or partially approved, the Ministry will provide the school with increment funding for the teacher aide from the grade and step that has been approved.
Applications are approved where the change was the direct result of the settlement, therefore any increments for that teacher aide will also be funded.
This funding is provided while that teacher aide remains in that role, at that specific school, incrementing naturally through the steps of their grade. Any additional increases that a school pays to teacher aides will not be funded. This means that step changes made by the school and any salary loading that a school applies once a teacher aide reaches the top of their grade, will not be funded.
Scenario: Teacher aide’s point to point translation changes as the result of the exceptional translation funding application
In this example the teacher aide has an Exceptional Translation Funding application approved from grade A1 to BC1. As this teacher aide entered the BC grade, under the exceptional translation process, the school will receive increment funding for the increments that occur annually from step 1 until they reach step 10. This approach also applies to approved or partially approved exceptional translation funding applications to grade D step 1 or grade BC step 6.
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