Area school teachers

Find out about the pay, allowances, benefits and other entitlements available to teachers employed in area schools.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Teachers and Kaiako
  • Boards

The rights and responsibilities specified in an employment agreement must be adhered to. This page supports boards and area school teachers to understand the rights and responsibilities that are associated with their roles, as stated in a teacher’s employment agreement.

Employment agreements

Area school teachers in state and state-integrated schools and kura are covered by the terms and conditions of:

  • the Area School Teachers’ Collective Agreement (ASTCA), or
  • an individual employment agreement, with similar terms and conditions as the ASTCA.

Who's covered by the ASTCA

You're covered by the ASTCA if:

  • your work is covered by this agreement, and
  • you’re a member of one of the area school teachers’ unions: the New Zealand Educational Institute Te Riu Roa (NZEI Te Riu Roa) or the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers’ Association (NZPPTA).

Area School Teachers' Collective Agreement 2019-2022

Who's covered by the individual employment agreement (IEA)

You need to sign an individual employment agreement if:

  • your work is covered by the ASTCA, but
  • you're not a member of the NZEI Te Riu Roa or NZPPTA.

The Ministry of Education develops and publishes the individual employment agreement. The terms and conditions of your work are similar to the collective agreement.

Your pay

Your pay is covered in Part 3 of your collective agreement.

Your base salary

The amount you can be paid as a teacher depends on your qualifications, experience and whether you qualify for any units or allowances.

Untrained area school teachers are paid between $42,957 and $49,209.

There are 6 salary Groups for trained teachers, each with a minimum and a maximum salary.

Your salary Group depends on your qualifications.

Salary Group Starting salary Maximum salary NQF* level Example of qualification
1 $51,358 $85,490 5 Diploma in Professional Cookery
2 $51,358 $85,490 6 Advanced Trades Certificate
3 $51,358 $85,490 7 Bachelor of Teaching
3+ $55,948 $90,000 7 Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Diploma of Teaching
4 $58,133 $90,000 8 Honours Degree
5 $61,794 $90,000 9 or 10 Master's or PhD

*NQF = National Qualifications Framework

You can earn more than your maximum salary step if you're entitled to units or allowances.

If you're in salary Group 1 or 2, you can move above your maximum, up to the Group 3 maximum, if you've been allocated permanent units.

Your pay scale is a bit different if you're a:

  • resource teacher learning and behaviour
  • resource teacher Māori, or
  • resource teacher literacy. 

Clause 3.1 - Area School Teachers' Collective Agreement

Pay rises

An increment is the pay rise you get when you move up a step on your base salary scale. This is on top of base salary increases negotiated through the collective agreement bargaining process.

You'll most likely move up 1 salary step each year until you reach the maximum salary step for your qualification.

Here's how the increment process works.

You're assessed by your board of trustees or principal against the performance standards set out in the schedule to the collective agreement. 

Schedule - Area School Teachers' Collective Agreement

If you've met the standards, you move up a salary step on the scale.

If you haven’t met the standards, you're given a specific time to do so. If you haven’t met the standards after this time, you don’t move up a salary step. In some cases, competency procedures will be needed.

The following table shows the increments on the salary scale for trained area school teachers.

Your starting salary and maximum depend on which salary Group you're in.

Step Base salary Increment between steps (%) Increment between steps ($)
1 $51,358 - -
2 $53,544 4.26% $2,186
3 $55,948 4.49% $2,404
4 $58,133 3.91% $2,185
5 $61,794 6.30% $3,661
6 $65,776 6.44% $3,982
7 $70,040 6.48% $4,264
8 $75,190 7.35% $5,150
9 $79,413 5.62% $4,223
10 $85,490 7.65% $6,077
11 $90,000 5.28% $4,510


As well as general salary funding, schools receive a certain amount for ‘units’. Boards can allocate units as a permanent or fixed-term addition to a teacher’s salary. Each unit is worth $5,000 per annum.

Clause 3.4 - Area School Principals' Collective Agreement

You automatically qualify for an additional unit on your salary if you're a:

  • resource teacher learning and behaviour
  • resource teacher Māori, or
  • resource teacher literacy.

Clause 3.2.3 - Area School Principals' Collective Agreement


You may also qualify for allowances as follows:

Associate teacher allowance

Isolation allowance

Māori immersion allowance

Priority teacher supply allowance

Resource teacher learning and behaviour allowances

Staffing incentive allowance

Specialist teacher and specialist classroom teacher allowances

Other allowances

You may also qualify for other allowances such as:

  • higher duties
  • relieving principal
  • special duties, or
  • bus controller.  

Part 3 - Area School Teachers' Collective Agreement

Recruitment, retention and responsibility (3R) allowance

Your school board may pay you a 3R allowance to recognise an extra responsibility that you take on, or to achieve recruitment or retention goals. Boards need to consult with teaching staff about the allocation of these payments.

Although these payments aren't covered in the Area School Teachers’ Collective Agreement, boards can offer a 3R payment of up to $4,000 per annum for area school teachers, which can be paid permanently or for a fixed term. 

Tutor teacher allowance

If you're a fully registered teacher and you are mentoring a provisionally registered first or second year teacher, you can be paid a tutor teacher allowance. The amount is either $4,000 per annum or $1,000 per annum, depending on the number of hours that you spend with the provisionally registered teacher. 

Clause 3.16 - Area School Teachers' Collective Agreement

Careers adviser allowance

If you're appointed as a careers advisor, you'll be paid an allowance of $2,250 per annum as set out in clause 3.13 of the collective agreement.

Clause 3.13 - Area School Teachers' Collective Agreement

Middle management allowance

Middle management allowances are allocated by your school. You may be able to get a middle management allowance of $2,000 per annum if you:

  • have a specific curriculum or pastoral management responsibility (such as being a head of department or a dean), or
  • are responsible for at least 5 students funded under the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme.

If you already have 4 or fewer units on your salary, you can qualify for 1 or 2 middle management allowances. If you have 5 units, you can qualify for 1 middle management allowance. This allowance is set out in clause 3.5 of the collective agreement.

Clause 3.5 - Area School Teachers' Collective Agreement

Community (of Schools or Learning) Teacher roles and allowances

The Investing in Educational Success (IES) roles for teachers working within their school or across their Community have been varied to include area school teachers. As an area school teacher you may be eligible to apply for these roles and associated allowances.

If you're appointed to the:

  • Community Teacher (within school) role you're entitled to receive an allowance of $8,000 per annum.
  • Community Teacher (across community) you're entitled to receive an allowance of $16,000 per annum.

Full details are available under clauses 3.31 to 3.33 of the collective agreement.

Clause 3.31 - Area School Teachers' Collective Agreement


Leave entitlements, including sick, parental, bereavement (tangihanga), study, refreshment and sabbatical leave, are set out in Part 5 of the collective agreement. Your school can also allow special leave for various activities like competing in sports events or attending cultural events.

Leave for principals and teachers

Other benefits and entitlements

You’re entitled to be paid superannuation contributions by your employer.

Superannuation for principals and teachers

You're entitled to non-contact time each week. Your maximum teaching hours each week will depend on whether you teach years 7 to 13 students and if you hold salary units. 

Non-teaching time for teachers

If you move schools because you’re promoted or you move to work in a ‘hard to staff’ school, you may qualify for a transfer and removal payment to help cover your costs. 

If you're shifting schools

Working when school is closed

You may be required to work at times when the school is closed to students, for:

  • professional development or
  • duties such as administration, preparation, planning, and parent, whānau and community liaison.

Your employment agreement states you can be required to:

  • participate in professional development for a maximum of 5 days in the school year
  • attend school for other duties when school is closed for up to a maximum of 5 days in the school year.

When your board asks you to work on a closed day, they must take into account whether you've already undertaken professional development or carried out various tasks in your own time.

For more information refer to clause 4.7 of the collective agreement. 

Clause 4.7 - Area School Teachers' Collective Agreement

Leaving your job

If you have a terminal or serious illness that means you can no longer work as a teacher, you may be eligible for medical retirement.

Medical retirement for principals and teachers

Both you and your school must follow the correct processes and procedures to manage your resignation, dismissal or retirement.

Resignation, dismissal and retirement

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