Secondary teachers

Find out about the pay, allowances, benefits and other entitlements available to teachers employed in secondary 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 secondary teachers to understand the rights and responsibilities that are associated with their role, as stated in a teacher’s employment agreement.

Employment agreements

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

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

Who's covered by the STCA

You're covered by the STCA if:

  • your work is covered by this agreement, and
  • you’re a member of the secondary teachers’ union, the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers’ Association Te Wehengarua (PPTA).

Secondary Teachers' Collective Agreement 2022–2025

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

You need to sign an individual employment agreement if:

  • your work is covered by the STCA, but
  • you're not a member of the PPTA.

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

If you're a teacher at Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu, check your employment agreement as there are some special employment conditions that apply to you, as set out in Part 11 of the collective agreement.

Part 11 - Secondary Teachers' Collective Agreement 

Your pay

Information about your pay is covered in Part 4 of the collective agreement.

Part 4 - Secondary Teachers' 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 secondary teacher rates are provided at clause 4.1.3 of the Collective Agreement. 

There are four 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 qualifications
3 $59,027 $94,245 7 Bachelor of Teaching
3+ $61,678 $99,216 7 Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Diploma of Teaching
4 $64,086 $99,216 8 Honours Degree
5 $68,122 $99,216 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.

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.

How the increment process works

You're assessed against the performance standards in Supplement 1 of your employment agreement (by your school board or principal).

Supplement 1 - Secondary 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 secondary teachers. Your starting salary and maximum depend on which salary group you're in.

New step Qualification group notations Base salary Increment between steps (%) Increment between steps ($)
1 G1E, G2E, G3E $59,027 - -
2 G3+E $61,678 4.49% $2,651
3 G4E $64,086 3.90% $2,408
4 G5E $68,122 6.30% $4,036
5   $72,512 6.44% $4,390
6   $77,213 6.48% $4,701
7   $82,890 7.35% $5,677
8   $87,545 5.62% $4,655
9 G1M, G2M, G3M $94,245 7.65% $6,700
10 G3+M, G4M, G5M $99,216 5.27% $4,971


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, as set out in clause 4.3 of the collective agreement.

Clause 4.3 - Secondary Teachers' Collective Agreement 

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

  • resource teacher learning and behaviour
  • resource teacher deaf
  • resource teacher vision
  • resource teacher intellectually impaired, or
  • regional health school teacher.

Your board can allocate you other units in the same way as for other teachers. This is explained in clause 4.2 of the agreement.

Clauses 4.2 - Secondary Teachers' Collective Agreement


You may also qualify for allowances as follows:

Associate teacher allowance

Māori immersion allowance

Resource teacher learning and behaviour allowance

Priority teacher supply allowance

Specialist teacher and specialist classroom teacher allowances

Staffing incentive allowance

Pastoral Care Time Allowance

Pacific Bilingual Immersion Teaching Allowance

Other allowances

You may also qualify for other allowances such as:

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

Part 4 - Secondary Teachers' Collective Agreement

If you're a teacher at Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu refer to clause 11.4 of the collective agreement for information about your off-site allowance.

Clause 11.4 - Secondary 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 Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement, boards can offer a 3R payment of up to $4,000 per annum for secondary teachers, which can be paid permanently or for a fixed term. 

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 4.10 of the collective agreement.

Clause 4.10 - Secondary 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, as set out in clause 4.3A of the collective agreement.

Clause 4.3A - Secondary Teachers' Collective Agreement 

If you're a teacher at Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu, your management allowance is $2,000 per annum but it's allocated a bit differently, as set out in clause 11.5 of the collective agreement.

Clause 11.5 - Secondary Teachers' Collective Agreement

Senior management allowance

Senior management allowances are allocated by your school, as set out in clause 4.3B of the collective agreement.

Clause 4.3B - Secondary Teachers' Collective Agreement

You may be able to get a senior management allowance of $2,000 per annum if you're an assistant or deputy principal and you formally carry out some of the principal’s duties from time to time.

You can get both a middle management allowance and a senior management allowance, but only 1 of each at the same time.

Community liaison roles (Trial)

From 28 January 2024, there will be 335 Community Liaison roles available for a trial period. Allocation of these roles will be on a school-by-school basis within agreed region(s), determined by a base component plus a number weighted by the Māori and Pasifika rolls of the school. Consideration will be given, in the first instance, to teachers already working to support Māori and Pasifika learners and their whānau and communities, as making such appointments will assist in the setting of a base line upon which to measure the success of the trial.

Holders of the Community Liaison role will be allocated a time allowance of 0.04 FTE and a salary payment of $1,000 per annum.

Clause 4.26 – Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement


Leave entitlements, including sick, parental, bereavement (tangihanga), study, refreshment and sabbatical leave, are set out in Part 6 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 superannuation contributions from your employer.

Superannuation for principals and teachers

You're entitled to non-contact time each week. This will be at least 5 hours each week, but you may be entitled to more, depending on your responsibilities and whether 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 5.4 of the collective agreement.

Clause 5.4 - Secondary Teachers' Collective Agreement

If you're a teacher at Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu who's covered by the Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement, you can be required to work during school holidays for up to a maximum of 5 days in any 12 month period. For more information refer to clause 11.2.3 of the collective agreement.

Clause 11.2.3 Secondary 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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