Proposed settlement for primary principals

After historic joint strike action across primary, secondary and area schools on 29 May, the Minister of Education intervened in our dispute and called a conference with the leadership of NZEI Te Riu Roa and PPTA.

Following that meeting, proposed settlements and an accord between the three parties were developed. See the key points of the proposed principals' settlement below.

This shift followed 18 months of tireless campaigning by members and a long period of deadlock.

Ultimately though, the decision was entirely up to members, and while primary teachers voted overwhelmingly to accept their settlement, primary principals voted strongly to reject theirs.

We're urgently seeking a return to the negotiating table in order to resolve the principals' issues, and in the meantime will actively consult with principal members on next steps.

What was in the proposed settlement for primary principals?

For principals, much of the proposed settlement was the same as what was previously offered in March.

What was new:

A $1,500 one-off payment and advantage for union members

The proposed settlement contained a one-off gross payment of $1,500 (pro rated for part-time staff) for NZEI Te Riu Roa members only and a three-month delay in passing on of new conditions to non-union members. We see this as recognition for your long and tireless campaign and the sacrifices you've had to make to get here.


In the accord that accompanied the offer, schools would get eight extra teacher-only days across the three-year term of the agreement, without extending the school year to cover them.

In the accord the Government also recognises that the current performance appraisal requirements contribute to a low-trust, high workload environment. They have committed to removing the current legislative appraisal requirements.

The Government will also work with NZEI and the PPTA to review class sizes and the formulas related to them, and will develop a wellbeing framework.

A moratorium on new Communities of Learning

We're also pleased that following our talks, the Government announced a moratorium on new Communities of Learning.


What was the same as the previous offer:

Pay increases

As with the previous offer, the proposed settlement included a base scale increase of 3% per year for principals in U3 schools and above, and 4.5%+ 4.5% + 4.4% a year for principals in U1 and U2 schools.

As the secondary principals' agreement has not yet been negotiated, a unified pay scale for principals can only be addressed in future and this is referenced in the accord.

Release time

The 10 hours of classroom release time per term for U1 and U2 principals also remained in the offer. This will remain beyond the term of the agreement.

Further work in a new accord

The accord sets out a number of other commitments from government to work with NZEI Te Riu Roa and the PPTA to address other issues in our profession. Read the full accord here. 

What's happening to the leadership in literacy and numeracy payment?

The two components of the leading literacy and numeracy payments (part 5.2.5) would be added to other salary components and the specific clause setting out the LLN payment would be deleted from the collective agreement.

  • The base payment would be added to the roll-based salary component (U-Grade part 5.2.2)
  • The per entitlement teacher component would be added to the staffing based salary component (part 5.2.3)

The U Grade rates are now written in a table that shows the rates with the career structure payments added to them along with the LLN base payment.