Part of the settlement of the Primary Teachers' Collective Agreement and the Primary Principals' Collective Agreement was the establishment of the joint Accord with the Ministry of Education and PPTA Te Wehengarua.
The Accord set out a number of other commitments from government to work with NZEI Te Riu Roa and PPTA Te Wehengarua to address other issues in our profession.
What are we focussing on in the Accord?
We will work to focus on the following things through the Accord:
Wellbeing: Developing an effective framework for promoting health and wellbeing. Key to our work in this are is member participation in an international survey run in conjunction with Deakin University in Australia. This is the fourth year it is open to principals and the first year it is open to teachers. The survey provides essential evidence to support our work.
Workload: We have started discussing key workload drivers and have agreed to work systematically through them. We are starting with the workload involved in supporting children with additional learning needs. We are doing some scoping work about existing research and information available at the moment. We expect to be talking with members about it to gather input soon.
Change Management: The way system change is planned and implemented has a significant impact on teaching, leading, learning, workload, wellbeing - every aspect of school life. That is why we have decided to focus on this early in the Accord work. We are currently undertaking a piece of research looking at national and international experiences with positive and negative outcomes. We will use the outcomes from this to start a conversation with members about what we need to do differently to make sure change management is as constructive and positive as possible.
Further work: The taskforce of reducing compliance identified 14 system level drivers of compliance including Application for Learning Support, Applications for transport for students with learning support needs, EOTC and Restraint. Implementation plans have been developed for these are being progressed.
Future workforce: We will consider pathways into and out of teaching, career opportunities and challenges to the workforce. Within this context the issues of class size and related formula will be considered.
Collective agreements: The Accord will include a joint pre-bargaining process with NZEI Te Riu Roa and PPTA to begin four months before the expiry of the first collective agreement to discuss the UPS and any other matter relating to bargaining.
Union negotiated fees: How do we ensure union members do not gain undue benefits from the efforts of unions including member only benefits, bargaining fees and other legislative mechanisms.
Teacher Only Days
Arising from the recent employment agreement negotiations for the Primary Teachers’ Collective Agreement, the Primary Principals’ Collective Agreement, the Area School Teachers’ Collective Agreement and the Area School Principals’ Collective Agreement it was agreed that any one principal or teacher is entitled to a maximum of 8 teacher-only days.
These days are to provide teachers and principals with additional time to:
- Refresh and deepen their knowledge and practice around the local curriculum (within the context of the removal of national standards);
- Strengthen their understanding of the use of assessment tools for learning and teaching;
- Respond to the recommendations of the education work programme in the Curriculum, Progress and Achievement (CPA) Report;
(Note: the CPA Report is available here)
- Familiarise themselves with curriculum work changes that will become available over the term of the collective agreements.
- The Minister, under section 65D(1) of the Education Act 1989, may authorise boards to be open for fewer half days than usually required.
The teacher-only days, both in terms of actual days and use must be set in consultation with the Board of Trustees.
- Because schools will be closed for instruction, it is important that parents and whānau are given at least a term’s notice of the dates.
- Parents and whānau often have children at more than one school. Schools and kura should take all practicable steps to align the dates of the teacher-only days with other primary and intermediate schools, to ensure that parents and whānau are not excessively disrupted.
The eight days are to be used during the term of the current collective agreements. They will not extend the school year.