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Terms of Reference - Workload and Caseload Review

NZEI Te Riu Roa




Terms of Reference - Workload and Caseload Review



During negotiations to settle the collective agreement the parties agreed to establish a joint programme of work to address the on-going concerns raised by the union members on intensification of workloads and prior working groups without satisfactory outcomes, and the effect this is having on employee's wellbeing, quality of practice, services to children and retention of specialists.


The parties had previously considered a range of workload issues over a number of years.  Plans were put in place to address the issues at those times; however, they have not resulted in change. 


 Scope and focus

To successfully address the issues raised by union members on workloads and caseloads, the parties agreed to undertake a piece of work to further analyse the issues to ensure the overall ability of employees and employer to meet the needs of service users and those accessing services provided by Learning Support.


The areas of the review will focus on:

  • Is the Ministry of Education working with the right number of cases for each discipline and in the right timeframes to improve outcomes for children with additional learning needs?
  • Does the Ministry of Education have the right tools and resources to enable employees to meet the current demand for service and to deliver quality practice?


The project will appoint an external facilitator and will include three representatives of the employer and three representatives from each of the unions. Where joint work reports on workloads/caseloads have been done, these reports where appropriate will be used in this project.


The scope and depth of this review will include quantitative survey analysis and group interviews with employees, service managers; practice and quality lead roles, sector stake holders (teacher, principals, ECE providers, external agencies, parents) from a mix of geographical locations, small/large and urban/rural offices.   This will enable the Ministry of Education to better understand


  • The current caseloads and workloads of specialists to evaluate the volume and complexity of cases
  • Allocation, management and closure of cases
  • The amount of time on cases (direct/indirect) and other daily activities




The aim is to agree workload guidelines and a unified set of principles that underpin and advance:

  • Workforce development
  • Information data
  • Service planning and growth
  • Safety and quality of practice including Maori and Pacific
  • Robust and efficient procedures for caseload referral, management and discharge



The parties agree to start this work within 1 month of signing of the new multi-union collective agreement. 


  • October 2018:Work-plans including scope of work, sector engagement, research and survey methodology agreed
  • November 30 2018 Survey and group interviews completed
  • December 2018 Analyse data and develop recommendations
  • Mid/late January 2019Project meet to implement pilots across a mix of geographical locations (small, rural, urban)
  • February 2019 Run pilot(s)
  • March 2019 Feedback on pilot(s)
  • End of March 2019 Guidelines/recommendations implemented

Authorised by Paul Goulter, National Secretary, NZEI Te Riu Roa, 178 Willis Street Wellington