2018 Secondary Teacher Collective Agreement (STCA) negotiations

The Secondary Teachers Collective Agreement (STCA) expires on 28 October 2018.
In October 2017 PPTA conference delegates debated, discussed and agreed the industrial strategy for 2018, the main features of the strategy are set out in this web-page.

Note: the Area Schools’ Collective Agreement (ASTCA) and both principals’ agreements expire in the first half of 2019.

Focus will be secondary teacher shortages and workload

The 2015 STCA settlement provided for two working parties to look at the issues of teacher workload and teacher supply.  The recommendations of the working parties (the 2016 Secondary Teacher Supply Working Group and the 2016-17 Secondary Teacher Workload Working Group) lay a firm foundation for 2018-19 bargaining.

Addressing teacher supply and teacher workload will be our focus in negotiations

Our claims for this bargaining round will need to focus on these two outstanding issues, identified continually by members, networks, regions and executive.

The issues of recruitment and retention measures to address teacher shortages (supply) and the workload pressure for teachers and middle managers will form the basis of our claims.

pdf buttonSecondary Teacher Supply Working Group report

pdf buttonSecondary Teacher Workload Working Group report

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Teacher supply - issues for bargaining

The recommendations of the Secondary Teacher Supply Working Group cover a range of ideas for recruiting and retaining teachers, tweaks to scholarships and so forth. However, the fundamental issue of teacher base salary pay and value of units and middle management allowances (MMAs) is the elephant in the room that the combined group failed to address.

A significant improvement to teacher salaries required

While we have kept teachers’ salaries on or above the increases in the CPI throughout the recession they have suffered, as all public sector pay increases have, from the State Services Commission’s refusal to allow public sector salary settlements to be higher than those of the private sector. This has further weakened the relativity of teachers’ salaries compared to the New Zealand median salary - see

pdf buttonTeacher Supply (extract from 2017 PPTA Annual conference paper - PPTA industrial strategy for 2018 – and beyond!).

For example in 2004 teachers’ top of the basic scale (TBS) salary was 1.81 times higher than the annualised median income, and by 2016 this relativity had reduced to 1.58.  Had the TBS kept pace with increases in median wage and salary change between 2004 and 2016 it would now be $86,987.

Increase value of units and middle management allowances (MMAs) needed

Also, while we have had some slight increases in a few allowances, we have had no increase in the value of units since 2009 or of MMAs since they were first introduced in 2005.

Address relativity between middle management units and the Within School Teacher (WST) role allowances

There are, of course, other specific issues that impact on recruitment and retention which will need to be addressed in this round. A major one is the issue of relativity between middle management units and the Within School Teacher (WST) role allowances, both in time and money. We pointed this out repeatedly in the Investing in Educational Success (IES) working groups and in the subsequent negotiations for the allowances of this role and gave prior warning to the ministry that the value and time allowances for units and MMAs would need to be addressed in the collective agreement round after the Community of Learning (CoL) positions have begun to be filled in schools.

Address teacher supply issues into the next decade

We have a triple whammy beginning to seriously erode teacher supply at this time.

    • A large proportion of ‘baby boomer’ teachers will leave the teaching workforce in the next 10 years.
    • More teachers are leaving teaching to take up more rewarding careers early or mid- career.
    • Fewer people are being attracted into teaching.

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The report of the Supply Working Group identified the workforce trends and current issues as being:

  • The workforce is ageing. 45.4% of secondary teachers are over 50 years of age.
  • Fewer beginning teachers are entering the profession, and the proportion that start in permanent full time positions has lessened considerably.
  • There is a high rate of attrition among beginning secondary teachers. Just under half leave teaching within the first five years of joining the profession.
  • There are not enough new teachers in the sciences (including physics, biology, and chemistry), technology, mathematics and Te Reo Māori to meet demand.
  • Teacher vacancies are increasing. Following the 10 year low during the global financial crisis, job advertisements are rising, and we expect this trend to continue in the short to medium term.
  • Teacher shortages create pressure across the education pathway and impact on student achievement. Employers report that they are forced to compromise on quality to fill positions.
  • Supply and demand issues are nuanced, differ by school and location, and are being experienced across deciles. There is a concentration of issues in Auckland, but also in some regions and rural areas particularly in sciences, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects and Te Reo Māori.

The forecasts of increased secondary student rolls indicate the need for serious increases of teacher numbers immediately and secondary rolls will continue to rise for the next nine years.

If the ministry is serious about alleviating the dramatic teacher shortages from now on, it will have to consider measures to reduce the shortages of today and keep pace with those predicted over the next decade. However it is likely they will continue with their ostrich-like refusal to address the impending crisis unless pressured very strongly by our members, both teachers and principals, and by our allies in the wider community.

pdf buttonTeacher Supply (extract from 2017 PPTA Annual conference paper - PPTA industrial strategy for 2018 – and beyond!)


Teacher workload - issues for bargaining

Increasing workload has been the largest issue of concern expressed by members in recent years. The submission from PPTA to the Secondary Teacher Workload Working Group summed up the basic issue our members have in regard to teacher workload; when secondary teachers raise issues about their workload they are not complaining about working hard, rather they are referring to excessive demands and unproductive tasks which form an increasingly larger component of their workload.

Teachers are frustrated at those factors which they see as either interfering with their ability to perform effectively the core teaching and leadership functions they value or which require them to work extensive hours in order to be able to maintain the same level of effectiveness in their core work with students.

teacher workload art 500


Stop unnecessary and unproductive tasks being delegated to teachers by other agencies

Addressing unproductive workload and pressures which get in the way of teachers being able to do their jobs well, without undue stress and impact on their work life balance, cannot be fully addressed by changes to collective agreements.

Teachers don’t just want more time to do tasks that they don’t value; they don’t want to do tasks that are unnecessary and unproductive. The workload reduction implementation plan arising from the Workload Working Group is tasked to address many of these issues and we are continuing to meet with the ministry, NZSTA, Education Review Office (ERO) and New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) to try and do just that. The results in terms of workload reduction remain to be seen and, if they are not, this could form the basis for future bargaining rounds.

Middle leaders  are the teachers that experience the worst workload pressures

A main finding of the PPTA’s workload research over recent years has been that middle leaders are the group of teachers that experience the worst workload pressures. Excessive workload for middle leaders is leading to fewer applicants for middle leadership roles, and burn-out for people in the roles.  Schools are having increasing difficulty in filling, and keeping teachers in, middle management positions and this is a prime example of how workload affects supply. Middle leaders clearly require more time to be able to do their jobs effectively than the current one hour non-contact time for each unit.

Accordingly, the priority for addressing workload issues in this bargaining round is mainly to provide more time to reduce the workload of middle managers.

pdf button Submission from PPTA to the Workload Working Group

pptaweb icon Teacher workload (PPTA website)


Keeping involved and engaged

PPTA will keep in contact with branches (schools) through the Collective News and The Negotiator (email newsletters). These newsletters get sent to your branch chairperson (elected PPTA representative in your school), who then forwards them to members.

Your PPTA branch and region will keep you in the loop - about process and when there will be branch/regional meetings.

Keep your details up-to-date, for text and email notifications.

This website will be updated as the process gets underway - some information will be member only so you will need to log in.

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Last modified on Monday, 18 December 2017 11:51