A considerable number of the questions that PPTA field officers receive relate to appointments. The most common disputes relate to tenure, hours of work, length of appointment, and job description.
Field officers can assist members to get their appointments properly documented and recorded at the start of their tenure.
Get it in writing from the outset
Teachers should ask for job offers, job descriptions, hours of work, length of employment and tenure to be confirmed in writing.
On appointment, a teacher must receive a letter of appointment outlining the details of the position.
Such details include the position start date, the hours of work (if part-time) and the curriculum areas to be taught.
If the position is fixed-term or long-term relieving in nature, then section 66 of the Employment Relations Act 2000 applies.
Subsequent promotions, or significant changes of job description, should also be recorded in writing.
Most positions must be advertised in the Education Gazette
STCA 3.2.2 Advertising and Appointment describes the vacant positions that must be advertised in the Education Gazette (ASTCA 2.2.2)
Part-time teachers must have their hours confirmed in writing on appointment
Agreed changes to permanent hours must be confirmed in writing, as must changes to nonpermanent hours of four weeks or more.
Written advice relating to part-time hours should indicate clearly whether there is any payment for non-contact time and whether the hours being offered are exclusive or inclusive of such non-contact time.
There must be a genuine reason for a position being fixed term
Fixed term teachers should have a letter of appointment setting out their terms of appointment. The letter must indicate a genuine reason based on reasonable grounds for specifying why the employment will end.
The reasons must be communicated in writing to the successful applicant. Genuine reasons in teaching include relieving for another teacher while they are away on maternity, refreshment or study leave.
The employee must understand and agree to the reason why the appointment should end at a particular time or at the end of an event or project. This agreement should be put in writing.