Part-time teachers

PPTA Te Wehengarua guidance for part-time teachers wishing to understand their rights and obligations outlined in the Secondary Teachers' Collective Agreement (STCA) and the Area School Teachers' Collective Agreement (ASTCA)

PPTA membership

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All part-time teachers are eligible for membership of PPTA. The subscription rate is 1% of their fortnightly salary on the base scale. This is calculated fortnightly by Payroll and deducted at source. Part-time teachers who are PPTA members are covered by the Secondary Teachers' Collective Agreement (STCA) or Area School Teachers' Collective Agreement (ASTCA).

Permanent tenure

The advantages of a permanent part-time position are considerable.

These are:

(a) progression up the base scale at the same rate as full-time teachers.

(b) job security.

(c) coverage by surplus staffing provision in the collective agreements:

(d) eligibility for childcare salary credits

(e) eligibility for maternity grant

(f) eligibility for study leave

(g) eligibility for priority right of return after childcare

(h) eligibility for the service increment

(i) continuous salary payment throughout the summer break.


The Employment Relations Act (ERA) 2000 places greater restrictions on employees being hired on fixed-term or non-permanent employment. Section 66 of the ERA states that employers must have genuine reasons based on reasonable grounds to be entitled to offer fixed-term as opposed to permanent employment. Employers must tell employees why the position is fixed-term. This means that many positions in schools which have been fixed-term in the past should now be permanent. Employers cannot offer fixed-term positions for trialling a teacher.

The establishment of permanent part-time positions in state secondary and area schools is also an equal employment opportunities (EEO) issue and flexible working hours issue. The State Sector Act 1988 requires all employers in the education service to have an EEO policy and programme. The STCA and ASTCA also requires this (Sections 3.1 and 2.1 respectively). The State Sector Act requires employers to make provision for recognition of the employment requirements of women and to remove all barriers that cause or perpetuate, or tend to cause or perpetuate inequality in respect to the employment of any person or group of persons.

Every state school EEO policy should specifically refer to the establishment of permanent part-time positions.

A part-time teacher may have part of their position permanent and other hours for a year which are not permanent. The teacher's pay advice notice will show this by showing their pay as two lines on the payslip, one for the permanent job and another for the fixed term hours.


Employers must send a letter of appointed to part-time teachers setting out the position the teacher is appointed to, the permanent (minimum) hours of work, either the total timetabled hours or the number of timetabled contact and non-contact hours or the FTTE for the position, and length of appointment

 STCA 3.2.2.(e)

 ASTCA 2.2.2.(e)

Note: Under the provisions of STCA 3.2.2 it is not necessary to advertise where, by the agreement of the board, an existing permanent full-time employee transfers to a permanent part-time position in the same school.

Surplus staffing

The criteria for selecting positions to be declared surplus if the roll falls are stated in the collective agreements in order of importance (STCA Appendix H, ASTCA Appendix 5). The first criterion is curriculum balance and pastoral care. Tenure comes second. Therefore, it is not automatic that part-time teachers are the first to lose positions. If a part-time teacher is essential for curriculum coverage, her/his position will remain.

A permanent part-time teacher is in exactly the same situation as a permanent full-time teacher in surplus staffing. A non-permanent part-time teacher is vulnerable under the second criterion, tenure, and would normally go before a permanent teacher if that criterion is the one on which selection of position is being made.

Legal protection for non-permanent part-time teachers

Legal protection for non-permanent part-time teachers

All employees have access to personal grievance procedures in the ERA and the collective agreements for unjustifiable dismissal, sexual harassment, unjustifiable action by the employer, discrimination and duress in relation to union membership.

pptaweb icon STCA 9.2

pptaweb icon ASTCA 8.2

The Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 provides rights to maternity leave for all female employees with a year or more of service with the same employer. Three months' notice is required. Male and female employees are entitled to extended leave. Three months' notice is required. Paid parental leave is available to teachers with a year or more teaching service.

The Human Rights Act 1993 provides protection from discrimination on the grounds of sex, marital status, sexual orientation, colour, race, ethnic or national origins, age, religious or ethical belief, disability, family status or political opinion.

weblink The Human Rights Act 1993



The full time equivalent of a part-time teachers is their timetabled hours divided by 25.

e.g. if you have 12 timetabled hours you are 12/25 = 0.48 FTTE

Until 27 January 2025:

Part-time teachers must be employed for less than 0.9 FTTE (Full-time teacher equivalent) which is 22.5 hours per week. The reason for this is that part-time teachers are paid the 11% loading under STCA 4.5.1(a) or ASTCA 3.26.1. This additional payment is in recognition of the extent to which part-time teachers share in the activities of the school outside classroom teaching. The effect is that at 22.5 hours, a part-time teacher receives almost a full-time salary.

pptaweb icon STCA 4.5.1

pptaweb icon ASTCA 3.26.1

The percentage of the salary is shown on pay advice notices in the second to last column before the gross fortnightly salary. The number of hours a teacher works is divided by 22.5.

When the percentage is applied to a full-time salary the part-time salaries is calculated.

e.g. for a teacher paid an annualised $103,058 for 12 timetabled hours per week:

12 hours/22.5  = 53.333% of salary

$103,058 x 0.53330 = $54964.27

The fortnightly salary is the annual salary divided by 365 and multiplied by 14.

From 28 January 2025:

There is no limit on the FTTE you can be employed for (but it wil be less than 1 if you are part time).

The percentage of the salary is the proportion of an FTTE you are employed for.

e.g. for a teacher paid an annualised $103,058 for 12 timetabled hours per week:

12 hours/25  = 48% of salary

$103,058 x 0.48 = $49467.84

The fortnightly salary is the annual salary divided by 365 and multiplied by 14.

Moving up the salary scale

Permanent part-time teachers receive their increments as they move up the salary scale on an annual basis whereas non-permanent part-time teachers receive their increments when they have accumulated sufficient service. This is 1000 hours under the STCA (4.2.3.(d)(iii)) and 950 hours under the ASTCA (3.26.5.(b)).

pptaweb icon STCA 4.2.3.(d)(iii)

pptaweb icon ASTCA 3.26.5.(b)

Additional hours and day relief

A part-time teacher may be asked to work additional part-time hours. If these additional hours are for a period shorter than four weeks, these hours will be paid at 1/855 of the appropriate salary rate including holiday pay. When the employment is for a period longer than four weeks, the teacher must receive written confirmation of this and the salary is recalculated on the basis of the total hours now worked.

It is common for part-time teachers to do some relief. In that situation the work is treated as a separate job and the payment is based on 1/190 for a day or 1/950 per hour inclusive of holiday pay.

Payment in the school holidays

Permanent part-time teachers are paid through each vacation including the long vacation over Christmas and New Year. Teachers who are not permanent will have their holiday pay paid out at the end of a school year as Payroll have no certainty that employment will continue in the next school year. Payroll has well developed systems to separate out permanent, non-permanent and variable part-time hours of work.


Beginning teacher time

A first-year teacher who is part-time for more than 0.5 FTTE will be entitled to receive 0.1 FTTE (2.5 hours) beginning teacher time allowance during this first year of employment. This is delivered to the teacher in the form of additional hours or salary. Thus a teacher on 13.5 hours would be paid for 16 hours.

Non-contact time

Until 27 January 2025

Part-time teachers who are employed for 0.72 FTTE (18 hours) or more are entitled to non-contact time as per the following table.

FTTE                    Non-contact hours*

0.89                     3.0

0.87 - 0.88           2.5

0.85 - 0.86           2.0

0.83 - 0.84           1.5

0.75 - 0.82           1.0

0.72 - 0.74           0.5

Below 0.72            None

*Minimum timetabled non-contact hours per week

The employer must endeavour to provide non-contact hours proportionate to the five hours non-contact that full-time teachers are provided with for those employed between 0.48 FTTE (12 hours) and 0.89 FTTE (22.25 hours).

"Endeavour" places a responsibility on employers to make genuine efforts to achieve a provision for employees. However, it recognises that there may be genuine reasons why an employer is unable to provide the particular provision in individual cases.

The employer is expected to show that they have genuinely tried. In some circumstances the employer will be required to look for alternative arrangements if they are unable to meet the provision.

The PPTA branch and the school management should use the following test for assessing whether a collective agreement provision that requires the school to "endeavour" has been met.

The "endeavour" test is met if the principal has:

  • genuinely considered all options open to them, within the resources available, with an aim to meet the provision, and
  • genuinely considered any proposals put to them to achieve that aim by the employee(s) affected, and
  • either met the provision or has explained, with genuine reason, to the employee(s) affected why the options proposed and considered are not possible and why the provision cannot be met at that time, and
  • where they could not meet the provision and where there is a link between that provision and STCA 5.1A.1(d), applied the agreed compensatory mechanism(s).

From 28 January 2025

The employer must include in your total timetabled hours 1 hour of non-contact for every 4 hours of contact time. 20% of your time must be non-contact time.

Your full-time teacher equivalent is your total contact and non-contact hours divided by 25.

4 hours contact and 1 hour non-contact = 5 hours = 0.2 FTTE

You can work out your hours by multiplying your FTTE by 25:

0.6 FTTE = 25*0.6 = 15 hours timetabled time

Then you can work out your non-contact time:

Non-contact time = 15*20% = 3 hours

pptaweb icon STCA 5.1A.1.(d)


Part-time teachers need to be employed for at least a half teaching load (0.5 FTTE or 12.5 hours per week) for the service to qualify for full registration. The provisionally registered part-time teacher is entitled to a full programme of advice and guidance for two years before they are recommended for full registration. Part-time teachers who are registered subject to confirmation must receive a programme of advice and guidance for up to one year.

Sick leave

Sick leave is generated by service. For permanent part-time teachers each year of service generates a year of sick leave service. For those who have no permanency, all of their teaching service whether it is part-time or day relief is accumulated until there are sufficient hours to equal a year of service. This is 1000 hours under the STCA and 950 hours under the ASTCA.

Part-time teachers who are absent for a day lose a day of sick leave no matter whether they teach for one hour or five hours on that day. A part-time teacher does not lose intervening weekends if they do not teach on all five days of the week.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 18 October 2023 15:11