Area School Teachers' Collective Agreement (ASTCA)
Appendix 4: Staffing mergers (ASTCA)
4.1 Operation of staffing merger processes
4.1.1 The purpose of these provisions is to:
(a) Provide a staffing-merger process that facilitates a fair and orderly transition;
(b) Ensure an appropriate management structure is in place to enable the merged school to function efficiently and effectively;
(c) Ensure continuity of curriculum delivery at the merging schools prior to merger;
(d) Ensure that as many teachers as possible currently employed are re-assigned or re-confirmed to positions in the process of merger;
(e) Ensure the curriculum, management and pastoral needs of the merged school are met.
4.1.2 Except as provided below, the staffing merger process outlined in this Appendix shall be followed from the date of the Gazetting of the merger.
4.1.3 The term ‘merging schools’ includes the merging school(s) before the date of merger; ‘merged school’ is the continuing school from the date of merger.
4.1.4 A merger committee will be established to implement the processes in this Appendix.
4.2 Staffing needs analysis
4.2.1 Actual vacancies that appear at the school from the Gazetting of the date of merger shall be filled with temporary appointments, except that if curriculum delivery is threatened, the employer may determine, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, that any such position may be made permanent, subject to any staffing limitations.
4.2.2 Throughout the staffing merger process the employer shall attempt to meet any reduction required by the use of attrition. Attrition is the non-replacement of employees who die, retire, resign, or transfer.
4.2.3 The merger committee, in consultation with the nominee(s) of the Executive of the Association and the Institute respectively, shall work to document:
(a) An analysis of the current staffing usage at the affected schools; and
(b) A teacher/subject analysis. This will include subjects taught at each year level over recent years; and
(c) An analysis of the likely curriculum, pastoral, and management positions of the merged school.
4.2.4 As a result of this process, draft staffing schedules shall be developed and made available to each employee, and to the nominee(s) of the Executive of the Association and the Institute respectively, for comment and feedback to the representative of the employer.
4.2.5 No less than five (5) working days will be made available for this feedback to occur before any further step is taken, unless otherwise agreed.
4.2.6 If there are alterations to these drafts, the amended versions shall also be made available for a further three (3) working days.
4.3 Expressions of interest
4.3.1 When the new staffing structure is announced, the employer shall invite all teachers to express a preference (or preferences) in writing, for a teaching position (or positions) at the merged school.
4.3.2 Teachers shall have at least one calendar week’s notice of the closing date for expressions of interest in the position(s) at the merged school.
4.4 Voluntary Options
4.4.1 Following the publication of the staffing schedules, the employer boards shall seek written expressions of interest in the following voluntary options, as detailed in clause 2.13.4 of this agreement:
(a) supernumerary employment of 40 (forty) school weeks at the merged school (see clause 2.13.4(1));
(b) supernumerary employment of 40 (forty) school weeks in another school (see clause 2.13.4(1));
(c) retraining (see clause 2.13.4(2)) ;
(d) severance (see clause 2.13.4(3));
(e) long-service payment (see clause 2.13.4(4)).
4.4.2 Teachers may continue to volunteer for the options without prejudice or withdraw from them at any point in the staffing merger process, providing the employer has not already accepted the offer in writing.
4.4.3 The employer shall not be bound to agree to any voluntary offer. The employer’s decision shall be final.
4.5 Staffing Merger
4.5.1 For the purpose of the clauses below:
(a) ‘Reconfirmation’ shall mean the process whereby teachers without permanent units are transferred to suitable positions at the merged school. A suitable position is one which has similar duties and/or for which the applicant is appropriately qualified and experienced or could become so with reasonable access to re-training.
(b) ‘Reassignment’ shall mean the process that applies to functionally-equivalent positions.
(c) ‘Functionally equivalent’ shall mean positions in middle or senior management which are generally similar in role, duties and status and which require similar qualifications, training, skills and experience but may have different titles and unit allocation.
Note: Middle management positions may include positions without units but which have subject responsibilities attached. Such positions may be referred by titles such as ‘Teacher in Charge of a subject’.
(d) Merit means the most suitable person and primarily includes assessment of qualifications, training, skills and experience.
4.6 Re-assignment to Functionally Equivalent Positions
4.6.1 If a teacher expresses a preference for a position that is determined to be the functional equivalent of his/her current position, and s/he is the only suitably qualified and experienced teacher for that position, s/he shall be reassigned to that position, subject to the provisions in this section.
4.6.2 Teachers may be reassigned to the teacher’s preferred position or to a position for which they are appropriately qualified and experienced.
4.6.3 Where there are more teachers in positions that are functionally equivalent, than there are such positions at the merged school, the employer shall seek internal applications for the position(s) from those teachers and shall reassign the most suitable candidate(s) based upon merit.
4.6.4 The number of units (or, where applicable, the number of middle management allowances) held by an employee shall not give a greater or lesser entitlement to a functionally equivalent position at the merged school.
4.6.5 A teacher who is reassigned to a position with fewer permanent units shall be reminded of the options available in clause 4.4.1 of this Appendix.
4.6.6 Teachers who are not reassigned to a functionally-equivalent position at the merged school may, subject to clause 4.7 below, be reconfirmed in a teaching position.
4.7.1 The employer shall reconfirm (as defined in clause 4.5.1 above) employees to suitable positions at the merged school. Reconfirmation may be to a teacher’s preferred position or to a position for which they are appropriately qualified and experienced.
4.7.2 Where there are two or more teachers eligible for re-confirmation to a single position, the employer shall reconfirm the most suitable candidate(s) based upon merit.
4.7.3 Teachers who are not reconfirmed in a position in which they have expressed interest at the merged school may be reconfirmed in any vacant teaching position at the merged school for which they are suitable, or could become suitable with access to re-training.
Note: Trained permanent employees in their first year shall be reconfirmed or reassigned and may not volunteer for the options.
4.8 Unfilled Positions
4.8.1 Where positions are created at the merged school that have no direct equivalent in the merging schools, such position(s) shall be advertised nationally in the Education Gazette and existing teachers may apply for them. Selection shall be on merit with no automatic right to such positions.
4.8.2 Actual vacancies at the merged school that remain unfilled after the completion of the processes for reconfirmation and reassignment shall be advertised nationally in the Education Gazette. Selection shall be on merit with no automatic right to such positions.
4.9 Notice and Disestablishment of positions
4.9.1 The employer shall give notice of all positions that are to be disestablished at least two months prior to the date of disestablishment.
4.9.2 Subject to clause 4.9.3 below, the positions of permanently appointed teachers who are not reconfirmed or reassigned to positions in the merged school through the operation of sections 4.6-4.7 of this Appendix shall be disestablished on the last day of the school year in which the merger is Gazetted.
4.9.3 If, as a consequence of exceptional administrative delays, the notice of disestablishment has been issued after 27 November in the year of the Gazetting of the merger, then the date of disestablishment shall be two months from the date that the notice was issued.
4.9.4 Teachers whose positions are to be disestablished, and who have not already identified voluntary options, must be offered the options identified in clause 4.4.1 of this Appendix at least two months before their positions are disestablished.
4.9.5 If, during the two-month notice period, a suitable permanent position arises at the merged school the employee may seek reassignment or reconfirmation to that position and if suitably qualified and experienced he/she shall be reassigned or reconfirmed in that position.
4.9.6 The provisions of clause 2.13.4 of this agreement shall apply from the date of disestablishment.
4.9.7 If no option has been selected by the effective date of disestablishment, the teacher will be deemed to have supernumerary status in the merged school.
4.9.8 Upon termination of the supernumerary period, teachers who complete their supernumerary employment of 40 school weeks at the merged school and have yet to secure a permanent position in another state or state-integrated school, will retain an entitlement to removal expenses as per clause 7.3 and Appendix 2 of this agreement for a period of 12 months from the cessation of their supernumerary employment. This entitlement will cease on permanent appointment to another teaching position in a state school.
4.9.9 A permanent part-time teacher who is offered a position with reduced hours at the merged school may either elect:
(a) that the position has been disestablished and the provisions of clause 4.4 shall apply; or
(b) to accept the position with reduced hours, in which case from the date of disestablishment the employee shall be timetabled for the reduced number of hours but for a period of forty school weeks shall continue to be paid for the number of hours which applied to the original position.
4.9.10 A permanent part-time teacher who elects the option in clause 4.9.9(b) shall receive an allowance calculated as the difference between their fortnightly salary in the new position accepted by the teacher and their fortnightly salary based on the number of hours which applied to the original permanent position. Where the teacher’s hours are increased during any one fortnight, the value of the allowance in that fortnight shall be abated accordingly. The value of the allowance shall not increase where the teacher works reduced hours in the new position in any one fortnight. The teacher shall receive the allowance over the number of weeks of entitlement set out in clause 4.9.9(b).
4.10.1 All holders of permanent units who are reconfirmed or reassigned to positions at the merged school which are reduced in status as a result of the application of these provisions shall have salary protection for one year from the establishment of the merged school.
4.10.2 Fixed-term units already allocated to teachers prior to the official date of merger shall continue until the agreed expiry date of those units where the employee is reconfirmed or reassigned at the merged school.
4.10.3 At the beginning of the new school year, the employer shall under clause 3.3.1 of this agreement, following consultation with the teaching staff, determine the use of any unallocated units subject to clause 4.10.2 above.