Support for staff taking on extra responsibilities
Jo had recently taken on a number of new responsibilities, and was struggling under the weight of the additional workload. While talking to Beth over a cup of soothing hot water, Jo commented that she found it hard to say no when asked to take on new roles.
Beth was the women’s rep for their PPTA branch, and had previously been on their school’s Management Units (MUs) and Middle Management Allowances (MMAs) committee. Beth reminded Jo of two things.
Firstly, that she could say no, or at the very least have a discussion about workload implications and remuneration before taking on additional responsibilities.
Secondly, that the school had recently completed its annual policy review of the principles of how units and MMAs are to be used, and this included reviewing how units were allocated across the school. Naturally, the PPTA branch was a party to the review process.
Beth explained that at least 60% of the total number of MUs and MMAs had to be permanent. Units and allowances that are permanently allocated to a role are only available for reallocation if the staff member resigns or voluntarily relinquishes their role. However, fixed term MUs and MMAs can be applied when they become available.
Beth also explained the number of MUs and MMAs available to the school was determined by the Ministry of Education’s staffing entitlement notification – which was received in September each year – and that the employer was required to consult with the teaching staff before determining the use of units and MMAs. For robust consultation, the school would ensure teaching staff had access to sufficient information to provide meaningful feedback on the allocation of units and MMAs, and were given a reasonable opportunity to communicate their views to their employer.
Given Jo’s new curriculum and pastoral management responsibilities, Beth encouraged her to put in an application for a MMA. Beth felt strongly that Jo’s new responsibilities should be recognised, appreciated and valued.
Units and MMAs, and the requirement to consult, is provided for under STCA 4.3 and 4.3A or ASTCA 3.4 and 3.5. Genuine consultation does not necessarily require individuals’ names to be used for the purposes of mapping the current Unit/ MMA allocation, although we note that many schools find this useful. At minimum, the employer must advise all teaching staff of:
- the number of units/MMAs being funded by the ministry;
- how many of those units/MMAs are currently fixed term;
- whether there are any units/MMAs not currently allocated; and
- a breakdown of how the units/MMAs are allocated to particular positions within broader groupings of responsibility such as management, pastoral, and specific curriculum areas.
For more details on the best practice procedure for the application and allocation of Management Units and Middle Management Allowances, contact your local field office.