Union delegate time
The government expects “employees have a voice in their workplace, particularly through effective and productive relationships with unions’
To support this, a change to the Employment Relations Act means that union delegates are now entitled to reasonable paid time undertaking union activities.
What this means for schools
Appropriate time during the normal working hours must be provided for elected PPTA branch officers or delegates to undertake their union duties.
Representational duties include activities related to the branch (e.g. preparation for branch meetings or attending regional events as the representative of the branch) and individual representation (e.g. accompanying members to meetings with the principal).
The intention is to release delegates from normal work duties, which means that delegate time is not current non-contact time or outside the normal school day.
Delegates will need to determine, in consultation with the principal, what is reasonable and how the time will be provided, or notify the principal in advance when time is required. Some delegate time may be planned or regular, some time may be ad hoc as situations arise.
A request for time could only be refused if it is unreasonably disruptive (in the context of the provision of time being a legal requirement).
The Ministry of Education is not currently providing schools with any new resourcing for this legislated requirement, so adjustments to timetables and/or for relief budgets will need to be prioritised within existing resources.
More information and guidance for branch delegates
A detailed branch delegate guide on the union delegate time provision is available from PPTA on request via email@example.com
FAQs and information on how one school managed the changes can found in the November/December PPTA News
A guide on how to run branch elections is available on the members' only section of the PPTA website:
To log in to the members' only side of our website your username is your MoE number with no zeros in front or the email address you have provided us. Your password is also your MoE number (no zeroes in front). This can be changed when you log in.