Paid Union Meetings FAQs

PUMs will be held regionally between 13 to 24 May 2024. PUMs are centrally funded by the PPTA, including for required transport. Your regional chair will let you know the timing and location of your PUM

What are the paid union meetings for? 

Paid union meetings are opportunities to bring together all our PPTA members to give them time away from the pressure of the classroom to consider, discuss and agree on next steps for the union on important issues. It is an opportunity for members from around the region to come together and share thoughts. 

During negotiations PUMs are held for things like endorsing the claims, voting on offers and ratification of the collective agreements. Outside of negotiations PUMs are held when there are proposals that will have impact on members, on the profession, and on important policy of the association.  

The last times we have had PUMs like this were in 2020 when the teaching council announced they were going to double their fees, and in 2014 when the government announced an intention to pursue bulk funding for schools.  

The focus of these PUMs will be our response to the government proposals to channel money out of public education and into charter schools and how we as a union will continue to develop our constitutional objective to affirm and advance Te Tiriti o Waitangi. 

These PUMs will be part of mobilising our membership, highlighting risks, and getting a collective mandate on these issues to strengthen our campaigning in these areas. They set the scene for our collective agreement negotiations next year and send an important signal to the public and to government that a taniwha is stirring. 

You can get more information here: 

Who should attend? 

All teachers and principals who are members of the PPTA Te Wehengarua in Secondary and Area Schools.  

This includes PPTA members who are teachers at Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu, relievers, RTLB and itinerating teachers. 

When are they being held? 

The PUMs will be held between 13 to 24 May 2024.  

When will I know when and where my PUM will be? 

Your branch chair will be notified of the date and time for your school by your regional team.  

A national schedule will be available on the PPTA website from Monday 8 April.  

Formal notification of PUMs will go to boards, cc the principal and branch chair on Monday 8 April. 

Relievers – you can attend any one of the PUMs which is convenient. If there is a school that you usually work for then you might like to attend with them.  

RTLB – you would usually attend the PUM that your employing school is going to, however if your base school is attending a different PUM and you want to attend with them please get your base school branch chair to note on the attendance form that you attended.  

Itinerating teachers – if you usually would be working during a scheduled time then attend the PUM with that school. Have the branch chair add you to the attendance list. Otherwise you can attend any convenient PUM.  

Teacher trainee members - can attend a convenient PUM but cannot vote at the PUM. If you are on placement, you should attend the PUM scheduled for your placement school. 

Will I get paid?  

The meetings occur in school time. You will be paid for attending the PUM if you would normally have been working in those hours. 

Day relievers can attend PUMs but you will not be paid for attendance if you were not booked to relieve during that time. 

Part-time teachers can attend but if the meeting is held during a time you would not usually be working then you will not be paid additional hours for this time. 

Teacher trainees who are PPTA members can attend, but this does not give them an entitlement to payment for those hours. They can participate in the meeting but not vote.  

How long do they last?  

The time allowed for the paid union meeting is up to two hours, but they should last only as long as required to complete the business of the meeting. 

Where travel is required the branch should notify the principal of the arrangements for this, taking into consideration the start time of the PUM, the travel time required, the two hour paid time allocated for union meetings in the Employment Relations Act and the operations of the school. 

Who notifies my employer we are having a PUM? 

PPTA national office has advised principals that PUMs will be held between 13 to 24 May 2024 

Branch Officers can advise their principal of the exact date, time, and venue for their school when this is confirmed. 

Formal notice of the paid union meetings will be given by PPTA national office to employing boards and principals on Monday 8 April.  

How do I know if I am a current PPTA member? 

If you are paying subscriptions, you will see these as deductions on your payslip. 

Your Branch chairs have access to a membership list, and you can check with them that you are on it. 

Queries about membership can be made by emailing  

A person is officially a member from the time they sign a membership form or submit an application online.  

What happens if I can’t go to the PUM? 

It’s important that all members attend the PUM if possible, so that you are part of a very clear show of solidarity on these important issues.  

If you do not attend, then you must be at work if you would normally be working. If you are not at the PUM or at school, you could lose pay for an unapproved absence. 

If you cannot go to the PUM because you have a commitment which cannot be altered during the two-week notice period, you can request an exemption using the online form here. You must advise your branch chair you are doing this, and you and the branch chair will be notified if the exemption is approved.  

You do not need to request an exemption if you are on approved leave during the PUM.  

If there is an emergency or issue of student or staff welfare that prevents you at the last minute from attending the PUM please advise your branch chair and principal. You do not need to apply for an exemption.  

The branch chair must keep a record of members who attend and may ask you to sign an attendance list at the PUM.  The original list is given to the principal and a copy kept for the branch records.   

Where the branch has one person (e.g. technical intermediate members) the regional chair can verify their attendance.   

What if I have to travel to the venue? 

The branch may organise free travel for members.  

If you must use your own transport you should share with other members. 

There will be travel reimbursement forms at the PUM for the owner of the vehicle.


If you have any further questions about the PUMs please contact your field officer.


PUMs schedule can be found here
PUMs Regional claims form

Last modified on Monday, 27 May 2024 14:32