Today, Paul Goulter from NZEI, has sent out the following email to help with guidance around TA Grade translation.

As an executive, we have been asked to clarify some of the confusion surrounding some of the anomalies in the TA Pay Equity regrading and translation.

Perry Rush, our NZPF principal, advised as follows in his 22 August communication to us: “My advice to you is to cease all discussion with teacher aides about regrading. I have spoken to the Secretary for Education about this matter and indicated my preference is for a moratorium on regrading until the issues can be dealt with and clear guidelines established.

In the interim your message to teacher aides is to be patient. Principals must act from a position of having unequivocal information on which to base safe and appropriate discussions with employees about employment agreements.”

The CPPA Executive concurs, and is following the advice from Perry.

The email below, which has just come from the NZEI National Secretary, clarifies it more, as Perry intimated the NZEI / Ministry would do.

Kia ora koutou,

We want to make clear the situation around the funding of teacher aide grade changes that occur as a direct result of the pay equity settlement. It is important to ensure that clear and accurate information is provided to members and we have conveyed this to the ministry following feedback from teacher aides, principals, EOs, LSCs and SENCOs.

NZEI Te Riu Roa and the Ministry have agreed that while we expect most teacher aides will be translated into the correct grade based on automatic translation, in some circumstances teacher aides will have been doing work before the settlement that now falls into a higher grade as a direct result of the new work matrix.

As a consequence, the Ministry is working to finalise the process by which schools will be able to access funding where a teacher aide is translated to a higher grade than the automatic translation based on the work they were doing at the point of the settlement (12 Feb).

The Ministry will provide details of the initial funding that has been calculated and provided to each school for the whole of the settlement at the end of this week. At the same time, further information around the ministry’s exceptional funding process will be made available, including updating the Ministry’s operations guide with details about how to apply for additional funding.

In the meantime, if a teacher aide has applied for their role to be re-graded under the terms of their employment agreement, principals, EOs, LSCs and SENCOs should continue to consider this request using the matrix and other relevant information. NZEI will provide support to members.

Summary

The Ministry will fund the full direct cost of the settlement for schools. This includes:

  • funding for the increase between the non-teaching staff pay rate and the new pay equity pay rate backdated to 12 February 2020
  • funding for additional annual progression which arises from the settlement (such as teacher aides who were previously in grade B, and are now able to progress over time to the top of grade B-C)
  • the cost of providing the new regular or one-off Tiaki allowance rates
  • the cost of translation to a higher salary grade where the school evidences that the teacher aide was regularly performing work on 12th February which is above their automatic salary translation grade (demonstration will be required that this circumstance has arisen as part of the settlement and has not arisen as the result of historical errors or changes to a teacher aides duties after the settlement date).

NOTE: the automatic progression of teacher aides from the top of grade B to the start of Grade C is included as part of the automatic translation funding, it is not part of the additional/exceptional funding by application.

Ngā mihi

Paul Goulter
NZEI Te Riu Roa National Secretary