Surplus staffing support for a reduction in staffing entitlement

If there’s a reduction in your staffing entitlement, you may need to disestablish permanent teaching positions. We may cover the costs that schools incur. Here’s how to apply for approval for surplus staffing support.

About surplus staffing support

If you disestablish a permanent teaching position, you may incur one of these costs:

  • The teacher’s salary.
  • A long service/severance payment.

Through surplus staffing support, we may cover these costs. The costs may be incurred by your requirements under the teacher’s employment agreement.

Read about your employer obligations under relevant collective agreements and a summary of the surplus staffing clauses.

Collective agreements

Surplus staffing

If we approve a surplus staffing application, it will add the following, as necessary, to the school’s staffing entitlement:

  • Full-time teacher equivalents (FTTEs)
  • Units
  • Middle management allowance (MMA) 
  • Senior management allowance (SMA).

Follow these steps (explained below) if we've notified you that it's likely you will have a staffing entitlement reduction:

  1. Identify whether you have a staffing entitlement reduction.
  2. Decide if you have to reduce teaching positions – to decide whether to disestablish positions, contact the New Zealand School Trustees Association for advice.
  3. Manage a staffing entitlement reduction.
  4. Determine whether your school is eligible for Ministry support – the conditions required before you apply for surplus staffing support.
  5. Complete the paperwork for surplus staffing support – the form and attachments you’ll need for your application.
  6. Read the timeline for processing surplus staffing support applications – the September to January timeline for processing.

Identify whether you have a staffing entitlement reduction

Provisional staffing entitlement notices are posted to all boards of trustees in September of every year. These notices tell you the minimum level of staffing for the following year.

Calculating your staffing entitlement reduction

The Ministry will consider supporting boards of trustees with the reduction in staffing entitlement that is shown in the top row – the staffing entitlement row (and not the ‘total’ row).

Provisional staffing entitlement notice [PNG, 82 KB]

Here is the calculation:
 2014 staffing entitlementminus2015 provisional staffing entitlementreduction in staffing entitlement
FTTE 56.50 50.70 = 5.8 
Units 75 68 = 7
MMA 44 40 = 4
SMA 3 3 = 0

The school board of trustees faces a reduction of 5.8 full-time teachers, 7 units and 4 MMAs (middle management allowances).

Decide if you have to reduce teaching positions

Before you apply for surplus staffing support, check whether you need to reduce teaching positions. If your provisional staffing entitlement is lower than your current staffing entitlement, contact the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA). They will help:

  • decide whether to reduce the number of teachers 
  • run the process to identify which positions to disestablish 
  • ensure that you have met all your obligations as an employer.

You do not need to be an NZSTA member. The Ministry contracts NZSTA to provide industrial advice to all boards of trustees.

Contacting the NZSTA

Contact a NZSTA industrial advisor through the website.

NZSTA website (external link)

Phone the helpdesk: 0800 STAHELP (0800 782 435)

The Ministry can't advise boards of trustees or teachers on employment issues

The State Sector Act 1988 requires boards of trustees, as self-governing entities, to act independently in their employment decisions on individual employees. The Ministry and others cannot try to influence decisions.

State Sector Act 1988 — NZ Legislation website (external link)

The Ministry can, however, advise on the surplus staffing process. 

Advice for teachers

Teachers affected by a reduction in staffing entitlement should direct all employment enquiries to their board of trustees, usually via the school principal. They may also wish to contact their union (if they’re a member) or an independent employment advisory service.

Manage a staffing entitlement reduction

You may not need to disestablish teaching positions

Boards of trustees with a reduction in staffing entitlement do not always have to disestablish permanent positions. The board of trustees may be able to keep all permanent staff if:

  • they can reduce teaching positions by attrition
  • the number of permanent teachers is the same as, or lower than, the new staffing entitlement
  • they can use other resources, such as banking staffing or operational funding.

Maintaining the curriculum

Sometimes a board of trustees of a secondary or area school cannot maintain a curriculum area because of a reduction in staffing entitlement. The programme maintenance allowance may be available to boards of trustees in this situation.

Programme maintenance allowance

Determine whether your school is eligible for Ministry support

Your situation must meet all these conditions to be eligible for surplus staffing support.

Condition 1 – you're disestablishing at least 1 full-time teacher equivalent (FTTE)

Condition 2 – you've made sound employment decisions

Condition 3 – you and the teacher agree about their future options

Condition 1 – you have a reduction in your staffing entitlement of at least 1.0 FTTE

Calculating the surplus staffing support available for disestablished teaching positions

The Ministry looks at both the reduction in staffing entitlement and the number of permanent teachers (FTTE) employed by the board of trustees.

To receive surplus staffing support, you must disestablish at least one full-time equivalent teacher. The maximum amount of Ministry support is the lower of:

  • the whole number part of the reduction, and 
  • the permanent positions over entitlement.

Disestablishing full-time and part-time teaching positions

You can apply for support to disestablish teaching positions, up to the FTTE amount your entitlement staffing has decreased by. This support is intended for part time and full time teachers’ positions.

When entitlement staffing reductions are less than 1.0 FTTE, Boards usually manage their staffing without additional support. We may consider applications when disestablishing a full time position to cover a reduction of less than 1.0 FTTE is unavoidable.

All application are considered on a case by case basis.

Disestablishing units, MMAs and SMAs

If the Ministry approves support for a disestablished position, we will also fund any units, middle management allowances (MMAs) and senior management allowances (SMAs) associated with that position.

Otherwise, we can only support the disestablishment of units, MMAs and SMAs up to the level of the reduction shown on the provisional staffing entitlement notice.

Entitlement staffing

Condition 2 – sound employment decisions

The Ministry will consider whether the board of trustees has made prudent employment decisions during the year.

If the board of trustees was ‘supported’ through the year, it must have requested permission from the Ministry before making permanent appointments.

Note: A board of trustees is ‘supported’ if its provisional staffing entitlement for the current year is 1.00 FTTE higher than the staffing entitlement generated by its 1 March roll.

The Ministry also considers whether the board of trustees conducted an ‘environmental scan’ before making any appointments. This is an assessment of all the factors that might affect a school’s roll for the current and next year.

If the board of trustees has appointed a permanent teacher at a time when it would have been aware that a reduction in staffing was likely, then the board of trustees may be liable for any surplus staffing costs arising from the appointment decision.

Condition 3 – teacher agreement and future options

The Ministry will support boards of trustees where there’s evidence that the board of trustees and the teacher agree about the teacher’s choice of future options.

You must attach the following documents to your application to demonstrate that the board of trustees has acted as a good employer:

1. Board of trustees meeting minutes detailing decisions about positions to be disestablished.

2. A letter to the teacher telling them their position will be disestablished.

3. A letter or email from the teacher to the board of trustees stating their chosen option:

  • Supernumerary — work at the school for their surplus staffing period.
  • Supernumerary at another school for the surplus staffing period.
  • Further study in the field of education.
  • Long service pay, if conditions are met.
  • Severance pay, if conditions are met.

The paperwork for applying for surplus staffing support

Send the Ministry these forms and attachments between mid-November and early December, ideally as soon as possible.

Typically we'll be in touch with the final outcome within 4 weeks.

Complete the form

Download and complete the surplus staffing support form.

Surplus staffing report form [DOCX, 56 KB]

Provide details of all support you're requesting from the Ministry for all disestablished positions. This includes full-time teacher equivalents, units, middle management allowances (MMAs) and senior management allowances (SMAs).

Include board of trustees meeting minutes.

Attach correspondence

Also include paperwork listed below and all correspondence between the board of trustees and the teacher about the teacher’s choice of future options.

Supernumerary at your school

Supernumerary at another school

Retraining (further study in the field of education)

Severance payment

Long service payment

Units, middle management allowance, and senior management allowance

Supernumerary at your school

A supernumerary teacher remains at their current school for the surplus staffing period. You don’t need to attach any additional documents.

Supernumerary — at another school (also called redeployment)

A supernumerary teacher may decide to move to another school for the surplus staffing period. The teacher and both boards of trustees must agree to the arrangement. Include with the application:

  • written agreement between the teacher’s current employing board of trustees and their new board of trustees
  • a letter from the teacher to their current board of trustees, stating that they agree to the arrangement.

Retraining (further study in the field of education)

Include paperwork showing the course:

  • is equivalent to tertiary level — at least New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) level 7
  • is provided by a NZQA accredited provider
  • is full-time
  • enhances or upgrades teaching skills; the course must focus on classroom practice and/or school management.

Severance payment

You must meet all the requirements in the collective agreement. Your application should demonstrate the following.

  • If the teacher is covered by the Primary Teachers’ Collective Agreement or the primary teacher’s individual employment agreement, the Ministry has to agree that the board of trustees and the teacher have explored other options (supernumerary, redeployment and retraining) and none is appropriate. 
  • If the teacher is covered by the Area and Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement or the area or secondary teacher’s individual employment agreement, you need to confirm that the teacher did not volunteer to have their position disestablished.

Long service payment

For teachers covered by the Primary Teachers’ Collective Agreement or the primary teacher’s individual employment agreement:

  • the Ministry has to agree that the board of trustees and the teacher have explored all other options (supernumerary, redeployment and retraining) and none is appropriate 
  • the Ministry needs to see confirmation of 25 years of service – this is available from the Novopay Service Centre.

For teachers covered by the Area and Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement or the area or secondary teacher’s individual employment agreement:

  • include confirmation of 25 years of service from the Novopay Service Centre with your application.

Units, middle management allowances and senior management allowances

Attach these documents to your application.

Board of trustees meeting minutes detailing decisions about which units, MMAs and/or SMAs are being disestablished.
A letter to the teacher telling them that their units, MMA and/or SMA will be disestablished.

The timeline for processing applications for surplus staffing support 

The process for surplus staffing support runs from mid-September to the end of January.

Larger image — Surplus staffing timeline image [JPG, 47 KB]

Mid-September

Schools receive provisional staffing entitlement notices.

Mid-September to the end of November

Boards of trustees determine whether they need to disestablish permanent positions and identify positions to be disestablished. To do this, the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) helps boards of trustees with a needs analysis, called a CAPNA. Boards of trustees notify teachers whose positions are being disestablished.

End of November

Boards of trustees of secondary and composite schools must notify staff whose positions are to be disestablished 2 months prior to the start of the year, as defined in the relevant collective agreements.

Mid-November to early December

Boards of trustees apply for surplus staffing support. Apply as soon as possible. The Ministry can 'approve in principle' applications where the identified teacher has not yet selected their surplus staffing option.

January

If approved, boards of trustees need to ensure teachers are correctly coded on their payroll for pay out.

The board of trustees, as the employer, pays the teacher using the school payroll according to their employment agreement. This applies whether or not the Ministry has approved, declined or is considering a surplus staffing application.

If the teacher is redeployed to another school, the board of trustees there is responsible for ensuring the teacher is paid through the school payroll.

For payroll information, visit the Novopay website.

Novopay (external link)

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