Enabling the Secretary for Education to approve terms and conditions of employment additional to those in applicable collective agreements (concurrence)
The State Services Commissioner may now approve terms and conditions in addition to, but not inconsistent with, those in many collective agreements, under section 75 of the State Sector Act 1988. The State Sector Act 1988 has been amended by the Education Legislation Act 2016 that came into force on 29 October 2016.
Under the State Sector Act 1988, the State Services Commissioner has the power to negotiate under the Employment Relations Act 2000 every collective employment agreement for employees of the education service.
Since 1997, this power has been delegated to the Secretary for Education, and has been used as the authority for the Secretary approving terms and conditions of employment which are additional to, but not inconsistent with, those in the relevant collective agreement. It was unclear whether the Secretary for Education could approve additional terms and conditions of employment through the use of this power.
Impact of the legislation
The amendment allows the State Services Commissioner to approve terms and conditions in addition to, but not inconsistent with, those in many collective agreements. Since 1997, the Secretary for Education has exercised this power in practice. The amendment clarifies that this approval is a legitimate power.
The Secretary for Education will only be able to approve further conditions of employment that have been agreed to by the employer and the employee. The amendment requires that terms and conditions are:
- Mutually agreed by each employee and his or her employer
- Not inconsistent with conditions in the applicable collective agreement.
Why the change?
More recent collective agreements have contained a specific power for the approval of additional terms and conditions, as agreed to, between the employer (usually the school board of trustees) and any of its employees. For the exercise of the power to be legitimate, the power should be in the relevant statute and not in a collective agreement.
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