2.4 Teacher Conduct and Discipline

2.4.1 Where a breach of discipline appears to have occurred, the employer shall determine whether disciplinary procedures should be initiated.

Where the employer considers it appropriate it shall make initial enquiries to establish whether the disciplinary procedures should be initiated.

In some cases, where the facts are clear and acknowledged, resolution may be achieved informally by discussion between the parties without the need for initiating the disciplinary procedures.

The teacher shall be informed of any allegation of a breach of discipline and of his/her right to consult the union and of the right to be represented at any stage.

2.4.2 Questions of conduct or discipline should be handled fairly in a manner which protects the mana and dignity of the teacher concerned. Teachers may seek whanau, family, professional and/or union support in relation to such matters.

2.4.3 When an employer decides to initiate formal disciplinary procedures against a teacher, the following principles are to be observed:

    1. The employer or its agents will advise the teacher in writing of the reason for the disciplinary procedures being initiated, invite the teacher to respond in writing, and advise the teacher of her/his right to request union assistance and/or representation at any stage.
    2. Before any substantive disciplinary action is taken, an investigation must be undertaken by the employer. The teacher is to be invited to attend any such investigation and to make a statement concerning the matter either personally or through a representative.
    3. Notwithstanding clause 2.4.3(b) above, if the employer is satisfied that the welfare and interests of any student attending the school so requires, the employer may, at any time before the matter has finally been disposed of, either:
        1. suspend the teacher
          Note: suspension would normally be on pay except in exceptional circumstances); or
        2. transfer the teacher to other duties.
    4. Where a breach of discipline is held to have occurred, the employer shall not impose a penalty on the teacher without first:
        1. giving the teacher the opportunity to make representations to it; and
        2. taking into account any period of suspension already imposed.
    5. In the case of a finding of serious misconduct the employer may dismiss the teacher without notice.

2.4.4 Where a teacher has been suspended, and subsequently a breach of discipline is held not to have been proved, the teacher shall, unless the teacher has already resigned, be entitled to resume forthwith, teaching duties.

2.4.5 Where the teacher has been suspended without pay and subsequently the breach of discipline is held not to have been proved the salary withheld for the period of suspension shall be reimbursed.

2.4.6 If any penalty is imposed by the employer, the teacher must be advised of her/his right to pursue a personal grievance in terms of the employment relationship problem resolution provisions referred to in Part Eight of this agreement:

2.4.7 The following are examples of matters that may warrant disciplinary action. This is not an exhaustive list, nor is it intended that every such matter listed here must always be treated as a disciplinary matter. Each case must be assessed on its individual merits.

    1. disobedience of lawful orders or instructions;
    2. negligence, carelessness or indolence in carrying out her/his duties as a teacher;
    3. gross inefficiency as a teacher;
    4. misuse or failure to take proper care of school property or equipment in her/his custody or charge;
    5. absence from duty without valid excuse;
    6. conduct in her/his capacity as a teacher or otherwise which is unbecoming to a member of the teaching service.

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