School Caretakers', Cleaners' and Canteen Staff Collective Agreement

Variation to this agreement

On 25 March 2019, the parties agreed to a variation to take into account the changes to the Minimum Wage Rate that increased to $17.70 from 1 April 2019. These changes have been incorporated into this webpage.

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School Caretakers', Cleaners' and Canteen Workers' Collective Agreement [PDF, 622 KB]

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Appendix C: Terms of Settlement

School Caretakers', Cleaners' and Canteen Staff Collective Agreement
Effective 8 May 2017 to 7 June 2019

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5 May 2017

This document sets out agreed components of a settlement for the School Caretakers’ and Cleaners’ (including Canteen Workers’) Collective Agreement (SCCCA) 2017 – 2019, between the Secretary for Education and the E tū.

1. Remuneration and Term

a. Remuneration

i. With effect from the date these Terms of Settlement are signed, all printed base scale rates will increase by 1.2%.

ii. a) 12 months after signing of the Terms of Settlement, Caretakers and Cleaners and Canteen Workers will translate to new pay scales which for the first time will include incremental progression and ranges of rates as well as incorporating financial recognition for attainment of relevant L2 and L3 ITO qualifications for cleaners and L3 ITO qualifications for caretakers and canteen workers (as well as L4 qualifications for caretakers which are deemed relevant by an individual employer) and current “service pay” and “in charge” provisions where applicable.

b) The new pay scales are attached at Appendix 1. There are separate scales for:

  • Cleaners and Canteen Workers
  • Caretakers
  • Supervisors

The criteria for movement in the range of rates is attached as Appendix 2.

c) The basic rule for translation to the new scales in May 2018 will be as follows:

i. The employee’s base salary, together with any of the following allowances: Service pay cl.4.1 and/or ITO Qualification Payment cl 4.9, Cleaners’ and Canteen Workers’ in Charge Allowance cl 2.3 or Caretaking Supervisors’ pay under cl 3.2, will establish the pre-translation rate and determine the appropriate translated scale. 

ii. The employee’s new remuneration on translation will be determined as follows: First: identify the step equivalent to or closest above the employee’s pre-translation rate on the applicable translated scale.  Second: identify the next step on the translated scale. This is the employee’s translated step and applicable remuneration.

iii. If c) ii. has the effect of taking the employee’s remuneration into a range of rates, then the pre-translation rate +0.6% is the translated rate within the range of rates.

iv. For the sake of clarity, the following examples for currently employed school cleaners (with no supervisory role and without ITO qualifications) are given in Table 1 below.

Table 1


Current hourly base rate remuneration + Service Pay 

1.2% remuneration increase to base rate remuneration with effect from date of signing of Terms of Settlement + Service Pay allowance

Remuneration (step) with effect from date of translation to new scale (incorporates discontinued Service Pay allowance – see Note 4 below)

Remuneration with effect from first incremental progression (subject to satisfactory performance) Pay Period 2, 2019


April 2015

May 2017

May 2018

April 2019

Cleaner <3years



$16.18 (step 2)

$16.26 (step 3)

Cleaner >3 years



$16.26 (step 3)

$16.34 (step 4)

Cleaner >5 years



$16.42 (step 4)

$16.51 (step 5)

v. For the avoidance of doubt, allowances listed in c) i. above will cease from the date of translation, as they will have been incorporated into the new scale.

Note: From the date of translation, until pay period 2, 2019, an employee who would have become entitled to a service pay allowance during this period, may, at the discretion of the employer, be retranslated on to the relevant scale, based on their May 2017 remuneration rate plus the value of the now ceased service allowance, to which they would have been entitled.

vi. Where an employee and employer have agreed a school-based variation under clause1.4 they will, taking account of the new scales, review the arrangement within 20 working days of the coming into force of the new scales in May 2018.

vii. From pay period 2, 2019 (April 2019), all employees (other than casual staff who have worked intermittently) who have worked for 12 months will become eligible for annual incremental progression  and will progress (subject to the criteria for Pay scale progression in clause x.x.1) during pay period 2 each year to a point within each scale beyond which ranges of rates will apply. Notwithstanding this, should the employer wish to do so, it has discretion to apply incremental progression to any employee who has not worked for 12 months, or to casual staff who have only worked on an intermittent basis over the preceding 12 months.


1. The above arrangements will result in the following average annual cost increases to employers as follows:

  • 1.2% with effect from the signing of these Terms of Settlement (provided ratification is confirmed within three weeks of signing)
  • 0.85% on translation to the new scales 12 months later (May 2018)
  • 0.52% on the first incremental progression in pay period 2, 2019 (April 2019).

2. Particular attention is drawn to the statement at the bottom of Appendix 1 to the effect that the parties explicitly acknowledge that the scales have incorporated financial recognition for attainment of relevant L 2 and L3 ITO qualifications for cleaners and L3 ITO qualifications for caretakers and canteen workers (as well as L4 qualifications for caretakers which are deemed relevant by the employer) and current “service pay” and “in charge” allowances where applicable.

b. Term

A 25 month term (from date these Terms of Settlement are signed), expiring in June 2019.

Note: These dates are contingent on these Terms of Settlement being ratified by 31 May 2017 and that the new collective agreement is signed upon ratification.

2. Professional Learning and Development for cleaners, caretakers and canteen workers

The parties note the new scales incorporate attainment of various relevant Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications, newly developed by the relevant Industry Training Organisation and wish to encourage the uptake of these qualifications.  These are:

  • Careerforce:         
    • NZ Certificate in Cleaning Level 2 and NZ Certificate in Cleaning Level 3
    • NZ Certificate in Caretaking Level 3
  • Service IQ:                       
    • NZ Certificate in Catering Services Level 3.

Accordingly, the parties have agreed that between 1 July and 31 November 2017, E tū and NZSTA will meet at least twice with Careerforce and Service IQ to discuss ways to encourage uptake of these qualifications during the term of this Agreement.

3. Direct employment of cleaners

The parties note that a number of boards have employed contract cleaning and caretaking services instead of directly employing their own staff.  The parties have agreed (i) NZSTA will annually re-issue the December 2016 reminder to boards of trustees about the operation of Part 6A of the Employment Relations Act 2000 when contracting out such services; and (ii) NZSTA will survey Boards annually about their satisfaction with contracted cleaning and caretaking services, and will share these results with E tū. E tū will be invited to make suggestions on the wording of the survey questions, but the final decision on wording will be one for NZSTA to make.

4. Clothing and footwear allowance clause 4.2

a. The rate of the clothing and footwear allowance under clauses 4.2 will be increased to 15c/hour to reflect the recent IRD ruling that the allowance must be taxable.

b. The parties have agreed that for purposes of clause 4.2, provision of one “popover” smock is considered to be “suitable clothing” for cleaners, as an alternative to payment of the allowance.

c. Accordingly, clause 4.2 as amended will read as follows:

4.2 Clothing and footwear allowance

A clothing and footwear allowance at the rate specified below shall be paid after the first week’s employment, except where the employer supplies suitable clothing.  For cleaners, provision of a “popover” smock is agreed to be suitable clothing.

  • Clothing/footwear allowance 15cents/hour (taxable).

5.  Unusually Dirty Work Allowance Clause 4.6

The parties confirm that it is not intended that the above allowance is ever payable pro rata, depending on whether the employee is full-time or not.

Accordingly, the current Clause 4.6 will be amended as follows:

4.6 Unusually Dirty Work Allowance

A worker performing usually dirty work in out-of-the-ordinary circumstances such as cleaning or removing vomit and excreta outside of toilet bowls, excess dust and dirt from demolition or construction on site being cleaned, flood damage, sewage overflow, human remains and animal offal, shall while so employed, be paid at the rate specified below. A worker performing such work shall be provided with overalls and gloves and masks where necessary.

  • Unusually dirty work allowance $3.85 per day

Note: where entitlement arises under this clause the allowance must be paid in full at this rate once only per day.

6. Health and Safety

The parties have agreed that:

i. NZSTA and E tū will work together during the term of this agreement to encourage participation in health and safety systems established under the Health and Safety at work Act 2015.

ii. A new clause shall be added to Part 6 of the collective agreement as follows:

6.x Health and Safety

6.x.1 The parties recognise the importance of ensuring good and safe working conditions through Health and Safety in the workplace, and that it is a mutual obligation of Boards of Trustees and employees to achieve this through a participative approach.

6.x.2 Accordingly, the parties recognise that Boards of Trustees and employees are committed to attaining a safe working environment and acknowledge the requirements of the Health & Safety at Work Act 2015, in particular the mutual obligation of Boards and employees to assess risks, and identify and manage all hazards associated with the employer’s business.  Boards of Trustees shall recognise Health & Safety workplace representatives as provided for in the Health & Safety at Work Act 2015. 

7. Rewording of redundancy provisions in clause 6.9/Appendix B

The parties have agreed that the wording in clause 6.9/Appendix B of the collective agreement will be replaced by the text with the amendments indicated in the attached Appendix 3.

8. Possible future amalgamation of School Caretakers’ and Cleaners’ (including Canteen Workers) Collective Agreement (SCCCA) and Secondary and Area Groundstaff Collective Agreement (SASGCA)

The parties have agreed to engage in constructive discussions in good faith with the Northern, Central and Southern Amalgamated Workers Unions (AWUNZ), and the New Zealand School Trustees Association about consolidating both collective agreements into a single collective agreement at the next bargaining.  The discussions will be convened by the Ministry during the term of the SCCCA and the SASGCA.

9. Technical Amendments

a. The parties have agreed that this collective agreement will in future be known as the  School Caretakers’, Cleaners’ and Canteen Staff Collective Agreement;

b. The parties have agreed to make such other technical changes to the collective agreement as may be mutually agreed between the date of this settlement and the signing of the collective agreement.

Signed 8 May 2017

Jill Ovens
Industry Co-ordinator, E tū

Tim Day
Senior Adviser Employment Relations
for the Secretary for Education

Witnessed by:
Nicole Williams