Kaiārahi i te Reo, therapists, ATSSD and special education assistants
This page supports boards, Kaiārahi i te Reo, therapists, assistants to teachers of students with severe disabilities (ATSSD) and special education assistants to understand the rights and responsibilities that are associated with their roles, as stated in a staff member’s employment agreement.
|Level of compliance||Main audience||Other|
The rights and responsibilities specified in an employment agreement must be adhered to.
- Employment covered by this agreement
- Employment agreements
- Your pay
- Pay increases
- Leaving your job
If you work at a school as:
- an assistant to teachers of students with severe disabilities (ATSSD), you work alongside teachers, helping with the education of students with severe disabilities.
- a special education assistant, you work alongside teachers and therapists, helping with the education of students with physical disabilities.
- a kaiārahi i te reo, you're fluent in te reo Māori and have an in-depth knowledge of Māori traditions and beliefs, and you work alongside a teacher supporting Māori language.
- a therapist, you're a nationally registered physiotherapist and/or occupational therapist holding a current annual practising certificate.
Kaiārahi i te reo, therapists, ATSSD and special education assistants are covered by the terms and conditions of:
- the Kaiārahi i te Reo, Therapists’, ATSSD and Special Education Assistants’ Collective Agreement, or
- an individual employment agreement (IEA), with similar terms and conditions to the collective agreement.
Who's covered by the collective agreement
You're covered by the collective agreement if:
- your work is covered by this agreement, and
- you're a member of the New Zealand Educational Institute Te Riu Roa (NZEI Te Riu Roa).
Who's covered by the individual employment agreement (IEA)
You need to sign an IEA if:
- your work is covered by the collective agreement, but
- you're not a member of the NZEI Te Riu Roa.
The Ministry of Education develops and publishes the IEA. The terms and conditions of your work are similar to the collective agreement.
For information about your pay refer to Part 3 of the collective agreement.
Check the relevant clause for your job:
- clause 3.1 for special education assistants
- clause 3.2 for kaiārahi i te Reo and ATSSD
- clause 3.3 for therapists.
If you work part time your pay is a percentage of the full-time pay for your role, calculated by the number of hours you work each week.
The pay grade may have steps within it and you can move up those steps based on your performance review each year. This is explained in the same clause that sets your pay scales.
If you have a recognised qualification that your employer agrees is relevant to your job you may be entitled to a pay increase. The allowances and the qualification levels you need to achieve are listed in clause 3.7 of the collective agreement. You can find out more about the NZQA qualifications on their website.
If you were receiving a payment before 28 January 2012 for a recognised qualification listed in an earlier collective agreement, you'll still receive that payment while you're employed by the same school in the same job.
Allowances are set out in Part 5 of the collective agreement.
- motor vehicle (if you have to use your own car for school business – $0.62 cents per km)
- first aid (if you are the designated first-aider and have a first aid certificate or nursing qualification – $0.35 cents an hour)
- overnight (if you have to stay overnight on a school camp or trip – minimum adult wage rate per hour for hours worked between 6pm and 8am
- Tiaki allowance (therapists only – $3.85 a day).
Leave entitlements are set out in Part 6 of the collective agreement.
Annual leave and long service leave
You get 4 weeks annual leave each year and you must take this when the school is closed at the end of the school year (that is, not in term time). This is on top of the normal public holidays, which are paid days off. You get Easter Tuesday as a paid day off in your first 10 years of service, and therapists also get the day after Boxing Day as a paid day off. These entitlements are set out in clause 6.3.5 of the collective agreement.
After 5 years continuous service your annual leave increases to 4 weeks 3 days, as set out in clause 6.3.6.
After 10 years continuous service your annual leave increases to 5 weeks but you must take Easter Tuesday as annual leave. Therapists must also take the day after Boxing Day as annual leave, as set out in clause 6.3.7.
If you're a special education assistant or therapist, you qualify for long service leave of 4 weeks after 20 years' service, as set out in clause 6.4.1.
Your basic sick leave entitlement is 5 days a year. An extra entitlement of leave is granted depending on your length of service, as shown in the following table.
|Time you've worked||Extra sick leave|
|Up to 3 months||7 days|
|Over 3 months and up to 6 months||7 days|
|Over 6 months and up to 9 months||7 days|
|Over 9 months and up to 5 years||5 days|
|Over 5 years and up to 10 years||19 days|
|Over 10 years and up to 20 years||14 days|
|Over 20 years and up to 30 years||25 days|
|Over 30 years||22 days|
If you don’t use all your sick leave in a year you can carry it forward, and you can anticipate days from this extra allocation if your employer agrees.
You can use your sick leave to care for a sick family member.
The collective agreement contains full details of sick leave, including special conditions for working out your additional sick leave if you were previously covered by a different employment agreement.
You're entitled to bereavement/tangihanga leave, as set out in clause 6.6 of the collective agreement.
Your school may also allow you to take special or discretionary leave with or without pay on days when the school is open as set out in clause 6.11.
Family Violence Leave is set out in clause 6.12 of the collective agreement.
Parental leave is granted by the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987. It applies to a birth mother, their partner/spouse and people who adopt a child aged under 6.
Parental leave covers four types of leave.
- Primary carer leave – mothers and employees who are going to have the primary responsibility for a child (under six years) can get up to 26 weeks off work from around the time of birth or from the time you become the primary carer for the child in the case of adoption, home for life or whāngai.
- Partner/paternity leave - If your partner has had a baby or you've adopted a child together, you can take up to 2 weeks off.
- Extended leave – You may be able to extend your maternity leave for an extra 52 weeks.
- Special leave – pregnant woman can have up to 10 days pregnancy related leave.
You need to apply to your employer before taking parental leave. The usual notice required is 3 months but this can be reduced in some circumstances, for example if an adoption is arranged in a short time. The Employment New Zealand website explains how to apply for parental leave.
Parental leave payment
If you qualify for the parental leave payment, it's paid through Inland Revenue, so you need to apply for this payment and your school must confirm that you're entitled to parental leave.
If you work part time, the Employment New Zealand website can help you work out your parental leave payment.
If you're a special education assistant or a therapist employed under an old NZ Support Staff in Schools Composite agreement at 30 August 1992, you may qualify for a maternity grant. It's paid if you return to work before your maternity leave ends and work for a further 6 months. The amount paid is equivalent to 30 working days' leave on pay. You can read more about this in clause 6.8 of the collective agreement.
Both you and your employer must follow the correct processes and procedures to manage your resignation, dismissal or retirement.
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