The Employment Relations Authority has ruled that the Ministry of Education was incorrect in its decision to cut the fortnightly pay of around 6000 school support staff.
The Ministry reduced the pay of 6000 annualised school support staff by 3.7 per cent for all of 2016 because of a payroll anomaly that sees annualised staff receive one extra fortnightly payment over a period of 11 years. This is the 11th year since annualisation became available to support staff.
Judge James Crichton wrote in his determination that the terms of the support staff collective agreement did not permit the Ministry to take such action because the 26 annualised wage payments each year were required to be made in a 12-month period, not over a 54-week period.
He has directed both parties to return to mediation to “arrange matters appropriately”. If an agreement can’t be reached, NZEI can return to the ERA for a compliance order.
NZEI General Manager for operations, Andrew Casidy, said the determination was positive news for support staff, many of whom were struggling financially under the reduced income.
“However, there is some way to go to find resolution," he said.