With kiddy fiddling teachers being all the rage in the media these days, and the absolute failure of schools and the Ministry of Education to address the issue of pedophiles in education, we decided to have a look at the Collective Agreement for Primary School Teachers, as negotiated between NZEI and the Ministry of Education.
Here are some general notes:
1. ‘Serious Misconduct’ is mentioned only in two chapters and less than five lines (the agreement is 97 pages). It is also never defined. The only serious treatment of it is in clause 10.6:
Nothing in clauses 10.2, 10.3, 10.4 or 10.5 prevents instant dismissal without notice in the case of serious misconduct.
It is standard in almost every private sector contract to include a definition so as to avoid dispute. If this then is standard, who decided it should be left out? Who has what to hide and who benefits?
2. The Collective Agreement blurs the lines on reporting to the Teachers Council (now the Education Council).
Many complaints will be able to be resolved by discussion between the principal and the employee concerned without the need to take the matter any further. This does not negate any statutory obligation to inform the New Zealand Teachers Council if applicable.