Concurrence is approval granted by the Secretary for Education for terms or conditions outside those prescribed in the collective agreements or through promulgation of individual employment agreements, for example payment of additional remuneration, allowances or benefits. See s75, State Sector Act.
Before boards offer the payment of additional remuneration, allowances or benefits to a staff member they must have concurrence (approval) from the Ministry. Any additional payment or benefit is not lawful without such concurrence.
Concurrence is not guaranteed. The Ministry considers each application on its merits.
Additional payments are subject to audits, and auditors will look for proof of concurrence. In addition, the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) regularly reviews the process. You can read reports on the results of past audits on concurrence the OAG website.
Concurrence for additional payments, allowances or benefits to a principal
An ‘additional payment or benefit’ is additional to the base salary and allowances in a principal’s collective agreement or Ministry-promulgated individual employment agreement.
A board of trustees must apply for concurrence (approval) from the Ministry for an additional payment or benefit before offering it to the principal.
There are two types of additional payments or benefits that principals may be able to receive:
- payments or benefits for additional duties and responsibilities
- ‘sensitive payments’ such as home phone rental
Once concurrence is granted, boards of trustees are responsible for providing the additional payment or benefit from their own funding. They must ensure they have the budget for this, and that it won’t have a negative impact on the school’s operation.
Any board seeking concurrence for additional payments or benefits to a principal should read the Education Circular 2011/02 “Concurrence for an additional allowance or benefit to a principal”.
Concurrence for additional payments, allowances or benefits to staff who are not principals
Boards do not require concurrence from the Ministry to make Recruitment, Retention and Responsibility payments (3R payments) to teachers out of their operational funding.
Nor do boards require concurrence to pay above the minimum rates contained in the some of the collective agreements covering support staff, including the Support Staff in Schools' Collective Agreement.
Consequently concurrence for additional payments or allowances to staff who are not principals is rarely granted by the Ministry.
There are, however, examples where concurrence has been provided for terms that apply to staff that are not principals. For instance, concurrence is sometimes granted to appoint a specialist classroom teacher who does no fulfil all of the required criteria (such as years of experience). Concurrence was also granted to vary terms to support flexible staffing arrangements after the Christchurch earthquake.
For further information on concurrence please email the Industrial Relations Unit of the Ministry of Education: firstname.lastname@example.org