Facilitation will begin on Monday 5 November at 10:30am.

Facilitation will be conducted by the Chief of the Employment Relations Authority (ERA), James Crichton.

The joint application from the two parties was accepted on Friday, with the Authority finding there were multiple grounds for accepting the application: bargaining has been protracted, further strike action is planned, and the strike action would likely have a substantial effect on the public interest.

The Authority is able to make recommendations about the process the parties should use to reach agreement as well as the terms and conditions of the collective agreement, at the end of the facilitation process.

While the parties don’t have to follow these recommendations, they must consider them in good faith and cannot reject them without first considering them.

NZEI national president Lynda Stuart said that should the ERA make any recommendations, NZEI’s members would be given the opportunity to consider them.

During facilitation, bargaining continues and employees are not prevented from using strikes.

Last week, NZEI members voted to undertake rolling strikes around the country, beginning on November 12.