NEWSLETTER SUPPLEMENT TO THE AEU NEWS • MARCH 2010
Tell us your stories This is your newsletter — and we want to hear from you Mary Bluett branch president
HIS is your newsletter. It aims to inform you, empower you, encourage your involvement in your union and give you access to training and professional development. Education support membership continues to grow — and grow! ES representation on branch council has also grown, ensuring ES members have a strong voice in our union and our union is stronger as a result. ES members were again represented at our Federal AEU Conference held in January. Katrina Tenson, ES member from Broadmeadows Special Development School was an elected delegate and Sylvia Ganosis of Macarthur Street PS in Ballarat attended as a registered observer.
Katrina addressed conference on the importance of ES participation at all levels of the union and urged other states and territories to include ES members in their delegations (see page 3). She did ES members, and the AEU Victorian branch, proud. It is important that ES members are also active at the school level. Becoming involved is key to ensuring ES issues are central to your school operations. The ES Agreement gives you rights and guaranteed participation in the consultation processes (see “New members start here”, page 3). The AEU gives ES members access to quality training and professional development. Our ES statewide conference is always popular and was oversubscribed again last year. Watch out for it in Term 3 and be early to register! We introduced a specific conference for business
Important news for school council employees Kathryn Lewis ES organiser
TTENTION — are you a school council employee? If the answer is yes then you may wish to bring this article to the attention of your principal. At the end of last year there was a significant change in attitude by the Education Department towards school council employees — one that could have a significant impact on ES staff and your school’s budget. School council employees have redeployment rights, and it has been common practice for them to be redeployed into centrally advertised positions on Recruitment Online. However a stricter interpretation by the department means this can no longer happen. The department argues that redeployment arrangements apply only to the relevant employer — in other words, ES staff employed
by school councils can only be redeployed into vacancies with that school council. This means school council ES staff cannot fully exercise their redeployment rights. The most straightforward solution is for school council employees to be placed on the central departmental payroll. This will ensure that ES staff have real access to redeployment rights if and when they need them. There is potentially a significant cost saving to schools by having their ES staff on the central payroll. Ongoing employees in excess who cannot be referred receive a targeted separation package which is funded from the school budget — that could mean a costly shock for schools. For more information on this issue please read the article in the latest AEU News or contact our Membership Services Unit on 1800 013 379. ◆
managers last year and due to strong demand will run it again this year (also in Term 3). In addition we will run a series of regional conferences and AEU Active training courses for country members. We recognise the need to make professional development more accessible for those in the regions. As I said, this is your newsletter. If you have any issues you want us to cover in future editions let us know. We are also keen to run stories about ES members. Do you have a good consultative committee, active sub-branch, strong recruitment, a great ES representative? We can learn from each other — share your stories. ◆
Anna Stewart Memorial Project T
HE Anna Stewart Memorial Project is a developmental program for women unionists who are interested in getting more involved in the union. It runs for two weeks, twice a year. The first dates Participants in 2009’s for 2010 are Monday May 3 Anna Stewart Memorial Project to Friday May 14. The AEU will pay replacements costs to your workplace to allow you to attend. Country members are particularly encouraged to apply, and assistance with accommodation and transport is available. If you are interested in applying or would like more information, please go to www.aeuvic.asn.au/women or contact Barb Jennings or Gayle Bernhardt on (03) 9418 4860 or email email@example.com. ◆
A E U h e a d o f f i c e 112 Trenerr y Crescent, Abbotsford 3067 Tel : 03 9417 2822 Fax: 1300 658 078 Web : www.ae u v i c . a s n . a u
Trouble in lieu over recall Recall and time in lieu do not have to be difficult — there is a way to work things out so they are fair and work for ES and schools. Kathryn Lewis ES organiser
ECALL is an issue that continues to be raised by members. At times it can become quite contentious for schools who struggle to manage it in a way that is fair and equitable for all staff. There is also often confusion about the relationship between the recall and time in lieu (TIL). The answer is to gain a better understanding of both entitlements. A 48/52 calendar year ES employee can be recalled for duty and/or professional development up to six days per year (or pro rata). But it does not automatically follow that you will be recalled. Through consultation, schools should determine if ES need to be recalled. The need may vary depending on work areas, roles and responsibilities. Schools should only recall staff if there is worthwhile work for them to do that is consistent with
their normal roles and responsibilities. If there is no real work for ES staff to do, then they should not be recalled. This may mean that some ES staff are recalled and others are not — and this is where the tension arises for schools. But there are ways it can be overcome so that all staff are treated fairly. Developing a local agreement for recall can resolve the issue by striking a balance that suits individual ES and the school. Time in lieu (TIL) Did you know that time in lieu: • Is supposed to be a deterrent, to stop the employer asking you to work more than your normal hours? • Can only be required if the work is unavoidable and reasonable notice is given? • Must be approved by the principal — before
it is undertaken? • Can be repaid by taking time off at the discretion of the principal with regard to the needs of the employee? • Can be paid out if the principal and the employee agree? The AEU is concerned that some schools are still telling ES staff that they “owe” the school recall days and must by do TIL to offset it. This is wrong. TIL work must not be “created” to offset recall. Developing a local agreement can resolve this issue as well. The policy should outline what is considered as approved time in lieu (camps, meetings etc), how it is recorded and taken. The AEU can send members and sub-branches a fact sheet to help develop a local agreement around recall and TIL. For more information please call the MSU on (03) 9417 2822. ◆
AD-FREE employment Schools should not advertise ongoing vacancies on Recruitment Online if they have eligible contract staff available.
OME schools may still be determining their staffing needs for 2010. If your school is one of them, then there may be no need to advertise any new or unfilled ongoing positions — translating an ES from contract to ongoing may often do the trick. Sub-branches, through the consultative committee, should look to maximise the number of ongoing ES staff — and this can be done without advertising. Ongoing employment — without advertising The ES Agreement (at clause 17(2)(f-g)) allows for eligible contract staff to be offered an ongoing
position — without advertising — if the school has a suitable position available. To be eligible an ES must have been employed continuously for longer than 12 months (in one or more contracts) and gained the contract(s) through an advertised vacancy. If there is an eligible ES employee and a suitable ongoing position at the school, the position must not be advertised statewide but instead should be offered to the eligible ES. If there is more than one eligible person at the school then a local merit selection process should be conducted.
One more contract — without advertising Also under the agreement (at clause 17(2)(c)(ii)), ES staff who are employed on a contract gained through an advertised vacancy can be offered one further period of employment without their job being readvertised. In this case the new contract cannot be for longer than the original vacancy and must still satisfy at least one of the reasons for offering a contract rather than an ongoing position in the first place. For advice about your own circumstances contact the MSU on (03) 9417 2822. ◆
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New members START HERE
Give us a national voice
So you’ve joined the AEU — what now? Training officer Rowena Matcott answers some common questions from new members.
Broadmeadows SDS member Katrina Tenson was Victoria’s first ES delegate to AEU federal conference. This is the speech she gave.
I am a new AEU member at my school. What should I be doing? I’d start by introducing yourself to the AEU rep at your school so they know you have joined. AEU reps receive updated member lists in Term 1 so they know how many members are at the school. However, our schools are busy places and it is easy to lose track. It is also good for you to know which of your colleagues is a member. How do I participate in the union at my school? Ask the rep to let you know when and where the sub-branch meets. Attend those meetings and ask questions and raise issues — there is no such thing as a silly question! It is important to have ES input into the sub-branch to ensure that issues from all staff are discussed. In some schools the rep is an ES. Is there an ES rep on the AEU sub-branch executive? Your sub-branch should aim to skill up all teacher members in ES conditions and all ES members in teacher conditions. A shared understanding of both agreements is important, as school decisions impact on all staff. If your school does not have an ES rep maybe you should suggest it. How does consultation work? The consultation clauses in both the ES Agreement and the Schools Agreement (for teachers) are identical. This means that ES staff must be part of the consultation process in all schools. ES views and concerns must be heard before decisions are made that affect their working life. All schools must have an agreed consultation process and the sub-branch has a vital role in the developing this. It is essential that ES staff play a part. What training and support can the AEU offer me? The AEU offers training to all members so that you are fully informed of your industrial entitlements and have access to professional development. Our specialised training officers coordinate a wide range of conferences, training courses, forums and workshops around the state, and can also run a range of workshops at your school, tailored to your needs — the back page of this newsletter sets out many of the upcoming events this year. To get the most out of your AEU membership you need to be informed and understand your entitlements and how they can be implemented at your school. As a new AEU member it is important to read the information that the AEU sends you and it’s a good idea to attend some of our training. Any questions? If you have questions or are not sure of what or how to do something then please contact us. The Membership Services Unit (MSU) is a group of six people whose role is to answer members’ questions by phone or email. You could also contact your local organiser who is responsible for your school and those in your local area, or call our ES organiser Kathryn Lewis, our training organisers, women’s officer or leadership. The sub-branch is there to support you and you are there to support the subbranch. Be active, get involved — and have your say. ◆
HIS is a first for the Vic branch — to have an allied staff person as a delegate at federal conference. I feel proud and privileged to be that person. As members, we have come a long way over the years. Our voice continues to get louder as our membership grows. But we need to continue to remind our colleagues and others to use inclusive language when talking about staff in schools and education. If we can get everyone to recognise that we too are educators, then hopefully this will assist us in our endeavour for better recognition and improved pay and conditions. Yesterday I attended the special interest caucus for allied staff. There were only four of us there — myself, Sylvia Ganosis (Vic branch observer), David Kelly (union official, WA) and Rob Durbridge (federal officer). We asked why there was no national support staff meeting in 2009 and proposed that one should be held every year, to assist with networking and information gathering, especially considering the national bargaining framework. We seek to have allied staff issues form part of the national bargaining framework, and be represented in the drafting process. We ask that all branches consider this when bargaining minimum standards for allied staff. There was also mention that many early childhood assistants in Victoria will require a minimum of Certificate 3 in children’s services from 2012 to enable them to work in the early childhood field. We would like to know the union position regarding qualifications for allied staff. We spoke about the lack of allied staff representation on the Merit Protection Board in Victoria. We wanted to know, are allied staff represented on similar boards — appeal boards and disciplinary tribunals — in other states and territories? It is with pleasure that I inform conference that the Victorian allied staff membership has grown to over 4000 since 2008–09. … The only way to improve our position is to swell our numbers nationally; this will in turn raise the profile of all allied staff and highlight our invaluable contribution to the education of all Australian children and the AEU. In ending, we would like to ask every branch with allied staff members to consider providing an allied staff delegate or observer position at the next federal conference. ◆ www.aeuvic.asn.au
Training for AEU MEMBERS
This year’s AEU training and conference program is the union’s biggest ever — with a host of opportunities tailored especially for ES members. Kim Daly and Rowena Matcott AEU training officers
HE AEU has a wealth of experience in education and a strong commitment to meeting both the industrial and professional training needs of members. Understanding how our schools are managed and being aware of your rights and entitlements are key steps towards improving conditions for ES staff. The AEU wants to work with you to develop your understanding of the agreement
and give you the ability to gain the full benefits. Through the implementation of our agreements and with the support of members, the AEU has the potential to improve the working conditions of all staff in schools — and the quality of our state education system. As our membership grows, so does our conference program and training options. This page sets out what’s coming up this year for ES members. ◆
ES METROPOLITAN CONFERENCE
AEU ACTIVE TRAINING
Our Melbourne Metropolitan continues to sell out, so watch out for registration forms faxed to schools and emailed to members at the beginning of Term 3. August 6 Statewide AEU Building
The two-day AEU Active training courses are highly recommended and the AEU will meet the cost of replacing you while you’re at the course. There is no cost to you or your school. Two of the many highlights of the course are the wonderful food and conversations you will enjoy with like-minded AEU ES members — the networking opportunities are invaluable. It is also a great opportunity to get to know your AEU organiser and many other staff — and more importantly, how we can support you and your sub-branch. So book yourself in and enjoy some great union training and company. For more details about AEU Active and a full calendar of AEU training and PD, go to www.aeuvic.asn.au/training or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business managers conference We introduced a specific conference for our business managers last year and we will be developing this initiative further. We would be interested in hearing ideas from business managers on how this could be developed to meet your industrial needs. July 22 Statewide AEU Building
ES REGIONAL CONFERENCES
Our regional conferences continue to create interest. We have taken members’ advice and reduced the number of workshops, allowing more time on each topic. Last year we introduced a very popular Q&A session from our metro conference, which we will continue. Venus for some conferences have yet to be arranged — check our website for more details. Geelong region: March 23, Kirrewur Court, Newtown Benalla region: May 12, Wodonga Bendigo region: June 23, Maryboroug South-east/South regions: September 14, Pakenham Cultural Centre Ballarat region: October 27, Stawell
MEMBER FORUMS We run member forums after school as another option for members who told us that they are unable to attend PD during school hours. We look forward to seeing if this format is welcomed by members. We are keen to listen to any other suggestions about how to best meet your industrial and professional needs — just let us know. Forums run from 4.30–6pm at the AEU office in Abbotsford. March 9 — K now your ES Agreement March 11 — Legal liability
TERM ONE March 2–3 March 16–17 March 17–18 March 11 TERM TWO April 22–23 April 28–29 May 4–5 May 4–5 May 25–26 May 25–26 June 1–2 June 1–2
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