NEWSLETTER SUPPLEMENT TO THE AEU NEWS • NOVEMBER 2011
FAIR FUNDING NOW On November 15, join us in making one final appeal for a fair funding deal for public schools. Mary Bluett branch president
A reminder that there are hundreds of thousands of educators like you who know they’re doing a OVEMBER 15 is a red-letter day for anyone working great job for their students but could be doing an in a government school. even better one with the right resources. On that day, we are asking everyone who cares Tell your colleagues, tell your friends, your family about public education to send one final message to the panel conducting the most important review of schools funding in almost 40 years. ES members know better than anyone how Sylvia Ganosis AEU ES councillor important it is that we get a fair deal for public schools OW many times have you been asked to reduce in this review. your hours? Education support staff are integral to the services How many times have we heard your principal that schools strive to provide as they try to meet the say “There is no money”? needs of every student. How many times have you been denied PD, And you know that if government schools were because there is not enough in the budget? properly funded, you would be able to do even more to How many times have we applied for funding meet the needs of every individual child. support for a child and been knocked back? The Gonski review has received all the s ubmissions How many times have we spent the Christmas and heard all the arguments. Next month it will submit break wondering if there will be enough funding for its final recommendations to the Federal Government. us next year? But before it does so, we want it to get one final We all recognise the value of extra ES support reminder that there are millions of people in Australia who depend on public education and who need and deserve a high quality system, not a safety net.
and community. On November 15, go to forourfuture.org.au and send one final message to the funding review. The more people who do that simple act, the louder our voice will be. ◆
Why November 15 matters H
in the class. We know how much students improve when given more time and support. We understand the unreasonable workloads faced by teaching and ES staff. Our students deserve the best we can give them and that comes down to better funding. ES members need to support the AEU National Day of Action by sending an email to the Gonski Schools Funding Review on November 15. Go to www.forourfuture.org.au and send your message. ◆
Join the fight to save VCAL
Why are we waiting?
Send your message that VCAL needs funding.
INE months since we submitted our log of claims to the Education Department we are still waiting for management’s position or any indication of when ES Agreement negotiations will start. We are investigating ways to bring the department to the table, but our efforts are hampered because the other unions who are party to the agreement have yet to present their own logs. The AEU is concerned that ES members will again be left waiting. Our last ES negotiations were drawn out well past the expiry of the old agreement and ES had to wait six extra months for their pay rise. Rest assured we will keep you informed of any progress. ◆
O YOU work with students in VCAL? For many of our students who require integration support, the applied learning certificate is the only real option to allow them to leave school with the skills they need to find work. So many of our ES members work with these students and understand how devastating it would be not to have VCAL available. The AEU is running a strong
campaign against the $48 million cuts to VCAL coordination, which is getting plenty of coverage in both local and statewide media, but we need to continue applying pressure. Secondary colleges are having to find emergency savings of up to $126,000 to keep VCAL running — and often it is ES positions they will turn to, to make those savings. ES members need to add their voices to the “Hands
S HAND OFF OUR HANDS-ON
off our hands-on learning” campaign by sending a message to the Premier, Education Minister and your local MP on the My School Needs website. Go to myschoolneeds.com. au and add your name now. ◆
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
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RECALL: the facts
Have you been recalled to work this summer holiday? Take note of the guidelines in your agreement.
HE 2012 school year begins on Wednesday February 1. That means the earliest date that full time 48/52 ES staff can be recalled is Monday January 23. Full-time 48/52 ES staff can be recalled for duty or professional development for a maximum of six days in any one year. Part-time staff can be recalled pro-rata, so if you are 0.5 then you can only be recalled for three days. It is important to note that ES staff should not be recalled on days they would not normally work. Recall varies between schools and even within schools at times, because each school and ES role is different. Some ES officers’ normal duties are not required during holidays. However, for other ES, recall is unavoidable because of the nature of their role, particularly in administration. Early this term, through consultation, schools should determine if ES staff need to be recalled. Tension can arise when some ES staff are recalled and others are not. Many schools have found that developing a local agreement which
clarifies recall helps to reduce tensions and strike a balance that suits individual staff and the school as a whole. Clause 19(3) of the ES Agreement outlines the five basic guidelines that must be taken into consideration when schools are consulting around recall. They are: • Range 1 and 2 staff cannot be required to work in isolated circumstances • Recall days must be at the beginning or end of the holiday period • Recall can only take place during two school holiday periods per year • Staff must be notified no later than four weeks into the preceding term (November 4 this term) • Staff can only be required to perform duties consistent with their role and responsibilities. Note the fourth point: you should already have been informed by now if you are required to work during this summer holiday. ◆
’Tis the season for redeployment I
F YOUR contract finishes at the end of Term 4 you should by now have received notification of your redeployment entitlement. Clause 17(3)(f) of the ES Agreement provides a 12-week redeployment entitlement for ES staff who have been employed for longer than 12 months in two or more contracts. This means that ES can be referred into positions advertised on Recruitment Online with priority status — meaning their applications must be considered before any outside applicants. The 12-week entitlement starts when ES are notified in writing. If employees are not notified, their contract must be extended to allow for the full 12 weeks. If you would like to know more about redeployment please call the MSU or look for the fact sheet in the members-only area of our website — log in at www.aeuvic.asn.au/members and look under Help and Advice. ◆
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ES newsletter | november 2011
Green Car Loan
Christmas pay problem in sights L
AST Christmas, some ongoing part time ES ran out of paid recreation leave and went unpaid for several days during the holidays. The AEU has been in discussion with the Education Department to ensure this doesn’t happen again this Christmas. We are reasonably confident that it will be addressed, but are waiting on official notification. The underpayment arose because eduPay calcu-
lates recreation leave more precisely than the old HRMS payroll system, and because the Christmas break started earlier than normal. We will notify members when we receive further information — hopefully confirmation that the problem has been fixed. If you would like further information, please contact Kathryn.Lewis@aeuvic.asn.au. ◆
Check your holiday pay Make sure your pay won’t run out over Christmas.
S MEMBERS on contract need to be proactive and check their pay, leave entitlements and rehire dates before the end of term. The last payslip of your contract — due on December 29 — will see all of your recreation leave entitlements paid out. For the majority of ES this will be equivalent to four weeks’ salary. The payout will vary depending on how much leave you have accrued — so it is definitely worth confirming your recreation leave with your HR person before the end of term. At the end of each contract, eduPay automatically pays out Long Service Leave (LSL) entitlements. ES staff can ask the school to hold their LSL entitlements so that they can continue to accrue LSL in their next contract. The Education Department advised principals in the October HRM Online Newsletter to begin new ES contracts from January 12, 2012 so that staff are paid over the entire school holidays. But it is important that you check this has been done before the end of term so that you know when to expect your next salary. If you have any questions or require assistance please call the MSU on (03) 9417 2822 or toll free on 1800 013 387. ◆
More coffee and cake? S
OME ES members enjoyed our Coffee Cake and a Chat events during ES Month so much they decided to hold their own. That’s great news. The main aim of the events — apart from giving you all a treat — was to let you get together with members from other schools and start networking. There are three Coffee and Cake events planned in the run-up to Christmas. Just to show how pleased we are that members have taken the initiative we’re shouting everyone coffee and cake at these events: Maribyrnong Boathouse Tuesday November 29 Golden Fleece Hotel, Melton Tuesday December 6 Easy Eats, Bairnsdale Tuesday December 13 Catch up with colleagues between 3.30pm and 5pm. It’ll be a great chance to talk about recall, holiday pay or any of the other issues we’ve highlighted in this newsletter — or maybe just swap Christmas shopping plans. If you are interested in forming an ES network in your area, let us know and we may be able to support your initiative as well. Email julie. email@example.com. ◆
Time fraction changes
You cannot be forced to drop your hours against your will. Kathryn Lewis ES organiser
HEN funding is tight, many schools consider reducing ES time fractions — and this term we have had more calls than usual about this issue. When ES staff are appointed to an ongoing position, they and the school agree on the arrangement of hours of attendance. If either the ES or the school wishes to vary these arrangements it may be done at any time via consultation — but only if both agree. If there is no agreement, there is no change. When ES are appointed to a contract position, it is important to note that at the end of the contract, the school determines the hours of the next contract. However if the ES or the school wishes to vary hours mid-contract there has to be consultation and agreement, as above.
ES staff cannot be compelled to change hours. If the school wishes to increase hours and the ES is unable to do so, the school may need to consider advertising to cover the extra work. If the school wishes to decrease hours and the ES is not able or willing to do so, the employer must find other ways to manage. If the ES is mid-contract, the school will have to wait until the end of the contract to change hours. If the ES is ongoing they may need to consider cutting back in other areas or possibly declaring an excess. If your school is considering excess, I strongly recommend that the subbranch seek advice from the AEU, as there is a very clear process which must be followed. The reference to ES hours of attendance is found in Clause 19 of the ES Agreement and applies pro-rata to part-time staff. ◆ www.aeuvic.asn.au
MEET YOUR COUNCILLORS ES councillors are your representatives on the AEU’s key decision-making body: branch council. With ES membership booming, there are now 11 of them, giving an even greater say in union policy. In the second of two parts, they introduce themselves.
Hoppers Crossing Secondary College
Footscray City College
East Gippsland Specialist School
St Albans Heights PS
Barwon Valley School
AM your dedicated ES AEU HAVE been an ES at rep in the inner western Hoppers Crossing and an region; I have been an ES for AEU member for nine years. 23 years, an AEU member I have been a representative for nine years and an ES on our sub-branch for six councillor for five. If you need years and president for two. to contact me with an issue I also served as an AEU rep you would like to raise please on the school consultative feel free to contact me on committee for two years. edumail. For the past two years I Being members of the have been an AEU branch AEU has helped improve our councillor and have enjoyed working conditions over the being an active participant in years and it’s all because of ensuring the best interests of our strength in numbers. We our members are protected. would love to see more ES My roles within my substaff come to our regional branch and council are very meetings in Yarraville every important to me and I am second Wednesday of the passionate about the work month at 4.30pm at The Vic that I do in assisting members Hotel on Hyde Street. Hope to where I can. see you there.
AM an IT manager and WORK in the classroom at first-year AEU councillor. I East Gippsland Specialist nominated because I wanted School. more of an understanding of I became interested in the what goes on within the union AEU when I became a member and how our sub-branch can and subsequently became be more effective. a primary councillor on the I have been on our branch council about seven school’s consultative months ago. committee for three years I am passionate about now. This year I was very raising the profiles of ES active in forming our first local members and committed to agreement. Effective consultaan improvement in our work tion is very important to me conditions. and I would like to see it used to enhance our workplace. I work hard at keeping our ES informed as much as possible and have encouraged AEU membership. ES staff skill levels and workload have grown and that needs to be acknowledged in both our working conditions and pay structure.
HAVE worked as an ES at Barwon Valley for three years and at Bendigo Special Developmental School for two years as a casual ES. This is my first year as an AEU state councillor. I nominated for this position as I felt there was a need for more special education representatives, and to raise awareness of special school settings. I also wanted to have more of an understanding of our union and its sub branches. I have been on our school’s advisory committee for one year. I work hard at keeping our staff informed as much as possible and have encouraged AEU membership.
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