NEWS By Schools Organisers
It’s too late to welcome you back given that we are fast approaching the first stand down period (!) but not too late to remind you all of some important facts. It is the AEU’s position that a full time teacher’s attendance time is 32 hours and 30 minutes (6 hours 30 minutes per day) plus professional responsibilities. These professional responsibilities include parent teacher meetings/interviews, open days and nights, PD, Staff/Faculty/Team/ Sub School meetings and playground duty. The working hours for purposes of pay and leave, not attendance, are 36 hours and 45 minutes per week. An important point is that meeting times are negotiable and should be agreed by those expected to attend at the beginning of the year. The meeting schedule “...must contain a mechanism for review at least once a year.” (Enterprise Agreement 2009-2011 Cl.145.4 (d)) The EA’s Section GG - Recognition of work and life responsibilities - emphasises the point that members should not allow work to control their lives. For new educators in particular, don’t allow your enthusiasm to cloud your judgement. There are many additional tasks to be done in any school. Don’t feel obliged or pressured to put your hand up to take on every role. Pace yourself and share the load with colleagues. Keep your own record of personal leave and other leave as you take it, as well as submitting the appropriate leave form. Your personal leave should be used for personal illness or for that of a family member or member of your household. Extraordinary or unforeseen circumstances may necessitate another
form of personal leave – leave in special circumstances. You begin the year with a personal leave allocation of 18 days. You have 7 single days of leave that do not require a certificate; up to 3 consecutive days are allowed without a certificate. However, your principal as the Director-General’s delegate may, “...with reasonable cause...” request a medical certificate for any absence. Such certificates are always your first and best evidentiary option. If you are ill for up to 3 consecutive days you may use a statutory declaration to explain your absence. Don’t use a ‘stat dec’ as your first option to explain your absences; it is a fall-back option for members to explain their absences. Leave Without Pay (LWOP) is not an entitlement (and does not count as service) so apply for it in advance and never assume that it will be approved. Members may also access one moving day each year, and 3 days bereavement leave on each occasion of a death of a member of the immediate family or household, a parent, step parent, foster parent, partner’s parent, foster child, step sibling or guardian. Members may access up to 15 days Industrial Leave to attend AEU or other relevant union training courses. Members should provide at least 14 days notice to their principal to access the leave which is granted at full pay. The AEU provides members with Journey Cover insurance to and from work, to out of hours PD, to lunch breaks within 5km of the school and to union meetings. The insurance clicks in when your personal leave is depleted and provides you with 85% of your income for up to 2 years if required during your period of recovery.
It does not cover your vehicle repairs, medications or medical expenses. New Educators (probationers) and contract teachers should have had their panels established by now and they should have chosen their mentors. If you are having any difficulties discuss these when/if they occur rather than allowing them to build up. Common issues at this time of year often include timetable hiccups, confusion around preparation time and professional expectations. Your first point of call should always be to communicate these to your school’s executive staff and/or principal. It is important to provide the opportunity for these to be addressed at a school level. The organisers are available to assist with any issues arising including industrial and health and safety issues, those requiring our advocacy on your behalf and many others. Your first stop should be the AEU website and the Enterprise Agreement (http://www.aeuact.asn.au/uploads/file/ SchoolsEA.pdf). We are also available on request to attend sub-branch meetings. Public Education Day is on May 24 this year. We are requesting schools to provide students’ Term 1 art works for display in public libraries and other spaces for the month of May. We also anticipate having schools advise us of their availability to provide their bands/choirs/dance troupes for Public Education Week which runs from from Monday 21 May to Friday 25 May. Bill Book and Sascha Colley Schools’ Organisers
PAGE 4 • Official Journal of the AEU - ACT Branch • Public Education Voice