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ACT EDUCATOR TERM 2

2017

MEET OUR EDUCATION MINISTER

OUR EXECUTIVE ELECTIONS

SCHOOL ASSISTANT & CIT LOG OF CLAIMS

Glenn interviews Yvette Berry about her vision for ACT public education

Find out who has nominated for our Branch Executive and how to have your say

Read the detail on what we are bargaining for


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ACT EDUCATOR MAGAZINE

INSIDE ACT EDUCATOR MAGAZINE | TERM 2 | 2017

ON THE COVER Congratulations to Cara Shipp who is the Arthur Hamilton Award winner. This Federal AEU award recognises work in improving the education outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

OUR STORIES MEET THE MINISTER 10

THE SECTIONS THE PRINCIPAL SURVEYS 16

Glenn interviews ACT Education Minister We present some of the results of AsYvette Berry about her plans for public sociate Professor Philip Riley’s Health education. & Wellbeing Survey, and Carolyn Page launches the National Principals’ Survey. PROTECT OUR PRESCHOOLS 26 Anne Simpson and Elizabeth Lea explain the benefits of a quality preschool education.

CIT & LSA LOG OF CLAIMS 20 Read about what is in the CIT and school assistant log of claims, which is our starting point for bargaining.

INVESTING IN INDIGENOUS EDUCATION 28 Naomi Brooks talks with Cara Shipp about the programs she designed for indigenous students. REMEMBERING IAN ALDER 45 Keith Lawler remembers Ian Alder, AEU life member and Secretary, who passed away in February.

OUR EXECUTIVE CANDIDATES 32 Find out who has nominated for Branch Executive and how to cast your vote. MEET OUR TEAM 36 Meet our new Lead Organiser, Vince McDevitt, and Case Support Officer, Beth Morrisroe.

UPDATES & ADVICE THE REGULARS DISCLAIMER: The assertions and opinions expressed in

OCCUPATIONAL VIOLENCE UPDATE 14

PRESIDENT’S REPORT 5

UNDERSTANDING DESCRIMINATION 40

SECRETARY’S REPORT 6

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED 42

UPCOMING EVENTS 8

articles reflect the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the AEU. We do, however, think that these issues are worthy of discussion in our union.

AEU ACT BRANCH


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MEET THE MINISTER 10

INVESTING IN INDIGENOUS EDUCATION 28

COLLECTIVE: AN ARTWORK 31

PROTECT OUR PRESCHOOLS 26

AEU ACT BRANCH


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AEU ACT BRANCH

ACT EDUCATOR MAGAZINE


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PRESIDENT’S REPORT

T

here are so many good reasons to be a member of our union. I want to share just two of them with you. Until recently, I hadn’t really given thought to how being an AEU member energises me personally. As Term 1 was drawing to a

close, I felt fatigued from the demands of teaching and life generally. However, following our April Council meeting, I returned home re-energised and buoyant from being among fellow activists seeking to make our work environments better places for everyone. Being an active AEU member not only recharges me but also reminds me to stay focused on the bigger picture and the important issues we face. The second reason is our achievements to date to address occupational violence make me prouder than ever to be an AEU member. These achievements provide tangible evidence of collective action making a difference. Hundreds of members responded to our occupational violence survey; we made demands of our employer and to their credit the Education Directorate has met our initial requests. You may have noticed that the insidious use of euphemisms to diminish or downplay occupational violence has stopped at our instigation. We also demanded that policies, plans and resources to manage occupational violence be developed by 31 March 2017. AEU negotiators have played an instrumental role in the development of the Occupational Violence Policy and Management Plan that is now in circulation as part of the consultation phase. This is the framework – the point of reference – that will support you as an educator in your work, whether you are an LSA, a school leader, a classroom teacher or you work in student engagement. The Policy outlines how occupational violence will be identified, managed and resolved in your workplace, and holds your employer, the Directorate, accountable for these steps. While we are rightly proud of our achievements to date, this is just the beginning. For policies and plans to be effective they must be resourced and implemented properly. Collectively, we will continue to agitate to ensure that we get the necessary resources. Each and every one of us must take responsibility for implementing the framework that emerges from the consultation process. We have the opportunity to achieve real cultural change and we must lead by example. Violence against staff is unacceptable. We must not suffer in silence nor deny, diminish or downplay occupational violence. There is a societal push to stand up against domestic violence. There is no better time to take a stand against violence in our schools and make them safe and vibrant learning spaces. Join me in being a champion of cultural change.

Angela Burroughs AEU ACT President

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SECRETARY’S REPORT

Our newly elected ACTU Secretary, Sally McManus, first took industrial action when her history teacher lost her job. Sally, her classmates and their parents travelled from Carlingford High School to the city to rally alongside thousands more educators against the NSW Greiner-Murray Government’s cuts to public education. In mid-1988, one of the first acts of the Liberal-National Government was to slash the jobs of over 2,400 teachers and 800 support staff. It was a broadside attack on public education: schools were closed, class sizes grew, school assets were sold, capital works projects were abandoned. Tens of thousands of people recognised that this was unjust and rallied together in response. Yet, this strike action was illegal. In her first television interview as ACTU Secretary, Sally stated on the 7.30pm Report that it shouldn’t be so hard for workers to take industrial action. Sally stated, “I believe in the law when the law is fair, when the law is right, but when it’s unjust I don’t think there’s a problem with breaking it.” The Government and the conservative media hauled her over the coals. The same workers who

AEU ACT BRANCH

ACT EDUCATOR MAGAZINE

took illegal strike action when Fairfax announced hundreds of job cuts last year asked, “What was she thinking?!” It was reported as a “gotcha” moment. But this division between legal and illegal strikes is tenuous. The strike laws in Australia are heavily out of step with international law. Australia has ratified both of the United Nations International Labour Organization’s key Freedom of Association Conventions. These Conventions outline a full range of legitimate objectives for workers to strike, including action directed at economic or social measures that directly impact workers, action to further the interests of other workers and action in support of the bargaining agenda of workers. Under Australia’s Fair Work Act, workers can only take legal industrial action during the negotiations of an enterprise agreement that the worker is covered by and only so long as the claims are permitted under the Act. Even then, the limited right to strike is bound up in bureaucratic processes. There is no immediacy, with the process for approval taking about a month. Moreover, the postal ballot to home addresses aims to scatter the vote and depress turnout, which can both result in the strike action not being approved. Our union has experienced the frustrations of protracted postal ballots. The most powerful tool that workers have to organise for better wages, conditions and - for our union - public education is to collectively withdraw our labour. Without it, workers’ rights are compromised. The uncomfortable truth is that 40% of Australian workers don’t have access to paid leave, new jobs are overwhelmingly casualised and insecure, and the minimum wage is less than $35,000 a year for a full-time worker, less than half of the average salary. Australia is on the trajectory to creating a US style working poor. In public education, our strong union density has buffered us from the strongest winds of labour market changes. These insecure jobs of the future, however, will be the jobs of our students.

Glenn Fowler AEU ACT Secretary


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Superannuation legislation: What’s changed?

StatePlus will be holding a presentation covering some the changes coming in July 2017, helping CSS and PSS defined benefit scheme members understand how the new rules may impact them. Your super could be one of your largest assets and provide peace of mind in retirement. Reduce the feelings of uncertainty by gaining knowledge and insight now .

Find out:

Changes to concessional and non-concessional contribution caps? Transfer balance limits? Can I still salary sacrifice? How does it affect my defined benefit scheme? Changes to spouse contributions?

We look forward to seeing you: Wednesday 14th June - 4:30pm Australian Education Union – ACT Branch 40 Brisbane Avenue, Barton ACT 2600 Seminars are education and information only AEU ACT BRANCH


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ACT EDUCATOR MAGAZINE

2017 TERM 2 Upcoming Events RSVP at aeuact.org.au/events WEEK 2 BRANCH EXECUTIVE Tuesday, 2nd May 5.30pm - 8.30pm AEU Boardroom, Barton

WEEK 3 SCHOOL ASSISTANT OCCUPATIONAL VIOLENCE CONSULTATION Wednesday, 10th May 4.30pm - 5.30pm AEU Boardroom, Barton BRANCH COUNCIL Saturday, 13th May 9.00am - 12.00pm J Block Theatre, CIT Reid (We will hold an Occupational Violence Consultation during Council. All members are invited to attend.)

WEEK 4 PRINCIPAL OCCUPATIONAL VIOLENCE CONSULTATION Wednesday, 17th May 4.30pm - 5.30pm AEU Boardroom, Barton SUB-BRANCH LEADERS TRAINING Thursday, 18th May 1.00pm - 4.00pm AEU Boardroom, Barton (Sub-Branch Presidents, Vice-Presidents & Secretaries are invited & eligible to take industrial leave.) TAFE COUNCIL Friday, 19th May 1.30pm - 4.00pm Rooms E12 A & B, CIT Reid Learning Centre

AEU ACT BRANCH

Come to the Public Education Week Dinner... book your ticket! Right now!


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WEEK 5

WEEK 8

PUBLIC EDUCATION WEEK Monday. 22nd May - Friday, 26th May

TAFE COUNCIL Friday, 16th June 1.30pm - 4.00pm Rooms E12 A & B, CIT Reid Learning Centre

PUBLIC EDUCATION WEEK DINNER Friday, 26th May 6.30pm - 10.30pm The National Press Club, Barton (To book tickets, call Lucy in the AEU Office on 6272 7900.)

BRANCH COUNCIL Saturday, 17th June 9.00am - 12.00pm J Block Theatre, CIT Reid

WEEK 9

WEEK 6

BRANCH EXECUTIVE Tuesday, 20th June 5.30pm - 8.30pm AEU Boardroom, Barton

BRANCH EXECUTIVE Tuesday, 30th May 5.30pm - 8.30pm AEU Boardroom, Barton

WEEK 10

NEW EDUCATOR CONFERENCE Thursday, 1st June - Friday, 2nd June 9.00am - 4.00pm Venue TBC

END OF TERM DRINKS Wednesday, 28th June 5.30pm - 9.00pm Venue TBC

WEEK 7 RELIEF TEACHERS SUB-BRANCH MEETING Tuesday, 1 June 4.30pm - 5.30pm Tilley’s Cafe, Lyneham

AEU FRIDAYS Friday, 30th June Wear your AEU T-shirt to work & hold a Sub-Branch morning tea

Featuring comedian Tom Ballard as the MC and education advocate Chris Sarra as our guest speaker

Friday 26th May 6:30pm til late National Press Club To book your ticket, call Lucy on 6272 7900

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ACT EDUCATOR MAGAZINE

MEET THE MINISTER ACT Minister of Education Yvette Berry talks to Glenn Fowler about the future of education, the ALP’s election commitments and how we value educators.

Glenn: First of all, congratulations on becoming Education Minister following last October’s election. Let’s start with the big stuff – what is your vision for education? Yvette: My priority is that our schools give every child an equal chance for a great education and a good life. Each child should be set up for a bright future regardless of their characteristics, circumstances or background, and our community needs to work together to prepare children to learn and then provide education in a way that supports the needs of individuals. We already have really good schools in the ACT, in no small part because of the great teachers and educators working in them, but there are signs that we’re not achieving my priority. This isn’t a reflection on our teachers and educators. I know how hard you are working. It’s a reflection on how we are supporting teachers to do their best work and removing barriers so that all children get an equal opportunity to get the most out of their education.

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G: It’s also great to have an Education Minister who has been through our system. As a born and bred Canberran, who was taught by many of our members, what does public education mean to you? Y: Public education to me is about making sure that everybody has an equal opportunity to learn. It shouldn’t matter who your parents are and your situation at home, or even who you are, I believe in setting every person up for life through a quality education. Public education does this. It doesn’t exclude anyone but instead makes sure that diversity is supported and embraced. G: In February, you announced that you’re introducing the ‘Future of Education’ discussion paper and reform process. What are the questions you hope to have answered through this? Y: The Future of Education discussion will be a genuine community-led dialogue that takes a fresh look at our education system


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and asks “what do we want from it, is it providing this and what might need to change”. Because of this I’m not coming to the process with any specific reforms in mind apart from considering how we can make sure that education in the ACT achieves the key priority I mentioned earlier. We cannot tolerate a situation where the life circumstances of a child showing up at school mean we know whether they will succeed or not, and as long as I am Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development I’ll be focused on what needs to change to make sure that this situation doesn’t exist in our city. G: There’s no evidence to suggest school autonomy will improve student outcomes. Instead, increasing autonomy appears to have placed additional demands and stress

on school staff as they try to do too much. Is there scope to address this issue in the reform process? Y: I want to hear what people, including teachers, have to say. This will include an opportunity to discuss workload pressures around teaching, planning and professional development. I don’t see school autonomy itself as the issue. How it is defined and applied in our schools seems to be what we need to think about. As a community, we trust and value the professional expertise of teachers and want our system to enable you to apply professional judgement and discretion that suits individual students and school communities. School autonomy should make space for this to happen but if there are other negative consequences then let’s work them through.

AEU ACT BRANCH


KEEPING TRACK OF THE 2016 ELECTION COMMITMENTS 12

ACT EDUCATOR MAGAZINE

In 2016, the ACT Government committed to delivering 20 new school psychologists, continuing the 2015 funding provided for teacher workload reduction, and investing $100 million in school infrastructure upgrades, with an urgent focus on heating and cooling. Over the next four years, we will keep track on the implementation of these commitments to make sure the Government delivers on its promises.

CURRENTLY RECRUITING FIVE PSYCHOLOGISTS AEU ACT BRANCH

COMMITMENT MADE

DISCUSSIONS ON INCLUDING FUNDING IN THE ACT BUDGET


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G: Last year, during the election, the ALP made commitments on investing in school infrastructure, increasing the number of school psychologists, and continuing the workload reduction resources that we won in our EA. Now that you’ve made the commitment, what’s the plan for delivering these over the next four years? Y: I am proud of the education commitments that I was able to champion through the 2016 election campaign and have already been working on getting them in place. I am keen to get extra school psychologists in place as quickly as possible so that they can start addressing some areas of particular need. The Education Directorate is working through the process of how to best deliver this commitment. We hope to have the first recruitment process happen this year and then incrementally add to the number of psychologists over the next few years. I also clearly heard your concerns about school infrastructure and know how important it is for you to have suitable learning and working environments. With 87 public schools, many of which are old or ageing, a lot of ongoing investment is needed and no government will be in a position to address every problem at once. My office has been working closely with the Education Directorate to make sure that there is enough money to fix critical problems like leaky roofs and also address issues like classroom heating and cooling. The government is committed to our election commitments and as the upcoming Budget is finalised I’ll be in a position to say more about investing in our schools and teaching resources. G: Our union is working closely with the Education Directorate to address the issue of occupational violence in our schools. The consequences of violence in schools for both educators and students can be enormous. How will your office support EDU

in making the necessary cultural shift and elevating staff safety to its rightful place alongside student need? Y: All workers are entitled to a safe workplace, teachers included. As your question raises, there is a tension between this vital entitlement and the expectation that we make sure all children have access to education that meets individual need. Since I began in the education portfolio in October 2016, my staff and I have had a focus on supporting teachers. A number of us have experience advocating for workers and we’ve brought that experience and perspective to this situation. What is most important to me is that the approach to addressing occupational violence in schools quickly improves and is an ongoing focus of my conversations with senior executives in the Education Directorate. G: Educating students is an incredibly complex task. Do you think educators always get the respect they deserve? Y: Not really! Teaching is a tough job and I don’t think people in our community always understand the pressures you face and the hours that go into providing their children with a great education. Kids can also be pretty rude sometimes! As parents we sometimes forget that teachers have a special relationship with their students that usually goes beyond just facilitating learning. Teachers are an important part of the lives of our children and share experiences with them that we might not even know about – I’ve been amazed to hear from my kids about things that have happened at school and I had no idea! I respect you and as long as I am in the Legislative Assembly, especially as education minister, will do everything I can to set a good example and make sure the government respects you in the way we manage our education system.

AEU ACT BRANCH


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ACT EDUCATOR MAGAZINE

Update: our Occupational Violence negotiations with the Education Directorate Jacqui Agius - Senior Industrial Officer

O

ccupational Violence Occupational violence (also reposes a health, safe-

ferred to as ‘workplace violence’) is defined as:

ty and wellbeing risk ‘any action, incident or behaviour

to AEU members.

AEU ACT BRANCH

that departs from reasonable conduct in which a person is assaulted, threatened, harmed, injured in the course of, or as a direct result of, his or her work.’*

ty Act 2011 (ACT) (WHS ACT) is complied with by the employer. The AEU office has been negotiating with the Education Directorate about occupational violence since we conducted our survey on occupational violence in August last year.

Occupational violence may include personal intimidation, verbal abuse, physical assault, sexual harassment, threatening behaviour, abuse through technology (text, emails, and phone calls), making vexatious complaints, and making derogatory, slanderous or threatening statements to or about another person.

The negotiations are progressing well and the Education Directorate, together with the AEU office, have drafted an Occupational Violence Policy and Plan. They are ready for consultation. By the time this magazine is published you would have had the opportunity to participate in both AEU and Education Directorate consultation groups to provide feedback on the plan and policy.

The time has come for Educators to draw the line on occupational violence and demand that the right to a safe workplace provided by the Work, Health and Safe-

The good news is that your employer agrees that you have a right to be safe in your workplace. The Education Directorate is creating a team to assist


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schools to keep their workers safe. This team will be work-

left home for work that morning.

Occupational Violence is not, and should never be, a part of an Educator’s job. er-focused and is separate from the obligation of the Education Directorate to keep students safe and in schools.

Once the Occupational Violence Plan and Policy are agreed to our negotiations will need to focus on:

Your right to a safe workplace is a priority for our union and we have much work to do before we will see significant changes across workplaces. The Occupational Violence Plan and Policy are just the start of ensuring that Educators work in safe and healthy workplaces where at the end of the day they return to their homes, families and friends in the same state as when they

1. ensuring that a tool kit is developed to assist Educators in implementing these documents; 2. that adequate staffing and financial resources are available to assist schools to fulfil their obligations to keep educators safe under the WHS ACT; 3. that everyone is properly trained in their obligations, rights and entitlements;

4. that the Riskman reporting system is reviewed and changed; 5. that hazard identification and risk assessments are timely and that adequate controls are implemented that comply with the WHS Act and Regulation; The list above is just the beginning and the consultation process will no doubt result in additions to this list. One of the most important changes that should occur is a change in the culture of acceptance of occupational violence in our workplaces. Occupational Violence is not, and should never be, a part of an Educator’s job. * International Labor Organisation Sectoral Activities Program, Code of Practice on Workplace Violence in services sectors and measures to combat this phenomenon, Geneva: ILO, 2003, clause 1.3.1.

Come to our Occupational Violence Consultations. See p.8 for more details. AEU ACT BRANCH


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ACT EDUCATOR MAGAZINE

2016 PRINCIPAL HEALTH & WELLBEING SURVEY: THE RESULTS

This is an independent longtiudtional study that commenced in 2011. It is conducted by Associate Professor Philip Riley and a team at the Australian Catholic University.

More than

More than

principals worked 51-56 hours per week

principals worked 61-65 hours per week

What’s the impact on health & wellbeing? AEU ACT BRANCH

JOB DEMANDS*

1.7x

1 IN 4

1.5x

1 IN 2

EMOTIONAL DEMANDS*

LEVELS BURNO


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THREATS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST PRINCIPALS BY STATE OR TERRITORY

1.6x

1.7x

2.2x

1.3x

EXPERIENCED PHYSICAL VIOLENCE 8X THE RATE OF THE GENERAL POPULATION

S OF OUT*

STRESS SYMPTOMS*

DIFFICULTY SLEEPING*

DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS*

*Compared to the general population

AEU ACT BRANCH


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ACT EDUCATOR MAGAZINE

NATIONAL PRINCIPALS’ SURVEY: SCHOOL LEADERS AND SCHOOL SYSTEMS Carolyn Page - Faculty of Education, Science, Technology & Mathematics, University of Canberra

T

he signs are that Australian school princi-

It’s taking a toll in terms of stress, burnout, difficulty in sleeping and depressive symptoms.

pals are feeling the

strain more than ever. The results of Philip Riley’s 2016 Australian Principals Health and Wellbeing Survey tells us that principals experience high expectations and role pressure, with a third working up to 65 hours a week.

Our high expectations of principals can increase the risk An overview of the rhetoric in the media and in education debate suggests that we are looking for heroic, transformative leaders – and that school systems can directly and indirectly reward those principals who create an aura of confidence about their own work and about their schools. But the pressure of inflated expectations can contribute to principal burnout and to the difficulty we currently experience in attracting quality candidates to vacancies in difficult schools (Mulford 2003). Emerging research shows that when we talk up the ‘autonomy’ of school principals, we can send

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a message that principals who need support and advice are not yet ‘mature’ or capable. And as principals are asked to take on more and more, Tyack and Cuban (1995) warn that those responsible for schools need to be careful – because education (and educational leadership) can easily shift ‘from panacea to scapegoat’.

Are principals having the conversations they need? So how do school systems support the work of Australian school principals and create opportunities for authentic conversations? And how do school principals at different stages of their careers make use of that support? In most school systems, supervision and support for school principals is provided by the


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same person – and many principals have indicated that they are always conscious of this when they meet with their supervisors and senior managers. Principals’ associations and education unions and individual principals have also commented that principals’ meetings may not always be good forums for professional or personal disclosure. Who do principals prefer to turn to for advice and support when they are struggling with leadership issues?

LIVE NOW: The National Principals’ Survey: School Leaders and School Systems In the past year, ACT school principals and their colleagues across the states and territories have played a big role in developing and piloting the right questions to explore these issues.

The National Principals’ Survey is Phase 2 of School Leaders and School Systems: The Critical Relationship, a national study helping us understand the way school principals interact with their supervisors and other senior system managers, and what forms of support they find most useful. The survey seeks to find out: • How diverse, and how frequent, are your interactions with your school system? How well are these interactions working? • When you meet with your supervisor or senior managers, do you tell it like it is? Or do you ‘manage’ the information you provide up the line? What influences this decision? • How do you decide when to seek support?

the system make you feel? • What other forms of support do you use? Which are most important to you? The survey is open to all Australian school principals, and is being conducted in all states and territories except South Australia. The study has Human Ethics approval from the University of Canberra and approval from all seven participating school systems.

To access the survey, more information about the study or the confidentiality and ethics provisions for the study, go to the project website www.nationalprincipalsurvey.com, or contact Carolyn Page at clearenglish@ bigpond.com or 0427 350 151.

• How do your interactions with

AEU ACT BRANCH


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ACT EDUCATOR MAGAZINE

School Assistant Log of Claims

1

2

Pay Rise

Superannuation

An annual pay increase of 4% annually, and

Currently, superannuation rates are not in

an low pay underpin of $2,000. This one

the Enterprise Agreement, which means

off payment is to address the low wage of

governments can change the rate outside

LSAs and maximise the value of the pay

of bargaining. The rate should be included

rise.

in the Agreement and be consistent across ACT Public Service employees.

3

4

Domestic Violence Leave

Maternity & Paternity Leave

Expand the clause to allow a person to take

To address the superannuation inequity

leave for an illness or injury that has resulted from domestic or family violence.

between men and women, an employer contribution should be paid to the employee for the period of unpaid maternity leave and paternity leave.

5

6

Workload

HAAS

Include a workload clause that defines the

Include a clause in the EA that outlines

core duties of a LSA and what a reasonable

the allowance and training requirements

workload limit is, similar to teachers.

that have already been negotiated with the

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Educaton Directorate.


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The AEU negotiators bargain as your representatives throughout the bargaining period. So far we have been negotiating common clause bargaining and tidying up minor technical wording in the enterprise agreements. Soon we will begin bargaining the CIT and School Assistant claims that you determined were your priorities for this round of bargaining. The main consideration during the bargaining period is what is known as the better off overall test. The test is outlined in section 193 of the Fair Work Act 2009. The test requires that you are better off overall in the new agreement than you are under the current agreement.

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Pathway to Teaching

Qualifications

To recognise experience, support and value

An LSA should gain an increment advance-

the pathway from being a LSA to becoming

ment when they gain a Certificate IV or

a teacher, begin scholarships for LSAs who

other relevant tertiary qualifications. For

study an education degree, financially sup-

tops of the scale LSAs, this should be a one

port LSAs during practicum placements,

off payment that is the equivalent of an

and allocate resources for the necessary

increment. This will encourage profession-

time and mentoring to assist LSAs to be-

alism and recognise the skills obtained,

come teachers.

9

10

Specialist Schools LSAs

Professional Learning Budget

To address the high level of complexity

To address the insufficient budget alloca-

and risk involved in specialist schools and

tion for the professional development of

settings, upgrade LSAs to SA3/4 level who

LSAs, commence a central funding pool or

work in this area, and allocate a budget to

a seperate budget line in a school for LSAs

schools for this staffing level.

professional development that is seperate from teachers.

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Pre-school Planning

Occupational Violence

Create a seperate clause to the current-

A clause on occupational violence that

planning and preparation clause to ac-

reflects the ongoing negotiations with the

knowledge the need for pre-school assis-

Education Directorate.

tants to meet with teachers to meet the NQF Standards. AEU ACT BRANCH


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ACT EDUCATOR MAGAZINE

CIT Log of Claims

1

2

Pay Rise

Superannuation

An annual pay increase of 4% annually, and

Currently, superannuation rates are not in

an additional 2% in the first pay in com-

the Enterprise Agreement, which means

pensation for the re-registration workload.

governments can change the rate outside of bargaining. The rate should be included in the Agreement and be consistent across ACT Public Service employees.

3

4

Domestic Violence Leave

Maternity & Paternity Leave

Expand the clause to allow a person to take

To address the superannuation inequity

leave for an illness or injury that has resulted from domestic or family violence.

between men and women, an employer contribution should be paid to the employee for the period of unpaid maternity leave and paternity leave.

5

6

Personal Leave

Committees

Personal leave for up to three consecutive

Abolish Selection Advisory Committees

days will be approved without evidence,

and ensure that Joint Selection Commit-

the limit of 7 days will be increased to 14,

tees are responsible for all ongoing recruit-

and a Statutory Declaration accepted as

ment. Since Joint Selection Committees

suitable documentation. Casual employees

have AEU representation, this will ensure

will be paid unless another teacher covers

procedural fairness.

their work while on personal leave. AEU ACT BRANCH


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7

8

Overtime

Professional Responsibilities

Include a clause that states that if pre-ap-

A clause defining the core duties of a

proval is not given then teachers must not

teacher to ensure that teachers are focus-

do the work that they sought approval

ing on educating students and not admin-

for. In addition, the 20 hours limit will be

istration work.

increased.

9

10

Currency

Consultation

Support professional learning by increasing

Stregthen clauses to ensure teachers have

the budget and providing a time allowance

a say in improving their workplaces, and

of 12 days per year, which includes time to

that CIT policies will go through a review

complete the required documentation.

committee that has AEU representation.

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12

Faculty Load

Online and Flexible Teaching

That the faculty load include the work

Currently, there is no consistent approach

involved in workplace assessment, recog-

to how hours are attributed to the online

nition of prior learning, compulsory work-

teaching component of a course. Include a

place training, moderation and validation,

clause that creates a consistent approach

and new training packages.

to claiming this work.

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Workplace, Health & Safety A mental health clause will be added, and mental health support will be provided onsite by CIT. AEU ACT BRANCH


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ACT EDUCATOR MAGAZINE

BREAKS

E

Under clause Q1.5 our EA, breaks must be:

S K M h W w

We all know that it can be hard to find some time for yourself during the school day, but your employer has a responsibility under work health and safety laws to ensure that you take adequate breaks. You are not paid for the time that you are on your break, so you do not have any duties during your break unless there are exceptional circumstances. If your break is interrupted and you are directed to resume or undertake duties, you should request that arrangements be made to make that time up later in the day.

Reasonable; This will vary from site to site, but relevant considerations to determine whether a break is reasonable include work health and safety considerations such as fatigue and stress, and whether the break is of adequate length to allow time to eat and go to the bathroom. At least 30 minutes; Teachers should have access to an unpaid meal break of 30 consecutive minutes. Note that whatever is arranged must be reasonable having regard to the considerations outlined above; and Separate from normal release time; That is, there must be some scheduled time during your day that is not used for planning, assessing or other teaching duties, but is yours to use as you see fit.

these conditions apply to staff at school leader levels too, so make sure that you respect their professional boundaries and don’t interrupt their breaks unless it is an emergency. AEU ACT BRANCH

E w th

W to

B M c a e sp

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EMAILS

Emails, particularly those that come out of hours, are a major source of teacher workload. Fortunately, there are some steps our schools can take to ensure that he risk of workload impacts is minimised:

Set boundaries Keep your work email usage about work, and keep it during work hours Make it a clear expectation that staff in your school do not use email out of hours – if it is an emergency, then the relevant person should make a phone call When you go away on leave, set an automatic reply that makes it clear that you will not be reading emails

When you are on leave, you should have a proper break from your work. If you’re oo sick to teach a class, you’re too sick to answer emails.

Before you send, should you amend? Make sure that you only send emails when they are the best way to communicate. If your email is not work-related, consider whether you should send it from a personal account instead. While some people love receiving jokes and chain emails from their colleagues, others prefer to keep things strictly business. Repect the boundaries of your colleagues.

Set clear expectations with parents and students Nobody should expect an instant reply to their email, so make sure that the chool community knows that it might take a couple of days for their email to eceive a response;

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ACT EDUCATOR MAGAZINE

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE PRESCHOOL YEARS Anne Simpson and Elizabeth Lea

C

urrent research has shown what we have always known; that

preschool is paramount in providing education programs that improve children’s learning, health and behaviour with positive impacts extending into adult life.

There are many benefits for children in having access to a quality preschool education and the following are a few characteristics of such a program: • Play Based Learning – teachers create opportunities for learning within the children’s interests and play. They look for the teachable moments to extend and differentiate learning for all children. Children are provided choices and given a sense of agency over their learning. • Nurturing Curiosity – motivating children to learn by using their imagination, dramatic play and extending learning through everyday events. • Supporting Social and Emotional Learning – developing safe, respectful relationships with educators and peers. • Developing Social Skills – learning how to interact with each

AEU ACT BRANCH

other, taking turns, developing empathy, cooperating, sharing, following instruction and communicating their needs. • Gaining Confidence, Self Esteem and Resilience – providing a consistent and secure environment with clear expectations and predictable consequences supports children in managing themselves and their emotions. It provides the foundation for building coping strategies to manage challenges that they may encounter. It helps children to view themselves as competent learners and approach new situations confidently. • Increasing Concentration – providing meaningful experiences to engage and focus on learning. • Developing Cognitive Skills – challenging children to observe, ask questions, work out solutions through hands on activities.


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• Having Fun – providing opportunities for children to be excited about their learning and sharing their achievements with peers. The most exciting aspect of the preschool year is being witness to the amazing growth that occurs in such a short time. To nurture and scaffold each child’s learning makes the job worthwhile and to be an important part of each child’s life and family is a very humbling experience and one that we have cherished over the years. We strongly advocate that the greater the time a child spends in a quality preschool program the greater the outcomes for every child and their families. Reducing preschool hours would be a backward step.

Anne Simpson, Principal of Chapman Primary School, and Elizabeth Lea, past preschool teacher at Chapman and now in her capacity as an experienced Early Childhood educator in the NSET team, have a combined teaching experience of 65 years. Anne and Elizabeth were both “Teachers in Charge” of several preschools within the ACT before preschools amalgamated with their local primary school. Both have witnessed many changes in the way preschool has provided education to the youngest students in our school system. Over this time the most important consideration has always been providing the best outcomes for the children in our preschools. One of the biggest impacts in improving quality outcomes for 4 year olds has been the move from 12 hours to 15 hours of preschool.

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ACT EDUCATOR MAGAZINE

Investing in Indigenous Education Arthur Hamilton Award Winner and ACT teacher Cara Shipp talks with Naomi Brooks about creating programs that change lives for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

F

or Cara Shipp, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education is

deeply personal. She is a proud member of the Wiradjuri nation from Dubbo.

ABOVE RIGHT IMAGE:

Cara Shipp in the Ngunnawal Room at Campbell High School, where she now teaches

AEU ACT BRANCH

From 2011-2016, Cara worked at Wanniassa School as an Executive Teacher in the English, Studies of Society and the Environment (SOSE), Languages and Indigenous programs, and is now working at Campbell High School. In her time at Wanniassa, Cara established a range of programs that put Indigenous kids at its centre. The programs have three aims: to connect educators with families, bring Aboriginal role models into schools and show kids pathways that school can lead to, and to promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture to everyone in the school. The program that Cara is most proud of is Wanniassa School’s homework club, which she initiated in 2012. The program aimed to transition Indigenous students from primary to high school.

“I wanted every student to be proud. I wanted them to say, ‘We’re strong, we’re smart and we’re Aboriginal kids who are going to high school.’” Every Wednesday, Cara walked with the students, other teachers and the youth worker from Junior to Senior Campus. In the Ganbra room – an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural resource room at Wanniassa School Senior Campus – the students would practice their literacy and numeracy skills. The program also integrated cultural activities, including Aboriginal guest speakers, songs and dances. “It’s in Years 7 and 8 that attendance begins to drop off. I wanted the students to see a pathway to continuing their education, to see that school is great and that doesn’t change when you move campus.”


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According to the ACT’s 2015 Closing the Gap Report, Indigenous students’ attendance rate dropped by 3% in the transition from primary to high school (from 87% to 84%). By Year 10, attendance rates further dropped to 77%. Cara’s program – and programs like hers that educators are developing across the country – are the human face behind closing the education gap. Fundamental to this is building deep personal connections with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and their families. “In the homework club, we got in early, and built strong connections with both the students and their parents. Working with parents is crucial. Some of the parents had negative experiences at school or didn’t finish high school. There’s intergenerational disadvantage, there’s fear about

engaging with a government institution. Parents are more willing to come in and engage when trust is built with an Aboriginal teacher.”

Utz will usually send their younger staff, who will sit and help the kids with their homework. It’s great role-modelling for the kids, and the professionals get a lot out of it too.”

“There are people who have so much to offer and want to be involved. We have brought in Aboriginal dancers, writers, business people, who will work with teachers in their classes. It’s important for Aboriginal kids to have these positive role models. It shows the kids that they belong.” Cara also encouraged Wanniassa School’s partnership with Clayton Utz, which forms part of the law firm’s Reconciliation and Action Plan (RAC). “It’s an opportunity for the kids to meet professionals. Clayton

Cara has also worked with her colleagues on bringing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture in the classroom. This has included incorporating Indigenous perspectives in units and building resources to share across units.

AEU ACT BRANCH


30

“One term, we made cushions with Aboriginal art on them. We had an Aboriginal award-winning textile artist come in as an expert. This has now become embedded in the teacher’s unit of work.” “There are people who have so much to offer and want to be involved. We have brought in Aboriginal dancers, writers and business people who work with teachers in their classes. It’s important for Aboriginal kids to have these positive role models. It shows the kids that they belong.” These changes go beyond the impact on Aboriginal students. It provides positive role models for the entire school community. “All the kids and staff work with these Aboriginal role models, and it goes a long way to break the stereotype – it’s a reconciliation exercise.”

AEU ACT BRANCH

ACT EDUCATOR MAGAZINE

Cara recommends that schools engage with the local community, where there are a range of resources and support. “We’re partnered with AIME Mentoring, the Airforce runs cul-

commemorates the work of Arthur Hamilton who was active in promoting cross-cultural awareness, recognition of Indigenous peoples and eliminating racism in schools.

“All the kids and staff work with these Aboriginal role models, and it goes a long way to break the stereotype – it’s a reconciliation exercise.” tural camps, there are apprenticeships in Aboriginal communities. There’s so much out there if you look for it.” In February this year, Cara was awarded the Federal AEU’s Arthur Hamilton Award for Outstanding Contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education. This Award

The Award recognises AEU members who are committed to ensuring that all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students have the right to high quality public education throughout their lives.


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COLLECTIVE An artwork by Lead Brideson

ABOVE IMAGE:

Artist: Leah Brideson 60 inch x 36 inch Acrylic on canvas Title: ‘Collective’Youth LEFT IMAGE:

Cara Shipp addresses the 2017 AEU Federal Conference

The inspiration for this artwork comes from the refurbishment of the AEU Canberra Branch Office. This piece as a whole is a representation of continuing relationships, collaboration and connection with the local community in a fresh space. The centre circle symbolises the union, the collective representing the people and workers. The connecting circles depict the community and movement coming from the people. Pathways throughout the piece represent avenues for shared understanding and the continual journey of participation and relationship building. Layering of dots symbolise the rich culture and knowledge of our first nations people and the pebbles represent the connection to and Acknowledgement of Country. leah.brideson@yahoo.com facebook.com/leahbridesonarts

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ACT EDUCATOR MAGAZINE

2017 AEU ACT BRANCH EXECUTIVE ELECTIONS While the Branch Council is the supreme decision-making body, the Branch Executive conducts our union’s strategic affairs. Of the 15 members on the Branch Executive, this election is for the eight school teacher or school psychologist members for a two-year term. For these eight positions, we have received eleven applications. Read on to fnd out about the candidates! If you are a school teacher or psychologst, and were a financial member on 13th March when the roll closed, a ballot will be sent to your home address. The ballot opens on Monday, 1st May and closes on Monday, 22nd May. Every AEU Member is invited to hear the candidates speak at our Council on Saturday, 13th May. We did not receive a nomination for the School Assistant member, the School Assistant alternate member or the TAFE member. We will run another election to fill these positions. If you are interested or would like to find out more, contact Vince at Vince.McDevitt@aeuact.org.au.

Don Bemrose

Tania Blak

It would be an honour to continue to serve on the ACT

I am thrilled and honoured to stand for a position on the

Branch Executive. I have enjoyed the past twelve months knowing how the AEU supports teaching and school staff and empowers each worksite. As a new educator at Yarralumla PS who has previously worked as an Aboriginal

Executive for the AEU ACT Branch. I am currently one of the Vice Presidents of the AEU ACT Branch and have enjoyed this role immensely. The opportunity to work for and with dedicated, professional and enthusiastic change agents has been both an adventure and an en-

Education Officer and within the Education Support Office

lightening experience. I strongly believe together we can

I offer a unique perspective. I believe we are best repre-

achieve wonderful things for our members. I have been

sented when we are proactive in our worksites and bring

involved in the union movement for my entire working

motions up through our sub-branches to school management. With the knowledge I have gained and skills I have developed whilst serving on the current board I am a great candidate to continue to serve you.

AEU ACT BRANCH

career and am proud to put my name forward for consideration by the AEU ACT members.


33

Cherie Connors

Emma Cox

Passionate and instrumental in driving a reform agenda

If re-elected as a member of AEU ACT Branch Executive

that will improve outcomes for ALL students. Extremely

I will continue to be an active representative, advocating

passionate about enabling educators to focus on our core

for primary school members and mental health. I com-

business, ‘the student and how they learn.’ I believe that

pleted my Rosemary Richards Scholarship project on

we need more staff supporting teachers with adminis-

parenting leave, return to work transitions and women’s

trative tasks so we can focus on what we love to do. Plan

mental health to encourage greater discussion of these

amazing learning experiences for our wonderful learners.

issues. As a teacher librarian in training, I am passionate

I believe all leaders need to be supported with time to

about ACT schools having the expert and qualified library

reflect on their leadership and network to enable them

staff they need to support equitable teaching and learn-

to grow high performing teams.

ing in all schools. I think strategically and am interested in practical improvements to AEU operations, communication and member engagement for the benefit of all members.

Peter Curtis

Holly Godfree

Insist on our duty to put children first. Being an active

Public education is under siege. The role of unions in

part of the solution means we care and advocate for our

education and in broader society has never been more

students and each other as teachers and LSAs. Every

important. Want a reduced workload? Want a better

primary school a library, art and music teacher; no more

education system? The key to achieve these changes is

millions wasted on NAPLAN. GONSKI is only the begin-

a strong, well organised union. I’ve been a primary and

ning. Active sub-branches make schools safe: Silenced

college teacher in Canberra for 17 years. I’ve been a Sub-

workplaces are harmful. Quality teachers deserve quality

Branch President and Councillor, and I’ve been at the

conditions – The time to think. Name the sources of our

front line trying to save our libraries and to support Gon-

stress - Occupational violence and workloads, and too

ski. I’ve got good ideas, and I’ll bring experience, passion

many hours face-to-face. Social Equality. Scrappy lunch-

and an eagerness to learn to the role of Branch Executive.

es, trauma and fear; disadvantage has a high attendance

I’d appreciate your vote - you won’t be disappointed. Vote

rate in our classrooms.

1 Holly!

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34

ACT EDUCATOR MAGAZINE

Ben Godwin

Shane Gorman

I am a strong supporter of public education in the ACT.

I am committed to public education. The values I hold

I believe public education is the bedrock of society and

strong are the values that inspire and maintain this com-

it needs to be funded properly. I completed a Dip Ed in

mitment. They are the values I adhere to in my leadership

2012 after deciding to make a career shift and I have not

role and through my role on AEU ACT Branch Executive

regretted it since. I am teacher in the Humanities faculty

and as Chair of the AEU National Principal’s Committee.

at Dickson College and teach history, economics and

In particular these values are about equity, embracing

business. I am currently the Sub-Branch President and

diversity and public education as the foundation for our

Branch Councillor and have gained experience in other

democratic society. I believe all levels of teachers and

roles since 2013. I am seeking election to Branch Execu-

support staff should be members of and represented at

tive to support the work of the union and to help support

all levels of OUR union. Together we can and will make a

public schools and our teachers.

difference to our working conditions and therefore to the outcomes of all students.

Ian Marshall

Karl-Erik Paasonen

I am a proud union member and teacher and have been

I am Sub-Branch President and Councillor at Telopea,

for over 30 years in the ACT and NSW public education

while teaching EALD; I was awarded UnionsACT work-

systems. I am passionate about ensuring improved condi-

place delegate of the year last year. I went to pretty

tions for all AEU members in schools at all levels. I teach

rough public schools in Brisbane, but still made it

English at Lake Tuggeranong College and have been the

through. My daughter is in a public school here. I have

Sub-Branch Secretary since 2013. I am an involved mem-

wide experience in the peace and environmental move-

ber of Council and I am responsive to your interests as we

ments, as well as having worked as an organiser with sev-

work to achieve and maintain quality working conditions

eral unions. My interest in Executive is in helping shape

and a Union that responds to the needs and require-

the upcoming EA claim, and strengthening alliances

ments of all members. I seek your support to be elected

with other movements. I was appointed to Executive for

to AEU Executive.

some months in 2014, so have some experience in the role.

AEU ACT BRANCH


35

Katie Slater

Anne Brown

I’m a beginning primary teacher at Kingsford Smith

Anne has been a science and biology teacher for 35

School. I have come from a family where both parents

years and is currently a CIT Head of Department. At CIT,

are teachers and, within my short time of teaching, I have

she was a casual teacher for 13 years before receiving

already seen how our union has the power to improve

permanency. Anne is a passionate advocate for public vo-

the workplace conditions, pay and job security of those

cational education, environmentalism and social justice.

employed in today’s public school system. I represent a

She has represented CIT members on Branch Council,

large portion of public school teachers in the ACT: young,

National TAFE Council and at National Conference.

female, beginning teachers. I have a good understanding of some of the issues this demographic of teachers face on a daily basis. I am passionate about the union and

Anne has been elected unopposed as the TAFE alternate member on Executive.

its members and believe I would be an asset and fresh voice, so vote for me!

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36

ACT EDUCATOR MAGAZINE

Meet AEU ACT’s Lead Organiser, Vince McDevitt Vince McDevitt is the new Lead Organiser in the AEU ACT Branch. He talks about his beginnings in Canberra and the union movement, and how he plans on contributing to public education.

V

ince McDevitt is about as Canberra as you can get.

He was born in the old Canberra Hospital in 1965 and, as a kid, he and his nine siblings moved across the length and breadth of Canberra - that is, before Gungahlin existed. He grew up in Belconnen and later Weston Creek, and now lives in Tuggeranong, where he lives a suburb over from his parents. He joins the AEU as our Lead Organiser from being the ACT Regional Secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU). Of his 30 years as a union member, Vince has been a union activist for 29 of those years. It all began when he was working in the Australian Protective Service, which was part of the Attorney General’s Department at the time, and a colleague asked him to join the CPSU. “We were all concerned about

AEU ACT BRANCH

our conditions,” Vince says. “You’d be up at Parliament House on night shift and they wouldn’t give you warm clothes. You’d be out in a lightweight uniform jacket at midnight in the middle of winter and it was freezing cold. Once we got organised with the union it didn’t take long before they agreed to give us proper thermal clothing and footwear.” Within 12 months, Vince had become a delegate, and over the next 14 years he rose to the highest levels of union workplace representation, before taking up a full time Organiser position with the CPSU in 2001. Vince went on to become a Lead Organiser and then ACT Regional Secretary for the last 10 years. For Vince, public education is crucial in creating a fair and just society. Public education is one of the first exposures anyone has


37

to public services. “You’re only in the game for as long as I’ve been because you’re passionate about equal access to services, no matter where you were born or how much you have in the bank. That’s what public education is all about.”

days.” “Teachers put their heart and soul into their students, and the idea that teachers start at 9am and finish at 3pm is just so far from reality. The job can be so demanding, but it can also be incredibly satisfying making such

“Teachers put their heat and soul into their students, and the idea that teachers start at 9am and finish at 3pm is just so far from reality.” It’s also personal. Vince’s daughter and son-in-law both teach in the ACT’s public education system. “Over the years, I’ve seen firsthand the challenges and pressures that teachers face every day in the classroom, and of course all the after-hours work like preparing reports, parent teacher evenings, and lesson planning over the school holi-

a difference to the lives of young people.” Vince is also the proud father of Lisa, an Air Hostess for United Arab Emirates based in Dubai, and his son Anthony, a local Canberra builder and carpenter. Vince has settled well into the AEU office and is busy driving the plans and frameworks that will best serve the member-

ship in meeting the challenges ahead. “Teachers and School Assistants working in the ACT public education system only have decent pay and conditions because of the struggles of union members over decades gone by, make no mistake, those conditions were hard won and they should never be taken for granted.” Vince says. “As we deal with the rapidly changing times, new technologies and the ongoing battles for decent funding, we are seeing workloads spiral, diminishing resources and rising levels of occupational violence.” “These challenges are real and they are happening now, and if employees want to ensure their conditions and rights at work are maintained, and see their students get a fair go, they must have a united, strong and effective voice, and that means joining their union.”

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ACT EDUCATOR MAGAZINE

From Dublin to Canberra, Beth Morrisroe has advocacy in her bones Beth Morrisroe is the new Case Support in the AEU ACT Branch. She talks about how social justice runs through her heritage and into her work in Australia.

B

eth Morrisroe moved back to Canberra last year on Christ-

mas Eve. For the previous five years, she lived in the Northern Territory.

“Working in the Northern Territory was a life changing experience that brought my passion for social justice to new heights.” During most of her time in the Northern Territory, Beth was based in Alice Springs and later in Darwin. Her work took her across Central Australia into most of the remote indigenous communities. Her experience with the Warlpiri people in particular is what prompted Beth to begin her Doctoral studies in 2015. “I had thousands of detailed conversations with different people, but my notes reflect the fact that the same problems and underlying complaints arose over and over again. It is clear that people feel keenly the lack of recognition of their culture within the colonial legal system.” Beth hasn’t always lived in Aus-

AEU ACT BRANCH

tralia. She was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland where she primarily attended small Gaeltacht public schools. She relocated to Canberra as a teenager where she graduated from Narrabundah College. “Narrabundah College was my first experience in a school of that size. I was incredibly impressed with the flexible approach to courses and the small class sizes that existed within the larger school structure.” “The teachers made that extra effort to make sure I was comfortable in what for me was an entirely new environment. I will always be grateful for their support. In my position as the AEU’s Case Support Officer, I hope I can provide support to the same kind of high quality teachers.” Beth’s Irish accent has softened, and although she often speaks


39

Irish at home, her accent is now an Australian hybrid. She is proud to be Australian and proud of her strong Irish roots and Ireland’s robust anti-colonial and labour union history.

Reaching further into her family tree, Beth’s great-grandfather was inspired to found a union following the 1916 Easter Rising.

fulfilled. A sign with the name of the Group was still on the side of the Old Gerety’s pub in Longford, Ireland until 1999.”

“My great-grandfather began the first union of pub and hotel em-

Beth started as the AEU’s Case Support Officer at the end of March. When members have workplace issues involving their industrial rights and entitlements, Beth is available to step in and offer support.

“Narrabundah College was my first experience in a school of that size. I was incredibly impressed with the flexible approach to courses and the small class sizes that existed within the larger school structure.” “Social justice and unionism runs deep in the family. My grandmother unionised university cleaners in the 1950s and my father organised the first academic staff lawsuit against a US university in the 1960s.”

ployees in Ireland in the 1920s. His sense of social justice was really spurned on by the Irish rebellion.” “Unfortunately, he died in 1929 and his desire to unionise pubs across the country was left un-

She is also working on creating accessible advice sheets on common member questions. These sheets will pull together the positions of the EA, relevant legislation and Education Directorate or CIT policies. “With the ever-increasing challenges educators face, I will provide the best possible industrial advice and support to individual members.”

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ACT EDUCATOR MAGAZINE

UNDERSTANDING DISCRIMINATION There’s can be a difference between unfair treatment and unlawful descrimination, as David Bunn and Patrick Judge explain. As educators, we all know that we have responsibilities to our students under human rights and anti-discrimination laws. However, we can sometimes forget that we, too, have rights against discrimination that are protected by law. In order for us to show that a member has been a victim of unlawful discrimination we have to show two things: 1. The member suffered a detriment in the workplace or in some other public setting; 2. This was because of a personal characteristic (or a perceived characteristic) that it is unlawful to discriminate against. We must show the causal link between the two – that the member suffered because they have a personal attribute, or are thought to have one. The Discrimination Act 1991 (ACT) defines which attributes it is unlawful to discriminate against. In the ACT, these include: • sex; • sexuality; • gender identity; • relationship status; • status as a parent or carer; • pregnancy; • breastfeeding; • race; • religious or political conviction; • disability; • industrial activity; • age; or • profession, trade, occupation or calling. It is also against the law to sexually harass someone, or to vilify someone because of their race or religion. AEU ACT BRANCH

Discrimination may be direct or indirect. Direct discrimination is aimed at an individual and involves treating that individual unfavourably because of an attribute. For example, treating a person unfavourably because they are old, have a mental health condition, or are a union representative is direct discrimination. Indirect discrimination involves the creation of conditions that lead to a person being disadvantaged. For example, workplaces that are inaccessible to employees with mobility problems would be indirectly discriminatory, while a requirement for an applicant to have a driver’s licence, when driving is not part of their job, can discriminate against the vision impaired. FAIR TREATMENT The law applies in all of the workplaces where the AEU has members. You are protected at all stages of employment, including: • recruitment, how positions are advertised and how interviews are conducted • being offered fair terms and conditions of employment • negotiating flexible work arrangements • disclosing disability in the workplace • returning to work after illness or injury • being unfairly dismissed, retrenched or demoted • discrimination based on your carer status, family responsibilities and parental status. AEU members also have rights to fair treatment, such as merit based selection, built into the industrial agreements and legis-

lation that covers our workplace. Sometimes these rights can be pursued through the general protections provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and other Commonwealth anti-discrimination laws. LIMITATIONS OF THE ACT We often field queries from members who feel that they have been the victims of prejudice or bias in the workplace, but do not believe that the discrimination is based on them having any of the personal characteristics listed above. Often, the cause is a personal falling out with the person they feel has harmed them. This can range from disagreements about professional issues, to disputes about membership of the coffee club, to failed marriages where the ex-spouses continue to be employed by the same employer. While there will be other possibilities for assisting members in these circumstances, discrimination law will usually not figure. Perhaps the most important thing to say about the Discrimination Act is that it emphasises resolution of disputes and the conciliation of complaints. Making a discrimination complaint will rarely be a vehicle for punishment of the alleged perpetrator or a method for exacting revenge. If you feel that you are the victim of discrimination, victimisation or harassment based on the personal characteristics listed in the Discrimination Act 1991 (ACT), contact the AEU ACT Office on 02 6272 7900 or email aeuact@aeuact.org.au for further information.


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42

ACT EDUCATOR MAGAZINE

Your questions answered Our best advice for your most common concerns. For more detail, call our AEU ACT Office on 6272 7900.

Q A

I’m not sure how I’m going to get my TQI hours done – what can I do?

The first thing to do is check online for available PL. The TQI website (www.tqi.act. edu.au) lists accredited professional learning opportunities, many of which are free of charge. If you think that you are going to miss your hours for the year, or need advice about your registration, TQI may be able to help you out with a more flexible arrangement. Get in touch with them by phone or email and ask for their advice.

Q A

I think I’ve been overpaid. What should I do? Contact payroll and ask them to check. Do not spend the additional money

AEU ACT BRANCH

until you are certain that your pay is correct. If you have been overpaid, it is very likely that you will be asked to pay the money back. If you have spent the money already you may need to request a payment plan, or that the overpayment amount be waived. The AEU office can advise you if you need help with this process.

Q A

What is a “new educator support plan”?

Teachers in their first three years of teaching have a range of additional entitlements under our EA, such as reduced face-to-face time and new educator days. To ensure that new teachers have a say in how these entitlements are used, and that they can easily keep track of them (especially if they move

sites) our EA requires that “new educators negotiate with their supervisor during term 1 each year a New Educator Support Plan… no more than one page in length outlining the intended use of the New Educator support days for that year.”

Q A

I’m a teacher. Do I really have to attend the school site until 4.51pm?

Only if that’s what you agreed to. Our EA provides that “The standard hours are 8.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4.51pm, Monday to Friday for a fulltime employee.” However, this is only for the purpose of calculating salary and leave entitlements. Your required hours of attendance are negotiated between you and your principal and can be reviewed at least once a year. Depending on your


43

professional responsibilities and the needs of your school, you might start earlier and leave earlier, or start later and leave later.

Q A

What is “release time” and what can it be used for?

While our EA does make one reference to release time, there are really only two types of time during our working day, face-to-face teaching time and all other time. You can work out how much of your time is “other time” by subtracting your face-to-face hours from your 36.75 hours per week. “Other time” hours can be used for duties, meetings, planning, PLCs and any other matter that falls within the duties of a teacher, taking account of the section of

the EA that govern meetings and duties.

Q A

Who can give me advice about my retirement?

If you are considering retirement, it is worthwhile getting the best advice that you can. In addition to talking with your superannuation fund, the employer offers financial advice through its employee assistance program. While the AEU Pffice does not provide financial advice, we haev an agreement with State Plus Super to provide free financial advice. Retired unionists are eligible for AEU associate membership that will allow you to keep in touch and continue to receive our magazine and communications.

Q

I’m a school assistant and I have been asked to work with a student as part of the HAAS program, but I’m not trained in the procedure. What should I do?

A

There are two central premises that underpin the delivery of HAAS – that you are both competent to undertake the procedure, and confident in doing so. If you do not have the training that you need to do the procedure, you are not competent to do it. Similarly, if you aren’t confident in delivering the procedure, even if you have been trained, you shouldn’t be doing it. If you are being asked to add HAAS duties to your position and you do not want to, you are entitled to ask to be placed in another position without those duties.

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AEU ACT BRANCH

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Ian Alder, AEU Life Member (1928-2017) Ian Alder passed away on 26 February. Ian was a Life Member of our Union, an honour awarded in 1985 for his service to the AEU and its members. Prior to coming to Canberra, Ian had many years of city and rural teaching service and activity in the NSW Teachers Federation. Among his significant achievements was the establishment of the Gobondary Branch of the NSWTF, representing Trundle, Kelvin Grove, Eribung and Tullamore. While in Sydney Ian held senior positions in the (then) Men Teachers Association. He was a regular delegate to the NSWTF Annual Conference. I first met Ian when he joined the staff of Deakin High School in 1968. Ian became an active participant in the ACT Secondary Teachers Association. He was among the many who enthusiastically supported the establishment of the then ACT Commonwealth Teachers Federation in 1972-73, and from the beginning he was an effective contributor to the development of the Union and the system. He was President of the Secondary Teachers Association in 1974.

in a strong national education union, and he was a solid contributor to national policy development. He was also a convivial travelling companion. When our active Union involvement concluded, and following our retirements from the service, our meetings were much less frequent though no less friendly. I know that Ian was very active for over twenty years in that great organisation, the University of the Third Age, where he could continue to share his love of history with others. He was a life member of the Canberra District Rugby League Referees Association. Everyone will say that Ian Alder had a full life, because he did. He certainly contributed enormously through his professional life, in teaching, in his union work, and his U3A activity. He had a wide circle of friends and acquaintances who enjoyed his company. More importantly, he has a devoted wife and family whom he has loved and supported, and who have loved and supported him, especially during his final difficult days. Farewell, Ian. Rest in peace. Keith Lawler (with thanks to Michael Alder)

We both served the Union as members of Executive and Council. I became President in 1975 for eight years, and during that time Ian served as an Executive member, as a Vice-President in 197578 and 1984-85, and as General Secretary of the Union 1978-81. In his initial term as a Vice-President Ian was one of the then Federation’s three representatives on the ACT Schools Authority, where he was a strong advocate for the ACT public school system and for teachers through some difficult years. When Ian became General Secretary he and I were jointly responsible for the overall administration of the Union. It has to be said that Ian and I occasionally had fairly fundamental disagreements on some policy and procedural matters, but this rarely affected our personal relationship. Particularly as Secretary Ian had opportunities to represent the Union at the national level, especially at conferences of the Australian Teachers Federation, now the Federal AEU. He was a firm believer

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ACT EDUCATOR MAGAZINE

WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBERS

Congratulations to everyone who joined or re-joined during Term 1. By joining our union, you’re helping us all win better pay and conditions, as well as ensuring our students have the learning conditions they deserve. CONGRATULATIONS AND WELCOME TO THE AEU!

Janelle Jack, Jessie Copeman, Daniel Childs, Michael Sinden, Damien Plenty, Harry Grimes, McArthur Fryz, Benjamin Crabtree, Melissa Orton, Kate Bicket, Jessica Muldoon, Alannah Hosking-Rose, Teagan Gaukroger, Mark Edmunds, Sasha Murphy, Larisa Antonova, Katherine Wojcik, Bridget Martin, Mitchell Samin, Jenny Gray, Rosalie Urosevic, Joanne Argaet, Kelly Pulver, Rhys Langley, Catherine Gilles, Carly Mooney, Melissa Markos, Heather Lombard, William Steed, Robert Whyte, Daniel White, Amelia Machen, Ashleigh Brook, Bernadette Sainsbury, Sean Bruce, Timothy Kirsopp, James Hoy, Daniel Clynk, Evalore Canonigo, Ombre Perrin, Sarah Hughes, David Jess, David Finch, Oliver Burke, Marka Selmes, Prudence Roveta, Amanda Molloy, Daniel Fisher, Alexandra Dunnett, Anita Griffin, Kathryn McDonald, Ellen Christou, Wayde Margetts, Juliette O’Connor, Amy Craven, Lynn Hart, Zoe Rothfield, Matt Ryland, Richa Jyoti, Charles McIntosh, Samantha Wynne, Kate Tanas, Alison Haddy, Luisa Dal Col, Richard Lloyd, Laura Andreazza, Aimy Parkes, Bradley Jones, Prudence Fabian, Stephanie O’Neill, Kylie Hughes, Farah Junaid, Amanda McGirr, Dionne Bryant, Whitney Pitt, Anya Josan, Samara Lerable, Claudia Symon, Kiranbir Dhaliwal, Nancye Marrington, Gemma Duggan, Alycia James, Kara Brailey, Garima Singh, Elizabeth Moyle, Erin Smith, Anne Nguyen, Rebecca Wood, Melissa Collie, Johanna Hooijer, Fiona Manton, Peter Usher, Silvana Olsen, Francine Bateman, Luke Manwaring, Natalie Duke, William Hotchkiss, Natalie Waldron, Emily Neeson, David O’Brien, Sally Ward, Melissa Johnson, Amanda Usher, Caroline Adams, Harriet Lee Robinson

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OUR AEU ACT OFFICE TEAM

GLENN FOWLER Branch Secretary

Glenn.Fowler@aeuact.org.au

GERARD DWYER CIT Organiser

Gerard.Dwyer@aeuact.org.au

WE’RE HIRING! North Organiser

LAUREN MCCARTHY Business Manager

lauren.mccarthy@aeuact.org.au

VINCE MCDEVITT Lead Organiser

Vince.McDevitt@aeuact.org.au

NAOMI BROOKS Communications & Campaigns Officer

Naomi.Brooks@aeuact.org.au

WE’RE HIRING! South Organiser

MEAGAN NIHILL Membership Co-ordinator Meagan.Nihill@aeuact.org.au

JACQUI AGIUS Senior Industrial Officer

Jacqui.Aguis@aeuact.org.au

PATRICK JUDGE Industrial Officer

Patrick.Judge@aeuact.org.au

BETH MORRISROE Case Support Officer

Beth.Morrisroe@aeuact.org.au

LUCY STANFORD Receptionist aeuact@aeuact.org.au

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ACT EDUCATOR MAGAZINE

5 GREAT REASONS TO SUPPORT PUBLIC EDUCATION 1 BUILDING AUSTRALIA’S FUTURE 2 EVERY CHILD GETS THE EDUCATION THEY DESERVE 3 BETTER OUTCOMES THAN PRIVATE SCHOOLS 4 PROMOTING EQUITY AND RESPECT 5 OPPORTUNITIES FOR EVERYONE Public Education Dinner, National Press Club - 26 May. Call 02 6272 7900 to book your tickets by Credit Card

AEU ACT BRANCH

Profile for Australian Education Union ACT

Term 2 ACT Educator  

Term 2 ACT Educator  

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