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FAQs Merit Selection

AEU Vice President Lara Golding says we need funding certainty in the early years.

Who can be the AEU rep on a panel? Leadership and ancillary panels: In the first instance, the AEU office will contact the Sub-branch Secretary of the site. If they are trained and willing to do the panel then they have first option. If they are not trained, can’t do it or want to give other members the chance, they are required to call for nominations from trained members at the site, hold a ballot to elect a rep, and let the AEU office know who it will be.

Teacher panels: The Sub-Branch Secretary is required to call for nominations from trained members in the site, hold a ballot to elect a rep and let the chairperson know who it will be.

What if only one member nominates to be on the panel? The Sub-branch Secretary is still required to hold a ballot to ensure the other sub-branch members endorse that one nomination.

Who can I talk to if I am worried about something regarding the panel? Merit selection panel processes are confidential. However, if you are on a panel as an AEU rep and you need advice regarding something that is happening within the panel process, you should call the AEU on: 8172 6300 for advice, without breaching confidentiality. n



AEU Women’s Conference

Saturday 16 June

8.45am – 3.00pm

A professional conference for women members with a focus on celebrating the power of women and girls to become agents of positive change in their communities and schools.

Friday 15 June 7.00 – 10.00pm Film night: ‘Made in Dagenham’ See Ad on page 2.

our preschools


I still remember my daughter’s first day at kindy. The nerves and excitement, and her brave face trying not to cry as I left. I also remember her last day, as she proudly presented me with her artworks and projects, and seeing her performing confidently with her class singing Christmas carols at the end year concert. She grew up immeasurably during that year, in no small part due to the excellent guidance of her kindy teachers and early childhood workers, and the high-quality play-based curriculum they provided. As it was for my daughter, that first year of public education is pivotal in any child’s life. According to the federal government’s own review of the US Perry Preschool study, every $1 spent on preschool saves the economy over $8 in social, health and institutional costs. There is also a wealth of other academic evidence showing the positive impact of preschool on the long-term educational and social outcomes of children. The Effective Provision of Preschool Studies from the UK and similar studies in the US have found high quality preschool had significant and long-term educational benefits, including: higher achievement at school, greater commitment to schooling and reduced absences, reduced special class placements, and increased high school graduation rates. Our preschool educators play an incredibly important role in setting children up for lifelong success, they work tirelessly with families, communities and support services and they are well deserving of respect! However, in spite of the evidence, our early childhood educators are facing challenges on many fronts including uncertainty in funding, devaluation of early childhood educational leadership, reduced non-instruction time and low levels of job security.

Preschool funding Every year AEU members have to fight for the extra three hours funding

per-week, per-child, from the federal government. It is unbelievable, given the importance of that first year, that the federal government refuses to provide a long-term commitment to funding 15 hours of universal access to preschool. We currently have an agreement from the federal Education minister until the end of next year. This is not good enough. We are preparing to step up the campaign again next year and want you all to join us.

Non-instruction time in preschools Teachers in school-based preschools are entitled to the same non-instruction time as the other primary teachers at the school. In comparison, preschool teachers in standalone sites are only entitled to ten percent non-instruction time, and in many cases educators are receiving even less. Sound confusing? It is! A preschool teacher should be entitled to the same non-instruction time, regardless of whether their preschool is based at a school or not.

Securing our jobs Regardless of location, early childhood educators have the lowest level of job security of all school sectors. In 2017, only 56% of the early childhood teaching workforce were permanent and fewer than 20% of early childhood workers were permanent. These are appalling statistics. The Department for Education (DfE) has recently informed the AEU that they are looking at staff contracts and seeking to convert some preschool staff to permanent. This is good news, but unless a large number of early childhood educators are converted to permanent, it won’t be enough. We must unite and stand in solidarity, in preschools, schools and TAFE, to give our students the best possible start to public education. What we need is increased and guaranteed funding. Despite the overwhelming evidence supporting our position, neither state nor federal government is going to provide this voluntarily. Through campaigning, we must demand Fair Funding Now – especially for our preschools. n 17

AEU Journal May 2018  

Fair Funding Now! Every child deserves a fully funded public education. Join 1 in June: Build strength at your workplace. Job Insecurity: Tu...

AEU Journal May 2018  

Fair Funding Now! Every child deserves a fully funded public education. Join 1 in June: Build strength at your workplace. Job Insecurity: Tu...