Page 1

Official publication of the Australian Education Union (SA Branch)

Vol 42 I No.4

June 2010

AEUJOURNAL SA Eremophila Serrulata... ...this tiny leaf could save your life


AEU membership: the best insurance around


Universal Access: more time in preschool for children



Australian Education Union | SA Branch 163 Greenhill Road, Parkside SA 5063 Telephone: 8272 1399

Universal Access page 10 15 hours of preschool rolls out in Category 1 centres.


8373 1254


Editor: Craig Greer AEU Journal is published seven times annually by the South Australian Branch of the Australian Education Union. AEU Journal 2010 Dates Deadline

Publication date


July 23

August 11


August 27

September 15


October 15

November 3

Subscriptions: Free for AEU members. Nonmembers may subscribe for $33 per year. Print Post approved PP 531629/0025 ISSN 1440-2971 Cover: Craig Greer Printing: Finsbury Green Printing

Eremophila Serrulata

Join the AEU

Cover Story: page 12 Horticulture students at Stuart High School are at the cutting edge of a significant medical breakthrough.

page 16 There’s more to the union than EBAs.

Advertise in the AEU Journal. Reach over 13,500 members across South Australia.

8272 1399



*Winner of TOP LETTER!

FUNDAMENTALIST ‘SCIENCE’ AND THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM One aspect of the disconcerting conservatism afflicting education today is the threat posed to the school curriculum by fundamentalist Christianity. And so it was disappointing to read in the press recently that in this state the Association of Independent Schools is going in to bat for local creationists wanting the lifting of a ban imposed by the Non-Government Schools Registration Board on the teaching of creationism – intelligent design – in the independent school science curriculum. Now, I am a strong advocate for freedom of expression as a democratic right. And that includes freedom of religious expression in general terms. But, in so doing it is in the knowledge that none of us has an unrestricted right to the freedom to say what we want. Freedom of expression is

not, and never has been, absolute. Certainly defining where the line is to be drawn between permissible, and prohibited, free speech can be very difficult. And it is no doubt for this reason that Gary Le Duff and his Association find themselves dangerously on the wrong side in a very long standing conundrum. The current debate focused on democratic free speech and the banning of creationism in schools is anchored in a classic dilemma: what do you do when that free speech threatens the basic ideological consensus upon which that democracy rests? In this case the part of the consensus involved is the scientific method that underpins the present science curriculum. From a mainstream perspective creationism in whatever form threatens our core belief that the path to true secular scientific knowledge lies, not in mysticism, but in the exercise of the scientific – the empirical – method. When it comes to school students there is another dimension. These students are a captive audience and not yet capable of forming independent views in the fullest sense. They need to be guided in learning to understand and accept our core societal beliefs and values

Got something to share with AEU members? Write a letter to the editor


Best letter in each AEU Journal will receive two tickets to an Adelaide Symphony Orchestra concert. Email to: while at the same time being equipped to make their own independent judgments on all manner of things in adult life. At the end of the day it must be said that the creationists opposing the current ban are modern day flat-earthers who threaten the consensus and should not be allowed to wield their backward influence anywhere in the science curriculum in our schools. The Association should know better. It urgently needs to re-think its policy on this matter. ...continued over page 3


L E T T E R S TO T H E E D I TO R CO N T. . . As an issue that has arisen in 333 some independent schools certainly it is in that sector that the fence needs mending in the first instance. But it doesn’t end there. History teaches us that when this kind of genie gets out of the bottle its effects can be pervasive well beyond the immediate locale in which it arises. At a time when enlightened state and private schooling is under threat we all need to be on our guard against further subversive influences undermining it. In that sense we are all in it together and need to maintain a collective stance against the forces of unenlightenment that are resurgent at the present time. I Terry Hewton Retired Teacher

WHY THE RUSH? Why is the Federal Government and the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) in such a rush to ram through the National Curriculum? The development of the new national history courses needs to be commended.

However, its implementation within the states’ existing school systems and how it will work will be the ultimate litmus test of its success or failure. I am extremely concerned that many of our primary and to lesser extent secondary teachers will not be sufficiently prepared to teach history. The teaching of history requires specialised knowledge and teaching methodology. You cannot expect teachers to teach history if they do not possess the relevant subject knowledge. If it is to work, you cannot put a sophisticated syllabus in the hands of non-specialist teachers. Recruitment, retraining and retention of qualified teachers are imperative to the success of the National Curriculum. There is the crucial issue of how the history curricular will be assessed and reported. What are the achievement standards? Will there be national testing associated with the new national curriculum? And speaking of national testing, I am also extremely concerned for primary school teachers who are currently undergoing intensive training while also involved with the NAPLAN testing. In future they

will face greater teacher re-training and professional development across the four compulsory courses across K-10. Classroom teachers need quality space and time to fully digest and implement the new national curriculum. Allocation of teaching time, resourcing and the implications for the curriculum are substantial and research has shown that if this is not done properly it will undermine the quality of the end product. If the Rudd government is serious about developing a world-class curriculum that will inspire and challenge our students, then let’s do it properly. A step in the right direction would be to stagger the implementation and buy time so that all the unresolved issues are attended to. In my professional opinion, the new national curriculum should not be fully implemented until 2015. The Australian educational highway is littered with failed educational programs, because they have been rushed through due to political I expediency. Michael Wohltmann Marden Senior College






Greens establish recruitment, organising, retention Senate inquiry on NAPLAN

Growing our union:

“We will soon be taking a fresh look at recruitment strategies and we welcome your input.”


ne of the key factors behind our campaigning success is the strength and density of our membership. Recruitment and retention is a key priority for the AEU to ensure that we retain strong membership density in all sectors and that we encourage members to step into sub-branch and broader union roles.

Over the past few years, our focus has been on undertaking recruitment drives across the state. During the drive, a team of AEU officers relocates to a particular region for the week to visit worksites, talk to members and sign up new members. It is a strategy that is very successful in that a number of conversations can be had with AEU members about local issues, the broader state and federal agendas and most importantly, the need to recruit new members as they arrive in sites. However, it is just one part of the ongoing work that is needed to ensure our union remains strong and viable. We will soon be taking a fresh look at recruitment strategies and we welcome your input. To contribute your ideas about recruitment and retention, please email us at:

E: During Week 7, along with AEU organisers and Tony Johnston from Teacher’s Health, I took part in the AEU recruitment drive in the South East region. We had a very busy and successful week recruiting new members to the union. There were also a lot of questions from members about the new Step 9 procedures, which are now agreed between the AEU, DECS and State Government. All eligible employees will be able to apply for reclassification to Step 9 from September 1 this year (see page 15 for details).

During Term 3, the AEU will be running workshops to assist people through the application process and we urge members to register for one of these sessions as soon as details have been finalised. Look out for further information in the July holiday sub-branch mail out.

Building the Education Revolution During my site visits I took a particular interest in the many BER projects that are nearing completion. Despite the teething problems and ongoing issues around cost blowouts, it is very good for the soul to see such fabulous new buildings taking shape in our public schools. New classrooms, libraries, gyms, tech centres and performing arts facilities are popping up everywhere in a much needed facelift for Public Education. I witnessed a tour of a small group of preschool children at Allendale East Area School as they walked into the new building. Mouths opened and lots of “wows” were expressed. it was a good reminder of how important the learning environment is for our children. This long overdue investment in infrastructure is a direct result of the Federal Government’s Building the Education Revolution program and must be seen as the first step in addressing the inequities of funding for our public system. The next step that must be taken by the Federal Government is critical to the long-term viability of Public Education and begins with a review of the outdated SES funding model. The AEU has lodged a federal submission on possible terms of reference for this important review of Australia’s school funding arrangements. I urge you to read the submission and be ready to respond as a sub-branch once the review is underway. I You can access the submission on our website: In solidarity, Correna Haythorpe, AEU President

The Australian Greens have responded to the AEU campaign against the use of NAPLAN results to create league tables of schools by successfully establishing a Senate inquiry into the administration and reporting of NAPLAN testing.

All AEU members can make submissions to the inquiry. Members have the option of being identified by name or having their name withheld from publication. Submissions will be published here: committee/eet_ctte/naplan/ submissions.htm The terms of reference are: a) the conflicting claims made by the government, educational experts and peak bodies in relation to the publication of the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) testing; b) the implementation of possible safeguards and protocols around the public presentation of the testing and reporting data; c) the impact of the NAPLAN assessment and reporting regime on: i) the educational experience and outcomes for Australian students; ii) the scope, innovation and quality of teaching practice; iii) the quality and value of information about student progress provided to parents and principals; iv) the quality and value of information about individual schools to parents, principals and the general community; d) international approaches to the publication of comparative reporting of the results, i.e. ‘league tables’; and e) other related matters. Perhaps not surprisingly, government members who have endorsed Gillard’s “transparency” agenda voted to block the inquiry! This is a great opportunity to influence public and political opinion, and members who wish to submit comments should follow the easy guidelines at: submissions/pages/index.aspx Mike Williss, AEU Research Officer


SC H O O L P R O F I L E 7 Cowandilla Primary School signage

Our Patch Cowandilla Primary – a dedicated climate change focus school by Renata Provenzano


trio of primary school children hop about a school vegetable garden surrounded by apple, pear and oranges trees, picking leaves of dark green spinach. As they munch they declare “mmm” and “yum!”. This may not be your average lunch time play, but this is no average school.


1 Cowandilla Primary School students (from left) Roya, Yasin and Hamish

Cowandilla Primary School and Children’s Centre (CPSCC) is a dedicated climate change focus school teaching children (and staff ) about grassroots environmental sustainability. While principal Julie Hayes has driven the school’s activities as part of the Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative – South Australia, she says the implementation of day-to-day program management is lead by the children. Year 7 students Roya and Yasin, with Year 6 student Hamish, form the student climate change focus group and discuss the school’s performance with 300 children at assembly each Monday. Julie says the students demanded to be involved and comprehensively lead the project groups and as the older students, are tutors to younger students. “The students push and lead completely,” Julie

says. “They insisted we start a student group and some leaders have now gone on to Urrbrae Agricultural High School.” Yasin explains the different tasks volunteer student groups address every day: a climate change audit group checks lights and taps are off or advise of leaky taps; climate change tutors teach younger kids; a front mound garden group maintain the front of school; cleaning groups check the staff car park for litter; a drama group will perform a play about climate change later this year; a recycling group ensures rubbish is placed in the correct bins; and a newsletter group reports on progress. Roya says they usually spend two hours a week of their own time working. “It’s very interesting and hands-on,” Roya says. Hamish says students of any age can learn about climate change and


“With climate change setting an enormous challenge, it is often young people who sum up the simple truth.” it’s never too early to begin. “As young as possible is best,” Hamish says. Over almost a decade, grants from state and federal governments, and support from West Torrens City Council, has assisted CPSCC with ten 22,000 litre rainwater tanks to water the vegetable gardens (using gravtity-fed taps); flush toilets; water the sports oval which also uses sub-soil remote sensor irrigation; install sensor lighting and tinted windows. Funds are also used to stock a resource library for teachers to incorporate aspects of climate change into any subject, particularly science and social studies. Our Patch is a corner of the school redeveloped from wasteland to a native bushland retreat with pond, all established by the children. “The kids come out with picks and shovels to dig the pond and planted everything in their own time,” Julie says. While many children spend hours in front of computer and TV screens, Yasin enjoys the benefits of the outdoors. “It feels good to get out and about and into nature,” he says. “Here wildlife can have a home and attract habitat like birds, insects and butterflies.” Roya explains the importance of every creature: “they’re all part of the life cycle”. While Hamish teaches: “if one species dies, then another dies and then another”. A bonus for botanists and South Australia’s natural resources, has been the discovery of an original Lignum tree (Vitex lignum-vitae) on the outskirts of the school oval. With so many experts visiting the site to identify natural species for planting, an officer from Natural Resources Management spotted the Lignum as a unique species nearly extinct in the area. It has now been propagated to revegetate corridors within the western suburbs. With climate change setting an enormous challenge, it is often young people who sum up the simple truth. “When you fix the little problems, you fix the big problems,” Hamish says. I

Will that be all? By David Smith

Reforms bring workload pressures even the most competent can’t ignore

Here we are in the aftermath of a round of NAPLAN debates, in the middle of SACE Stage 1 implementation, and peering over the brink of SACE Stage 2, the Australian Curriculum and the National Professional Standards for Teachers. Thanks to the goodwill and sound knowledge of our members, the AEU both federally and in SA has made submissions to ACARA representing our opinions and concerns about the Draft of the Australian Curriculum and the Draft of the National Professional Standards for Teachers. Regarding the new SACE, we have had many thoughtful responses from members to the online survey we posted in the first week of June. In all those areas there is a huge issue of workload, primarily for teachers but also for SSOs. In many answers to the SACE survey, members stressed paperwork and workload as the major problems they were having with both Stage 1 and Stage 2. Some of those members explained that they are new to the profession and are struggling with content of the curriculum and also the time-frame of the introduction, but the majority who identified their teaching experience made it very clear that they are experienced teachers of Years 11 and 12. And it is those experienced, highly competent and very valuable teachers who are most feeling the pinch. All of the recent workforce statistics attest to the fact that the teaching service, especially those teaching senior secondary courses, is aging. That’s not news. However, these serious concerns are being expressed by those who are in many ways best positioned to introduce new curricula. They are the people who have the experience and knowledge to adapt to the new and be able to view it in the context of past successful experience. For such teachers the introduction of a

new senior secondary curriculum should be seamless. It should involve being valued and trusted as respected members of the public education workforce. Alas that is not happening. Many are feeling stress and anger at their treatment, and by the speed and manner of the introduction of the new curriculum material. We are continuing to point out these issues to both the SACE Board and DECS. The former is the statutory body responsible for the clear explanation and introduction of the new SACE and the latter is the employer responsible for the wellbeing of the workforce and for ensuring the introduction is manageable. That relates to the more general, yet increasingly relevant point: that of being appreciated. Consider people in other workplaces. In many of them loyal and responsible service is highly valued. In a large telecom, for example, workers receive as a matter of course a plaque recognising their first twenty years, and if they stay longer they get another such award every ten years thereafter. In wineries and transport companies, where once a worker’s long and worthy service was rewarded with a gold watch, these days such a person may get a handsome framed certificate as well as gifts and awards. And so it goes for many industries. Respectful and forward thinking employers spontaneously realise that they have a need to get this kind of thing right. One may ask: So what? While some may not appreciate such gestures, many genuinely do. It symbolises a trusting and respectful relationship between employers and employees. There is a neat parallel here between that and the legitimate claim that students’ best and richest learning takes place when there is such a relationship between the learners and their teachers. What happens in this regard in public education in this state? What DECS recognition is there for years of service? What automatically comes our education workers’ way after twenty, thirty or forty years? Nothing. For the several thousand who are currently in that category, the sole act by the employer may be to provide a certificate of recognition – but that will happen only if you or your school applies for it! In the meantime, just work a little harder and longer, will you? I




Step 8 teachers: It pays to be in the AEU The recent acceptance by the Industrial Relations Commission (SA) of the Step 9 Guidelines puts a spotlight on a key reason to join the AEU.

The union delivers higher salaries for its members. During enterprise bargaining the employer was offering an insulting 10.6%. An additional amount was offered to Step 9 teachers making it a 14.21% increase for members in this classification only. The AEU, through the arbitration case, delivered a final salary increase of 16.71% and a 21.32 % increase for step 9 teachers. If you compare the salary outcome, it is a final salary of $83,009 from arbitration compared to $78,148 in the government offer or $4,861 per annum difference for Step 9 teachers. On 1 October 2010, a teacher transitioning to Step 9 is $1668 better off after arbitration than the government offer. With 65% of all teachers currently at the Step 8 level this should, on 1 October 2010, provide a benefit to the majority of classroom teachers. Teachers on lower steps will through time benefit from this increase as they move through the salary I classification scale. If you know of any teacher who has yet to join the union please encourage them to complete the application form that can be found on our website at:

AEU Journal now online Vol 42

I No.1


n of the




l public


of the




AEUJO mation online or URNA Work L SA perhaps you would the coing for m ion Union

(SA Branch


Vol 42



I No. 3



munit y

just like the flexibility online access proAEUJOURNAL SA vides. Either way, the AEU Journal is now available on our website. With user-friendly electronic page turning software, you can read the Journal from front to back with a few clicks of your mouse. I You can check it out at: INS IDE



AN vic

Gillar tory d worki agrees to : ng pa rty

TAFE : cam new


paign launch ed

Official publication of the Australian Education Union (SA Branch)

Vol 42 I No.2



IRC tion: the n Arbitra n its decisio


March 2010

new ool: the MySch takes a beating site web

hands dow



The 2010 Schools Reconciliation SA Education Pack was launched during Reconciliation Week in late May and provides a fantastic resource for teachers.

(SA Branch)



Education Pack launched

2010 February

A Maybe you’re one of the many who RNAL S AEUJOU choose to access their infor-


1 AEU Aboriginal members with three Aboriginal Vietnam veterans at the launch of the 2010 Schools Reconciliation SA Education Pack

Curriculum Focus:

Maths and Scienc e



AEU campa results in perman ign ency .html 8

This year’s pack, Forgotten Heroes: Honouring the Service and Sacrifice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples looks at the involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia’s armed forces. Along with excellent historical information and a great range of activities that link to key outcomes in the SACSA Framework, the Education Pack caters for students from early through to middle years. You will also find a long list of web and text resources that can be used to extend student learning.

Every school in South Australia has been sent three copies of the pack. If you would like to request additional copies, please contact Reconciliation SA. You can also download the 2010 pack and those from previous years on their website. I (contact details below)5

Reconciliation SA T: 8302 0493 W:

A E U / D E CS R E CO N C I L I AT I O N CO N F E R E N CE 2 0 1 0

1. Lynette Riley explains the “Understanding 3 Kinship” workshop to members 2. Workshop participants in action 3. Lynette with members Anyupa Giles and Cheryl Harris 4. Workshop presenter Michele-Charee Abel from Reconciliation SA

Resource Centre open to all Planning a unit of work on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples or another indigenous culture? If so, the Aboriginal, Multicultural, Languages and Learning Resource Centre in West Croydon is a great place to start. The DECS-run centre caters for educators from all sectors as well as the wider community. Services provided by the centre include phone and email requests with courier delivery to DECS sites, research support and preparation of bibliographies, displays of materials at schools and conferences, workshops for educators and students relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural issues, history and more. The friendly staff can give educators advice on choosing resources suited to all curriculum frameworks. Give them a call or jump online to become a member for free and check out the resource centre’s catalogue. (contact details below)5

Aboriginal, Multicultural, Languages and Learning Resource Centre open: 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday 255 Torrens Rd, West Croydon T: 8301


The resource centre’s catalogue is available online at: W:

7 (left) Natalia Corbo is the library technician at DECS’ Aboriginal, Multicultural, Languages and Learning Centre





Reconciliation 2010 Understanding kinship was a key part of this year AEU/DECS Reconciliation conference. Bob Woodbury, Gawler HS 100 participants were welcomed to country by Jack Buckskin, young Kaurna Man and Kaurna Cultural Instructor. The warmth and pride echoed in the spoken Kaurna language set the scene for what was yet again another productive and passionate step in the long journey undertaken by the AEU and DECS. It was 25 years ago when the AEW Award was enacted. DECS is the largest employer of indigenous people in South Australia. For over 25 years the retention of indigenous students in our schools has moved forward from 4% to 50% with tertiary participation increasing from 0.01% to 4%. As educators we are acutely aware that education is the dual driver for economic participation and active citizenship. Leading participants through a powerful, interactive workshop, Understanding Kinship, was Lynette Riley, senior lecturer and academic coordinator, Koori Centre, University of Sydney. Lynette was able to expand the consciousness with regards to the significance of land and cultural identity overlain by a colonial history falsely premised on the flawed notion of terra nullius, where the Australian continent was viewed from the crow’s nest as an empty land ready for European occupation. We began by reflecting upon the Tindale map (1974) representing 50 years of anthropological research which depicts a rich

weave of indigenous nations emblazoned in rich colours on contemporary prints. We walked away with a deeper understanding of this representation which shows a tremendous complexity of Aboriginal social, religious and cultural relationships which existed, and still exist in our country. Lynette assigned kinship identities and built our understanding through recounts of significant colonial events that have defined our reconciliation efforts in terms of addressing the disadvantage. We came to a deeper understanding of a highly sophisticated society proven over tens of thousands of years that sustained and nourished the land though the tenet of custodianship. We learnt that lines of communication, trade and marriage between nations are critical to cultural sustainability and inform us of the depth of social dislocation realised through colonial policy. To move people across nations and into stations, missions and religious enclaves for generations informs us of the despair felt and the work to be done on our journey of reconciliation. I now have a thirst to understand the cultural connections across our South Australian language nations as it will further inform our understanding with regards to our work with indigenous students and their communities. To have such a kinship workshop for SA members would lengthen the stride for Reconciliation. I



Universal Access rolls out in DECS preschools More time in preschool is a positive development but it’s not without challenges


niversal Access to 15 hours preschool is a Federal Government initiative and continues to roll-out in stand-alone kindergartens and child parent centres across the state. It was trialled in a small number of sites last year and from the beginnng of Term 1 this year, has expanded into 98 Category 1 centres. A further 38 sites will come on board


from the beginning of Term 3. It is anticipated all centres will be fully operational by 2013 to meet the National Partnerships Agreement through COAG – state, territory & federal governments. To allow for the extra hours of operation, centres receive an additional 0.2 salary for each full-time equivalent teacher & ECW to support the additional hours. For example, a full-time centre with full time director, Teacher & ECW will receive additional 0.4 teacher and 0.2 ECW salaries. Like all new initiatives in education there have been teething problems. AEU members in Child Parent Centres have expressed concerns in relation to hours of work, break times and access to administration and non-contact times. Some members are identifying issues with accessing breaks between sessions when the centre is running two half-day ses-

sions with lunchtime supervision in between. Such issues should be raised with the Principal through the PAC. However, there are signs that, despite some major challenges, many preschools are experiencing successful outcomes for children and families in implementing the Universal Access reform. One such centre is Darlington Kindergarten in Adelaide’s south-west. The AEU Journal spoke with its Director, Michele Wagnitz (pictured) about how the implementation is going. Journal: As a Category 1 site you’re one of the first to roll out the 15 hours Universal Access, how would you say it’s going so far? Michele: “We’ve had almost two terms now and we’ll survey staff and parents early next term. I think you need to give a new initiative two terms before you can make a call on how it’s going. So far the feedback has been very positive from


“We have a responsibility to staff wellbeing so we work together to make sure breaks are taken and that staff receive their entitlements.”

parents and staff but there will probably be some things that need fine tuning.” Journal: It’s obviously quite a big change to make, how did you manage it so effectively? Michele: “The initial workload was quite high, despite having started consultation very early on prior to receiving advice from DECS. I can see how it would be even harder if preschools moving to the 15 hours wait until they are about to begin before they start negotiating with their Governing Council and their families. We had to implement a much more regimented routine and structure. We now have about 12 different staff and support workers coming in during the week so it is a lot to manage and obviously an increased workload.” Journal: How has it affected staff at your kindy? Michele: It’s definitely a big change for staff, while we have had a Friday morning program here for about a year now, some sites haven’t and I think it’s a big change in culture for many. As the Director I have a responsibility for staff wellbeing so we work together to make sure breaks are taken and staff receive their entitlements. Also, having a new teacher come into the site has changed the dynamic slightly but it’s been a really positive experience. The full-time teacher and myself have been here for some time now, so as the 0.4 teacher has a “new set of eyes” we have invited her to suggest new ideas and give us feedback on the way we operate. That’s been really beneficial. Journal: Do you think the Universal Access reform is a good idea? Michele: “Overall I think the Universal Access reforms are of significant benefit to children and families. We get to know the children and families more quickly and are seeing longer extended play episodes. However, there are additional costs in the implementation and also in the day to day running so I would like to see more funding. We get the staffing component but funding for the increased running costs like basic utilities and materials doesn’t go very far.” I

AEU acts to prevent ongoing salary blunders A number of DECS employees are currently experiencing pay errors, anomalies and non-payment of salaries. Leah York AEU Industrial Coordinator

AEU members are being disadvantaged by the current inordinate amount of time it takes to process pay and an increased frequency of mistakes. Underresourcing at both DECS and Shared Services is exacerbating the problems suffered and making resolution of issues difficult. It is unacceptable that members are facing financial and emotional difficulties as a result of payroll errors. In addition to assisting members with their individual matters, the AEU has lodged a clause 13 grievance with DECS in order to address a broad range of pay issues and mismanagement. AEU officers met with DECS officers on Friday 14 May. However, as DECS has limited ability to fix many of the problems raised given the Shared Services model adopted by the State Government, the AEU also notified a dispute with the Industrial Relations Commission of South Australia. The Commission has recommended the parties meet on a regular basis to address the problems being experienced, and to report back to the Commission by the end of July. The main issues members have raised include the inability to pay TRT staff for a day worked in a vacation period; recommencement of salary payments following a period of unpaid maternity

leave; reduction of payment during LSL without explanation; incorrect adjustments to salary following a change in fraction of time; underpayments; non payment of fallback salary even though the eligibility requirements have been met; and many TRTs, casual staff and temporary teachers not being paid within a reasonable timeframe, if at all. In addition, it seems DECS and Shared Services are not complying with the Commissioner’s standards in relation to the recovery of overpayments. The AEU has also received numerous complaints regarding the automated human resources phone service. Many principals have reported time wasting and frustration with the new system when attempting to contact central office. This may exacerbate payroll problems for TRT, casual and temporary staff if principals are unable to receive accurate staffing information.

The AEU is seeking the following resolutions: 1. That employees’ queries, resolution of issues, correction of mistakes, and all other related matters are satisfactorily dealt with in a timely manner. 2. That payment procedures are reviewed to ensure a process is put in place to minimise errors, and to properly cater for the specific entitlements, allowances and nuances under the Education and Children’s Services Acts, the Teachers (DECS) Award, SSO (Government Schools) Award, AEW (DECS) Award, Preschool (Kindergarten) Teaching Staff Award and the ECW Award. 3. That a dedicated DECS phone line, with human contact, is allocated to employee pay issues to enable a streamlined enquiry and resolution service, and that this phone line is I advertised to employees. 11


Stuart High School at the cutting edge Students at Stuart High School are playing a key role in medical research


remophila Serrulata – it probably means little to most people but for Vicki Minnes’ students at Stuart High School this rather unpretentious looking member of the Emu Bush clan has added yet another real life dimension to their everpopular horticulture program. And it all came about by chance when the Whyalla high school’s Assistant Principal, Steve Walker, bumped into University of South Australian professor Hans Griesser while wondering through scrub at Iron Duke.


Professor Griesser, a physical chemist and Deputy Director of UniSA’s Ian Wark Institute was on a mission to locate Eremophilas as part of an ongoing research program. For the past five years, Professor Griesser and colleagues at UniSA have been researching various types of Eremophila and the antibacterial activity of chemicals extracted from the plant’s leaves. Using Eremophilas for medical purposes is nothing new, Aboriginal people have been aware of the plant’s medicinal qualities for generations, but they had only used a few of the more than 200 existing species for treatments such as throat washes and skin lotions. Through their ongoing research, Professor Griesser and his colleagues at UniSA have discovered that along with other Eremophila species, the Eremophila Serrulata may well provide future cures for new superbugs and exisiting diseases such as the notorious Golden Staph. Back to the meeting with Steve Walker. Having struck up a conversation, Steve

“They’re seeing that their learning is relevant to the real world. It’s not just empty learning...” invited Professor Griesser to Stuart High School with a view to involving Year 10 horticulture students in the research. A key challenge for the researchers is identify the most successful propagation techniques for the Eremophilas which, being a native that exists in mostly dry, arid conditions, is not thriving in great numbers. Professor Griesser was immediately keen on the idea, as were the students. Professor Griesser describes their reaction. “The students were very enthusiastic, they asked very good questions and you could just see the wheels whirring in their brains. They started thinking about questions such as soil types and whether or not they’d seen these plants in the area. They started making suggestions as to where to look for them.” Teacher Vicki Minnes says students are relishing the opportunity to engage in learning that has real-world connections. “They’re seeing that their learning is relevant to the real world. It’s not just

Q U E ST I O N S F R O M T H E W O R K P L ACE 7 Year 10 students Gemma Brooks and Jonathan House inspecting some Eremophila seedlings


I have had an allegation of inappropriate contact with a student made against me. Will I be entitled to AEU funding to assist with legal costs?


In the first instance, responsibility for assisting you in this matter is delegated to an AEU officer who is required to determine whether it is a matter arising out of your employment. AEU legal assistance is generally not available to defend matters that have not arisen in the course of your employment in the education industry. If an investigation into the allegations is being conducted by DECS representation will usually be by an AEU officer. If the police are involved, an AEU member is guaranteed legal representation to the extent of a first interview with a solicitor. If it is determined the matter arises out of your employment you will continue to receive legal assistance to a $5,000 limit. Funding beyond $5,000 is by decision of AEU Executive and on a 50/50 shared basis. In matters not arising out of your employment, but where conviction could result in a term of imprisonment, the AEU will fund the cost of a first interview with a solicitor. Once the police have finalised their investigation or the matter has been concluded through the courts, DECS will in all likelihood conduct their own investigation. An AEU officer will work with you to respond to any allegations made by DECS and in some instances the AEU will fund a solicitor’s response. Teacher members also need to be aware that after a police and/or DECS investigation, the matter will be referred to the Teachers Registration Board. The Registrar will then conduct an independent inquiry into the matter, which may then be referred to a Disciplinary Hearing of the Board. This will also involve the AEU officer and possible legal representation.

taking nearly two years to reach the trial stage, legal costs of a recent 13-day trial in the District Court, where the member was acquitted of all charges, totalled $187,000. Legal costs for an initial interview with a solicitor and a subsequent police interview are commonly between $1,500 – $4,000 depending upon the complexity of the matter and location.


Will I get legal assistance if I join the AEU after I have been contacted by the Police, DECS or the Teachers Registration Board?


Union members quite rightly expect that the benefits and protections of being a union member will be restricted to members of the union. In common with other unions, the AEU has a longstanding policy on not providing assistance to nonunion members. The AEU’s policy on provision of legal assistance is: • No assistance will be give to nonmembers. • No assistance, legal or otherwise, will be extended to new members on matters relating to their employment which arose prior to joining. • No assistance, legal or otherwise, will be extended to non-financial members of the AEU until full financial status is restored.


What should I do if contacted by DECS, the police or TRB investigating student allegations? If you are contacted by the police, DECS or the TRB regarding any allegation, seek immediate advice from the AEU. Do not attend any interview on your own.

If a matter goes to trial, it is an extremely lengthy and expensive process. After

Anne Walker, AEU Legal and Information Officer


How much does the AEU spend on Legal Defence of members?


8272 1399

Legal representation is costly. In 2009 the AEU spent $345,000 on legal representation for members.

Remember, it is in your own interests to protect yourself from being in a position where an allegation can be made against you. Even when allegations are found to be baseless, cases can take over two years to be finalised after police, DECS I and TRB involvement.

Officers of the AEU Information Unit are available Monday – Friday from 10.30am – 5.00pm. Phone:

empty learning, they’re applying their knowledge and skills to something that has the potential to benefit others and this is wonderful to see.” If the research into Eremophilas eventually leads to a commercial deal, the students may just benefit themselves. Hans Griesser explains. “These plants grow in the outback, that’s their natural environment. Some don’t really grow all that well when you try to plant them in lush climates and Whyalla of course would be ideal for this type of plantation. So there may certainly be increased employment opportunities in the area.” As suggested by Professor Griesser, Vicki Minnes’ students are trialling various growing techniques and environments and are monitoring the results on a daily basis. And there is no doubting the level of enthusiasm form Stuart High students. “Of all the programs here, horitculture stuck out the most for me. It’s interesting watching plants grow, there’s not much greenery around here so it’s a little different. The propagation techniques are really interesting,” says Jonathan House. Classmate Daniel Kerley says he started horticulture in Year 8 and has enjoyed it ever since. “It’s good to be able to know a weed when you see one, to have knowledge of different plant life and to see the results of your work. The Eremophila project is very interesting,” he says. Under Vicki Minnes’ tutelage the students are conducting a range of tests but the main task is to find the best soil conditions for growing Eremophila Serrulata. “We are doing a lot of soil analysis,” says Gemma Brooks. “We have a kit that we use to test the soil and we are looking for an alkaline level of between six and seven. Anything that is too acidic is not ideal for Eremophila propagation. We’re trying to mimic the conditions the plant grows in naturally which means a lot of experimenting with potting mixes and local soils,” she says. Vicki says the success rate is around 60 percent with the cuttings they are taking, so results so far are good. Like all long-term programs, Stuart High School will be relying on a continuation of funding, which is put to good use across the program; the students are growing their own fruit and vegetables for the school canteen using permaculture techniques and the school wants to get more students, including Year 8s, 9s and a special class involved in what is certainly an exemplary learning program. I

Legal defence – another good reason to join the AEU


Your Rights at Work? The national IR system and the NAPLAN moratorium Rob Durbridge, AEU Federal Industrial Officer


he recent dispute over school league tables saw the AEU ordered to lift the moratorium imposed on NAPLAN tests. In the federal jurisdiction these extended to individual teachers and would have led to heavy fines for contempt if they had been disobeyed. In any event, an agreement to review the My School site provided a settlement. Fundamental issues were raised, such as the place of a teachers’ professional role and the public interest in the face of an employers’ power to require work as directed. The Federal Fair Work Act does not provide the means to resolve these issues on the basis of justice and fairness. It is imperative that the Act is amended not just to recognise employee and union rights but to prevent harm to children and the wider community. In the same way that it was a teachers’ campaign against corporal punishment which led to the banning of caning in the 1960s, so began the union moratorium on NAPLAN an exercise of professional responsibility. However, in states and territories where teachers are subject to the national industrial system, their professional views were irrelevant in the cases brought to order them to conduct the tests. Failure to comply would have led to fines of nearly $7,000 for each refusal to test or prepare to test students plus unknown amounts for Contempt of Court. The union also faced hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for organising and for contempt.


1 AEU members protest against school league tables

As it turned out, a strong campaign by teachers and their unions saw the Federal Education Minister, Julia Gillard, agree for a working party to consider options in the development of the My School website.

Forcing professionals to deny their vocation These issues should not just concern teachers. All workers exercise judgement and experience at work, over safety issues for example. Forcing teachers to act against their professional judgement over children’s education is no different to directing nurses to administer questionable medicines to children. In the teachers’ cases, professional opinion and international experience were solidly behind the union’s argument that data obtained through standardised tests should not be published in a form which allowed the media to construct league tables of schools. Academic, systemic and even government policy stands firmly against league tables. Yet

teachers’ refusal to participate in tests which have been proven to provide the basis for league tables was judged “industrial action”. The Fair Work Act does not allow for public interest arguments or consideration of the merits of refusal by an employee to work as directed. If the action is taken while an industrial agreement is in force, any refusal or encouragement of refusal is illegal.

A mockery of Fair Work standards As Minister for Employment Relations, Minister Gillard is primarily responsible for this mockery of “fair work” standards in the industrial actions sections of the Fair Work Act. She is also the minister responsible for the operations of the Fair Work Ombudsman which launched prosecutions in the Federal Court. As Federal Education Minister it was Gillard who arm-twisted state and territory government ministers to prosecute the unions under the threat of funds to edu-


“Failure to comply would have led to fines of nearly $7,000 for each refusal to test or prepare to test students”

cation systems being cut for breach of performance of National Partnership Agreements on Transparency and Reporting. The origins of much of the “Fair Work” legislation do not lie in ALP or ACTU policy. They are the result of meetings held in August 2007 between Gillard, Kevin Rudd and major employer groups which resulted in the Policy Implementation Plan to manipulate ALP policy adopted only months before. These meetings with employers including the Mining Council and the Australian Industry Group saw Gillard declare there would continue to be a “strong cop on the beat” in the building industry and over the whole workforce. This occurred behind unions’ backs while they were flat out organising the Your Rights at Work campaign in workplaces and communities. The NAPLAN moratorium cases are living examples of how the “master and servant” laws of the ninteenth century returned under Howard’s Work Choices and Gillard’s Fair Work Act. There were some improvements in the Fair Work Act, notably in the area of statutory individual contracts, but the result is still worse than the Reith legislation prior to Howard’s rush of blood in 2006 when the Coalition gained control of the Senate. The ALP needs to learn in an election year that the defeat of UK Labour had a lot to do with the loss of support from traditional constituencies like teachers who were treated with arrogance by the Blair and Brown governments. Unions need to remind the ALP the defeat of the Howard Government had a lot to do with the Your Rights at Work campaign and to remember a lot is still to be done to achieve that campaign’s objectives. I

Stepping Up: new Step 9 guidelines approved AEU and DECS have submitted a joint application to the Industrial Relations Commission of South Australia to have the agreed Step 9 Guidelines included as a schedule in the new Award. Dan Farmer AEU Industrial Officer

The Step 9 proposal was outlined to the Commission on 20 May 2010 and we received directions approving the guidelines on June 1. The new classification will apply from 1 October 2010. There will be no quota on the number of Step 9 teachers and once reclassified to Step 9 the teacher will maintain continuity of appointment at this salary level. Eligible teachers who apply must be reclassified unless there are special reasons to justify refusal. The barrier between Step 8 and 9 is considered to be a “soft barrier”. To be eligible for Step 9 a teacher must have served 207 duty days at Step 8 and submitted a Professional Development Plan (PDP).

The PDP will include: • A statement constituting evidence of high quality teaching.

• An outline of professional development the teacher proposes to undertake. • A proposal to mentor or coach less experienced teachers. If DECS determines it will refuse to reclassify a teacher, the teacher must be notified within seven days of receiving the application. A teacher may lodge a grievance if they are refused and can resubmit an application at anytime. The professional development and mentoring should be planned as to have minimal impact upon the teacher’s overall workload and be incorporated into the teacher’s general duties where possible. If training and professional development and mentoring occurs outside of normal school hours then it will be in line with the Training and Professional Development Support Strategy. This means after-hours professional development is voluntary and can be counted towards a teachers 37.5 hours. When preparing a PDP, a teacher should discuss with their line manager how they will be released to undertake the professional development and how costs of the training, including travel and accommodation, will be met by the employer. The PDP will be reviewed on an annual basis as part of a teacher’s normal performance management and further targets identified. Current AST 1 will translate to Step 9 on 1 October 2010. AST 1s do not have to complete a PDP but will participate in the annual review as part of normal performance management I processes.

The proposed guidelines can be found on the AEU website:

Issues> Arbitration 15


There’s more to the union than EBAs Photo: AVANTE MEDIA AUSTRALIA

Thorndon Park Primary School SSO Taimi Saxon says union membership is the best insurance around


have worked for the Department for almost 11 years as an ECW and now as an SSO, often working one-on-one with some challenging students. I am currently training to be a teacher and have almost completed my degree. Imagine my excitement when I was informed through the union about a one-off conversion to permanency for anyone that had worked for 5 years or more at 15 hours-plus continual service. I’m in, that was me!

1 SSO Taimi Saxon at school, takes a moment from her schedule to have her photo taken for the AEU Journal.

When I was called into the principal’s office and asked if I was aware of the criteria for the conversion, I told her that not only was I aware of it, I had more than met it. She then informed me that my application was rejected; apparently I hadn’t worked for the Department long enough! Human Resources had been contacted and they informed my principal of gaps in my service history. And so the battle began.

“The acknowledgement that what we do is important and valued is a strong motivator and my drive to have that recognised kept me ploughing ahead.”

I have been a union member for approximately seven years and just like any insurance you take out, you hold your breath, hoping that in times of need, they can help. I soon found out this insurance was well worth paying for. Like many people, I had happily accepted all of my pay rises and conditions that came via the enterprise agreements. I actually thought that was the only reason one joined the union. How wrong was I?

without a break in service, that I was entitled to this permanency and had earned my place, was phenomenal. AEU officers went to numerous meetings on my behalf, wrote copious notes and detailed all of my varied and messy work history for me. Even with my assistance this took many hours and highlighted to me how much work the union does for its members.

The back and forth nature of the mammoth task of proving I had worked for the Department continually and


Now for the good news. I have finally been given my 15 hour permanency – there are still some issues that need to be addressed – and I feel that I have received some of my entitlements. The

security his offers me is staggering and the euphoria of collecting that letter from the mailbox was worth it. The acknowledgement that what we do is important and valued is a strong motivator and my drive to have that recognised kept me ploughing ahead. Throughout my career there have been many opportunities that passed me by because of my devotion to students with special needs but I have not regretted seeing them go. This permanency was my way of achieving job security; I already have job satisfaction. Minimum wages, inappropriate classifications, unpaid hours and heavy workload tend to bring the morale of staff down. Of course, I’m not telling you anything new. We all need to fight these wrongs together; we cannot do it alone. While I did have the determination to challenge what I considered an unfair decision, without the union I would not have known where or how to start, let alone carry it through to a I satisfactory resolution.


1GOAL: Education for All

New principal classification awarded

SYDNEY, 31 May 2010

Leah York AEU Industrial Coordinator

An AEU/DECS joint working party has met to integrate the PCO9 classification into the existing Principal classification structure to provide a cohesive delineation of positions. By consent of both the AEU and DECS at a report back to the Industrial Relations Commission of South Australia held on 20 May 2010, the following will be inserted into the Arbitrated Award:

• A site where the modified Resource Entitlement Statement (RES) is greater than $10 million in 2010 (to be indexed annually by the increase in standard salary rates). This will result in a number of sites meeting the classification for PCO9. The increase in classification will be back paid from February 2010. The AEU/DECS joint working party is continuing to meet on a regular basis to review and improve the School Size and Complexity Score (SSACS) in order to provide a fair and transparent classification system.

Deputy Principal PCO5 and delineation of AP/DP The AEU/DECS joint working party is also continuing to meet to develop criteria for a Deputy Principal classified as a PCO5, and to review the delineation of duties between the Assistant Principal and Deputy Principal classifications.

Principals of sites that meet the criteria set out below will be classified at the PCO9 level:

Sites to be converted to PCO9

• Sites of a large and complex nature which attract a PCO8 classification under the SSACS classification system, which can be clearly differentiated from other PCO8 sites

Based on the current SSACS methodology, the following sites would meet the criteria:

and • Meets one or more of the following criteria: • Education Works Stage 1 School; or

• Mark Oliphant College • Sports Park Multi-Campus Secondary School • Thebarton Senior College • Eastern Fleurieu R-12 School • Norwood Morialta High School

• A multi-campus site; or

• Paralowie R-12 School

• A site that includes Birth-Year 12 (B-12) or Preschool-Year 12 (P-12) levels of schooling; or

• Christies Beach High School and Southern Vocational College • The Heights School

I Entry to the 1GOAL video competition is free and entrants must: • Be between 14 and 17 years of age. • Be an Australian citizen. • Submit a 2-minute video about why they support 1GOAL: Education For All. • Provide a short (maximum 750 words) written essay explaining why education is important to them, and why governments should improve their education aid funding. • Complete the entry form at the Australian 1GOAL website and upload their video and written essay with the complete entry form (or attach a link to a YouTube video with the entry form). • Be available for an interview in person if in Sydney or by Skype link by a panel of Judges from the ‘1GOAL: Education for All’ campaign and ActionAID. • Be available to travel to Africa in midOctober 2010. Entries open on 1 June and close 16 August 2010. Winners to be announced in late August.* I


Principal Classification Criteria – PCO9

• A Birth-Year 7 (B-7) site where enrolment is greater than 1200 students (based on the July enrolment census from the previous year); or

To become a supporteror to enter the competition go to:

The decision of the Full Commission in February 2010 awarded a new PCO9 Principal classification.

• A site where enrolment is greater than 1400 students (based on the July enrolment census from the previous year); or

‘1GOAL – Education for All’, the legacy campaign of the FIFA World Cup, is offering two Australian high school students the chance to travel to Africa to visit an aid project firsthand and share the experience with Australians nationally. A panel of 1GOAL judges will select the best video explaining why the film-makers support the 1GOAL campaign as a way of beating global poverty and two lucky winners and their teacher will win a trip to travel to an ActionAID project in Uganda. Once there, the winners will be asked to blog, tweet, Facebook and email about what they experience on their journey. “The 1GOAL campaign is working with football stars, celebrities and government leaders here in Australia and around the world to help leave a lasting education legacy in Africa and in all developing countries from the World Cup,” said Jon Edwards, 1GOAL campaign coordinator. “Competition winners will play an important role in helping to communicate why and how education can change the lives of young people around the world when they have the opportunity to get an education.” With the World Cup in South Africa this year, the 1GOAL campaign is focusing global attention on the 72 million children who still do not have access to an education and asking Australians and football fans the world over to sign up their support for better education aid funding at:

WOMEN’S FOCUS A N N A ST E WA RT M E M O R I A L P R O J E C T 2 0 1 0 7 ASMP participants Emma Lowe, Solomon Town Primary School and Wendy Baldwin, Northfield Primary School

Would you like an ambulance or a taxi? Emma Lowe and Wendy Baldwin, 2010 Anna Stewart Memorial Project participants report On the first day of the Anna Stewart Memorial Project (ASMP) we walked into a room of friendly faces. Paramedics, social workers, factory workers, carers, police officers, a Qantas customer service representative, and of course, a teacher and an ACEO had come together to spend two weeks being inspired by the story of Anna Stewart and to become more involved in the union movement and the rights of women. Perhaps one of the most interesting things we discovered in the first week of Anna Stewart is that if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to call 000, under normal circumstances a fully qualified paramedic will shortly arrive. But what happens when you are already in a private hospital and need to be transferred,


or taken to an appointment? How many of you would check the qualifications of the people transporting you? Due to recent legislative changes in South Australia, a private ambulance with a medical assistant in the back will be in charge of your transport. Private ambulances do not have to meet the same high standard of care required by the South Australian Ambulance Service. Private ambulances can transport two patients at a time and they do not thoroughly disinfect the vehicle after each use. This seems completely foreign to what we are dealing with at schools, but in essence it is the same. Public systems are increasingly being underfunded and eroded, while private suppliers increase their profits. We are fighting the same battle. As part of our training, we worked with Sharon Doris from SA Unions on OHSW issues. We learned about body mapping. This is essentially about keeping our bodies and minds healthy at work. In our preschools, schools and TAFEs we are such busy people so it is important to stop and take time to recognise the pressures and stresses affecting us. We brainstormed strategies for addressing OHSW issues we face, such as having fun events, dressing up and having visual signs of support for each other. We all deserve a happy and safe workplace. During our days at the AEU we partici-

pated in membership mapping, meetings with DECS officers, visiting schools, attending court, answering the AEU Information Unit phone, planning for conferences, helping members with individual issues, attending the ceremony for forgotten heroes as part of Reconciliation Week and recognising the Aboriginal people that went to war. The pace is so fast that lunch is often forgotten. According to our government, this is the year of transparency. We learned however, that this transparency does not extend to all government employees. On Tuesday June 1, we were invited to be part of a meeting with Treasury about government employee public housing, along with a fellow Anna Stewart participant from the Police Association. We arrived on time and at the right location, eager to listen and learn. Alas, it was not to be. We were promptly stopped at the door and questioned as to who we were and why we were there. We were then informed that “Treasury was not happy”, the meeting was “highly confidential” and “we can come to the next meeting”. It was a highly embarrassing situation as people began to look at us and wondered what was happening. All Anna Stewart participants were made to leave. We can now recommend a nice coffee shop near Treasury offices. Schools are facing this hard-hitting transparency agenda and forced to reveal and justify every little detail. Yet this standard of openness and accountability does not seem to apply to Treasury. During the two weeks of the ASMP, we saw the long, hard hours the AEU staff put into fighting for members and their rights. AEU officers made us feel very welcome and were only too happy to provide explanations, involve us in the decision-making process and look towards future outcomes for members. Anna’s story is truly inspirational. It empowers women to get involved in and have a voice in their union. The AEU/SAIT has been involved with the project since 1986. This project brings women from different unions together for two weeks to network, support each other and to make sure we stand together as strong women. If you are interested in the promotion of women within unions, please consider taking part in the ASMP in 2011. I


0.1 for all! Where’s yours? NIT, FIR, NEP, IEP, SEA, SAS, PAC, PD, P.M…and the list goes on. Beginning teachers are thrown into a whole new world with a strange language and an unfamiliar set of rules. Have I completed an EDwhat form? Quite frankly, it’s exhausting! It is no wonder so many graduate teachers drown in their first year and are leaving the profession in frightening numbers. A beginning teacher needs mentoring, support, time… help! And you are entitled to help. After a long and successful campaign run by beginning teachers, the AEU won the provision of an additional 0.1 staffing to support beginning teachers. This is the equivalent to half a day per week release time. All school and preschool teachers engaged by DECS permanently or on a full year contract in their first year of teaching are eligible, in both metropolitan and country regions. Aboriginal graduate teachers are entitled to 0.2 FTE support time. It could mean a reduced teaching load; flexible TRT days; team teaching; mentoring or additional school services officer hours. Its use is negotiated between the beginning teacher and their

principal. Everything can be new and overwhelming, so find a way that helps you. Struggling to complete paper work, I used my 0.1 for extra NIT initially and later on used some for timetabled team teaching lessons. It really does make a big difference to lowering your stress levels, as well as that mounting pile of paperwork. If you’re a beginning teacher in your first year, check with your principal about how this scheme is being used to support you. Beginning teachers are the future. Be supported and keep yourself in the job. I

Coffee, croissants and conversation AEU women who are delegates to Branch Council are invited to attend the Women’s Breakfast. It begins at 9.00am before every Branch Council meeting. This informal event allows delegates to network over steaming cups of coffee and tea. Aside from all the chatting and yummy food, it is a wonderful opportunity to discuss the agenda for the morning meeting and some of the pressing issues for members. Subsequently, we walk into

1 Branch Council delegates enjoying the recent Women’s Breakfast.

Branch Council with a broader understanding of the issues and feel more empowered to share our opinions and ideas. All women delegates are encouraged to come along and be part of this informal gathering. So, come join us, have a chat, a laugh, a coffee and share your voice in your union. I


Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better! Anyone teaching in SA public schools and starting a family prior to 2001 will definitely appreciate that through strong negotiations, the AEU have secured a host of impressive improvements for DECS employees taking that big step toward family life. In 2000 there was NO paid maternity/adoption leave for a woman taking time off to start a family, regardless of whether she was contract, permanent, working or currently on leave.

• The ability to split this paid leave over two financial years for tax purposes

The following improvements have been proudly brought to you by your union:

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, negotiations yielded another substantial improvement. Prior to the negotiations in 2008/9, maternity leave clause 11.2 stated that: “an employee, other than a casual employee, who has completed 12 months continuous service immediately prior to the birth of the child, is entitled to twelve weeks paid maternity leave.”

• 14 weeks paid maternity/adoption leave • The ability to take this paid leave at full/half pay • The ability to take this paid leave beyond the life of your tenure if you are a contract teacher

• The ability for a partner to access special leave days when a child is born or adopted • The right to claim the 37.5 hours of T&D on top of the paid maternity leave • The right to return to work on a parttime basis until the child’s second birthday.

The new Paid Maternity/Adoption Leave clause no longer has the word immediately in it. Effectively, this means that a permanent teacher who is on any form of approved leave without pay from DECS will now be eligible for paid maternity/ adoption leave as long as they have had 12 month continuous service with DECS at some point in their teaching career. This has huge implications for women who are still on extended parenting leave for previous children. These women no longer have to return to work for 12 months before becoming eligible for paid maternity leave again. Contract teachers are still limited to a break in service of less than three months before losing their entitlement to paid maternity/adoption leave. I Tish Champion For any questions or info on all women’s issues please contact me (details below).

AEU Women’s Officer Tish Champion | E: | P: 8272 1399


Proposals to amend AEU (SA Branch) Rules Branch Rule 42 grants Branch Council the power to amend the rules of the union. Any proposal to amend the rules is required to be published in the AEU Journal two months prior to the Branch Council meeting at which the proposal to amend the rules is to be considered. A rule change must be supported by a two thirds majority of Branch Council. Three separate proposals to amend the rules of the union will be considered by Branch Council on 14 August 2010.

PROPOSAL 1. Proposed amendments to Branch Rules 48(2)(b), 48(3)(b) and 55 will have the effect of increasing the number of consecutive two year terms of office for the Branch President and Vice-Presidents from two to three terms.

Rule 48 – ELECTION OF BRANCH EXECUTIVE OFFICERS Current Rule 48(2)(b) The Branch President shall only be eligible for re-election for one further consecutive term. A person who has held the office of Branch President for two consecutive terms shall be eligible for re-election after a lapse of two years.

Proposed amendment to Rule 48(2)(b) The Branch President shall only be eligible for re-election for two further consecutive terms. A person who has held the office of Branch President for three consecutive terms shall be eligible for re-election after a lapse of two years.

Current Rule 48(3)(b) A Branch Vice-President shall only be eligible for re-election for one further consecutive term. A person who has held the office of Branch Vice-President for two consecutive terms shall be eligible for re-election after a lapse of two years.

Proposed amendment to Rule 48(3)(b) A Branch Vice-President shall only be eligible for re-election for two further consecutive terms. A person who has held the office of Branch Vice-President for three consecutive terms shall be eligible for re-election after a lapse of two years.

Rule 55 – TRANSITION RULES Proposed amendment to Current Rule 55 Delete entirely redundant sub-rules (1) to (19) which relate to the amalgamation of SAIT and the AEU in 1996, and insert the following rule; “For the purposes of the elections for Branch President and Branch Vice-Presidents to be conducted in 2011, the incumbent Branch President and Female Branch Vice-President shall be eligible for re-election for one further consecutive term of office and the Male Branch Vice-President shall be eligible for re-election for two further consecutive terms of office.”

PROPOSAL 2. Proposed amendments to Branch Rules 52(9) and 53(9)(b) relate to the method of counting votes in union elections. The current reference in the rules is to the redundant SA Local Government Act 1934. The Australian Electoral Commission has advised replacing these references with references to contemporary legislation.

Rule 52 – ELECTIONS BY A SECRET POSTAL BALLOT Current Rule 52(9) The method of counting votes in an election conducted by secret postal ballot other than an election required under rule 48(8) shall be set out in sections 121(3) and 100 of the South Australian Local Government Act 1934.


The method of counting votes in an election conducted by secret postal ballot for positions identified in rule 48(8) shall be that set out in sections 121(4) and 100 of the South Australian Local Government Act 1934.

Proposed amendment to Rule 52(9) An election conducted by secret postal ballot other than an election required under rule 48(8) shall be conducted under the Optional Preferential Voting system. The method of counting votes in an election conducted by secret postal ballot for positions identified in rule 48(8) shall be that set out in section 48 of the Local Government (Elections) Act 1999.

Rule 53 – CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS AT MEETINGS Current Rule 53(9)(b) The method of counting votes shall be that set out in sections 121(3) and 100 of the South Australian Local Government Act 1934.

Proposed amendment to Rule 53(9)(b) The counting of votes shall be conducted under the Optional Preferential Voting system.

PROPOSAL 3. Proposed amendments to Branch Rules 45(4), 45(5), 47(3), 47(4), 48(10) and 50(4) relate to the publication of union election notices. The AEU Journal publication schedule adopted to accommodate the shorter term 4 has meant that the requirement to publish an election notice in “a publication of the Union circulating to all members” cannot be met in respect to elections for Delegates and Alternate Delegates to Branch Council. The proposed amendments will have the effect of requiring election notices to be distributed to all worksites with members, published on the AEU SA Branch website, and in the AEU Journal where the publication schedule allows. BRANCH RULE 45 – FEDERAL CONFERENCE DELEGATE ELECTIONS Current Rule 45(4) The Branch Returning Officer shall call for nominations for Federal Conference Delegate positions by publishing a notice in a publication of the Union distributed to all members of the Branch.

Proposed amendment to Rule 45(4) The Branch Returning Officer shall call for nominations for Federal Conference Delegate positions by sending a notice to all worksites with union members, by publishing a notice on the Union website, and where publication schedules allow, in a publication of the Union distributed to all members of the Branch.

Current Rule 45(5) The notice calling for nominations referred to in the previous subrule shall specify a date for the opening of nominations which shall be a date not less than 14 days before the date of closing of nominations and be a date after the date on which the notice calling for nominations was published in a Union publication in accordance with the previous sub-rule.

BRANCH RULE 47 – ELECTION OF NATIONAL TAFE COUNCIL DELEGATES AND NATIONAL TAFE COUNCIL EXECUTIVE MEMBERS Current Rule 47(3) The Branch Returning Officer shall call for delegates to the National TAFE Council and members of the TAFE Council Executive by publishing a notice in a publication of the Union distributed to all members of the Branch. Proposed amendment to Rule 47(3) The Branch Returning Officer shall call for nominations for delegates to the National TAFE Council and members of the TAFE Council Executive by sending a notice to all worksites with union members, by publishing a notice on the Union website, and where publication schedules allow, in a publication of the Union distributed to all TAFE Division members of the Branch.

Current Rule 47(4) The notice calling for nominations referred to in the previous subrule shall specify a date for the opening of nominations which shall be a date not less than 14 days before the date of closing of nominations and be a date after the date on which the notice calling for nominations was published in a Union publication in accordance with the previous sub-rule. Proposed amendment to Rule 47(4) The notice calling for nominations referred to in the previous sub-rule shall specify a date for the opening of nominations which shall be a date not less than 14 days before the date of closing of nominations and be a date after the date on which the notice calling for nominations was published (words deleted) in accordance with the previous sub-rule.

BRANCH RULE 48 – ELECTION OF BRANCH EXECUTIVE OFFICERS Current Rule 48(10) The Branch Returning Officer shall call for nominations for Branch Executive Officers by publishing a notice in a publication of the Branch distributed to all members of the Branch. Proposed amendment to Rule 48(10) The Branch Returning Officer shall call for nominations for Branch Executive Officers by sending a notice to all worksites with union members, by publishing a notice on the Union website, and where publication schedules allow, in a publication of the Union distributed to all members of the Branch.

BRANCH RULE 50 – ELECTION OF GENERAL DIVISION DELEGATES TO BRANCH COUNCIL, ALTERNATE GENERAL DIVISION DELEGATES TO BRANCH COUNCIL, SUBBRANCH DELEGATES TO TAFE DIVISIONAL COUNCIL Current Rule 50(4) The Branch Returning Officer shall call for nominations for positions referred to in this rule by publishing a notice in a publication of the union distributed to all members of the Branch.

Proposed amendment to Rule 45(5)

Proposed amendment to Rule 50(4)

The notice calling for nominations referred to in the previous sub-rule shall specify a date for the opening of nominations which shall be a date not less than 14 days before the date of closing of nominations and be a date after the date on which the notice calling for nominations was published (words deleted) in accordance with the previous sub-rule.

Jack Major, Branch Secretary

The Branch Returning Officer shall call for nominations for positions referred to in this rule by sending a notice to all worksites with union members, by publishing a notice on the Union website, and where publication schedules allow, in a publication of the Union distributed to all members of the Branch.

A E U 2 0 1 0 T R A I N I N G A N D D E V E LO P M E N T P R O G R A M

CO U N C I L DAT E S F O R 2 0 1 0


Branch Council Meetings

Wed 7, Thurs 8, Fri 9 July


Conflict Resolution through Mediation A high demand 3-day course facilitated by Professor Dale Bagshaw and practising mediators, covering the theory and practice of mediation. Participants must commit for all three days. Who can attend: Leaders, OHSW and AEU reps and activists who are members. Fri 13 August

structures and processes and their role in supporting and informing non-teaching members. Who can attend: Non-teaching staff reps on PAC and member SSO contact officers. Fri 19 November


Upcoming dates for 2010 are: Saturday, 14 August Saturday, 20 November

TAFE Divisional Council Meetings Upcoming dates for 2010 are: Friday, 13 August Friday, 19 November

Potential Delegates Course 1-day course introducing members to AEU decision making processes. Who can attend: AEU members.


Non-teaching staff and SSO Contact Officers

All courses are held at the AEU unless otherwise specified.


1-day day course for AEU SSO contact officers and non-teaching PAC reps on resolving workplace issues effectively through various school decision making

For more information on courses, relief funding or to register go to:

Teachers Golf Day

2009 Australian Education Union | SA Branch, FINANCIAL REPORTS In accordance with s265 of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009, members are advised that a summary of the Auditors Report, Financial Statements and Notes and Reports for the year ending 31 December 2009 are published on the AEU website: E L E C T I O N N OT I CE

Australian Education Union | SA Branch

SA Vacancy Elections 2010

Murray Bridge Golf Course Monday 5 July 2010

Registration: 8:30am Shotgun Start: 9:00am Cost: $30.00 Dress: No jeans please!

Bookings: Kym Briggs: Sheidow Park School Phone: (08) 8381 8911 Email: • Open to all PAST-PRESENT-FUTURE education workers and friends • Light lunch & green fee included

ELECTION NOTICE Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 Nominations are called for:

South Australian Branch

Ordinary Branch Executive Officer (ATSI) General Division

National ATSIEC (General Division) Member Written nominations which comply with the Rules of the Organisation must reach me not later than 12:00 noon on Friday, 2 July 2010. Nomination forms are available on request.

By Post: GPO Box 344 ADELAIDE SA 5001

The ballot, if required, will open on Friday, 23 July 2010 and close at 9:00am on Friday, 13 August 2010.

By Fax: 08 8237 6553

Changed Address? Advise the Union now.

By Hand: Australian Electoral Commission, 9th Floor, Origin Energy Bldg 1 King William St ADELAIDE SA 5000

Note: A copy of the AEC’s election report can be obtained from the organisation or from me after the completion of the election.


Barry Barons Returning Officer Tel: 08 8237 6501 18 June 2010

2011 DOUBLE TEACHING EXCHANGE OPPORTUNITY TO ONTARIO, CANADA The opportunity of a lifetime exists to

teach in Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada, living in a 2- storey hse, 4 brm, 3 bath and only 5 kms from the school. With a population of 5000, and located only 2 hrs drive from Toronto, Penetanguishene is a close knit community with all the perks of a large city, including hockey arena, skateboard park, soccer oval, swimming pool and lots of family friendly parks. The town and nearby communities offer beaches, boating facilities and water sports. The teaching positions are in middle and upper primary.

Contact DARRYL CARTER, Manager, International Programs T: 8226 1150 or 0402 250 929 E:



Members’ Market VICTOR HARBOR Holiday Hse: Enjoy a Break! Beautiful renovated 3BR hse walking distance of beach, skate park, shops, restaurants and the city centre. ‘Home away from Home’ with all facilities. Lge yard, great for relaxing and enjoying a BBQ and wine under the Pergola. T: 0413 920 554 E:

washer. Tastefully furnished & quality equipment, 3BR, sleeps up to 7. Enjoy panoramic sea views, beach walks, walk to jetty, good fishing etc. Avail. sch. hols, L/weekends, weekends etc. Info/bookings: T:(08) 8832 2623 W:

MARION BAY: ff, near new hse. Gateway to Innes National Park.

HOLIDAY HOUSE, 'NORTH BAY', Sleeps 8, 3BRs, large living area, CARRICKALINGA: TV and DVD. Spacious balcony w. Architecturally designed new two storey beach house. 4BR, 3 bath, 2 living areas, European stainless kitchen, extensive decking and views. Suits 2 families. Sleeps up to 10. Play equipment for the kids. View: and visit North Bay at Carrickalinga for rates & availability. T: 0403 015 964

FRANCE – SOUTH: Lovely Village House. Languedoc region. T: 0403 314 928 (Julie)

HOLIDAY RENTAL: Yorke Peninsula: Brand new upmarket esplanade beach house ‘Manyana’ at Wool Bay (near Edithburgh). Features incl. spa, plasma TV, DVD, stereo, dish-

outdoor setting and BBQ. Only 5 mins to Willyama Beach and 5km to National Park. Info/bookings: E:

HOLIDAY GETAWAYS VICTOR HARBOR: All Seasons Lakefront Getaway: Stunning self-contained luxury colonial home in the picturesque surrounds of Encounter Lakes, Victor Harbor. Priv. secl. sandy beach and lake at your back door! 4BRs. Sleeps 8. 2 spacious living areas. 2nd bath, 3 toilets & laundry. Huge lawned backyard.

Lakeside Getaway: Stunning modern villa at Encounter Lakes, Victor Harbor. Only 100m to clean,

SAIT Conveyancers We offer AEU members: • Free advice on real estate queries. • 25% off the Statutory or Land Brokers Society recommended fee structure.

• Expert and experienced professional work with Mortgages, Transfers, Strata Plan and Plan of Division Lodgments, Caveats, Discharges of Mortgages – indeed, all facets of conveyancing work.

If you are buying or selling or are involved in any real estate matter, either through a land agent or privately, consult us.

Contact Anne Walker or Simon Willcox Phone: (08) 8410 6788 Fax: (08) 8410 6799 Located at SATISFAC / Level 3 / 400 King William Street


sandy beach and lovely reserve. 5-min. walk to scenic Esplanade, walk/bike trail, cafes, restaurants and general store. 3BRs. Sleeps 6. Spacious Lounge/ Fam/Dine rm. 2 way bathroom, separate toilet & laundry. Info/bookings: T: 8344 7921 M: 0419 868 143 E: www.victorharborholidayhomes.

Kangaroo Island Getaway KI RURAL RETREAT: Attractive self cont. large country home surrounded by garden and native bushland on 260 acres. Great for families or couples escape. Sleeps 2 to 12; 2 bath, 2 queen beds, 2 spacious living areas, laundry, patio. From $120/night. T: 0407 790754 a.h. E:

Kangaroo Island HOLIDAY HSE: Set in bushland beside Harriet River and on Vivonne Bay, (Aust’s best beach), is Kangastay a 3BR fully equipped and comfortable holiday house. Close to all major attractions (Seal Bay, Remarkables, Admiral Arch and more) and great to relax, swim, and fish. Sleeps 6, linen provided, winter special discounts. Available for rent all year. Prices start at $100/night. Book through the owner at or T/text Ros on: 0407 215 345.

HOLIDAY RENTAL NORTH BEACH, WALLAROO: Architecturally designed new two story beach house with esplanade views of Wallaroo Bay. 3BR, 3 bath, open plan living, modern kitchen, sleeps up to 7. Includes DVD, CD, dishwasher. Safe swimming beach for children, great walks and fishing opportunities. Avail. sch. hols. W: and visit Bayview at North Beach.

HOLIDAY RENTAL NORMANVILLE: South Shores Holiday Villa #25. 3BR (sleeps 8). Secure gated community behind the dunes at Normanville. Golf, horse riding, pools, beach, lawns, cafes. Avail. all year incl. school holidays. T: 0413 155 460

FOR SALE: WILLIAMSTOWN 5 acre tranguil property Are you looking for a magnificent country property near Gawler with beautiful surrounds? Solid brick 4BR home, 2 with BIR’s, 1 with full wall bookcase, rooms are spacious, all in top condition. Garden shed, Security system, low maintenance garden recently relaid solid drive, dog yard, mains water. T: 8524 6043 Reduced to: $469,950. Inspect by app.

QUEENSCLIFFE COTTAGE – KANGAROO ISLAND Recently restored 2BRM cottage in the heart of Kingscote. Period decor. Beautiful garden setting. Walk to beach, cafes, jetty and pubs. Sleeps up to 6. A centrally located base to explore the island. Bookings: Kangaroo island holiday accommodation T: 08 8553 9007 W: www.kangarooislandholiday php?p_id=232

PORT ELLIOT HOLIDAY HOUSEALL SEASONS ESCAPE Stunning newly built, a/c, 4BR (sleeps 8), self-cont. holiday hse in heart of picturesque Port Elliot. Metres to main street cafes, shops, restaurants,galleries. Short stroll to scenic Horseshoe Bay, sandy beach - swim, surf and fish. Easy walking/ bike trails and local/ regional tourist attractions eg produce markets, wineries, Steam Ranger Cockle train. Ideal for individuals/groups and family getaways in all seasons! Special rates all year round. Info/bookings: E: W: www.allseasonsescape.

HOUSEBOAT: (near Mannum) There is still plenty of water for recreational boating. Shoulder and off peak seasons are the best ones to relax and enjoy the river. AEU members are offered a 10% discount during these times. Bundara accommodates up to 10 people. T: (08) 8277 8751 Visit us at: E:


Stunning summer beach, dolphins - wine - seafood. House (neg) or beach or balcony suites from $45 2BR cottage nestled in woodland per double. Min 4 nights. from at Vivonne Bay. Close to beach and $45 per double, mid-wk off-peak. Harriet River, visited nightly by Kingston near Robe. wildlife, abundant birdlife during T: 8338 2316 a/h: 0402 922 445 the day, well located for touring popular KI attractions. Self cont., FOR RENT–MITCHAM HILLS air con, full size stove, BBQ. Quaint, 3 BR home, 2 bath, living rm and romantic and cosy! Sleeps up to 4 balcony with hills views, r/c air, at $95pn. T: (08) 8341 9185 gas space heat, 2nd living space, W: 2 car accom. T: 0417 823 912 for E: more info and inspection.


N OT I CE B OA R D ROOM FOR RENT: Share 3BR house with 2 others in Gawler. $70 per week plus expenses. T: 0409 486 088

FOR RENT: f.f. private apartment in Glenelg for holiday or weekend rental. Heated pool, spa, steamroom, sauna, gym etc. Plasma TV, 100m to beach. T: 8376 3747 or 0403 606 052

35mm SLIDE SCANNING Adelaide and Hills: Do you have old 35mm slides gathering dust and deteriorating? Have them professionally scanned at high resolution and transferred onto CD. 17 years exp., reasonable rates. T: 0401 590 875

WORKSHOP: Stress management, personal development and learning difficulties: Brain Gyman introductory workshop. Movements to ‘switch on’ the brain. T/fax: 08 8768 2537 E:

SEAFRONT HOLIDAY HOUSE: Yorke Peninsula “Oceanfront Escape� 2-storey holiday house w. pergola overlooking beach & farmland on other side. V. secluded, sleeps 9, 4 BRMs, full kitchen, barbecue, DVD, VCR, TV, Billiard table, fish cleaning room (great

fishing). Peaceful and relaxing, great beach for kids to swim and explore. Contact Brenton on: T: 0409 864 682/(08) 8387 1659 E:

CEDUNA BEACH HOUSE: Self-cont, beachfront, BBQ, DVD, LCD TV, R/C aircon, Sleeps 6. Corporate rates AEU members. Main street and jetty 5 min walk. Available all year round for short or long term stays. Ceduna Visitor Info Centre: T: 1800 639 413 & 08 8625 2780

GO SCUBA DIVING WITH ELITE DIVE ACADEMY: Are you a diver, but haven’t been in the water for a while?! Get $50 off a PADI Tune-Up program to refresh your skills. Contact: T: (Steve) 0413 134 827 E: W:

FOR SALE: Certified organic cosmetics & personal products. CAMERON CAMPER TRAILER FOR SALE: Sits on 6’ by 4’ trailer with electric brakes and water tank. Opens out to create a 17’ by 7’ space. A full annexe is also included. Good cond. $3,200 T: 85324559 or 0407324559

HOUSE SITTING: Mature couple, both teachers, non-smokers, good gardeners and experienced pet owners seek house sitting while our new home is being built. North of Adelaide preferred due to work commitments. We are available all of Dec 2010, then late Jan to April 2011. E: E: T: 0409 608 518 or 0409 280 019

HOUSE SITTING: Professional couple seeking house sit in Adelaide and environs, from late July to late October 2010. Non-smokers and house proud. Have wide experience in home renovations, domestic repairs and gardening. Good with animals and understand the need to leave any house sit in at least as good condition as found. Contact Chris & Eleanor Oyston T: 02 6236 3008 E:

CIVIL CELEBRANT: Dr Tom Haig weddings, renewal of vows, commitment ceremonies, funerals and baby namings. First class personalised services with AEU members receiving a 10% discount on services upon request. T: 85311726 or 0439 687 529

E: W:

2011 DOUBLE TEACHING EXCHANGE OPPORTUNITY TO ONTARIO, CANADA The opportunity of a lifetime exists to teach in Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada, living in a 2storey hse, 4 brm, 3 bath and only 5 kms from the school. With a population of 5000, and located only 2 hrs drive from Toronto, Penetanguishene is a close knit community with all the perks of a large city, including hockey arena, skateboard park, soccer oval, swimming pool and lots of family friendly parks. The town and nearby communities offer beaches, boating facilities and water sports. The teaching positions are in middle and upper primary. Contact Darryl Carter, Manager, International Programs T: 8226 1150 or 0402 250 929 E:

Advertise in Members’ Market for FREE! Rent, sell, buy or offer goods and services. Send ads to:

we’ve got you covered...


John Elvin p: 8255 3465



Peter Dinan p: 8381 1739

Wayne Copley p: 8322 7837



Mike Day p: 8261 6676

Susan Walters p: 8340 1477



Credit Union SA LtdÂ&#x2021;$%1Â&#x2021;$)6/Â&#x2021;.LQJ:LOOLDP6WUHHW$GHODLGHÂ&#x2021;3K


AEU Journal Vol. 42 No.4 | June 2010  
AEU Journal Vol. 42 No.4 | June 2010  

In this issue: Eremophila Serrulata - this tiny plant could save your life, AEU membership - the best insurance around, Universal Access - m...