Issuu on Google+

NEWSPAPER OF THE NSW/ACT INDEPENDENT EDUCATION UNION [ VOL 31 #4 ] June 2011

Print Post: 225007/0002 – ISSN: 0728-4845

Hands off our wages “This attempt to suppress wages will have an impact on our members and ultimately on student learning.”

A member wrote of his concerns for the “distress” his wife was going through due to the changes.

Sue Osborne IEU J o u r n a l i s t

N

SW MPs have been inundated by more than 8000 messages and petitions from IEU members outraged by Premier Barry O’Farrell’s attack on the wages and conditions of public sector workers. On June 14 the State Liberal Government passed an amendment to the Industrial Relations Act, which removed the independence of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission and gave the Government powers to unilaterally alter the wages and conditions of public servants. General Secretary Dick Shearman said teachers in all sectors understood that this attack on public sector workers was an attack on them too. “This attempt to suppress wages will have an impact on our members and ultimately on student learning,” Mr Shearman said.

IEU Organisers joined 12,000 other protestors at a rally against ‘O’Farrell’s Laws’ held outside Parliament House last week.

“It affects all sectors, but the Catholic systemic teachers will be most directly impacted, as Catholic employers match wages in the public sector. “We would urge all our members to campaign against these laws, which have effectively kneecapped the NSW Industrial Commission.” So far members have heeded the call, inundating the IEU with petitions and emails to MPs. One member said: “Traditional links between Catholic and government school salaries and conditions almost certainly mean proper outcomes for us, even though our schools are in the federal system”. Members are not just concerned for themselves. One wrote: “My wife works as a nurse in mental health and her work conditions are deteriorating as each day passes”.

p5

More action, less conversation

p7

Teachers not so scary

p9

IEU goes social

State Opposition Leader John Robertson said: “Independent Education Union members have kept the pressure on the O’Farrell Government to withdraw these unfair laws, sending more than 8000 emails to the Government and MPs, signing petitions and passing motions calling for their employers to support the independence of the Industrial Relations Commission. "Only by constant and concerted action will we force the Government to withdraw this appalling legislation. "These laws set a dangerous precedent for teachers in the non-government sector, whose wage negotiations often closely follow those working in the public system." Unions NSW Secretary Mark Lennon said the campaign against the laws would continue indefinitely: “ If a Coalition MP turns up at your school, it might be good to remind them that ‘this affects us as well’. “With the links between teachers in public schools and schools in the nongovernment sector — this removal of fundamental rights will impact beyond employees of the NSW Government.” The IEU Council voted to keep up the fight and called on “Catholic employers to distance themselves from the approach taken by the O‘Farrell Government and to publicly support the traditional autonomous role of the Industrial Relations Commission”.

Keep up the pressure n Send your petitions to Tara de

Boehmler, Independent Education Union GPO Box 116 Sydney 2001.

n Email MPs via the Ieu website at www.ieu.asn.au n Keep up to date by visiting us on Facebook www.facebook.com/ ieunswact

p12

Teach, Survive, Thrive


www.ieu.asn.au

Christian schools drag the chain

Managing work in Catholic schools

Carol Matthews IEU A s s i s ta n t S e c r e ta r y

Gloria Taylor IEU D e p u t y S e c r e ta r y

W

ork intensification in schools is always an issue, but there are new challenges as schools face implementation of the federal education agenda and increasing accountability requirements. New demands sit on top of existing classroom pressures such as the growing numbers of students with special needs without adequate resources and support. Clear systemic policies, appropriate resourcing and consultation with staff at the school level should be basic to the management of existing workload pressures as well as to the introduction of new requirements. Over recent years, the integration of special needs students into mainstream classrooms has been on the top of our members’ list of issues impacting on work intensification. The IEU is lobbying for an expanded definition of students who receive funding. The Union has also submitted in the Gonski Funding Review for full funding of students with disabilities irrespective of their school or system. Teachers and teacher assistants are very concerned about the level of support services.

Additional funding recently announced by the Federal Government will improve resourcing to systems, however more is needed. The IEU will continue to press for further funding and negotiate with Catholic employers to maximise resources at the classroom level. We have already seen the impact of the MySchool website on schools, with increased focus on NAPLAN results distorting the educational program. The move to a National Curriculum framework and National Standards while appealing on the grounds of consistency, will impact significantly on the workload of teachers. Leading up to implementation of any national education policy, the Union will work to ensure that appropriate timelines, resourcing and professional development are in place and that teacher consultation occurs. Over the coming months, the IEU will use email surveys and chapter and branch meetings to consult with Catholic systemic school members over current and up and coming work issues. This feedback will form a part of ongoing discussions with Catholic employers including negotiations for Catholic School Agreements for 2012.

T

he last pay rise received by support staff in NSW Christian schools was 4% in February 2010. Despite this, employers have failed to reach agreement with the IEU on a new agreement with pay rises for 2011. Teachers in Christian schools received a pay rise in February this year. Discussions were held in February between Christian Schools Australia (CSA), Christian Education National (CEN) and the Union on a new MultiEnterprise Agreement for support staff as previous agreements expired at the end of 2010. Meetings were adjourned to allow the employers to respond to the IEU claim for pay rises. The IEU has become concerned about the delay in a resolution to this matter as no further meetings have been scheduled.

Interim pay rise The CSA/CEN has now advised us that they are recommending to schools a 2% ‘interim’ pay rise to support and maintenance and outdoor staff be back paid from February this year to

compensate for the delay in settling an agreement. However this recommendation is not legally binding on schools. We also have been advised that any further salary outcome (yet to be agreed above the 2%) would also be backdated. The current agreements with 2010 rates of pay continue to apply in the meantime.

Employer position on new agreement unclear The IEU would be happy to ‘roll over’ current school agreements into a new Multi-Enterprise Agreement. However the employers have indicated they want to review the agreements but have not provided any detail on the changes sought. Support staff in Christian schools are now the only significant group of employees in independent schools in NSW who do not have the protection of a new agreement for 2011 and beyond. The IEU has asked members in Christian schools to meet in support of a new agreement for support and maintenance staff and to urge schools to backpay the 2% increase in line with the CSA/CEN recommendation.

They also report significant variation of services from diocese to diocese and school to school.

Agile areas make front page news John Quessy IEU A s s i s ta n t S e c r e ta r y

I

n early June the Sydney Morning Herald carried on its front page a story about the operation of one Parramatta CEO primary school where the entire 197 students from K-6 shared the one learning space. The school at the heart of the story, St Monica’s North Parramatta was utilised as a focus on the nature of change in teaching and as an example of a growing trend towards ‘open plan’ schools throughout Sydney. The report also carried a number of complaints and criticisms voiced by the Union. The IEU has not made a judgment about the worth or value of this style of teaching and learning. Teachers can make those assessments for themselves and there will be both supporters and 2

skeptics. There is no Union approved teaching style. Our concerns are those raised by members over the past 18 months and which we believe to date have been inadequately addressed by the employer. These include dissatisfaction with the level and quality of consultation prior to implementing ‘agile learning’, inadequate professional development and issues related to physical and psychological wellbeing. Where employers propose to change the nature of work or how it is performed they have various legal obligations chiefly to consultation and risk elimination. Among the ‘physical’ concerns raised with the IEU are voice strain, hearing problems, headaches and strains

due to bending and kneeling. On a psychological level, members have reported extreme stress, plummeting job satisfaction and a sense of hopelessness. They sense they have lost control of their work. If teachers are to be a serious part of the process of change, they need to feel valued, listened to and believe that their work is worthwhile. The Union has met with the CEO several times in an attempt to redress these concerns and we have recently put to them some concrete proposals for action. Firstly we have asked for an independent ergonomic assessment of ‘agile’ sites in regard to physical factors. Advanced technology to relieve voice strain and provide classroom audio

enhancement is already a feature in at least one school. In addition, we are calling on the CEO to implement programs to assist teachers to take care of their voices. We are also inviting the Parramatta CEO to train its leaders to listen for the concerns of colleagues and to provide leadership in building confidence with this style of change. Our members want professional development that addresses teaching approaches to match this new environment. They do not want to be told, as one claims to have been, just “fumble through”. Build the skills, build the confidence and it might just begin to address some of the psychological issues.

NEWSmonth – Vol 31#4 2011


on the ground

Will bonus payments for teachers improve children’s education? Dick Shearman IEU G e n e r a l S e c r e ta r y

T

he Federal Government’s performance pay policy will see certain teachers singled out as ‘super teachers’ and paid more. This is supposed to lift standards in schools overall. However, this system is based on a quota of 10%. In the staff rooms I used to teach in, there would be different opinions on who made up that 10%. Students might have a view, and parents might have another view. How are you going to select the 10%? NAPLAN tests? Parental surveys? In my opinion 90% of teachers will be upset. In Victoria, teachers voted against participating in trials for performance pay, and we would recommend teachers in NSW do the same thing. Let’s try another model to lift standards and distribute bonus pay across staff evenly. Teachers can’t get by without working collaboratively.

"Go ahead and put money in to reward good teaching. But draw talented people in and encourage them to stay by making it part of ongoing salary arrangements. " The following is my submission to the SMH News Review section, which appeared in The Question, Saturday 14 May: All kinds of people enter teaching, but mostly they are those who want to help kids learn. Can the Gillard Government believe our teachers are sitting around with a coffee and newspaper doing puzzles, waiting for the enticement of a bonus payment before they will lift their game? That’s quite an insult to teachers. To suggest that basic skills tests like NAPLAN, held every two years, could

NEWSmonth – Vol 31#4 2011

decide which teacher has made the greatest contribution to learning is simply dumb, and in the US has led to low skill training and cheating. To try to give just one teacher the credit is not only wrong, it’s also impossible to impartially judge. There is no subject called ‘Literacy’ in schools, in fact the responsibility for growth in these skills is shared in every subject, by all teachers. A bonus pay model also fundamentally misses the point that teachers work collaboratively, as tag-teams in the process of learning. Learning is not a seamless linear process. Kids learn in many different ways, in a continuum that progresses at different individual rates and times, and affected sometimes by things going on beyond the classroom. However, all teachers, throughout the various subject areas and in each year of a child’s education, contribute toward this. It is a requisite of the job that teachers collegially discuss their preparation, planning, students’ work and

achievement. In so doing, they aim to lift the performance of all. Students benefit from such a collaborative approach, but how will a one-off selective ‘gifting’ to 10% of the team encourage this to continue? Surely any model that takes away the incentive for teachers to support each other, share experience and skills – instead encouraging them to keep their resources and knowledge to themselves in a race to ‘superiority’ — is counterproductive. Meanwhile, the one-off nature of payments does nothing to assist important long-term goals of attracting and retaining the best and brigh test into the profession. Singling out just a few for a one-off bonus is wasteful of scarce resources and counterproductive.

The IEU would like to hear members’ submissions on the Federal Government’s Gonski school funding review. See our website www.ieu.asn. au and the IEU’s Facebook page for ideas on how to be involved in the debate www. facebook.com/ieunswact

For more on this topic, see page 14

Instead, the Independent Education Union encourages Prime Minister Gillard to go ahead and put money in to reward good teaching. But to draw talented people in and encourage them to stay, make them part of ongoing salary arrangements.That will work.

3


www.ieu.asn.au

Julia’s performance pay model – a mess Sandra White IEU E du c at i o n I s s ue s C o m m i t t ee C o n v e n o r

D

uring the last federal election campaign, Julia Gillard announced that under her government, Australia would implement the first national system of performance assessment and pay to reward the very best classroom teachers. What she did not make clear was how the system would work, and on what basis “the very best” would be measured. We now know some of the detail: the nonsense of a 10% quota for a one-off bonus payment, the use of measures like NAPLAN test results, parent satisfaction surveys, and a range of fundamental structural problems that make this plan a dud before it even starts.

For example, the structural proposal that a local assessment panel (principal, senior regional staff representative and an independent third party), would be convened to choose their best local 10%, which would then go to a state-wide assessment group for final moderation and determination. Set aside the question about how a regional staff rep would work in the independent school sector, and assume that half of the teachers in a school might apply. Allowing only 30 minutes assessment per application (hopeful), in a school with 100 teachers, that is 25 hours of work (not counting the time that it takes to assemble the panel), prepare criteria, organise applications and report back. Lesson observations are a structural component of the panel assessment, so add another 30 minutes minimum per teacher on to the time required, we’re up to 50 hours of additional work.

Last chance for curriculum input T

he last chance for teachers to have a say on the first phase of the Australian Curriculum is upon us.

In Terms 2 and 3, the NSW Board of Studies (BoS) will hold meetings around the state to consult with teachers on the work they have done. Since the beginning of the year, the BoS (in consultation with the Board Curriculum Committees) has been working on the documents for the first phase of the Curriculum adding syllabus outcomes, learning expectations, Life Skills outcomes and modifying language to make the national documents in to syllabuses that are familiar and ‘user friendly’ for NSW teachers. The BoS intends that the drafts they have developed will be the teaching syllabuses soon in use in NSW, unless they are told by teachers that they do not meet the required standard, which is: “as good as, or better than, the syllabuses currently in use”. It is critical that teachers examine the NSW syllabus versions (now available on the BoS website, except for English) and

4

attend the consultation meetings to let the BoS know if they have got it right, or whether more work is needed. If teachers do not express their views during this period, the opportunity to correct, improve or influence their everyday working guides will be lost. Full details of meetings are available at www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu. au/australian-curriculum/phase-1/ consultation2011.html where teachers can also complete an online survey.

Union action The IEU is putting together a submission about the draft NSW syllabus, and reps attended a recent curriculum symposium to discuss the draft syllabuses, which (except for English) can be seen on the BoS website: www.boardof studies.nsw.edu. au/australian-curriculum/phase-1/k-10. html. The IEU would like to hear members’ feedback on issues of concern to include in our submission.

When would the assessment panels meet? NAPLAN results come out in September, so not before then, as teachers must include an analysis of student performance in the tests to demonstrate how they have ‘value added’. School holidays in October could provide an opportunity for teachers to prepare applications. So local panels might convene in late October through early November – just when schools have so much time to spare (not) and hope to report to the state-wide panel by the end of that month. The timeline expects that all this will happen in 2013. The state-wide panels will then choose ‘the best’ applications from over 3000 schools, and provide the successful names to DEEWR to process the first of two 25,000 individual payments by early 2014. Pigs might fly. And for us, all this in the same year that schools in NSW introduce new Australian curriculum and national teaching standards.

There is still plenty we don’t know. For example, what will the parent satisfaction surveys will look like? And what will the Australian Teacher Performance Management Principles and Procedures contain? We don’t know how teachers in PDHPE, TAS, visual and performing arts, and other subjects that have no NAPLAN results will be included, or teachers of years other than 3, 5, 7 and 9. The most important and upsetting thing we do know is that the Prime Minister is not presently listening to the unions, to the profession, to the academics and experts, or to the parents groups. There is universal condemnation in the education industry about this model of one off ‘reward’ bonuses. It really is time to listen, prime minister. This model will not work. Goodwill and scarce resources will be squandered if it proceeds.

Member benefits team John Quessy IEU A s s i s ta n t S e c r e ta r y The IEU has recently embarked on a new venture to build the capacity of our Union by establishing a Member Benefits Team to visit schools with the aim of engaging non-members about the benefits of union membership. The IEU is rightly proud to claim real benefits and privileges of membership. Our members enjoy a strong collective, industrial protection, advice and advocacy, access to tailor made professional development and a range of other tangible and intangible services and advantages. Union membership is not about discounts and freebies, but like all large organisations, the IEU has capacity to secure excellent value services and to pass these on to members.

This team has been trained to talk about the range of advantages of union membership, especially the importance of solid chapters. They aim to get this message to nonmembers where possible through oneto-one conversations. The Member Benefits Team do not replace the local IEU Organiser nor will they be providing industrial advice or dealing with local workplace issues. Their primary role is to meet with prospective members and encourage them to join their colleagues as active Union members. Almost 100 school visits have already been scheduled and these will increase during Term 3. We ask all IEU Representatives to assist our team when they call to schedule a visit.

Contact sandra@ieu.asn.au as soon as possible.

NEWSmonth – Vol 31#4 2011


www.ieu.asn.au

A little less conversation, a little more action please

Marchers calling for a lot more action on equal pay.

Daniel Long IEU J o u r n a l i s t

E

lvis was right. You won’t read that very often – but it’s strangely true. When it comes to campaigns such as ‘equal pay for equal work’, the time for idle chitchat has long passed. The issue is more urgent now, given that 200,000 community service workers continue to be underpaid and most of these workers just happen to be female. But don’t be fooled: while free marketers may try and sell you on the idea of letting market forces set the wage structures for workers, unions have been battling ever since the 50s to install gender-specific laws that recognise the respective value of pay equality across all industries. And yet here we are today, still talking about the need for a little more direct action: Less talk and more money, honey. A quick history lesson: several decades after the United Nations first recommended equal remuneration for male and female workers in 1951, we’re still paying females less. Given the historic importance of the equal pay movement, it’s hard to believe that Australian employers continue to pay women 18% less on average than their male counterparts today.

NEWSmonth – Vol 31#4 2011

In 1972 equal pay rights were passed into Australian law following a successful case before the Arbitration Commission which argued that women performing the same job as men should also earn the same rates of pay. However, in almost 40 years since the commission laid down its legal framework, and despite the progress made by unions such as the IEU - women continue to earn less in industries that are largely femaleorientated at both the state and federal levels. To borrow another favourite ‘elvisism’, current equal pay rights are all shook up. Nowhere is this more relevant than the social and community services sector (SACS), where females perform the bulk of what is referred to as ‘traditional women’s jobs’. Despite the immeasurable value to the community that such services provide, women continue to earn less than similar positions held by males in both public and private sectors. Fortunately, gains are being made in the fight towards pay equity. Just recently, independent employment umpire Fair Work Australia declared females in the SACS sector were undervalued and underpaid. More importantly, they suggested that a pay increase was overdue. SACs workers have sought a 25% pay rise to match public sector wages and it is expected that the Fair Work ruling will help contribute to this cause.

The Australian Services Union (ASU) has been at the forefront of the ‘equal pay for equal work’ campaign, given their large SACS membership base. Recently, a number of well-attended protests across metropolitan and regional Australian cities drew tens of thousands of protestors, included a dedicated IEU presence at the Sydneybased Hyde Park. In addition to showing solidarity with other unions, IEU Organiser and Women’s Committee Convenor Pam Smith believes the IEU can play an important part of the equal pay process in key campaigns such as ‘Teachers are Teachers’. “Pay equity is a vital industrial and social justice value and is significant for IEU ECS members in regard to the Teachers are Teachers campaign”, Pam told Newsmonth. “The low pay of SACS workers has an influence when, for example, the IEU seeks to bargain on behalf of counsellors employed by CatholicCare or similar agencies or residential care workers in schools catering for students with disabilities.” Given the immense battle unions now face under the O’Farrell Government’s newly revamped industrial relations package (WorkChoices 2.0), the road towards pay equality won’t be easy. But given the strength, size and passion behind the movement, a victory which rewards some of our most undervalued workers is hopefully not too far away. Now that’s worth dancing for.

5


www.ieu.asn.au

New laws a step forward T

he IEUA, which made a submission to the review process, has welcomed new amendments to federal sex and age discrimination legislation as a major step forward for women, men and older Australians.

Produced in conjunction with the IEU and others, the Wollongong CEO Working Parents Toolkit is based on a resources produced by online group mums@work. The Toolkit examines managing pregnancy at work, preparing for parental leave, returning to work and managing your career as a working parent.

As announced on International Women’s Day on 8 March, the EOWW Act will be amended to focus on the sharing of work and family responsibilities between women and men and the Agency will be renamed the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

Jobshare teacher at St Paul’s Catholic Primary School, Albion Park, Pauline Chrostowski (pictured), took part in a focus group to develop the Toolkit.

In recognition of these legislative changes, the IEU will work with diocesan EO Committees and other employers to protect and advance the workplace equity agenda, especially in relation to work and family issues.

The changes will also significantly strengthen the Federal Sex Discrimination Act, particularly by prohibiting direct discrimination against male and female employees on the ground of family responsibilities.

“At the heart of this document are families and the successful transition back into working life,” Pauline says. “The Toolkit is practical. It is a stepby-step guide. It is easy to read and most importantly, real life.

At this year’s IEU Women’s Conference on 19 August, there will be a specific workshop focusing on the role and operation of the EO Committees, including the implications of the new legislation. (See ad p19.)

They also strengthen protections against sexual harassment in workplaces and prohibit sexual harassment, such as cyber bullying, conducted by new technologies.

“Working parents are a reality and integration back into the workforce can be successful.” The Toolkit is available at www. infopoint.dow.catholic.edu.au/ HumRes/default.aspx

The IEU website (www.ieu.asn.au) carries regular updates of local and international news with a trade union flavour. IEU Assistant Secretary John Quessy reproduces below some recent items.

Lunch booze ban The union representing the French police is furious at a new decree that would prohibit the Riot Police (CRS) from enjoying a beer or a glass of wine with their lunch. Until now a civilized tipple (beer or wine, not spirits) was always permitted with lunch and was even provided as part of the lunch packs from the back of the riot vans. The attitude of authorities began to change after October last year when having told locals it was too dangerous to go outside during a high school demonstration, the uniformed officers stopped for a beer on a street corner in full view of the public. Expressing his fury at the decree, Paul Le Guennec from the union asked: “Does

6

new toolkit can help parents navigate the complicated maze of parental and carers’ leave rights.

These amendments to federal sex and age discrimination legislation complement a suite of reforms to the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) and the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act.

As indicated by Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick: “The Age Discrimination Commissioner will be responsible for raising awareness of age discrimination, educating the community about the impact of age discrimination, and monitoring and advocating for the elimination of age discrimination across all areas of public life”.

{

A

As well, the new legislation establishes breastfeeding as a separate grounds for discrimination under federal law, consistent with similar NSW and ACT provisions.

Pam Smith IEU W o m e n I n E du c at i o n C o m m i t t ee C o n v e n o r

Labour Bites

Working parents’ toolkit

the fact that having a glass of wine while eating prevent any kind of worker from carrying out their job? I don’t think the Chief of Police drinks water when he’s having a meal”. (Source: The Guardian)

Parlez-vous? The entire workforce of a Britishowned factory in France is taking strike action because managers only speak English. Staff at the insulation firm are staging workouts because it is impossible to discuss wage rises and working conditions. The local shop steward said that bosses could only manage ‘bonjour’ before negotiations broke down. “We have to have someone to translate everything into English and then the bosses respond back in French”. Dialogue becomes extremely slow and expensive.

A company spokesperson claimed the situation was only temporary and the next director would speak French. (Source: Daily Mirror)

Walmart v women Giant US retailer Walmart will learn this month whether female employees will be able to sue it for potentially billions of dollars. The women say the company discriminated against them on pay and promotions for years, with male colleagues often paid more for doing the same work and winning promotions despite having less experience. The US Supreme Court is expected to give its ruling this month on what is described as the biggest civil rights class action in US history, involving up to 1.5

million current and former employees who have worked for Walmart since 26 December, 1998. The case evolved out of a discrimination lawsuit filed in 2001 against the company by a 54-year-old Californian employee Betty Dukes, who claimed her attempts to get ahead in the company were deliberately stymied. Other women later joined the action seeking to make it a class action. Walmart has delayed the action for almost a decade, dragging every issue through the courts. The class action was approved by the Federal Court and by an Appeals Court but Walmart took the matter to the Supreme Court. (Source: SMH)

NEWSmonth – Vol 31#4 2011


on the ground

Teachers not so scary after all Sue Osborne IEU J o u r n a l i s t

W

hen she first started her career as a teachers aide, Amanda Fiori admits to being “intimidated” by teachers. “You hold teachers in high regards. It’s a bit daunting having to work with these academics. You’re scared of overstepping the mark or making a mistake.” But that was 11 years ago and Amanda has a smile on her face when she recalls those feelings now. “Teachers are so welcoming. They always say how grateful they are to have a teachers aide in their class.

Teachers Aide Amanda Fiori (left) and IEU Rep Helena Rooney work well together.

“I think every teacher would have a teachers aide, in an ideal world.” Amanda actually became a teachers aide by accident. She applied to St Mary’s Primary Concord to become a member of the office staff.

support staff, who work different shifts, so it’s good have someone like Amanda keeping in touch with them, otherwise support staff could get overlooked.”

“I thought it would be the ideal job to fit in with my own family commitments.”

She says its crucial for teachers aides to be in the Union, because the way their hours are worked out is complex.

She got a job spending three hours a week helping two boys who needed more support.

“I think it would be a great idea to have someone like me in every school.

“I loved it. The following year the school’s teachers aide left and I started doing it three days a week.” Last year proved another turning point for Amanda. IEU Organiser Ann-Maree McEwan visited the school to hold a meeting specifically for support staff. The school has a high percentage of its support staff in the Union. “Ann-Maree asked if anyone could act as a ‘support staff go-between’ to distribute information and speak about the Union, and I volunteered.” The school’s IEU Rep is Teacher Helena Rooney, and the pair has formed a good bond. Amanda says: “I chat with people about Union issues from time to time, we have a laugh and I might mention something in the publications, or remind them if there’s voting to be done. “It’s fairly light-hearted. But Helena is always there if I need to check anything, we work well together. Helena says: “As a teacher I don’t get time to make contact with all the

NEWSmonth – Vol 31#4 2011

“I’ve known Ann-Maree for years and its nice to be able to touch base and just check on things. Our hours are complicated for the office staff and the principal to sort out, so it’s good to be able to check things like that.” The introduction of permanency for teachers aides was a great step forward, but the five-year waiting period is a disadvantage. “I’ve seen people who have to leave and it’s very upsetting, because they love the job and they don’t want to go. “The principal has tried everything to fit them in, but it just can’t happen.” Amanda’s life has taken another new turn recently, as she has started working in the school’s after hours care service as well. “I finish at three as a teachers aide, and then I go in there from three to 6.30. I get involved in the paperwork and programming, so it’s variety for my career. “The best bit is I get to teach the kids during the day, and play with them in the afternoon.”

rep spotlight:

Helena Rooney

Inspiring the young

Mar y Colber t JOURNALIST

H

“Young teachers tend to be much more conservative now but if they don’t watch out, they’re going to lose a lot of the hard-fought gains.”

elena Rooney is out to inspire young teachers.

During a long career that began with the NSW Department of Education, she has spent many years as the IEU Representative, most recently at St Mary’s Concord, where she has been teaching for seven years as special needs ESL support three days a week. “I took [the Rep’s role] on because I find it interesting and I believe it’s important to energise young people to join,” she says. “I thought it was important that the role is valued at the school – and we are very fortunate here that the boss is supportive – because it’s so important to have a body like that to fall back on.” Helena began as a Rep at a time when “unions were supported more because we were still fighting for conditions,” she says. But she is concerned about a number of trends “creeping into the system”, eroding many of the gains won by her baby boomer generation. “Young teachers tend to be much more conservative now but if they don’t watch out, they’re going to lose

a lot of the hard-fought gains that they’re now taking for granted. So many things are changing they can’t take it all as a given in life. “We have had to urge a lot of the young ones to join. They work really hard nowadays so they deserve to have their rights protected.” She points to concerns such as potential erosion of leave, class sizes, and the increasing number of hours spent in planning programs catering to individual learning needs. Other issues nowadays make the job more stressful. “There are more children with behavioural problems in schools, and less financial support for these people who aren’t best suited to the mainstream classroom.” The time spent in professional development outside of school hours, too, is increasing, she says. “Teachers spend a lot more time now working in the holidays than they did in the past. During term, too, many do nothing but school work two or three nights a week. “Sometimes what gets lost nowadays is that teachers need a wholesome life outside the teaching world." It’s so important to have a life balance. What you are outside the classroom is what you bring into the classroom too."

7


www.ieu.asn.au

Wrong advice leads to Fair Work clarification W

hen Early Childhood Teacher/ Director Cindy Price had a query about the award covering early childhood teachers, she called the Australian Government’s Fair Work Infoline for help. Her employer also rang the Infoline, using it as a source for award information. The advice Cindy received from a Fair Work adviser was incorrect. The advice was given that she came under the Children’s Services Award 2010 when as a qualified teacher she is covered by the Educational Services (Teachers) Award 2010. Thankfully Cindy was an IEU member so she was able to contact the Union to clarify her position quickly. IEU Assistant Secretary Carol Matthews wrote to Fair Work Australia to take up the matter and received a letter from the Fair Work Ombudsman apologising for “incorrect emphasis” leading to the wrong advice. The Ombudsman also said they had taken “immediate action to ensure that Fair Work Infoline Advisers are aware of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s position on this”, thanked the IEU for bringing the matter to their attention and apologised for any confusion or inconvenience.

“It’s great that Fair Work fixed this situation so quickly. It’s a reminder that employers should not seek out free advice but should contact their industry association,” Carol says. “If you’re a member of the IEU it’s important to contact us in the first instance to ensure that you receive correct advice.” Cindy has also used the IEU for support on other occasions. Newsmonth asked Cindy about her IEU experiences. Why are you a happy IEU member? “The IEU gives industry specific support. I’ve called them for advice on numerous occasions. In the two cases I have had to have more intense support, one of which was in relation to an allegation, I was unfamiliar with the terminology they use in these situations. “I knew I hadn’t done what was being alleged but I knew it was about getting that across. If I was in the situation I was in without the support of the union I have no doubt that it would not have turned out as positively as it did. “I have also used the support of the union as a Centre Director and to help members of my team, calling them for advice on numerous occasions."

What would you be saying to those people thinking carefully about whether it’s worthwhile joining the IEU? “You need to be in it to get that support. You can’t really put a price on your profession. the support they give far outweighs the cost. If you’re thinking about it — just do it — if you value your work and think you’re a good employee. “People always say Oh I won’t need it’ but maybe you will need it. If you’re in and you need it, then the support is going to be there. But if you [don't join]and you need it then you’re going to regret the decision not to do it." Are there any other advantages? “I probably haven’t used all the services available. The advice services are really good and [I like] just being able to be part of advocating for our profession we all know that we’re overworked and underpaid. Without getting together and being one voice and supporting the Union that’s supporting us – we won’t move the profession towards much needed improvement. “The pay rises we get are mostly because of the union. We’re the people the Union represents and we need to get behind them."

Teachers are Teachers campaign update

O

ver the next few weeks the Teachers are Teachers campaign will be gaining momentum again. Teachers around the state will be urged to dedicate short periods of time to talk about the work they do and why having a teaching qualification makes the difference for early childhood services. The NSW/ACT IEU has launched its very own Teachers are Teachers facebook campaign page www.facebook.com/ teachersareteachers. We’d love you to get online, and have your say about why your work is crucial. Join the conversation and help the campaign gain the momentum crucial for change.This campaign is only as strong as its members.

8

Support for Blue Day

KU got behind Blue Day by encouraging teachers to participate and turn blue for a day. “The ‘Blue Day’ activities saw KU staff wear blue clothing and accessories, do blue based activities, and hang blue banners and posters out the front of their

centres to help increase awareness about the campaign for pay parity,” a recent KU newsletter about the campaign said. It also said that the organisation “has long been seeking pay parity for teachers in early childhood settings” and will continue to support the IEU campaign over the following months.

NEWSmonth – Vol 31#4 2011


on the ground

IT Wizard IEU gets 'liked' By Daniel Long

O

ver the last month, the IEU has embraced social media with a new Facebook page, Twitter account and YouTube channel. Traditionally, unions have been very reluctant to go ‘social’, particularly as the mainstream media continues to publish regular scare stories on the pitfalls of Facebook and our dwindling sense of online privacy. It’s a fair question though: numerous legal grey areas are emerging, as free speech tests the limits of what is constructive criticism and what is open slander. However, fortunately for us at the IEU, a progressiveapproachtosuchtechnologies has quickly transformed the union into one of the most savvy in the nation. Very few unions have invested in Facebook, which is a shame for their member base. Like it or not (if you pardon the pun), over 10 million Australians now have a Facebook account and regularly use it as their main source of news and information. www.facebook.com/ ieunswact We’re also tweeting too. Some swear by Twitter’s real-time ability to push information out to all corners of the world in an instant, while others decry its ultimate message value, describing in 140 characters or less what the celebrity of the minute ate for lunch yesterday. If you want to know what we ate for

lunch, you’ll just have to follow us to find out. We promise it was something tasty. twitter.com/ieunswact

Campaigning via social media Social media is the perfect vehicle for running campaigns and we hope the extra reach will benefit IEU members too. Like-minded people are given a unique opportunity to connect with one another to discuss diverse social issues, such as working rights, climate action or equal pay for early childhood teachers. Though it’s only early days yet, the ‘Teachers are Teachers’ Facebook page has proved an effective way of communicating with other members in the field.

IEU goes green Merging the IEU’s environment Facebook page with our main IEU Facebook page provides a one-stop shop for all our activism, news and campaigns. In the past, dedicated Facebook communities have helped non-forprofits such as Greenpeace protest (and subsequently save) the destruction of Asian orangutan habitats, while advocacy group GetUp! has used its site to compel hundreds of thousands of Aussies to take a stand against climate change. Facebook is more than just a place for ‘friends’ to write silly things on their ‘wall’.

In addition, check out all our recent videos on our YouTube channel: just type in ieunswact in the search bar. www. youtube.com/user/ieunswact

Facebook for teachers Last month, a trio of social media consultants released a free educationfocused PDF online called ‘Facebook For Educators’. Guide writer and mother of eight Linda Fogg Phillips, who is a USbased speaker and author on the subject, provides handy tips for teachers that range from fixing your privacy settings to useful ways of communicating with students and parents on the issue. It’s all very timely, given the speed of which the technology is rapidly changing before us.

Giving social media a go We hope more of our members get involved in Facebook by searching for our name in the Facebook search bar and ‘Liking us’. However, don’t worry about your privacy settings - by liking us, we can’t view any of your private or friends information, though you can see all of ours. We encourage members to give it a go. It’s a great place to interact, discuss and keep up-to-date with the issues that affect each of us on a professional and community level.

Ice bear captivates Sydneysiders Michael Bracken IEU ORGANISER

T

he spirited and vocal crowd that crammed into Sydney’s Customs House to protest the O’Farrell Government’s move to slash the solar rebate by over 30% must have contributed to his monumental backflip. In good faith, thousands of people entered into contractual agreements with the Government to rebate 60 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity, which is fed back into the power grid. O'Farrell's proposed retrospective legislation would have cut the rebate to 40 cents and seriously jeopardised the financial security of those who had invested.

NEWSmonth – Vol 31#4 2011

However, the Premier succumbed to back bench pressure and agreed to honour existing contracts.

Renowned artist Mark Coreth and his team held Sydneysiders spellbound as the sculpture slowly took shape.

This was a decision of political expediency rather than a change in the State Government’s policy stance.

The Sydney Ice Bear is the sixth stop on a global tour with other appearances in Copenhagen, London, Toronto, Montreal and Manchester.

Customs House was also the site of a unique project aimed at raising awareness of global warming and the consequences of climate change. The polar bear (right) is the creation of an ice sculpture depicting the endangered animal. These majestic creatures are at the front line of global warming with their habitats being destroyed as more of the polar ice cap melts.

Skype connect with refugees

G

iven recent news events surrounding refugees and asylum seekers, here's a slice of positive news that could help shape the way school children understand the issue. A partnership between online telephony company Skype and the United Nation’s chief refugee agency (UNHCR) has resulted in a website that will connect teachers and students with an Australianfunded school in one of Africa's oldest and largest refugee settlements in Nakivale, Uganda. The project, called ‘Here and There’, aims to raise awareness of issues facing refugees by embracing new technologies such as HD video and giving Australian school students the unique chance to learn more about how refugee children live, by acting as 'interactive pen pals'. For more info, go to www.herethere.org.au

Call for input Let us know about your sustainable education program. The IEU Environment Committee has been busy preparing for the 2011 Environment Conference. Our keynote speaker, prominent environmentalist Jon Dee, has confirmed his attendance and the search is now on for another guest speaker to complete the agenda for the Conference. In addition, the Committee is busy trying to find examples of best practice sustainability education programs. The scope and extent of sustainable educations programs taking place in nongovernment schools is astounding. The Committee is calling for input from all members. If there is a sustainable education program at your school, let us know: michael@ieu.asn.au. Our combined efforts are needed to address these vital issues now for the benefit of present and future generations.

9


www.ieu.asn.au

Through the maze of WHS Work Health and Safety Legislation Implementation

{

Present tense

ELICOS NEWS

Program for NSW Non-Government Schools

Kendall Warren IEU O r g a n i s e r

For further information contact Iva Coric on 9779 3200 , toll free 1800 467 943 or iva@ieu.asn.au

Course # WH 0010

Dates 2011

IEU Reps OHS Committee Members Health & Safety Rep Middle Mangement in Catholic and Independent schools

VENUE

I

n recent months, the IEU has been negotiating with several centres, and is close to settlement at three colleges. Two of these, TELP and Embassy, are part of Study Group, and subject to finalising a few remaining technical issues, these agreements should be voted on by early July. The TELP agreement provides for pay rises of 16% over four years, with an additional 1% for lowerstep casuals (up to Step 7) in 2012 and 2013. There were also some concessions around the taking of annual leave. Embassy has secured 9.5% over three years.

4 AUGUST

CITIGATE MT PANORAMA 1 Conrod Straight BATHURST

WH 0011

11 AUGUST

MANTRA Cnr Parks & Valentine Sts PARRAMATTA

WH 0012

18 AUGUST WH 0013 25 AUGUST

CASCADES MOTOR INN 147 Cobra St DUBBO PENRITH PANTHERS Mulgoa Rd PENRITH

WH 0014

1 SEPTEMBER

QUALITY RESORT SIESTA Wagga Rd ALBURY

WH 0015

8 SEPTEMBER

THE GRANGE GOLF CLUB Kembla Grange Pl KEMBLA GRANGE

WH 0016

15 SEPTEMBER

THE WICKLOW HOTEL Cnr of Dumaresq & Marsh St ARMIDALE

These outcomes have come in a difficult bargaining environment, with the industry reeling from the effects of the high Australian dollar, tougher student visa requirements and greater competition from competitor markets in Canada and the US.

WH 0017

20 OCTOBER

GOOD COMPANIONS HOTEL 9-11 Brisbane St TAMWORTH

In this context, salary increases above inflation represent a great result for members in those centres.

WH 0018

27 OCTOBER

IEU Office, 176-182 Day St SYDNEY

WH 0019

3 NOVEMBER

BALLINA RSL 240 River St BALLINA

In the coming weeks, the IEU will commence negotiations with Navitas English Services (formerly ACE) to create a new enterprise agreement for their centres in the city, Bondi and Manly.

WH 0020

10 NOVEMBER

WOODPORT INN 207 The Entrance Road ERINA

WH 0021

17 NOVEMBER

PORT PANTHERS 1 Bay St, PORT MACQUARIE

WH 0022

NOAHS ON THE BEACH Cnr Shortland Esp & Zaara St NEWCASTLE TRADE UNION CLUB 57 Manchester Rd Nth GYMEA

24 NOVEMBER WH 0023 1 DECEMBER 10 10

IEU Seminar Series for

The other agreement is at Strathfield College, where negotiations have been rather protracted. This agreement covers all staff (English teachers, VET trainers, marketing staff and administrative staff ) and provides for increases at above the inflation rate for the next two years, along with gains around annual leave, permanency and overtime.

The Fair Work Act contains provisions which can compel employers to negotiate agreements, and under the Fair Work system, this is the only way to gain significant improvements in salaries and conditions. If you would like to

know if this can work at your school, contact kendall@ieu.asn.au . n In late May, Fair Work Australia handed down its annual minimum wage decision, and this amounted to an increase of 3.4% per annum, a percentage that will be applied to all federal awards, including the Post-Secondary Education Award that is the relevant award in private colleges. The new rates will take effect on 1 July. On the same date, the next phase of the transitional arrangements for the old NSW State ELICOS award will occur, so that employers can ‘adjust’ (read: reduce) salaries by 20% of the difference between the old award and the modern award. Existing employees can apply to FWA for a ‘take-home pay order’ which will maintain their salaries at the original NSW award rates. Most colleges did not reduce wages in 2010, and it is likely that they will take the same approach this year, but contact the Union for further information on this matter. n n The international student market in Australia continues to be buffeted by the ‘perfect storm’ of a high dollar, restrictive visa requirements and greater competition. In April, total numbers of students were 404,663, a 9.3% decline from the same time a year earlier, and commencements were down by 6.1%. This contrasts sharply with the nearly 7% annual growth of the years leading up to this. ELICOS has been particularly affected, with enrolments down 21% and commencements down 18.4%. The only sector to show any growth was in higher education, and that rise was only 2.7% (all figures from AEI). Clearly, the much hoped-for recovery is yet to arrive, though some schools are showing signs of improvement.

NEWSmonth – Vol 31#4 2011


on the ground

Inquiry unpacks changing role of teacher librarians Anne -Maree McEwan IEU O r g a n i s e r

T

the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Employment has released a report on school libraries and teacher librarians in Australian schools entitled: School libraries and Teacher Librarians in 21st Century Australia. The report realeased in May, was the culmination of 387 submissions and various hearings from teacher librarians, organisations and professional associations notably the Australian School Library Association (ASLA) and Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). Members of the IEU, mainly teacher librarians, participated in the inquiry by providing written submissions and appearing at hearings conducted by the committee. The inquiry provided an opportunity to raise the profile and status of the contribution that teacher librarians

“Who was one of the people who inspired my love of reading? - my librarian at school who kept feeding me books that I wanted to read.” (Submitter to the Inquiry Mr C. Cheng, Submission 317, p.1)

make to educational outcomes and goes a long way toward highlighting teacher librarians’ concerns and showcasing their contributions to educational outcomes in schools.

This is the use of teacher librarians for supervisory duties (see page 68 of the report). The committee heard that teacher librarians feel undervalued when asked to provide RFF.

It outlines current research in the field and starts to examine teacher librarians’ evolving role in Australia’s education system.

It reduces the scope for teacher librarians to collaboratively plan and teach with classroom teachers and for the imbedding of ICT skills into classroom programs. It also impacts on the teacher librarian’s ability to attend professional development.

The Committee received submissions on the role of teacher librarians in national initiatives such as the national curriculum rollout, the oneto-one computer rollout and the teacher librarian’s changing role in an evolving digital, online and e-learning environment. The Committee recommended that the Commonwealth work with the states to develop a national policy that defines the importance of digital and information literacy for learning in the 21st century to be used as a guide for all. A relevant industrial issue for the members working as primary school teacher librarians was canvassed in the report.

The NSW Department of Education agreed that supervisory functions and RFF responsibilities could compromise the core flexible role of teacher librarians. It is a comprehensive national analysis of the current status of libraries, teacher librarians and their contribution to learning and literacy. Recommendation Three is interesting. It states that ACARA includes statistical information about the breakdown of all specialist teachers, including teacher librarians, on the My School website.

and would provide useful statistical data on the number of teacher librarians in schools. The Committee makes clear that it only has the power to make recommendations to the Commonwealth Government. The IEU urges the government to implement each valuable and timely recommendation in the report. In the meantime, teacher librarians may use the report to start dialogue and self-promotion at the school level and the IEU will endeavor to include discussion on the report with our sector’s education authorities. The full report including 11 recommendations is available online at http://www.aph.gov.au/house/ committee/ee/schoollibraries/report.htm. Ann-Maree McEwan is a former teacher librarian.

This would support evidence that having qualified teacher librarians in a school improves academic achievement

Principals wanted superheroes need not apply Sue Osborne IEU J o u r n a l i s t

E

“We need to remember to rejoice in the things that go right, rather than focus on things that go wrong.”

mployers’ expectations of principals are high, but they don’t want superheroes.

A crucial part of the principal’s role was to nurture leadership ambition in others, and demonstrate hope.

Parramatta CEO Staff Services Team Leader Paul Dolan, spoke at the IEU’s Early Career Principals’ Seminar about what the office expects from its principals.

“Many kids and even some teachers may come to school without hope,” Paul said.

Paul said all sectors of education are experiencing a drought in applications for principalships. “They look at the demands it puts on a person, on their energy and family life, and they think you need to be a superman or woman to do it. “I think it will be a comfort to all in this room that we don’t want superheroes, we just want humans doing the best they can.”

NEWSmonth – Vol 31#4 2011

“We need to remember to rejoice in the things that go right, rather than focus on the things that go wrong.” Louise Sullivan never dreamed she would be a principal herself one day. The third-year principal at St Joseph’s Primary, West Tamworth said it was simply being told she could do the job that gave her self-belief. “I was given the opportunity to take on roles … my principal told me I could do it.”

While she is grateful for support from her school network, as she has negotiated her new role, one of the key moments was when a teacher took time out to ask how she was going.

New Principal Louise O’Sullivan

“That gave me a new breath – the staff really look out for each other. Being part of a community is great and, like Paul said, hope is a wonderful thing.”

“The amount of figure pushing and paperwork I do takes me away from the classroom and the joys of education.

Fourth-year Principal Osman Karolia is at Iqra Grammar School in Minto.

“But it’s still a great privilege being able to influence staff and students.

The school has a high proportion of refugees and non-English speakers in its population.

“I try to be a role model and to provide hope to the community.

“I spend a lot of my day putting out spot fires,” Osman said.

“I never say ‘I don’t know’, but I do say, ‘I’ll find out’.”

11


www.ieu.asn.au

IEU Teach Survive Thrive Conference Stories and images by IEU Journalist Sue Osborne

How to tame the wolf in your classroom “You’re going to be eaten if you don’t change.”

I

f the big bad wolf in your classroom is trying to eat you, how do you survive?

“This is what we learnt at home or school, it requires no training, and it’s easy,” Peter said.

Behaviour Management Support Teacher Peter Miles advises against building a brick house.

But for children with no automatic respect for authority, this may not work.

During his keynote speech at this year’s IEU Teach Survive Thrive Conference for new teachers, Peter said school has changed a lot since he was a student. “On my first day at school, I got a smack for calling out in class,” he said. In the 60s, children had an automatic respect for authority, reinforced by corporal punishment, and a general ignorance of the adult work, he said. Today, children were worldlier, and teachers could not rely on that automatic respect for authority, “Kids today do not delay gratification, they are human beings not human becomings. If they don’t like a subject, they’ll tell you.” Students were “hooked on ‘like’, rather than ‘respect’. Peter said teachers without a strong personality might struggle to be ‘liked’ by students. He used the story of the three pigs to illustrate his philosophy of behavioural management, but his story has a fourth pig that survives, while the pig in the brick house dies. “Teachers call me into the classroom and name the wolf – in 1996 it was Wayne, now it’s Jayden, Aiden or Brayden. “But if I remove the wolf, Jason will step up and take his place. “You can’t just go around shooting wolves.” Some teachers fall back on the straw house — the easy option of using verbal redirection or sending wolves to the office. 12

“When you teach beautiful things, children grow up to be beautiful adults and some day you will have a beautiful country. That’s worth fighting for." A descendant of the Gamillaroi Bigambul tribe, artist and performer, Dhinawan regularly performs at schools across Australia and around the world.

Pig three felt safe in a brick house that was familiar and strong in his mind, but even this failed. Pig four survived by listening to the wolf and getting as much information on him as possible, and trying to form a relationship with him. “Listening is the essence of forming a relationship. “If they think you are listening to them, they think you care and like them, even if it’s not the case.” However, teachers should be wary of getting drawn into “whinge sessions” with other staff about problem students. “The pig is not trying to change the wolf, but him or herself. “You’re going to be eaten if you don’t change. “Behaviour management is managing your own behaviour in order to influence the behaviour of others.” Peter says teachers must fight their own biology, and control their flight and fight response. “If students start pressing your buttons: ‘You’re fat’, ‘You’re gay’ or ‘I hate this subject’, you must be aware of your emotional responses and control them. “Listen to what your voice has been saying all day — is it a positive voice? “You don’t want to be in a position where you have to apologise to a child for losing your temper.” Peter has published a book on behaviour management for teachers called Don’t Just Stand There Yell Something through McGraw-Hill Australia.

Plenty of ideas F

ourth year out teacher Lisa Matzanke says she left the Conference “full of practical ideas for the classroom”. The Year Five teacher at St Patrick’s Primary, Wallsend, near Newcastle, recommends the conference to any new scheme teacher. “I really enjoyed the presentation by Peter Miles, because it was informative and practical. “The handout he gave us was really good too. It has a list of actions a teacher can take to deal with a disruptive student, graded on their level of invasiveness, which I have found really useful. “It was good being able to have access to Dick Shearman and listen to his ideas and opinions, and to be able to ask questions. “I also got useful practical tips from the workshop on dealing with students with special needs.”

Lisa says she enjoyed meeting other new teachers from different areas, like Tamworth and Sydney. “I walked away with a lot to think about.”

NEWSmonth – Vol 31#4 2011


feature

IEU General Secretary Dick Shearman

Presenter Karen Yager

The New Scheme Teachers Committee

Support for new teachers The IEU has developed a digital kit with information to assist teachers with their accreditation for professional competence. It will be provided as a memory stick to all new teachers joining the Union this year. The kit is also available on the IEU website under‘teacher accreditation’ on the menu bar.

Patricia Murnane

The Union has also established a new scheme teachers’ committee.

The panel session

Contact Sandra White at sandra@ ieu.asn.au for details.

Licence to teach T

eacher accreditation and pay increases are likely to be linked in the future, NSW Institute of Teachers Chief Executive Patrick Lee said. Mr Lee told the conference higher level accreditation for experienced teachers would never “catch-on” unless there was a “proper payment system scaffolding teachers’ careers around it”. “There are other mechanisms besides linked pay which could see the teaching standards becoming pivotal in teachers’ careers,” he said. However he emphasised that decisions about if and how this occurred were matters for employers and unions, as the Institute was a “strictly non-industrial” body. It would also make sense for Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s proposed bonus payments for teachers to be linked to accreditation, rather than being detached bonuses paid on ephemeral criteria. “Why wouldn’t you build this into professional practice?” Mr Lee is the NSW representative on the Australian Institute for Teachers and School Leaders, and has been involved with the move to develop national standards.

NEWSmonth – Vol 31#4 2011

From 2012 or 2013 the national professional standards will be introduced, subject to the agreement of the State Minister.

“Standards should not require teachers to jump through burning hoops into a small pot.”

National standards look “remarkably similar” to the NSW standards. They will also set the standards for university courses. “We have the national agenda around teaching because two years ago all the state ministers agreed with the Commonwealth to participate in the process.” The Rudd Government put the first substantial new money for education on the table for a decade, but this was linked with a move to greater national consistency. The national standards embody the same description of teaching as the NSW ones but have been simplified from 46 to 37 descriptors. Teachers would continue to be accredited by the NSW Institute and would not need to pay to join the national institute. “We expect doctors and lawyers to have a full licence, based on a credible professional assessment, and teaching is no less important,” Mr Lee said. “It’s the mark of a profession that

Patrick Lee

someone cared enough to come up with standards.

“They should not have to jump through burning hoops into a small pot.”

“An important aspect of standard setting is ensuring practising teachers can participate in panels judging the quality of university courses.

Mr Lee said teachers would not require as much in-service time to get a handle on the new standards, given the similarity to existing NSW standards.

IEU General Secretary Dick Shearman said the introduction of national standards was “reasonable” as long as support was provided to teachers. “The Union believes it is the employers’ responsibility to provide induction, mentoring and sensible professional development,” Mr Shearman said.

However, it was important teachers and school leaders had sufficient time and support to introduce the new standards into existing processes. “This language will progressively be used in all areas of the profession including promotions processes, and familiarity with it will be increasingly seen an advantage.”

“Standards should not require teachers to have a second job taking them away from their teaching.

13


www.ieu.asn.au reviews

Tales of the ancestors Dave Towson IEU O r g a n i s e r

Y

asser Nasser came to Australia in 1961 from a small village 15km from Tripoli, Lebanon. When the young man asked family members where the nearest mosque was, he was surprised to learn there wasn’t one in Sydney. When he sought further information, his father told him that he would find a mosque in Broken Hill, more than 1000km to the west. Yasser, 21, travelled to Broken Hill by train. When he got there it took a few enquiries before someone was able to point him in the right direction. Built in 1903, on the site of an old Afghan camel camp, the mosque was no longer in use. Yasser is one of the ‘ancestors’ whose tale is re-told in the documentary, In the footsteps of the Ancestors – Muslims Down Under. “The documentary encourages a greater effort in understanding and appreciation of Islam and Muslims where sharing knowledge, and sharing stories, is one of the most important ways of building a genuine sense of community in Australia,” documentarymaker Nada Roude says. “It strengthens the belief in fairness, equality and respect, the values we aspire to in Australia. In the longer

timelines of Australian history, Muslim people have a little known story.” The stories contained in this documentary are illuminating and offer an interesting perspective of our nation’s transition from White Australia to the successful, broadly tolerant, multi-cultural country that it is today. Yasser perspective alone makes the documentary worth viewing. With the White Australia Policy still in force (the non-European policy would not be removed until 1966), Yasser recalls his early days in Sydney as remarkably free from discrimination. He found it easy to get work and remembers that there “was a lot of respect back then between workers”. He marvels at his good fortune in living in a country that provides the freedom to practice one’s own religion and a city that has allowed mosques and Islamic schools to be built and accepted as part of the broader community. I recommend this documentary to secondary schools’ HSIE and RE departments and suggest it may be particularly useful to teachers of Studies of Religion. Copies of the DVD can be ordered via the website: www.muslimsdownunder. com.au or by call Talal on 9758 0808 at Rissalah College. The IEU has three copies to giveaway. Email sue@ieu.asn.au.

Tool could make teaching easier Sandra White IEU O r g a n i s e r

D

enise McHugh, a teacher from Tamworth in northern NSW, and a member of the NSW/ACT IEU Executive, has come up with an idea that could make teachers’ lives a bit easier. After a workshop at IEU Council, Denise thought up an online system for teaching and learning programs, with assessment and resource banks to make program development more efficient. 14

Broken Hill Mosque

Broken Hill Mosque

“Let’s stop reinventing the wheel.”

The online system would also help in managing school registration compliance. 

pictures etc) can be attached to the programs to provide a readily accessible subject toolkit.

to efficiently construct a BoS-compliant teaching schedule linked to the underlying subject program.

This idea has become reality with Edekit now online. 

All of the programs and the attached resources (Edekit originals, edited Edekit or teacher sourced) can be shared across one KLA, across the whole school, or even across a network or sector.

Denise believes in working sensibly and keeping a healthy life balance.

Edekit is an interactive library of teaching resources with over 1000 programs covering the most studied NSW high school syllabus.  The programs can be edited by individual teachers to suit their particular teaching style, or they can upload their own programs into their personalised My Units section. 

Edekit is portable in that it goes wherever the teacher goes (only internet access required) and grows organically as teachers create, modify and attach any number of teaching tools.   

Teaching resources in any form (data files, spreadsheets, podcasts, websites,

It includes an easy-to-use scope and sequence generator, enabling teachers

“Let’s stop reinventing the wheel. Edekit is a great tool for working efficiently and collaboratively and provides an effective system that really helps teachers teach. Edekit can be found at www.edekit. com.au and is worth a look. It is priced at a reasonable rate for individulas or schools.

NEWSmonth – Vol 31#4 2011


feature

Back to the 60s Mad Men Season Four DVD Review Natasha Flores IEU O r g a n i s e r

F

or those of you who consider themselves to be Mad Men aficionados, you will be pleased to know the long-awaited Season Four has finally arrived in Australia. If you dream of transporting yourself back to 1963 and the world of Sterling Cooper, black and white television, guilt-free smoking and drinking (at both work and home), you won’t be disappointed. Season Four begins a year into the establishment of the new and apparently flourishing Sterling Cooper Draper Price advertising agency. The Beatles are in town, the war in Vietnam is heating up and our protagonist, Don Draper (Jon Hamm), is no longer commuting from Manhattan to Ossining since the break up of his marriage in Season Three. The season brings with it the introduction of some new characters and the return of most of our old favourites. Sterling Cooper Draper Price continues to rely largely on the business of tobacco giant Lucky Strike, as did its predecessor, Sterling Cooper, with some interesting developments towards the

{ Shorts G

end of the season which should carry over nicely in Season Five. Sally Draper is fast approaching adolescence and is suffering the effects of the devastating divorce between Draper and her mother (January Jones). The young actress playing Sally Draper (Keirnan Shipka) delivers an outstanding performance considering one particular scene that treads an extremely fine line. Two episodes in particular highlight the ever-changing world of the 1960s. The Summer Man and The Chrysanthemum and the Sword deal with the development of Draper the man and Draper the ad man. After enduring a huge personal loss Draper goes on a mind-blowing bender that leads underling Peggy Olson to question his hard drinking fatalism. Chrysanthemum looks at the emergence of the Japanese as an industrial power wanting to sell Honda motorcycles in the US. The simmering tension that has always existed between Draper and his World War Two veteran boss Roger Sterling (John Slattery) finally comes to a head, with oily sycophant Pete Campbell (Vincent Karthieser) coming into his own. I can’t wait for Season Five, which will be delayed due to studio conflicts regarding advertising time. Oh the irony!

The IEU is now socially connected

Keep up to date by 'liking us' on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ieunswact Follow us on Twitter by searching 'ieunswact' in the search bar. Or watch the latest videos at our YouTube channel by searching 'ieunswact'

enerationOne and the Australian School of Performing Arts (ASPA) are running the nationwide Hands Across Australia School Competition to bring Indigenous and nonIndigenous students together. The competition invites students to perform the Hands Across Australia song recorded by Christine Anu, Ernie Dingo, Jack Thompson, Paul Kelly, Melinda Schneider with the Australian Girls Choir. The winning school receives a $15,000 award. More details at: www.generationone.org.au

n Don’t despair when it comes to our democracy. Keep it strong with this treasure trove of a website providing information about the Australian political process. Teachers will find all kinds of empowering resources while primary and secondary students can find interactive activities. For the just plain interested this website offers a quick way to access information on parliament, an electorate or politician directly. Visit www. civicsandcitizenship.edu.au n n Looking for ways to keep your workplace’s computers safe? Maybe you want to stop spam. Or are you looking for primary or secondary cyber education programs or an update about the National Broadband Network? This webpage is a valuable portal to the Australian online world. http:// australia.gov.au/topics/it-andcommunications/internet n n When over 2300 men and women working in large organisations around the world were surveyed about their work-life balance, both men and women were found to “seek the same holy grail: success in both their work and family lives,” says Executive Director Kathie Lingle from WorldatWork, who conducted The Global Study on Men and Work Life. “The assumption that male identity is rooted in work and not family is a major impediment to the effective integration of employees’ work and family lives,” she said. Both men and women cited financial stress and finding time to spend with family as the biggest work-life challenges. Download the study at http://wfd.com/news/ register-gms2011.html

n n n Landmarks: People and Places across Australia is a new permanent gallery at the National Museum of Australia. The gallery contains over 1500 objects that invite visitors to reflect on how the places we live in today have been built up over many generations. Exhibits include a convict shirt found in the wall of a Tasmanian cottage and a Holden No. 1 prototype. More information at: www.nma.gov. au n n n n If you’re casting about for lesson plan inspiration in primary or secondary science then a visit to the Bureau of Meteorology’s website may provide just what you’re looking for. There are curriculum based plans for primary and secondary classes at: www. bom.gov.au/lam/Students_Teachers/ learnact.htm n n n n n Physical activity in childhood could protect against depression in adulthood, researchers at Deakin University have found. In a study where over 2000 men and women from south eastern Australia reported on physical activity and depression, the researchers found those with low activity levels as a child were 35% more likely to report depression as adults, compared to those who were physically active.“The results of our study suggest that physical activity may protect against the development of depression and supports the encouragement of regular physical activity in children,” researcher Dr Jacka from Deakin’s School of Medicine said. The study was published in The Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.

www.ieu.asn.au NEWSmonth – Vol 31#4 2011

15 15


www.ieu.asn.au

IEU

super foodie

Let them eat cake (and win hearts along the way) Tara de Boehmler IEU J o u r n a l i s t

L

Caramel Walnut Gateau

egend has it this month’s IEU Superfoodie had a bake-off to win her husband’s heart, though she tells Newsmonth the truth is a little less dramatic.

Ingredients 3 eggs 1/2 cup castor sugar 1 tablespoon caramel topping 1 cup walnut pieces 1/2 cup self-raising flour 1/4 cup boiling water 2 teaspoons butter 300ml carton thickened cream

IEU Member Marcia Elliott, a Teacher at Snowy Mountains Grammar School in Jindabyne, likes to cook cakes and slices and her family and colleagues like to eat them. “Among a group of my colleagues, I make the birthday cakes and they all have a different favourite.” On the home-front, her husband and sons can’t go past chocolate cake. When Marcia first met her husband he was boarding with a woman he called his ‘second mother’, Jean Percival, and was enjoying all the benefits of her home cooking. “She’s a lovely country-style cook and he used to say we should have a bake-off so he would get to choose,” Marcia says. “But I don’t know that I actually won. I think she just said ‘It’s your turn!’ “She lives in Canberra and turns 90 this year. We still visit and our boys call her ‘Nanna’. She is very special. My husband still thinks her gravy is better than mine but I don’t mind.” Marcia says growing up in a country town meant it was inevitable she would learn to cook. “Everyone was a home cook then. We didn’t have a lot of take-away options. I started at about 10 years old with my mother. “I’m not a Masterchef or anything. I just find cooking quite relaxing and I like

Caramel filling Marcia with Jean Percival, who turns 90 this year.

going through the whole process and having that end product for all the hard work.” Marcia says the Caramel Walnut Gateau that she shares with us in this issue is adapted from a recipe in an old Women’s Weekly. It’s also her colleague and fellow IEU member Judy Griffith’s favourite birthday cake. “It’s not complicated. It doesn’t even matter how the cake turns out because you just layer it with all the cream and walnuts.” Marcia says she likes producing a meal when she has people over for dinner and doesn’t like to see desert neglected.“Even if it’s about watching your weight, just a slither won’t hurt.” Newsmonth completely agrees.

1/4 cup brown sugar 30g butter 2 tablespoons custard powder 1/4 cup milk 300 ml carton cream Praline 1 cup sugar 2/3 cup walnuts Beat eggs in a small bowl until pale and thick, gradually add sugar and topping, beat for about 10 minutes or until sugar is dissolved; transfer mixture to large bowl. Blend or process walnuts until finely ground, fold into egg mixture, lightly fold in sifted flour, then combine water and butter. Pour mixture into two greased and lined 20cm sandwich tins. Bake in moderate oven for 20 minutess, turn onto wire rack to cool. Split each cake in half horizontally.

winter pressings It’s winter, cold, wet and to those who don’t imbibe, miserable. I do partake and this is the season where I demand the most from my wine.

There is no doubting the chardonnay fruit in the long, mouth-filling lavishness where the citrus flavours party with those of hazelnut and toasted oatmeal.

I want the best of fruit, warmth and flavour. There really isn’t anywhere for inferior quality to hide during winter. This is the season where I really enjoy a quality Chardonnay, ideally with just a little age and a bit of Burgundian opulence.

There is just enough spice from the nine months oak treatment to add another layer of complexity. An entrée like roast duck and shitake pancakes would be well complimented.

Coldstream Hills 2009 Chardonnay ($28) is a fine example of the intense and elegant Yarra Valley flavour I’m looking for.

With winter and comfort food comes the desire also for comfort wine of the first order.

Habitual winner of show awards, this winery continues to deserve its reputation for quality.

The Riebke Northern Barossa Shiraz 2009 ($19) from Teusner Wines fits the bill perfectly. The product of former Torbreck winemaker Kym Teusner, this is unbelievable value.

Our selection here is a vivid straw colour with hints of green. It initially shows lemon zest on the nose but transitions into a toasty scent reminiscent of nougat.

In the glass, it is a beautiful sultry black with a twist of crimson. Raised to the nose it begins to release its floral aromas with jammy plum and Christmas pudding fragrances.

16

Place one layer of cake onto serving plate, spread with one-third of the filling. Repeat layering with filling and cake. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Whip cream until soft peaks form, spread over top and side of cake. Press praline around side of cake. Decorate with extra cream, walnuts and fruit if desired. Caramel filling: Combine sugar and butter in pan, stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved, stir in blended custard powder and milk, then cream. Stir constantly over heat until mixture boils and thickens. Cool. Praline: Place sugar in heavy pan over medium heat until sugar begins to melt. Do not stir. When sugar starts to brown, shake pan. Spread walnuts onto lightly greased oven tray, pour hot syrup evenly over walnuts. When set, break into pieces. (adapted from the Women’s Weekly)

By Magnum This is a ripe, rich, full-bodied wine with abundant evidence of first class fruit. There is enough oak to provide a savoury spice that lingers but does not overwhelm and oh what a long and lovely finish. A seductive treat to match any slow braised beef dish. Finally, something a little bit special, a Piggs Peake Suckling Pig Shiraz 2011 ($45). Unusually this is a sweet red desert wine, not fortified but wine making in its simplest form, a little over a month from pressing to bottling. The well ripened almost raisin fruit comes from an older vineyard in McLaren Vale and this stuff just screams McLaren Vale Shiraz. The thing that is striking about this wine is the colour. To describe it as vibrant is an understatement. It is iridescent and stains the glass crimson.

of the fruit. It is sweet, about 150gm of sugar per litre but in no way sickly sweet or sappy. It is a beautiful marriage of berry and soft tannin. Hunter Valley winemaker Steve Langham says this about his wine: “The idea is to capture as much of the essence of the grape as possible. The primary fruit flavours and aromas are all the wine has to offer. It’s a medley of ripe red fruits and berries. A bit of quality chocolate and a sip of this makes a black forest cake in your mouth.” When you drive through the Hunter Valley next, stop in at Piggs Peake and taste this wine. I reckon most will come away with a bottle or two and I just bet you find it as hard as I do to hold onto it for long. Good drinking.

Next are the aromas of red berries and finally the delicious clean floral flavour

NEWSmonth – Vol 31#4 2011


overview exchange news:

Exchange Postcard from Colorado, USA M

Exchanges to Colorado are becoming more and more popular; this is why:

that costs a dollar (woo hoo!) and tornado warning sirens all add to the mix of dayto-day events.

aths Teacher Philip Jirman is on exchange at New Vista High in Boulder Colorado, where he teaches a mixture of Year 9-12 students (in the same class). This Charter school is set up a little differently to his home school (a Catholic Diocesan 7-12 high school) and has provided some new and interesting experiences for him and his son Luke, who also attends the school. “Our end of year ‘sports day’ consisted of an ‘advisory Olympics’ with such competitions as human pyramid building, egg tossing and watermelon eating,” Philip says. “We have all taken a while to acclimatise to a new system, language, spelling and terminology. “Driving on the other side of the road, light switches that go up to turn on, beer

The weather ..... dry and 300 days of sunshine a year!

“In-service day at school on lockdown procedures was definitely a blast, with simulated assailants, bullets (only blanks) and swat responses. (Hair – grey, Undies – brown).

Skiing and snowboarding; within easy access and cheap! Beautiful scenery for hiking and biking! The exchange rate is excellent at the moment!

“Outside of school, we have taken advantage of the mountains to experience much of what Colorado has to offer including skiing, hiking, snowshoeing (hiking with tennis racquets on your feet) and other outdoor activities.

Shopping is great for clothes and food is good value .... particularly eating out! Colorado is within easy access to Yellowstone natioan Park and other great national parks, the west coast etc!

“There are still many things on our to-do-list (such as white water rafting) which we hope to get around to before our exchange year is over. There are loads of options within a short distance and lots of participants.”

People are very hospitable and friendly! (Right) Philip and Trish Jirman snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park. Philip and the Boulder police “Lock Down" team.

Get your nances in order next nancial year As tax time is approaching it is a good time to review nances. SGE Credit Union supports IEU members with all their nancial needs. Book a workplace visit today and let SGE help you and your colleagues with nances.

1300 364 400 www.sgecu.com.au

Book a workplace visit with SGE Credit Union! First Name

Surname

UP TO

Email

Department / Employer

Suburb and State

Work phone number

Best time to call

Workplace visit information Please place a tick alongside the products and services you would like SGE to discuss during your workplace visit.

Real cost of borrowing

Protect your assets

How to budget

Earn extra on your investments

Making a purchase, earn real rewards

Put it all together

6 0 . 1 0 . s t i 7 s 0 o p b e o d nus s term #

% PA

7.25

%* PA

%# PA

aver

CCR: 7.56%pa**

3 year xed home loan

Complete the form and send to SGE Credit Union.  1300 364 400  9687 2397  sge@sgecu.com.au  PO Box A253 Sydney South NSW Australia 1232  www.sgecu.com.au/ieu/visit.asp All products issued or arranged by SGE Credit Union Limited. ABN 72 087 650 637, AFSL/ACL No. 238311. 230 Clarence Street, Sydney, NSW 2000. This is general advice only and does not take into account your individual objectives, nancial situation or needs (‘your personal circumstances’). #Information and rates are current at the time of printing and are subject to change. Terms and Conditions/Fees & Charges apply and are available on our website (www.sgecu.com.au) or from your local SGE service centre. You should read and consider these before deciding whether to use any product. *Terms and Conditions, Credit Guide, Fees and Charges apply which are available on application, refer to Fees & Charges brochure. Rates current at time of printing. **Comparison rate of 7.56%pa based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Based on monthly repayments. Loan secured by mortgage. WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. A comparison rate schedule is available from any SGE Credit Union Service Centre or visit www.sgecu.com.au.

NEWSmonth – Vol 31#4 2011

17


“I really love teaching but... I’d love it even more if I could...” • focus more on teaching students • control how and who I teach • feel like I belong • be part of something successful

Locations available now!

In the market for a new car or electrical product? Union Shopper will help you save time and money. Phone or visit our website today to find out how.

1300 368 117

www.unionshopper.com.au/win1000

To find out how you can own a professional business in supplementary school education, fully supported by a global Australian head office and a network of 600+ centres in nearly 20 countries, email your name, address and number to receive an information pack. sydney@kipmcgrath.com.au (Sydney) kip@kipmcgrath.com.au (other areas)

Win $1000 cold, hard cash this winter with Union Shopper!

Make a car or electrical product enquiry by 31 August 2011 to go in the running to win $1000. * Make a car or electrical product purchase by 31 August 2011 to receive another entry in the $1000 prize draw. *

Franchisees Lisa Kerr and Peter Crow

* For terms and conditions, please visit www.unionshopper.com.au/win1000

Sydney Area: Alexandria, Bondi, Camden, Campbelltown, Camperdown, Casula, Chatswood, Darlinghurst, Ermington, Glebe, Granville, Green Valley, Matraville, Merrylands, Mosman, North Strathfield, Randwick, Richmond and Rockdale. Regional and country NSW and ACT: Albury, Armidale, Bateau Bay, Belmont, Bowral, Cessnock, Corrimal, Dapto, Gorokan, Gosford, Goulburn, Grafton, Kiama, Nelson Bay, Orange, Shellharbour, Singleton, Thirroul, Tuggeranong, Woden, Wyong

18

kipmcgrath.com.au

NEWSmonth – Vol 31#4 2011


overview

Food for thought “It’s always good to hear from women facing challenges throughout their careers.”

Women and equity -

achievement & action in the iWd centenary year 1 11t, 201 , 2u0s stg guu AuA l 99 e 11 t el re Ho e H t ot Mercu rcu orrge S e G e 0 St -82 818M Y George NE S-Y8D2 0 pm 81.485am - 3.3D0N EY 8 SY rs m e b m 3.30p or me $40 f5anmme-mbers o .4 n 8 or $80 f

2011 IEU Women’s Conference

ers memb ers r o f 0 $4 emb non m r o f 0 $8

Judith Adams, Therese Fitzgibbon and Marie MacTavish For further information contact Pam Smith or Betty Tan on 9779 3200 or toll free 1800 467 943 or pam@ieu.asn.au or betty@ieu.asn.au

T

he annual Women in Education dinner organised by the Newcastle branch is a popular event that provides members with a lot more than just food to mull over. St Patrick’s Wallsend Year 2 teacher Judith Adams has attended about four of the dinners and says the speakers are always inspirational. At the recent soiree she heard from ABC Journalist Carol Duncan, who spoke about her career in the media and the different obstacles she has faced “simply because she is a female”. “Everybody’s journey is different and it’s always good to hear from women facing many challenges throughout their careers,’’ Judith says. “We’ve heard from CSO principals in the past and they’ve given insights you would never normally hear. “It’s a nice evening because it’s casual and social and it gives you a chance to catch up with members from other schools and hear how they’re going. “You can really relax. The emphasis is on fun.” Judith has been an IEU Rep for about nine years and a member for 15. She’s also a Newcastle Rep on the Hunter Valley Branch Executive. “Mostly people only have something to do with the Union when they’ve got

NEWSmonth – Vol 31#4 2011

a gripe but it’s a lot bigger and broader than that,” Judith says. “The Union has done so much to help women with their careers, like paid maternity leave, and life will be easier for women in the future because of the Union.” IEU Organiser Therese Fitzgibbon says the event is “really an opportunity for women to relax and socialise while hearing interesting stories”. Therese also enjoyed Carol Duncan’s talk. “She shared her experience of being a woman in the cutthroat world of the media and explained how it felt to tell her new employers at the ABC that she was pregnant two weeks after starting her new role. “Kim Foster shared case studies about the impact of social web sites like Facebook on education and reminded us of the power of this form of communication. “As always we thank Pam Smith for the fundamental role she plays in making the dinner a success. Pam’s knowledge in the area of women’s rights and responsibilities, including the introduction of the government’s paid parental leave scheme, is always highly valued."

Keynote Speaker Ged Kearney – President Australian Council of Trade Unions

The IEU is an endorsed provider of NSW Institute of Teachers’ registered professional development for the maintenance of accreditation at Professional Competence. Scope of Endorsement – Elements 2,3,4,5,6 and 7 of the Professional Teaching Standards. WomensConf_11_fly.indd 1

29/04/11 1:41 PM

Workshops 1. Support for early career teachers and their mentors (Elizabeth Finlay – IEU)

5. Equity in the Classroom for Students with Special Needs - practical strategies

2. On Your Mark: Get Set – New 2012 health and safety framework (Esther Walsh – IEU)

(Patricia Murnane – IEU Executive member)

3. Protecting and enhancing equity in the workplace – the role of diocesan Equal Opportunity committees (EO Committe members)

6. Cyber Safety in Schools (Kellie Britnell – Australian Communications and Media Authority)

4. Building confidence at work (Natasha Flores and Michael Bracken – IEU)

For further information or a registration form, please contact Pam Smith or Bety Tan on 9779 3200 or 1800 467 943 or email betty@ieu.asn.au

Thank you to all the wonderful women who attended in 2011. We look forward to another successful event in 2012.

19


www.ieu.asn.au [ report from ] President

[ report from ] ECS

Chris Wilkinson

Gabrielle Connell ECS Vice President

Start of a new era

Plenty of action

T

he IEU’s Professional Development Program continues to develop and cater for all sectors of the membership. Pedagogy in the Pub has been popular, with sessions on Be Wary, Be Wise, and Conflict Resolution held at venues around the state. All sessions are also NSW Institute registered PD courses and are excellent for beginning teachers. Teach Survive Thrive held in May, was a conference for New Scheme Teachers and proved to be successful, with a variety of workshops that catered for all. A well attended Women in Education Dinner was held in Newcastle in May. The speakers kept the audience entertained as they addressed issues relating to balancing work and family, working in male-dominated industries and the impact of technology, especially social networking, Facebook and cyber bullying. Pam Smith gave an overview of gains made by unions for women workers in all sectors.

action in the IWD centenary year. Ged Kearney, the ACTU President, will deliver the keynote address. Registrations are now open, so put Friday 19 August in your diaries. After the success of the 2009 Environment Conference, the date has been set for this year's event. It’s on Friday, 21 October at the Mercure Hotel John Dee, the 2010 NSW Australian of the Year will be the keynote speaker. The theme this year is 'Growth in Education and Sustainability', which will give delegates a variety of practical ideas for the implementation of environmental education programs and how to apply for environmental grants to enhance your classroom and school. Only one week till the end of Term 2, exams, marking, reports, parent teacher nights, registrations and programs to complete, school musicals and other end of term activities. This is a busy time for all. Keep calm, so that you can enjoy your well-earned holiday. 

E

n regulation of OOSHC services.

arly Childhood Services are continuing to work towards the implementation of the National Quality Framework in 2012.

Services will still need to keep up to date with Department of Family and Community Services activities because of the important relationship between children’s services and child protection and other welfare and early intervention initiatives.

This is still in draft form but hopefully we will see the final document soon. The Education and Care Services National Regulation is also still in draft and Services have been asked to comment on these.

At this stage, funding will still be handled by DFACS so all funding issues should still be addressed to your CPO.

Services will be aware that we are now part of the Department of Education and Communities with a new Minister Adrian Piccoli.

Funding is still a big issue and preschools have been discussing new possibilities for a better and more equitable funding system for NSW into the future.

Mr Piccoli has been meeting with peak bodies and groups to determine the current situation and to find a positive way forward for children’s services in NSW.

One idea is to fund wages – and for teachers this would be an opportunity to continue with our campaign for pay parity.

DEC will now be responsible for:

This campaign is progressing with members continuing to show great support for the campaign. Information on the next stage of the campaign will be sent to services soon.

n regulation of children’s services (Preschools, LDC, Family Day Care and Home Based Care) n investigative powers, enforcement and compliance, and

Women's Conference is coming up and it should again be a great success.  The theme is Women and Equity —

[ report from ] Penrith-Blue Mountains

[ report from ] Independent Schools

Patricia Murnane Branch President

Why funding matters

Michelle Omeros Vice President, Non Systemic Schools

Workload, school funding and the upcoming award discussions for staff in Catholic systemic schools were major topics at May’s branch meeting.

Stop these sly laws

A

re you aware that O’Farrell’s policies are far worse than Howard’s WorkChoice reforms? The impact on the Industrial Relations Commission will be massive. They will no longer be able to operate as an independent umpire, as they will be guided by the O’Farrell Government.Their hands will be tied.

remunerated for the vital work that they perform on a daily basis, in order to build a better community, now and for future generations. Our support staff are the backbone of our schools. Don’t allow either group of employees to be stripped of the entitlements that have been fought for and won by our unions over many years.

Wages and conditions for public service teachers and non-teaching staff would be eroded. Independent school staff will feel the ramifications of these actions, even though they are in the federal system.

Don’t allow the O’Farrell Government to devalue us with his sly laws. He says one thing and means another. Join in any campaign by the Independent Education Union that will stop O’Farrell in his tracks.

Teachers provide quality education to our future trades people, teachers and lawyers. They need to be properly

He has a dangerous majority in State Parliament. We have to stand together and fight for what is ours.

20

The wide range of responsibilities and services that schools provide can mean staff are asked to do co-curricular activities for which there may be no budget allocation. Support staff may give unpaid time so administrative work is completed and coordinators may find themselves engaged in projects beyond their supervisory roles and may feel overworked or their staff feel overlooked. Teachers in ‘agile classrooms’ find their new routines require more meetings to organise and communicate between staff. Staff understand the importance of the ‘community’ concept underpinning schools but, ultimately, schools need to be funded adequately and not rely on the

goodwill of staff. The disconnect between what work staff do, or are ‘expected’ to do, and any award and salary negotiations and adequate funding, highlights the importance of the current Commonwealth Government review on funding for schooling. Members are encouraged to engage in and actively support the Union’s work towards better and fairer funding. Also at May’s meeting, Organiser David Towson was welcomed to the Branch. His presence will ease some of the load on existing organisers as the branch continues to grow. Congratulations went to members from Penrith Christian School who contributed to the IEU’s new publication, 'Christian Schools and the IEU'. The next meeting is: Wednesday, 3 August at Penrith Panthers Club.

NEWSmonth – Vol 31#4 2011


overview [ report from ] Landsdowne Branch

[ report from ] Principals Branch

Dave Towson Branch Organiser

Pam Smith Branch Organiser

Teachers' own time

Positive feedback

C

atholic systemic reps who attended the Lansdowne Branch Meeting in May reported that the IEU’s letter and poster on RFF were well received by members. The poster clarifies that RFF is a teacher’s professional time, the use of which is to be determined by the teachers themselves. As BER projects come to completion and opening ceremonies occur in schools across our Branch, reps reported on how pleased school communities are with the results produced by this extraordinary investment in our schools. The NSW Government’s public sector wage policy and the attack on the independence of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission was a major topic of discussion at Branch. Reps noted the importance of membership density in schools at this time, particularly in light of impending salary negations for agreements for all staff in Catholic schools at the end of this year.

One rep was justifiably proud in pointing out that his Chapter had recently achieved 100% density. He has since called the IEU asking for student membership forms for the university students currently placed at his school. The IEU encourages reps and members to invite student-teachers to join – membership is free for students. A Pedagogy in the Pub (PIP) workshop was held in March on Conflict Resolution at Fairfield RSL attended by 20 IEU members. Due to popular demand the PIP was repeated in May and attracted another 19 members. Congratulations to those who have been elected to Branch Committee positions: Bernadette O’Keefe (Branch President); Luke Breen (Branch Deputy President) and Michelle O’Keefe (Branch Secretary). On behalf of the Branch I would also like to thank Mark O’Sullivan who, after many years of service, has resigned from Council. His resignation opens up a casual vacancy that we hope to fill at the next Lansdowne Branch Meeting on 4 August.

Moving on movement he Hunter Valley Branch and Committee meetings have both resulted in endorsement for the notion of improving opportunities for teacher movement within the Diocese.

Simply put, the scheme allows for permanent employees to move on the clear understanding that they return to their substantive position when the temporary position expires.

Merit selection as a single mechanism does not ensure sufficient opportunities for existing staff.

The IEU will be seeking member support for a scheme which provides for permanent employees to apply for temporary positions and/or exchange positions within cluster groupings.

In existence already is a secondary scheme designed to facilitate movement and provide professional development opportunities between Year 7-10 schools and senior colleges.

The IEU also held its annual seminar for early career principals at the Union’s Parramatta office on 19 May with input from the Union, employers and experienced and new principals.

Aspect principals, who may cover five or more schools and services in their roles, are seeking salaries comparable with their DET and Catholic sector colleagues and the timing and percentage of future increases linked with Aspect teachers.

Other forthcoming principals’ activities include: n Parramatta principals’ breakfast meeting on 21 June n Sydney Southern Region principals’ breakfast on 22 June n Broken Bay meeting on 23 June n Maitland-Newcastle joint IEU/CSO seminar on 29 July on dealing with difficult situations n Bathurst Diocese principals’meeting on 11 August, and n Wagga Diocese principals on 2 November.

Aspect principals' update

Mark Northam Branch Organiser

Employment statistics reveal that temporary teachers already in a particular school win permanent positions.

The principals have not received a pay rise since April 2009 when Aspect deemed them to be ‘managers’, rather than adhering to the DET scale for special schools which has been the traditional basis of payment.

Planning is also underway for gatherings for principals in independent schools, including the Christian and Islamic sectors.

[ report from ] Hunter Valley Branch

T

The IEU has received positive feedback for the inter-diocesan principals’ gathering held in Mudgee in March, at which the Union hosted drinks for principals from the Maitland-Newcastle, Wilcannia-Forbes and Bathurst dioceses.

The Union met with its Aspect principal members on 17 March and 31 May to discuss progressing negotiations with Aspect for a suitable agreement for remuneration and conditions.

Discussions are continuing with Aspect and the AIS to achieve a suitable agreement to ensure greater clarity and certainty for this group of employees, some of whom have been working in the Autism support area for more than 20 years.

AITSL National Professional Standard for principals Principals Branch has previously engaged with the development of the National Professional Standard for Principals and will write to the NSW and ACT Ministers for Education requesting that the proposed National Standard not be endorsed until there are further opportunities for consideration by principals. Some of the concerns about the proposed National Standard relate to the social and interpersonal aspects of principalship, as well as to contextual, community and Indigenous perspectives.

The IEU already has agreements which provide $3000 for teachers who stay three years in remote schools and a guarantee that teachers from remote schools cannot be culled (ie, they are assured of an interview) after five years service. CORRECTION In Newsmonth [VOL 31 #3] May 2011 the article ‘Always on the move’ featured IEU member Carmel Bartkiewicz, however it referred to her as Carol. The IEU apologises to Carmel for the error.

NEWSmonth – Vol 31#4 2011

21


2011 IEU Race Day Wednesday 28 September, 2011 at Canterbury Park Racetrack The NSW/ACT Independent Education Union invites members and friends to once again join us for our race day. As is tradition, the entire sevenrace program, including the IEU Cup, will be sponsored by affiliated organisations only. Organise a group from your school, education facility or organisation. Group bookings are available for tables of 10 or more but any seating configuration can be arranged.

The cost of $65 per person includes:

Admission, members’ stand tickets, race book, buffet luncheon and drinks (wine, champagne, soft drinks and beer) served during the lunch period (2.5 hours)

Buffet Menu

Hot and cold entrees, quality buffet meats, chicken, salads, bread and a choice of desserts and cakes with tea, coffee. Vegetarian options available

Contact Helen Gregory 9779 32 00 or 1800 46 7 943 to or email ll free immedia : helen@ieu.as n.au tely to re serve yo Confirm ur place ation an . d tickets forwarde will be d payment. only on receipt of Cre are acce dit card paymen pted by telephon ts e.

If you haven’t already been a part of the IEU race day, then you don’t know what you’re missing! It’s a great fun day for members with prizes for both men and women, including best dressed, best hats, best ties and shoes. Talk to your colleagues and arrange a table.

CMYK

NO gimmicks. Just great health insurance. Find out more: www

SPOT 22

teachershealth.com.au 1300 728 188

Teachers Federation Health Ltd ABN 86 097 030 414 trading as Teachers Health Fund NSWACTIEU/AD-0611


Bernard O’Connor NGS Super

Absolutely Super: Reforms a win for transparency The Minister for Superannuation, the Honourable Bill Shorten, has been negotiating with industry stakeholders regarding the remuneration of financial planners for superannuation and insurance advice. He is seeking to implement reforms in the area because more protection is needed for consumers who often do not understand the full price they pay for financial advice or the nature of certain investments recommended to them. In his media release, Future of Financial Advice Prioritises Consumers (28 April 2011), Mr Shorten outlines the key elements of the proposed legislation which include: a requirement for financial advisers to obtain clients permission to ‘opt in’ for financial planning advice every two years; a ban on all commissions on risk insurance inside superannuation and a ban on volume-based payments to financial planners. There is also a ‘best interests’ duty which would require a planner to act in the client’s best interest, rather than their own. The opt-in provision is particularly significant because at present financial planners can include ongoing ‘trailing commissions’ when they ‘sell’ a financial product such as superannuation or insurance. This means that on a regular basis, fees are deducted from the buyer’s account for the entire time the individual is invested in the product. No ongoing permission from the consumer is required and often the consumer is unaware of the commission being deducted. So if a financial planner moves a member into a retail pension product for example, there may be an annual trailing commission payable from the account until there is a zero account balance. Sadly, member apathy contributes to the depletion of their account. The Industry Fund Forum and the Financial Planning Association stand at opposite ends of the spectrum on this issue for obvious reasons. The IFF has always contended that ongoing trailing commissions paid to financial planners should be banned as the super contributions are government mandated. In a study conducted by Rice Warner Actuaries commissioned by the Industry Super Network, five common advice scenarios were modelled and in each case the customer was better off paying a set or hourly fee as compared to paying ongoing asset based fees. David Whiteley, Industry Super Network CEO, said: “The Government’s reforms will ensure advice fees are NEWSmonth – Vol 31#4 2011

transparent. The ‘opt-in’ measure will ensure that consumers are not paying for advice that they do not receive and this will make advice a lot more affordable and accessible for ordinary Australians.”* In one example from the study the outcome for a member on a transition to retirement pension who had obtained a genuine ‘fee for service’, that is a set or hourly rate for advice, was $80,000 better off than a member who paid for ongoing advice subject to asset based fees. The Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms are intended to strengthen the financial planning industry by adding transparency around fees and charges so that more people will use financial planners in relation to important monetary decisions. Following the collapse of Storm, Trio and Westpoint, Mr Shorten has stated that the FOFA reforms are intended to, “encourage those people who have doubts and concerns about the value of such advice”** to take up financial planning advice on a fee for service model. NGS Super and other industry funds now offer financial planning advice to members on a fee for service basis. There are no ongoing commissions paid to planners and members receive an upfront quote as to the cost of the plan based on the hourly rates of the financial planners.

NEWS month Newsmonth is published eight times a year (two issues per term) by the NSW/ACT Independent Education Union. Editor: Dick Shearman (General Secretary) for and on behalf of the IEU Executive and members. Journalists:  Suzanne Kowalski-Roth, Tara de Boehmler, Sue Osborne and Daniel Long. Produced by: Wendy Rapee, Tara de Boehmler, Sue Osborne.

Contributions and letters from members are welcome. These do not reflect endorsement if printed, and may be edited for size and style at the Editor's discretion.They should be forwarded to: Newsmonth GPO Box 116 SYDNEY NSW 2001 The IEU office is located at: 176-182 Day Street, Sydney Telephone: (02) 9779 3200 Toll free: 1800 467 943 Facsimile: (02) 9261 8850 email: ieu@ieu.asn.au On the net: www.ieu.asn.au

NSW/ACT IEU EXECUTIVE Dick Shearman General Secretary

Gloria Taylor Deputy General Secretary

Carol Matthews

Full disclosure of fees provides transparency and certainty of cost. Bookings for NGS Financial Planning can be arranged through the Helpline on: 1300 133 177.

Assistant Secretary

Informed financial planning advice is critical for superannuation fund members who lack the experience and expertise to deal with large sums of money at retirement and at certain points during their working lives.

St Joseph’s Catholic College, East Gosford

Check the adviser’s credentials and consider the method of remuneration before accepting the advice from a financial planner, but remember that their expertise can help your standard of living in retirement. * Industry Super Network Media Release 30 May 2011 **The Hon Bill Shorten Media Release 28 April 2011 (Important information: The information in this article is general information only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a financial decision, please assess the appropriateness of the information to your individual circumstances, read the Product Disclosure Statement for any product you may be thinking of acquiring and consider seeking independent advice from a licensed or appropriately authorised financial adviser.

John Quessy Assistant Secretary

Chris Wilkinson President

Michelle Omeros Vice President Non-Systemic

St Euphemia College, Bankstown Bernadette Baker Vice President Systemic

St Columbkille's Primary School, Corrimal Carolyn Collins Vice President Support Staff

St Michael's Primary School, Nowra Gabrielle Connell

Advertising inquiries to Kayla Skorupan on 9779 3200. Such advertising is carried out to offset production costs to members and at commercial rates. It does not in any way reflect endorsement by the NSW/ACT IEU.

General Executive Members

John O’Neill Carroll College, Broulee Ann Rogers ASPECT South Coast School, Corrimal Pat Devery St Mary’s Cathedral College, Sydney Marty Fitzpatrick St Francis Xavier’s Primary School, Ballina Ralph Hunt The Armidale School, Armidale Denise McHugh McCarthy Catholic College, Tamworth Peter Mullins St Francis Xavier College, Florey Patricia Murnane Emmaus Catholic College, Kemps Creek Kevin Phillips St Francis Xavier’s College, Hamilton Michael Hagan Mater Maria College, Warriewood

Vice President ECS

Albury Preschool Kindergarten Francis Mahanay Vice President, ACT

Holy Family School, Gowrie, ACT Peter Moore Financial Officer

De La Salle College, Cronulla Marie MacTavish Financial Officer

St Joseph’s Primary School, East Maitland

23


{

Give Aways

To enter one of these giveaways put your name, membership number and address on the back of a stamped envelope addressed to Newsmonth Giveaway 1, 2 or 3 – NSW/ACT IEU, GPO Box 116, Sydney 2001 by Friday 15 July. Envelopes should be clearly marked with the relevant giveaway.

Giveaway 1

Giveaway 2

Giveaway 3

The Most Dangerous Man in the World

Indignez-Vouz (Bilingual English: French Edition)

Playground

Author: Andrew Fowler Melbourne University Press ISBN: 978 0 5228 58662 Three copies to giveaway Touted as the "definitive account of Wikileaks and the man who is as secretive as the organisations he targets", Australian investigative journalist Andrew Fowler (from ABC’s Four Corners and Foreign Correspondent) explores Julian Assange’s formative years and how his talent for computing led him to become a ‘game-changer in journalism and global politics’. The book has interviews with Assange, those closer to him and those estranged from him.

Stephane Hessel

Compiled by Nadia Wheatley; Illustration and Design by Ken Searle

Scribe Publications

Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 978 1 9218 44225

ISBN: 978 1 74237 097 2

Three copies to giveaway

Three copies to giveaway

It’s not often a brief political polemic tops the modern best seller lists and even rarer for the author to be a 93-year-old Frenchman. But author Stephane Hessel, veteran of the French resistance and concentration camp survivor, has struck a chord with young and old alike. Perhaps it’s the passion and the insight gleaned from helping to draft the UN’s Universal Declarations of Human Rights alongside Eleanor Roosevelt — or perhaps it’s the appeal of the non-violent message and the voice of a wise elder.

“In traditional times, kids didn’t have to set off from home in the morning in order to go to school. The whole country was a vast outdoor classroom, which contained everything that the First Children needed to know.” This beautiful book collects stories and memories from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about their childhood, the games they played and how they had fun. Eighty elders and 20 high school students have contributed to this book, making it a valuable resource crossing generations, geographies and communities.

We’re here to help you! NGS Super provides professional and informative workplace presentations on how to make the most of your super. These free presentations aim to demystify super as well as providing an opportunity to ask questions. So what are you waiting for? Contact NGS Super and book in for a presentation at your workplace today. www.ngssuper.com.au 1300 133 177

NGS Super Pty Limited ABN 46 003 491 487

24

This is general information only and does not take into account your NEWS – Vol 31#4 2011 objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a financial decision, please assess your individual circumstances, read the PDS for any product you may be thinking of acquiring and consider seeking professional advice.

month


Newsmonth: June, 2011 (Vol 31 / No.4)