Contents Secretorial: Gonski Setting a Firm Foundation For Funding Future
IEUA rejoins ACTU
2012 AGM and Council Meeting
IEU(SA) Education Program: Term 2, April–June 2012
Early Childhood Education
2012 Reps and Delegates Conference: Protective Practices—Managing the Minefield
Industrial: Protective Practices Guidelines: Do they apply to me?
Absolutely Super: Self-Managed Super Funds —The New Men’s Shed
GTs, PTs, HATs and LTs
Comings and Goings
Members@Work: Tyndale Christian School
Balancing Act: Changes to the Equal Opportunity in the Workplace Act
Life Quilt Project
OHS Project: 2011 Non-Government Schools OHS Audit
Frankly Speaking: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 22 New SACE Review
ISSN 1448–3637 Published by Independent Education Union (South Australia) Inc. 213–215 Currie Street, Adelaide SA 5000 Phone: (08) 8410 0122 Fax: (08) 8410 0282 Country Callers: 1800 634 815 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org EdU is published four times a year and has a circulation of approximately 4000. Enquiries regarding circulation should be directed to the Communications Coordinator on (08) 8410 0122. Editorial comment is the responsibility of Glen Seidel, Secretary.
Advertising Disclaimer Advertising is carried in EdU in order to minimise costs to members. Members are advised that advertising that appears in EdU does not in any way reflect any endorsement or otherwise of the advertised products and/or services by the Independent Education Union (SA). Intending advertisers should phone (08) 8410 0122.
IEU(SA) Executive Members Jenny Gilchrist (Prince Alfred College) (President) Glen Seidel (Secretary) Noel Karcher (Christian Brothers College) (Vice President) Marlene Maney (Cardijn College) (Vice President) Val Reinke (Nazareth College) (Treasurer) Christopher Burrows (Cardijn College)
International Women’s Day March: Keeping up with Tradition
ASU Women’s Breakfast
Save Time and Money with Union Shopper!
APHEDA: Millennium Development Goals: Child Labour
Adelaide Writers’ Week
Walking on eggshells...
What’s your problem? The ‘Ambush’ Meeting
John Coop (Rostrevor College) Michael Francis (Mercedes College) Anthony Haskell (Saint Ignatius’ College) Sheryl Hoffmann (Concordia College) Fil Isles (Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College)
Check out our New Website Online from May 2012 www.ieusa.org.au The fresh, new look website will be easier to navigate and to access updates and information. You can now update your details online to ensure we have current contact details and correct pay levels (so we can ensure we are charging you the right fees).
You can also elect to receive all of your correspondence, including the EdU journal, from us electronically. Just contact us on (08) 8410 0122 or email email@example.com If you haven’t filled out your 2012 member update form, go to www.ieusa.org.au and update your details today.
EdU April 2012 IEU(SA)
Gonski Setting a Firm Foundation For Funding Future Glen Seidel Secretary The old SES model was flawed and various grandfathering arrangements added complexity to an already complex system. Hopefully the yet-to-be devised measures of need will be transparent and robust.
The Gonski Report into the Review of School Funding has not replaced the method of funding Australia’s schools, but it has set the parameters for our state and federal leaders to overhaul it. The report recognises that schools have two sources of government funding and the total of the state and federal funding must be used when making funding comparisons between government and non-government schools. Despite tediously frequent debunking of the misuse of funding statistics, there are still some people who believe that non-government schools get more government funding than government schools. A search of the My School website will show this to be unsupported nonsense. When Catholic schools work on about 90% of the costs of a government school and still need to charge fees, they simply can’t be getting more than their state equivalents. The arithmetic just doesn’t work. David Gonski’s report provides the rationale for a new funding model for all schools which can finally end the public/private divide. It accepts the diversity of the school education sector and recognises the legitimacy of ongoing funding of non-government schools. It will just take an extra $5 billion and unprecedented state/federal cooperation to bring it about. Where the money is to come from is uncertain, but it is intended to be spent on establishing and funding a common resource standard for all schools and funding schools so that the resource standard is reached in all schools after taking into account available school resources. It is to be spent on:
• funding 20% to 90% of the resource standard for non-government schools • disability funding at the same level irrespective of sector and following the student • indexation based on the actual increases in education costs rather than general CPI • improving Australia’s ranking in international comparisons • funding ‘loadings’ on top of the resource standard based on disadvantage • transition arrangements so that the government’s promise that no school will lose a dollar can be kept.
The IEU(SA) submission to the enquiry focused strongly on members telling their own stories about their own schools. Those stories were submitted along with our covering submission. It is great to see the report focus on addressing disadvantage and special needs as this was a common theme in member stories. What we wanted was a funding system that: • recognised Catholic and independent schools as an integral part of the provision of public education in Australia • recognised that funding of schools was a joint state/federal responsibility • recognised fundamental levels of resourcing needed for any school • provided funding according to need and disadvantage • supported disability and special needs equally irrespective of sector • provided increased levels of funding to all sectors • provided transition arrangements for schools where changes may be significant. ... and you know what? That is essentially what Gonski recommended. If governments can get their collective acts together, we will end up with a better system for every Australian child. The devil is, however, in the detail. There is much work to be done, and the IEU will play its part in the consultation and politicisation processes. Stakeholders are generally happy with the report. Supporters of government schools see the potential for increases in funding to government schools, and that is appropriate in a transparent model based on standards and need. Many non-government schools also stand to gain for the very same reasons. Non-government schools will not be on any ‘hit lists’. The wealthier schools already receive correspondingly lower amounts of funding under the SES model. Those on ‘funding maintained’ grandfathering arrangements will have transition arrangements to smooth the shock of any reductions. Gonski’s report is well researched, thorough and balanced. It will, however, only be of academic interest if cash strapped state governments and a federal government fixated on returning to surplus can’t get their short arms to the bottoms of their deep pockets. The report can be downloaded from http://www.schoolfunding.gov.au/node/7
EdU April 2012 IEU(SA)
IEU(SA) Education Program Term 2, April–June 2012 All courses are held at the IEU office at 213 Currie Street, Adelaide.
Registration To register for any of these courses, please contact membership officer Carly Dale on (08) 8410 0122 or email firstname.lastname@example.org at your earliest convenience.
IEU Branch Representatives If you haven’t claimed any union training this year, you may be entitled to union training leave, paid for by your school. Check your enterprise agreement or contact the IEU for more information.
Introductory Representatives 9.15 am to 3.30 pm Friday 4 May • For new representatives or those still to receive training • How the IEU works • The role of IEU Reps
Organising in your Workplace 9.15 am to 3.30 pm Friday 11 May • • • •
Communication skills Shifting people into joining the union Identifying and developing union activists What is an organised workplace?
Representing Members and Handling Problems
All members of consultative committees in Catholic and Lutheran schools are entitled to one paid day of training on consultative committees delivered by the IEU.
Consultative Committees Friday 15 June Consultative committees can be effective, interesting and worthwhile. This one-day course looks at how to make your consultative committee work for the benefit of both members and management in your school and covers: • the role of union reps on consultative committees • the role of employer reps • reading and analysing your enterprise agreement • frequently asked questions about consultation, and • preparation for and participating in consultative committee meetings.
For all members Courses open to all IEU(SA) members.
Information Session: Advanced Skills Teacher Application 4.00 pm to 5.00 pm Monday 30 April, Tuesday 8 May, Wednesday 16 May
Workplace Wellbeing: Managing Conflict at Work 4.00 pm to 5.30 pm Wednesday 9 May, Wednesday 23 May, Wednesday 6 June
• Supporting members with problems • Conflict resolution
• What causes conflict at work? • Effects of conflict on the school, those involved and other workers • Dealing with bullying behavior as an individual and as a work group
Building Union Visibility
Slips, Trips and Falls
9.15 am to 3.30 pm
4.00 pm to 5.00 pm
Friday 22 June
Wednesday 20 June
• Union communications • Recruiting new members
• Why are injuries from slips, trips and falls so common in schools? • What can be done to minimise the risk of injuries
9.15 am to 3.30 pm Friday 25 May
Members of Consultative Committees
EdU April 2012 IEU(SA)
Lutheran Digest Louise Firrell Organiser/Educator
At the time of writing, the new Enterprise Agreement for South Australian Lutheran Schools has been circulated for staff to read and consider before casting their ballot.
Positions of Added Responsibility (formally PORs) will still be available with the same criteria which were in the former Agreement.
The Agreement has been a long time coming and it contains some significant changes. Perhaps the most radical departure from the previous agreement (and others currently in the non-government sector) is a departure from the teachers’ classification structure which originated in the old South Australian Teachers Non-Government Schools Award.
There are a number of improvements which have been agreed with regard to teachers’ workloads:
The new structure is designed to have a relationship with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) standards. There are four bands: Graduate, Proficient, Highly Accomplished Teacher (HAT) and Lead Teacher. Teachers will progress through the graduate and proficient increments for each FTE year of teaching. To progress to HAT a teacher must have an agreed Professional Development Plan and have completed the required Theology Accreditation Course and have been on the current Step 10 for at least one year FTE (which will be Proficient 5 (P5) in the new agreement). There is an application process (included in the agreement) for progression to Lead Teacher after a teacher has spent two years classified as an HAT. There are transition provisions for teachers who currently have AST status to enable them to apply for Lead Teacher status as soon as the agreement is approved. Salaries for these will be: • Graduate Teacher 1: $61,830 • Proficient Teacher 5: $82,643 • Highly Accomplished: $85,325 • Lead Teacher: $88,700
• 22.5 hours is the maximum student contact time for secondary teachers • part time teachers’ hours are to be timetabled within the following limits unless current arrangements are superior: 0.2 FTE
2 days or less
Above 0.2 but less than 0.4
3 days or less
Above 0.4 but less than 0.6
4 days or less
Above 0.6 but less than 0.8
4.5 days or less
• graduate teachers will receive an additional period of non-contact time per week for mentoring activities. For the first time the paid 14 weeks of Maternity and Adoption leave will not be treated as an allowance which means superannuation contributions will be paid and leave entitlements will be accrued. Another new entitlement is five days ceremonial or cultural leave per annum for Indigenous staff which will be in addition to any other leave entitlements. Previously there has been a nexus between the step 10 teachers’ salary and the LSO Grade 6, third increment salary. As a result of the restructure of the teachers’ salary scale a fourth increment for Grade 6 LSOs has been created.
EdU April 2012 IEU(SA)
Early Childhood Education Vesna Jadresic Early Childhood Organiser
In the last edition of EdU (November 2011), I wrote of the advent of the National Quality Reforms (coming into effect 1st January, 2012) for the Early Education Sector, touching on the potential challenges these Reforms will bring for those who work in the Sector as Educators and Co-Educators. My Project in the Sector in the second half of 2011 revealed, apart from the afore-mentioned issues, a passionate and dedicated workforce which voiced concern and nervousness around implementation, funding and recognition. Well, the 1st of January has come and gone ... so where are we at? Let me first recap the key changes that the Reforms have introduced: • improved educator/child ratios, with a view that each child will receive more individual attention • minimum qualification requirements for Educators/ Co-Educators in an effort to increase the base skill level of the workforce • a quality rating system designed to ensure the transparency of and access to information on the quality of service providers to Parents and Guardians of children • the establishment of ACECQA (Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority)—the national body which will oversee the implementation of the Reforms and ongoing processes.
The new Framework covers long day care, family day care, OSHC and pre-schools. The National body ACECQA has been established and is supporting our State Regulatory Authority, the Education and Early Childhood Services Registration and Standards Board SA in the implementation of the Reforms in our state. In addition, an Education and Child Development Legislation Reform Stakeholder Advisory Group was set up early in 2011, of which the IEU is a part, representing your views about the various elements of the Reforms. Many ECE providers will have completed, or are in the process of developing, their Quality Improvement Plans in order to demonstrate to the Standards Board what markers they have identified for change or improvement and what measures are to be undertaken in order to fully implement the national Early Years Learning Framework. Newly opened and existing services that are transitioning will be granted a service approval and given a Provisional rating (e.g. Not Yet Assessed Under the National Quality Framework) which will be in place until the first assessment is completed and a rating awarded. You will know that your service has been selected for assessment when you receive advice that the ratings process has started and you are formally requested to submit your Quality Improvement Plan. The process taken until the service receives its rating is a six step process taking about 20 weeks.
EdU April 2012 IEU(SA)
The IEU is present at these discussions representing our members, and we want to know your views.
Many of you will have completed, or are actively working towards, the minimum qualification requirements under the New Reforms—the minimum requirement being Cert III in Children’s Services. These must be completed by January 2014 when the new Educator/Child Ratios begin to be phased in. Many have asked ‘who pays for the qualifications?’ The cost is to be borne between the State and Federal Governments and your employer. And what about my years of experience working in the Sector, you may ask? You will still need to acquire your minimum qualifications, however, in the 2011/2012 Budget, the Australian Government announced a $9.2 million package for Recognised Prior Learning which will make it easier for ECE workers to obtain or upgrade their qualifications. Currently, many service providers are operating at 12 hours of Universal Access. By 2013, this will be raised to 15 hours per week for 40 weeks of the year. How will this affect my hours or workload? Will we get extra staff? What about if our service has children with disabilities? The Stakeholder Advisory Group has reconvened for this year and the first topic of discussion is Universal Access. Discussion papers have already been completed and include issues around workforce, service provisions to remote and isolated children, and services for children with disabilities. Recommendations coming out of these papers and the S.A.G will be utilised in the implementation of Universal Access. The IEU is present at these discussions representing our members, and we want to know your views.
Given that so much is expected of me as an ECE professional, will I be recognised for this? That’s up to you. In the Catholic sector, negotiations for the new Enterprise Agreement are about to get under way, and after much consultation with ECE workers in this sector, there will be claims to recognise their work and value through improved classifications and better pay. In the new Lutheran Enterprise Agreement, ECE workers have been recognised. Several AIS schools are currently negotiating their agreements, and ECE workers are rallying for recognition. The only way this will be achieved is through Union strength and unity. Stay tuned for upcoming events where your participation is important: • ECE Hub Group Event with guest speakers • Global Action Week (Education for All—campaigning for quality services for young children and for the improvement of the status of ECE professionals). The message is unmistakable:
BE VOCAL BE ACTIVE BE UNION
EdU April 2012 IEU(SA)
2012 Reps and Delegates Conference
Protective Practices—Managing the Minefield Gerry Conley Education Officer stressed that members should be consulted and ‘own’ the application of the Guidelines in their schools.
On Monday 27 February, 74 IEU Reps and Delegates arrived at the Education Development Centre, Hindmarsh, to participate in their 2012 Conference. The title of this year’s Conference was ‘Protective Practices—Managing the Minefield’. In September 2011, the Director of Catholic Education, the Executive Director of the Association of Independent Schools and the Chief Executive of the then Department of Education and Children’s Services signed off on a revised version of ‘Protective Practices for staff in their interactions with children and young people’. The guidelines outlined new requirements on social media usage and generally increased responsibilities and restrictions on staff in schools. The Conference aimed to explore the implications of the Guidelines for members through unpacking the good and the bad parts; hearing how various parties might respond to a case study; and discussing how Reps might work with their members to ensure the proper application of the Guidelines back in schools. After the acknowledgement of country and the official opening by IEU(SA) President, Jenny Gilchrist, the program began with a plenary workshop facilitated by Secretary, Glen Seidel. Participants had been asked to bring with them an answer to the question, ‘what one piece of advice could I give to a new staff member to help keep them safe?’ After information on the role of the Rep in bringing the Guidelines to the attention of members and in supporting members who could be at risk from undeserved allegations, Reps were asked to write their responses to the question on cards and pin them to a board in the gallery so that all participants could read how others might approach the issues of keeping safe. Many of these covered suggestions such as ‘avoid being alone with a student’; ‘when in doubt ask and ask again’; ‘report doubtful situations’; ‘be wary of who you have as Facebook friends’; ‘join the union’.
The keynote presentation on the industrial and legal aspects of the Guidelines was given by Anthony Odgers, Assistant Federal Secretary, IEU Australia. Anthony provided insight into how the Guidelines could be used in schools, the impracticalities in applying some of the suggestions for maintaining professional boundaries, particularly in country schools, and use of social networking sites. Anthony also
The morning break followed, and then one of the highlights of the day (as indicated by feedback), a panel of invited representatives from a range of involved organisations worked through a case study in a hypothetical, expertly facilitated by Anthony. Chris Lloyd, a Rep from Tenison Woods College, Mount Gambier, took on the role of the parent; Peter Winter from SAPOL’s Crime Prevention Section was representing the police role; Tony Houey, Deputy Principal Pembroke School and member of ANZELA, played the role of a lawyer; Wendy Hastings, Registrar, Teachers Registration Board SA, represented the Board’s role; Michael Kenny, Assistant Director, Human Resources, Catholic Education SA, was the Principal, and Glen Seidel the union industrial officer in the case of student Summer Smith-Bertolucci and her teacher Mr Allen. Participants overwhelmingly found this an entertaining but informative approach to a potentially serious issue, and appreciated the involvement and information provided by each panel member. After lunch, Conference participants separated into groups with their Organisers to discuss the most effective way of getting information on implications of the revised Protective Practices guidelines to members, and how to get school management to recognise that staff needed more than just being told the Guidelines existed or an overview of what they contained, which seems to have happened in most schools. As a result of this session, the reps and delegates present passed the following motion prior to the Conference closure: ‘That this Conference direct the Secretary to communicate with the heads of the Catholic, Lutheran and Independent sectors with a view to employers providing meaningful and timely in-service for all staff into the application of “Protective Practices” guidelines in each school.’ Since the Conference, these letters have been sent to the three sectors and we know that some Reps have approached their Principals asking for staff information sessions on how the Guidelines will be applied in their school. The Conference officially closed around 3.15 pm, but Reps from Catholic and Lutheran schools then took the opportunity to discuss progression with their Enterprise Agreements, and many from Independent schools stayed back to network and talk with organisers over refreshments. Another successful IEU Reps and Delegates Conference concluded. We look forward to seeing you all (and more) next year!
EdU April 2012 IEU(SA)
Protective Practices Guidelines: Do they apply to me? Glen Seidel Secretary The third edition of Protective Practices Guidelines (PPG)—Protective practices for staff in their interactions with children and young people: guidelines for staff working or volunteering in education and care settings— was signed off by the three employer groups (CESA, AISSA and DECD) in 2011, and includes new directives/guidance on social media, web and email and recording devices. The foreword says the purpose of PPG is to ‘establish positive, caring and respectful relationships with children and young people’ and to ‘contribute to safer, happier and more successful education and care environments’. It applies to all staff and volunteers in schools, boarding houses, and at interschool and after hours events, and extends to after students have left school. It claims employees 24/7, with no such thing as ‘off duty’. It is based on the principles of a duty of care for the physical and psychological safety of young people, and maintaining professional boundaries. Pages eight and nine outline the obvious areas of post-school relationships, touch and contact, communication and place. The new areas tend to relate to electronic developments: • restrictions on recording pictures, audio, moving images • restrictions on use of your own equipment versus school equipment • principal and parent permission required to record images etc. • restrictions on storing images etc. on own equipment • restrictions on publishing images etc. • use of email/SMS for professional and private communications • restrictions on Facebook ‘friends’ and content —but has no comment on parent or student use of Facebook, ratemyteachers, etc. • country and local community social issues are specifically addressed. As much as the IEU was invited to offer comments on a near final draft, it must be realised that this is an employer document and was not negotiated with the education unions. It is designed to protect the employer from recriminations as much as to protect employees from coming to attention for inadvertent and naïve behaviours.
At the 2012 Conference, Anthony Odgers, IEUA Assistant Federal Secretary, critiqued the document against the background of legal principles and practicality, but like it or not, it will be used in investigations, courts, tribunals and the TRB as the community standard! This document will be used as much as a weapon against employees as a shield to protect them. One would have to be stupid to deliberately flout the PPGs and expect to be able to salvage one’s career, reputation and family with a rear guard legal action where your innocence is proven in a dramatic court room scene. That is TV, and we are in the real world where justice always takes a back seat to brutal pragmatism and counter-intuitive findings. Reps and members in the work place are best placed to look after each other before a problem arises. By the time a set of allegations is issued and the IEU Organiser is called in to assist the member through the investigation process, we are entering territory where even the ‘innocent’ don’t escape unscathed. Branch Reps will sometimes be called upon to assist a member in the early stages of an investigation. It is critical that the advice of an IEU Organiser is obtained at the earliest stage, as a poorly presented initial response and ill-considered statements and responses can be very difficult to redress at a later stage. We do not resile from the need to out ‘evil’ from our midst, but the process of addressing allegations must be able to discriminate between ‘evil’ and cases of vexatious or misguided allegations, acceptable context, and where there is no malevolent intention. Non-members do not have access to the support of the IEU Rep as a support person, nor to Organiser advice or advocacy. They have chosen to go it alone and should use the fees they have saved over the years to pay for their own legal defence. The ‘community’ the IEU supports is the member community rather than the school community as such. The Rep’s or support person’s role is not to: • investigate and determine the difference between evil and naive. The ‘evil’ are generally better at spinning plausible yarns than the ‘naïve’ • protect the evil • pre-judge guilt/innocence or take sides • compromise their own mandatory reporting obligations.
EdU April 2012 IEU(SA)
Self-Managed Super Funds—The New Men’s Shed Bernard O’Connor NGS Super email@example.com
Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) have grown in popularity because many people prefer to choose their own investments and thus have greater control of their retirement savings. The idea may certainly be appealing to many and may be the best option for some, but the true cost of establishing and maintaining an SMSF can be misrepresented by agents who receive a significant payment for their services. The core question is: are tax agents and/or financial planners who recommend setting up a Self-Managed Super Fund acting in the best interests of their client? Or, are they simply looking after themselves? If you are considering establishing an SMSF, the following legal requirements must be met: an SMSF trust deed, documentation regarding the appointment of trustees and declarations, ATO lodgement to become a regulated SMSF, a Tax File Number, an Australian Business Number, a sample investment strategy, resolutions and minutes of meeting to establish an SMSF as well as new bank and broker accounts. Once these hurdles are overcome, you must decide whether you would prefer a corporate trustee or an individual trustee, as each category has different rules. Your investment strategy must reflect risk management and diversification to ensure you maximise member returns so that you can pay the benefits as members retire, as well as paying the actual cost of running the Self-Managed Super Fund. A trustee of an SMSF must also ensure compliance with the ‘in-house assets’ rule and the requirement that investments must be made and maintained at arms-length or reflective of true market value and the ‘sole purpose’ test. As a trustee of an SMSF, you will have to lodge an annual return to the ATO which reports income tax, super regulatory information, member contributions, as well as a payment of the supervisory levy.
Of course all of the above can be done by your tax agent or financial advisor—for a price. That is precisely why the SMSF sector is growing at a rapid rate. The fees and commissions charged by advisers and tax agents provide a strong incentive for them to promote these products. So the real questions become: Do I need a new shed or do I want to stay in the big shed? Or put another way, will the benefits of an SMSF outweigh the fees and charges paid to tax agents and/or financial advisers? Am I better off using the investment options already available in my current fund? And finally, am I competent at selecting investments and balancing asset allocations for the short, medium and longterm, or do I want the professionals to do it for me? It is a given that some individuals like to ‘tinker’ in the shed, but when retirement savings are at stake it becomes a much more important matter. So if you are considering an SMSF, it is important to crunch the numbers. Be sure you ask the right questions to find out how much the promoter of this product will be paid, and be clear about the annual running fees. Think about the investment options in your current fund and the ability you have to mix them to suit your risk tolerance—the range is there from Shares to Cash. And finally, check the fees your industry fund charges to determine if it would be prudent to set up a Self-Managed Super Fund. (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 professional advice.)
EdU April 2012 IEU(SA)
GTs, PTs, HATs and LTs Bruno Sartoretto Organiser
Of course, we are talking the National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST): • • • •
GTs are Graduating Teachers PTs are Proficient Teachers HATs are Highly Accomplished Teachers LTs are Lead Teachers.
There is little doubt that the vast majority of teachers would be able to demonstrate their proficiency at the various levels. Schools are happy to tell the broader community how well their teachers are performing and will boast good NAPLAN results, but are they willing to pay accordingly? So what’s the problem with having a model and terminology to describe the point a teacher is at in their career development? Practical issues are raised when considering the National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST).
Advantage of being a HAT or LT There is no associated salary structure, time consideration or compensation in any form available to these teachers. The only advantage is that they can include it on their CV and hopefully this will move them up the application line when job hunting.
NPST in Enterprise Agreements Employers are starting to use the terminology and standards that have been developed by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) in local enterprise agreement negotiations. This can be problematic as there is a disconnect between the underlying AITSL philosophy and the more pragmatic and base objectives of EA negotiations.
Ambiguity and confusion There is a great risk of confusing the classification of teachers across sectors and across schools. Generally a Step 10 teacher is Step 10 throughout the South Australian non-government sector, and AST (Advanced Skills Teacher) is available in most South Australian non-government schools. With the evolution of different adaptations of the NPST jargon, there will be little ability to compare or transfer classifications within SA, let alone across borders. This is not what AITSL had in mind when drafting the Professional Teacher Standards.
Transferability AITSL suggests that HAT and LT are to be transferable across sectors and states, but there is no ability to have any corresponding remuneration follow the teacher. There may be situations where no extra remuneration at all is received for the classification.
Tenure and review Just as there is no universal appointment mechanism, neither is there any consistent system for periodic review. The 2012 Lutheran EA Teacher classification structure parallels the current step system in other non-government schools, with HATs and LTs as icing on the cake. There is, however, provision for the HAT and LT classification to be reduced to an equivalent Step 10, or in this case a P5 level, if conditions are not met.
EdU April 2012 IEU(SA)
Progression through the stages
Cost Transfer to Schools
The NPST classification structure is not based on time served or an annual step-wise progression.
This is going to be a significant cost to schools and sectors where the observations need to occur during school time. Frankly, I don’t see this happening. If the process is conducted internally at each school, impartiality will be sacrificed in the attempt to transfer the cost from a central authority to a local site. Again the question needs to be asked; who will apply to become a HAT or LT and who will willingly take on even more work to assess the applicants?
Graduate Teachers are obviously in their initial few years of work, but from there, once a teacher can demonstrate competency in the remaining standards, any level can be achieved without going through the intervening stages. Schools following a customary step-wise progression will probably be reluctant to recognise the LT status of an outstanding but relatively inexperienced teacher.
Assessment and Evidence The AITSL National Professional Standards for Teachers model is designed to have an independent, external model of assessment of teachers who apply for HAT or LT. This will require skilled staff, trained and released from duties for an extensive period of time to pre-assess, observe and assess, de-brief and converse with the applicant. If the application process is likely to be onerous and daunting, the task of assessing is not likely to be an attractive option without adequate resourcing and remuneration.
Next Steps The National Professional Standards for Teachers are a good idea. The next step is to remove any confusion through the development of an agreed salary structure so that the portability of the classifications can be honoured in the fashion that AITSL envisages. Which government is going to back it with the necessary resources? Which state governments are going to ‘harmonise’ the industrial aspects of NPST without having someone else pay for it?
Comings and Goings John Coop John, after spending the year with us as an Organiser, has decided to return to the classroom at Rostrevor. He was obviously heart-broken by his decision, as evidenced by our most recent pic of him. We are grateful for John’s input during his short time with us. He ended up with a few interesting industrial matters which he tackled with the same tenacity and energy as with the rest of his work. John will be returning to his elected position on executive from which he had taken leave during his period of employment.
Lesley Till Lesley is an experienced and passionate Organiser who joins us in term two to expand our organising capability on the ground. Her experience as a growth Organiser in her previous Union, the ASU, will be invaluable as we focus on growing the levels of membership density that give us unequivocal representational authority at the negotiating table and on the ground. 40 worksites will be lucky enough to have the support of Lesley as she assists members and Reps to grow active, effective Branches.
Marion Ryan Marion will be working with us for 2012 in the role of Growth Organiser. We appreciate her school’s willingness to grant the leave for Marion to pursue her passion for working with members and growing the Union. Marion will be taking leave from the executive for 2012 too. Marion, unlike the other Organisers, does not have an allocated set of school sites to organise, but will be deployed where her support is needed to supplement activities on the ground. Initially, Catholic schools can expect to see Marion as we campaign around the Catholic EA negotiations and garner the support of numbers through membership growth and involvement.
EdU April 2012 IEU(SA)
Members@Work Tyndale Christian School
Anne Edwards Organiser
Tyndale Christian School is a Reception to Year 12 school with 1400 students. It is located at the old Salisbury CAE site. The school has 95 Commonwealth approved places for students with disabilities, and over 200 students enrolled at the school have a diagnosed learning need. These include Language Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Autism/Aspergers Spectrum disorders, Central Auditory Processing Disorder, Dyslexia, Tourettes, Cerebal Palsy, Spina Bifida and a variety of medical conditions. IEU Rep Sue Bailey is the PA to the Director of Special Education at Tyndale. She has been working in the Special Education area at the school for over 12 years. Sue completed a two year child care course run by the National Nursery Examination Board in England prior to coming to Australia. Sue says that her passion has always been working with children, and she first worked in Special Needs in the early 90s and loved it. ‘An added bonus was the opportunity to work in a Christian school where I could freely share my faith,’ says Sue. ‘The relationship you build with students and their families is one of the most rewarding things about my job. I am still in contact with some of the families that have now left the school. I love to see the progress
IEU Rep Sue Bailey
the students make. It’s wonderful to see a student with a significant disability, that I worked with extensively in the Junior School, succeed in Year 12’. To support these students, the school used their BER funding money to build a 1,000m2 Special Education Centre. The centre was opened in March 2011 by Mark Butler, Member for Port Adelaide, and Tony Zappia, Member for Makin.
Tyndale Christian School’s Special Education Centre
EdU April 2012 IEU(SA)
Changes to the Equal Opportunity in the Workplace Act Louise Firrell Organiser/Educator The Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) is an Australian government agency. Its role is to administer the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999 (Commonwealth), and through education, assist organisations to achieve equal opportunity for women. The Agency is primarily a regulatory body, whose role is to annually monitor the reporting of eligible Australian organisations on equal opportunity for women in their workplaces. The Agency also has responsibility to undertake research, educational and other programs, and more generally, promote the understanding of equal opportunity for women in the workplace within the community. Currently a new bill, the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Amendment Bill 2012, has been introduced into parliament. Once passed it will require gender equality reporting obligations for employers of more than 100 employees, which will be phased in over the next two years. The legislation will establish a new Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) and a more stringent reporting framework than the current requirements. The new obligations include making the reports available to employees and shareholders, informing unions that the public version of the report has been lodged, and telling employees and unions that they have the opportunity to comment on the report.
The new-format reports from May 2014 will have to be signed by the company’s chief executive and will be required to address the following indicators: • workforce gender composition • board gender composition • equal remuneration • availability of flexible working arrangements for employees, including those with family or caring responsibilities • employee consultation on workplace gender equality • any other matters specified in an instrument made by the Minister (any subsequent regulations). The bill also provides that if an employer drops below the 100-employee threshold, the new requirements will continue to apply until numbers drop below 80. Currently it is thought that up to one third of enterprises with more than 100 employees have not identified themselves to the EOWA and are therefore not reporting. The Government plans to introduce further legislation to allow the Australian Taxation Office to give the WGEA a list of all businesses employing more than 100 people. If your school has more than 100 employees, or you are interested in reading any of the reports that have been lodged with the EOWA, you can search their database at http://www.eowa.gov.au/Reporting_And_Compliance/ Online_Searchable_Database_Of_Reports.asp
In addition, employers from next year will face the new Act’s sanctions for providing false or misleading information in a report, its consequences for non-compliance, and the agency’s new power to review compliance with the Act. Employers of more than 100 employees will then have to fully comply with the new reporting framework in reports due on May 1, 2014.
Life Quilt Project SA Unions has been involved with the Life Quilt Project over the past 12 months. The quilt is a memorial to those who have died at work and has been stitched by their families and loved ones. It will be used for raising awareness in local councils, community centres and schools. If you are interested in displaying it at your school contact the Working Women’s Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (08) 8410 6499.
EdU April 2012 IEU(SA)
2011 Non-Government Schools OHS Audit Gerry Conley OHSW Project Officer In September last year, all Principals in SA NonGovernment schools were invited to participate in an OHS survey as part of the ‘Safer Schools’ Project. Titled the ‘2011 Non-Government Education Health and Safety Audit’, the survey forms were mailed out under the IEU and Safework SA logos with a reply paid Safework SA envelope. The Lutheran Schools Association’s (LSA) logo was included in the forms for Lutheran schools, as the LSA wanted to participate in the joint promotion of the audit and were interested in the information from respondent Lutheran schools. The survey asked management in non-government schools, early learning centres and adult training organisations: • whether there were employee elected Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) in their schools and whether these had participated in approved Safework SA training • did the school have a Health and Safety Committee (HSC), and had HSC members been trained? Other information sought included: • what other consultative arrangements existed that allowed employee input into workplace health and safety decisions • what procedures were in place for the election and training of HSRs and HSC members, and • whether the school had procedures which allowed HSRs to take time off work to perform their functions. 241 survey forms were distributed but by the close-off date of 30 September, only 32 had been returned to Safework. Phone follow up and emailing the survey form to outstanding schools through October and November resulted in a further 51 forms being returned. The survey itself was by invitation, but Safework HSR and HSC registration forms were also included in the original mailout, and many schools returned these but not the survey form. The response breakdown from sectors was AISSA schools, 16; Catholic, 31; Lutheran, 31; other independent, five. The survey revealed that there are 76 HSRs in non-government schools, 14 in AISSA schools, six in Catholic schools and 36 in Lutheran schools. As only nine of these had completed Safework approved training, school Principals will be followed up to ensure that their HSRs are able to participate in the required five day training course. 72 schools indicated they had active health and safety committees, but once again most HSC members had not participated in approved training.
All responding schools indicated that health and safety was discussed in other forums such as Consultative Committees, or in small schools as an item on the Staff meeting agenda. The majority of schools also had procedures in place for the election of HSRs, and to allow HSRs time away from work to perform their functions. The survey proved useful for Safework in providing registration information on HSRs and HSCs in nongovernment education. There is a disparity between the number of HSRs registered with Safework and the number identified in the survey, so those schools who indicated that they had elected HSRs will be approached to ensure that all their HSRs complete the Safework Notification of Election form as is required by the Occcupational Health, Safety and Welfare legislation. Many more schools, however, have registered their Health and Safety Committees. Over 70 percent of Catholic and Lutheran schools and 50 percent of other independent schools have now registered their Committees with Safework. It is also a legal requirement that all HSCs must be registered with Safework. The next survey of employers will be in 2014 at the end of the Project. It is hoped that through building relationships with employers as the Project progresses, we can improve the response by then. As well as raising awareness at the workplace level through being involved in surveys, information like this assists employees, the IEU, employers, employer groups and the State Government through Safework SA, assessing how the health and safety legal framework is progressing in non-government education. So now we have completed the employer survey, the next step will be a survey of IEU Representatives, HSRs and Consultative Committee members to see how effective their schools’ health and safety structures are in addressing workplace issues. It will also ask for information on what Reps believe are the principal health and safety hazards in their workplaces and what training would best meet the needs of members in their schools.
EdU April 2012 IEU(SA)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Frank Bernardi Industrial Organiser
The Good Good news should always be celebrated, and so it is worth summarising welcome developments at St Columba College. Recently, members of the IEU Branch had raised several issues about the school’s staff dress code, which was under review, to their IEU Reps. The Branch Reps invited their IEU Organiser to a Branch meeting, and a discussion was held around the particular issues raised. At that meeting the Branch drafted the concerns into a grievance around four issues. For each issue, the cause and a remedy must be stated. The remedy can sometimes be the hardest part of developing a grievance. It is often easy to recognise what is ‘wrong’, but it can become complex identifying how to resolve the problem. Management responded in a reasonable and pragmatic manner, and after both sides made concessions, by meeting’s end, resolutions were achieved that were acceptable to both the employer and the Union Branch for all issues. It was a win-win situation, and both groups need to be congratulated for the cordial and professional manner in which the process was conducted. This could clearly be held up as a model of good practice.
The Bad During the course of last year there were a rash of concerns raised by members at different sites where management had decided to ‘survey’ parents and or students about ‘school’ (read teacher) performance. This in itself is not necessarily a bad thing. To seek feedback from stakeholders about the quality of delivery of educational outcomes is understandable. How this is done is the important consideration. This will determine if the review has any legitimacy amongst the various stakeholders. Common sense would suggest that management would consult with teaching staff before undertaking such a process. Unfortunately, this was not the case at several metropolitan Catholic schools during the course of 2011. At St Augustine’s Parish School, for example, management had designed ‘surveys’ and organised for their distribution without staff involvement.
It is easy to understand, in such circumstances, suspicion being aroused as to the motive of such a process if a key stakeholder is excluded from the process. If staff are not involved and the purpose of the survey is not clear, then it is understandable members will become alarmed. There have been other times when staff have had ‘survey’ information used against them in a punitive manner (e.g. Nazareth Catholic Community College— primary campus). At St Augustine’s, after concerns were aired by the IEU Branch, the principal held a recess time meeting at which a vote was held to determine if the survey should go home. The staff voted unanimously to reject the survey. If your school decides it wants to go down the path of ‘community consultation’ about teacher performance, it is essential that genuine consultation occur to establish: • • • •
what is the purpose of the survey? what questions need to be asked to achieve this? who will have access to the information? how will the information be used?
The Ugly Several years ago the defining St Margaret Mary’s SCT/ OPA case before the SA Industrial Relations Commission clarified that when schools expect teachers to open the doors of their classroom and be responsible for their students is counted as student contact time (SCT). Since that defining decision, the IEU expected that all schools would have abided by that decision. We were wrong. Nazareth Catholic College (primary campus) required classroom doors to open at 8.30am and students to be supervised till 8.50am, when lessons commenced, and this was to be done by staff who ‘volunteered’—unrecognised and uncounted work. After several unsuccessful attempts to have the school address the issue at the local level, the issue was directed to the ECC (Enterprise Consultative Committee). This also failed. Before taking the matter to Fair Work Australia (as a dispute), the school responded by presenting the staff with a morning ‘yard’ duty roster to cover the 8.30 to 8.50 timeslot, with the ‘yard’ duties to be done in classrooms. Yes, ‘yard’ duties in the classroom. A year seven teacher, for example could be rostered to do a ‘yard duty’ in the year three unit. Hence while the year three teachers are getting organised for the start of the day in their unit, they must contend with another teacher doing yard duty, as well as students and parents in the room! In the most recent development, management have now allowed staff to volunteer to do the ‘yard’ duty in their own units! This disingenuous employer tactic will now be fought in Fair Work Australia and at the upcoming Enterprise Agreement negotiations. This has the potential to affect all worksites and all teachers. Other Branches may be called to action to assist the Nazareth College primary campus!
EdU April 2012 IEU(SA)
Save Time and Money with Union Shopper! IEU(SA) members can save big dollars on a huge range of products and services by using Union Shopper, a free discount shopping service for union members. Union Shopper is a union-owned service that has been providing union members with savings for over 35 years. On average, Union Shopper members save 9–13% off their best price on electrical products, including televisions, DVD players, ovens, and fridges. Our electrical purchasing service is among our most popular money-saving services. Simply phone 1300 368 117 with the details of the product you wish to purchase, including make, model, warranty information and your best price (including delivery), and Union Shopper will do the leg work for you. ‘Over the years, when needing to purchase white goods and assorted items for the home it has been our family’s practice to do the rounds of the various stores to check prices and attempt to get a good deal for our dollar,’ said happy member Kathy Patterson. ‘Despite visits to stores that claim to offer discounted competitive pricing, we always contact Union Shopper with the price we had been quoted to see if they can get us a lower price for our goods. Union Shopper has never let us down and we have, without exception, been able to purchase our selected goods at a lower than quoted price.’ Union Shopper Motor Market saves members time and money on new and used car purchases. Our network of reputable car dealers allows us to supply new and used cars at great prices. To be part of the savings, simply decide on the make and model of the vehicle you wish to purchase, then call Union Shopper Motor Market on 1300 368 117 with your preferences, prices and requirements. ‘Union Shopper Motor Market made the whole process of selling and buying a new car hassle-free and seamless, and I saved $2,500 on my new Kluger with Motor Market, who provided a very professional and efficient service,’ said happy member Kevin Lee. ‘I have now used Motor Market to purchase my last three cars and will continue to recommend Motor Market to anyone contemplating buying a new car.’ Union Shopper reduces holiday costs, with a number of hotels and resorts offering discounted rates for members, including Quickbeds and Departure Lounge.
‘Since discovering that Union Shopper has partnered with Quickbeds, offering discounted accommodation, it was a bonus to receive an extra 3% discount and no credit card or booking fees ... got to love great accommodation at great prices,’ said happy member Michelle MacKintosh. To book through Quickbeds, visit unionshopper.com.au/bookmybed Departure Lounge offers members up to 50% off popular holiday destinations Australia-wide on selected Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree accommodation. To book, visit unionshopper.com.au/deplounge Save on holiday packages, international airfares, travel insurance, cruises and snow holidays with Shopper Travel. Have details of your journey handy and the Shopper Travel team will work to deliver you with an ideal travel package, at the best possible price. Call 1300 369 336 to speak with our highly experienced travel consultants. ‘We saved hundreds of dollars off a skiing holiday by booking through Shopper Travel, and the service is always friendly and efficient,’ said happy member Janet Knuckey. Hertz offers mates’ rates to all IEU members, with savings on regular cars and commercial vehicles. For reservations, call Hertz on 13 30 39 or visit hertz.com.au and remember to quote the CDP number ‘28121’. Union Shopper also offers a minimum 10% discount on over 2000 attractions Australia-wide and in New Zealand, with savings of 50% or more often offered as specials. To book, visit unionshopper.com.au/leisure Doubleday offers 50% off members’ first online orders over $20 and free delivery on all items, including books, music, DVDs and computer games (conditions apply). To order, simply visit unionshopper.com.au/doubleday Union Shopper even helps members save on groceries, with Coles and Woolworths WISH gift cards reduced by 5% (credit card fees and other conditions may apply). Union Shopper’s monthly specials e-newsletter, e-Update, is emailed every month for members to make the most of current bargains. To receive e-Update monthly and to enter into a prize draw to win a fantastic $2000 Shopper Travel holiday voucher, visit unionshopper.com.au today. To find out more about Union Shopper’s range of products and services, or to make a money-saving purchase, call 1300 368 117 or visit unionshopper.com.au
EdU April 2012 IEU(SA)
Millennium Development Goals
Child Labour The second Millennium Development Goal (MDG) aims to ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.
One of the main obstacles to universal primary education is that many children, due to family poverty, are forced to work. Some children work part of the year, and attend schooling at other times, while many work full time and are completely deprived of an education. A recent report by the ILO entitled Accelerating Action Against Child Labour shows how far we have to go before this MDG is realised. Some of the report’s key findings included: • child labour showed a 3% reduction in the reporting period (2004–2008) • the number of child labourers globally stands at 215 million • there are still 115 million children in hazardous work • there has been an alarming 20% increase in child labour in the 15–17 years age group.
In some countries, the number of children in child labour almost matches the number of unemployed adults. Governments, especially in south Asian and Sub-Saharan African countries—where the rates of child labour are the worst—need to prioritise strengthening and implementing legislation against child labour. Governments need to put into place structures which provide decent work for the parents, rather than exploitative work for their children, and commit to providing free and adequate primary education for all children. Building schools and training and paying teachers may be expensive, but the alternative—whole generations of uneducated children, working instead of learning—will be a much more expensive impediment to that country’s growth and productivity in future years.
The ILO report showed a welcome 15% decrease in the number of girls in child labour and a 24% decline in the number of girls in hazardous work. However, the number of boys in child labour actually increased and the extent of hazardous work among boys did not change. With regard to children aged 5–14, the Asian-Pacific region and Latin America and the Caribbean have experienced a decrease in child labour. In contrast, for the same age group in Sub-Saharan Africa, the number of child labourers is increasing. The Sub-Saharan Africa situation is particularly alarming with one in four children aged 5–17 in child labour, compared to one in eight in Asia-Pacific, and one in ten in Latin America and the Caribbean. Most child labourers continue to work in agriculture (60 percent). Only one in five working children is actually paid. The overwhelming majority are unpaid family workers. While the positive news is that rates of child labour continue to decline, the rate of decrease is worryingly slow with a decline of just 3% in recent years. There has also been progress in the ratification of ILO standards concerning child labour. However, one third of all children live in countries which are yet to ratify.
Photograph © David Parker Children carrying bricks in a brick kiln
Our Projects With support from Unions NSW and individual donors, we are assisting a project in the Philippines which provides a safe, hygienic day care centre for children who would otherwise be garbage picking on Manila’s dumps. The day care centre provides a very basic level of eduction to prepare those fortunate enough to later attend primary school, as well as a nutritious breakfast every morning, regular health check-ups and education for mothers on sanitation, nutrition and family health.
EdU April 2012 IEU(SA)
EdU is a journal of non-government education issues published by the Independent Education Union (SA), which represents approximately 4,000...