OUR PAY, OUR FIGHT
10.30am Wednesday 5 September, Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton PRINT POST 352524/00374
independent education union VICTORIA TASMANIA
VOLUME 2 NO 4
General secretary dEB JaMES
Stand together for what you believe, work for what must be done….
ALL FIRED UP
record numbers of reps at Council on 18 august demonstrated their enthusiasm and resolve for IEU action called for 5 September. General Secretary deb James welcomed reps from both the Catholic and independent sectors, reminding everyone of the importance of this campaign for all our members. She firmly addressed the issue of spurious performance pay bonuses sought by the Bailleau State Government, and their capacity to divide and demoralise a collegial profession. The day of protest on 5 September is gaining momentum.
he current proposals on the table for teachers and education support staff in the government sector were explained in detail. For teachers, one-off bonuses for some, and none for many, linked to freezing incremental progression and increasing workload in secondary schools. For education support staff, similar proposals around limiting career progression and mandating a week’s attendance time before teachers. And for all, an insulting 2.5% wage offer with any more only achievable with ‘productivity offsets’. Reps were reminded of the importance of the history of the Catholic pay parity dispute in 1997 -’not a dollar less, not a day later than what is achieved in the State sector’. Fifteen years later, it is still fundamental to our wages claim and members understand the need to exert pressure on the government to change its position. ‘Our pay, our fight’.
The communications from CECV Director Stephen Elder were discussed. Many reps remembered similar communications in past campaigns, but there was consensus that the decision to walk away from negotiations with the Union, and the scare tactics employed in these communications, revealed a sharper, hard-line position from employer representatives. The attempt also to insert the Gonski Review of federal funding into the mix was flatly rejected as a distraction from the core issue – the fight to get a better deal from the state government. Reps expressed strong resolve to participate in action. A motion condemning the CECV’s stance was unanimously carried. (See p.3) Catholic employer representatives have also made it clear that any trade-offs achieved in the Continued on page 3
These are the first lines of a hymn I remember from school–exactly what teachers, education support staff and principals will be doing on 5 September. IEU members from around the state will come together to protest the state government’s inadequate and divisive pay proposals. Members know that the deal done for staff in government schools will have a direct impact on our own wages outcome, including the adoption of specific cost offsets. We want to send a clear message to the Premier that he needs to properly recognise and reward the vitally important work undertaken by teachers, principals and education support staff. We want the Government to understand just how strongly members feel about the performance pay proposals. Rather than appreciating the offer of 10% for 10% of staff, and lesser amounts for some staff, we vigorously oppose it. We will not sit by while a culture of winners and losers is created in our schools; while collegiate endeavour is replaced by competition or where educating the ‘whole person’ is less valued than test results. We say no to the inevitable league tables of staff in schools that will flow from a hierarchical performance pay structure and we take umbrage at the inference that we would do more for our students if someone dangled a bonus in front of us and made us fight each other for it. IEU members say a resounding NO to the Baillieu Government’s pay offer and we’ll say it clearly and publicly on Wednesday 5 September. Join us at the Royal Exhibition Building at 10:30 for an IEU meeting, after which we will march on Parliament House.
THE POINT August 2012
Contacts, calendar & contents ConTACT Us
EDITORIAL/ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES T: (03) 9254 1860 F: (03) 9254 1865 FreeCall: 1800 622 889 E: email@example.com W: www.ieuvictas.org.au CONTRIBUTIONS & LETTERS from members are welcome and should be forwarded to: The Point PO Box 1320, South Melbourne 3205, or by email to: ThePoint@ieuvictas.org.au MELBOURNE OFFICE: 120 Clarendon Street, Southbank 3006 HOBART OFFICE: 379 Elizabeth Street, Nth Hobart 7000 The Point is published by the Independent Education Union Victoria Tasmania. EDITORIAL CONTENT Responsibility for editorial comment is taken by D.James, 120 Clarendon Street, Southbank 3006. Views expressed in articles reflect those of the author and are not necessarily union policy. DESIGN/SUBEDITOR
COMMITTEE OF MANAGEMENT General Secretary Debra James Deputy Secretary Loretta Cotter Assistant Secretary (Tas) Angela Briant President Mark Williams Deputy President Elisabeth Buckley Ordinary Members Patrick Bennett Andrew Dunne Coralie Taranto Emma Wakeling School Officers Margot Clark
Monday 10 September
CV Writing / Interview Skills
Tuesday 11 September
CV Writing / Interview Skills
Thursday 20 September
Parental Leave Seminar
Friday 21 September
Parental Leave Seminar
Monday 24 September
CV Writing / Interview Skills
Tuesday 25 September
Parental Leave Seminar
Thursday 27 September
Parental Leave Seminar
Monday 1 October
ESS Seminar: Managing Student Behaviours
Wednesday 3 October
CRT Seminar: Australian Curriculum
Wednesday 3 October
Workplace Health and Safety Seminar
Friday 5 October
Workplace Health and Safety Seminar
Council Presidents & Deputies Catholic Primary Council President: Christine Hilbert Deputy: Maree Shields Catholic Secondary Council President: Stephen Hobday Deputy: Ruth Pendavingh Independent Council President: Gregory Hawkins Deputy: Cara Maxworthy Tasmanian Council President: John Waldock Deputy: Jeremy Oliver Principals’ Council President: John Connors Deputy: Duncan Arendse
Proposed VIT fee hike
IEU Victoria Tasmania has prepared a comprehensive response to the Victorian Institute of Teaching’s review of its fee structures, which proposes increases to applications, annual fees, criminal checks and fees for services. For more information visit www.ieuvictas.org.au or email firstname.lastname@example.org
what’s Victorian Catholic Negotiations Employer representatives walk away from the table
What members are saying IEU members tell us why they’ll protest on 5 September
New Directions, or same old story? Baillieu Government Education discussion paper dissected
Performance Pay pain How performance pay plans won’t work in practice
Tasmanian Council What happened at Tasmania’s inaugural IEU Council meeting page 8 After the revolution What Christopher Pyne would do to education in Australia
Dad and partner leave The Federal Government’s parental leave scheme, expanded
PD in the Pub The IEU has been packing out Tasmanian pubs
Home and abroad Education around Australia and the world
Teachers Games IEU members will take over Ballarat late next month
a proud ieu member retires
The IEU Victoria Tasmania was touched to receive this letter from long-term member andrew Barnett recently, so we have requested his permission to reprint it. I wish to advise that after 39 years of fulfilling teaching in Victorian Schools (the last 12 at Ruyton Girls’ School in Kew) I have made the exciting decision to retire from full-time classroom work. Having commenced teaching in 1973 with the Victorian Education Department (being a member of the VSTA for 2 years) I transferred to the Independent Sector in 1975. Since then I have enjoyed working at Camberwell Grammar School, Trinity Grammar School, Lauriston Girls’ School and Ruyton Girls’ School. During this extended, challenging and deeply rewarding career I have always been proud to be a member of the Union through its various re-structures, names and affiliations. Fortunately, I have had no personal need to avail myself of the professional, legal or mediation assistance of the Union in an industrial capacity; however, I have witnessed and deeply admired its unfailing work on behalf of many colleagues. More recently, I have also appreciated the guidance of its officers with regard to Enterprise Bargaining Agreements and the other invaluable services IEU provides for its members. Please accept, and pass on, my thanks to all those past and present employees of the Union for their sterling endeavours on my behalf over a great many years. Best wishes for the future. Andrew John Barnett
s ly, so
August 2012 THE POINT
CECV walks away from negotiations
ALL FIRED UP from front page
Government sector will be sought by them. Deputy Secretary Loretta Cotter outlined the CECV’s Log of Claims. Central elements include hard barriers for all staff – including education support staff, reducing consultative measures, increasing casual employment, stringent teacher attendance requirements, and ‘flexibility’ in determining the school year. Industrial Officer Denis Matson explained to reps the difference between protected and unprotected action, political protest, why AEU members are able to take protected action, and why members in Catholic workplaces were unable to be part of a protected action ballot. The key difference is because the CECV ignored a legislative opportunity that would have enabled members to take protected action for the first time. Reps expressed determination to effect change to the Bailleau Government’s attitude to education and its workers. 5 September is critical for members to demonstrate their opposition to performance pay, limits on career progression, and an insulting wages offer. The message: BE THERE, BE STRONG, STAND TOGETHER, BE PROUD TO BE UNION.
CECV director Stephen Elder has suspended negotiations with the IEU because of the ‘threat of industrial action’, labelling the decision to have a day of political protest on 5 September as bad faith. In circulars to staff in Victorian Catholic schools he has also heavily underscored that the action members will participate in is unprotected.
hat Mr Elder failed to communicate clearly is that: 1) IEU members in Catholic workplaces have always had to take ‘unprotected’ action. The legislation up until recently never offered any options for workers other than this. Members have exercised their rights, consistent with Catholic social teaching principles, to engage collectively in protest action. 2) The current legislation would allow protected action for workers in Catholic schools if the employers had wanted it to. They deliberately opted
for a type of Agreement that would not allow it. The hypocrisy of decrying members’ actions as unprotected, implying that therefore they are unlawful, while at the same time remaining silent on the threshold issue of why they denied employees the right to a protected ballot, is self-evident. IEU members have taken unprotected action in 1997, 2004, 2006 (against WorkChoices) and 2008. They are being called again to exercise their fundamental right to free expression. The scare tactics that are currently being employed by the CECV should be rejected.
Education support staff are part of this too The IEU cannot progress significant issues with the CECV relevant to members’ claims since their decision to walk away from the bargaining table. Apart from claims for teacher and principal members, a central plank is to achieve a better classification structure and remuneration for Education Support Staff. What’s on the table in the government sector will have a direct impact on core conditions for IEU ESS members, in particular the 2.5% wage offer, only 80% of eligible support staff to increment each year, and all education
support staff to attend school a week before teachers. Education Support members in government schools took part in a protected action ballot this month. There was a 67% turnout of members voting, and 97% voted in favour of action. This is the first time that ESS members in government schools will take industrial action alongside their teacher and principal colleagues. The IEU is asking all members in Catholic education to participate in the day of action on 5 September. What’s on the table now is an insult to every worker in our profession.
IEU condemns CECV bad faith
The IEU Council made it clear at its meeting on Saturday 18 august just how angered it is by the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria’s misleading tactics and decision to walk away from the bargaining table. The following resolution was carried unanimously: ‘Council expresses its strong condemnation of the position that the CECV has adopted in response to the day of protest on 5 September. The decision by the CECV to suspend negotiations with the IEU because of protest action directed against the State government is unprecedented and has the potential to cause considerable delay in achieving a timely outcome for members in Catholic education.
Communications from the CECV Director, Mr Stephen Elder, on 2 and 8 August have sought to exert pressure on members about the consequences of engaging in action and labelled the protest as unprotected action because a protected action ballot was not conducted. Council condemns the misrepresentation and scare tactics employed in these communications. Members in Catholic education have been denied the right to a protected action ballot because of the CECV’s decision to pursue a Multi-Enterprise Agreement, rather than a Single Interest Agreement. Members accordingly will exercise their democratic right to participate in the day of protest on 5 September. Council calls upon the CECV to come back to the bargaining table and work towards achieving a fair Agreement for Catholic education.’
THE POINT June 2012
We recently asked some Victorian IEU members what they thought of the Baillieu Government proposals, and why they were prepared to make their voices heard on Wednesday 5 September. This is what they had to say. marianthi stavrakis, marymede Catholic College south morang I think it’s really important for everyone to come out [and protest], because this doesn’t just affect teachers, it affects Education Support Staff, maintenance staff and everyone in the school, so it’s important that EVERYONE gets behind us. Everyone who works in a school is worth more than 2.5%. And how can you measure a teacher’s performance? Will we use NAPLAN? Will we use standardised testing? Teaching is about much more than that. What about the pastoral care given to student? What about the growth of individual students? It’s about the whole child. Brian Brooks, st Aloysius College north melbourne The bigger the numbers there, the bigger the impact, so it’s clearly important that everyone jumps on board. [Performance pay] is one of the bigger issues at my school, and a lot of people are saying they’re going out based purely on that, given it’s such a horribly divisive thing and it goes against everything we stand for in cooperation and working together. I’ll definitely be there on 5 September. I hope you will be too.
Protest mythbuster Why should I do this? Any person working in education knows that work intensification is a reality and that today’s teachers and school officers work harder than ever before. The government’s offer is an insult, and to think that they expect productivity trade-offs on top just about makes your head explode! When we see a student with an educational need we respond then and there, and when we learn a new way to do something we do it. No one in education waits for negotiations to come around so that these things can be traded off as productivity improvements, they just get on with it – it’s called continuous improvement. The government should recognise our work and give us a decent wage rise with no strings attached. What do the Catholic employers say? We have already had messages of support from many Catholic employers who agree that the government’s position is unjust and that we should stand up and say so. Unfortunately, the CECV, which is not the employer of staff in Catholic schools, sees it differently. They persist in bagging the AEU and trying to scare people. They know our protest is about the Baillieu government’s lousy wages offer and treatment of our profession. They should be outraged too. Why is our protest on the same day as the AEU’s? We need to put maximum pressure on the Baillieu government to deliver a fair outcome and we believe that having our protest on the same day as the AEU and other unions is the best way to achieve this. Why can’t we take protected action like other unions can?
Over several decades of Catholic education in Victoria we have never taken ‘protected action’ because the legislation did not allow it for our type of Agreement, which covers hundreds of employers. What Mr Elder didn’t let you know is that recent changes to legislation could have allowed us this time to take protected action. The CECV flatly refused to negotiate the sort of Agreement with us that would have allowed us to do so. That’s why, like every other time, we are asking you to participate in political protest. Am I breaking the law? The IEU believes that this is not breaking the law as we all have the right to political protest. Catholic social teachings emphasise the right of workers to withdraw their labour. IEU members have protested before and the Catholic authorities, whilst making noises, have never really taken issue with our right to do so. It is extremely unlikely that any individual employee will be fined for taking part in the process. Will my pay be docked? If your employer confirms that you are taking ‘industrial’ action they are obliged to dock your pay for the day or for 4 hours if you are away for 4 hours or less. Will what I do make a difference? Yes. At some schools in this state staff are paid at minimum award rates, thousands of dollars below the rates paid in Catholic schools. What we have didn’t just fall from the sky – we fought for it. No one wants to miss a day’s work, but we can’t just stand by and watch the government trash our profession.
maree shields, resurrection ps Kings park It’s important for as many members to come and join us as possible, because we need the general community and the Baillieu Government to recognise that ALL staff who work in Catholic schools need to be valued more than what they’re trying to show us. Education Support Staff need to be recognised a lot more for the work that they’re doing. I’ll be there on the 5th of September. mary mcmahon, Clairvaux Catholic school Belmont I believe teachers from our sector are among the most hard-working teachers in the state. Not only are the proposals going to affect our wages, but our conditions, and especially performance pay for teachers. This will set a precedent if we don’t fight this, it’ll set a precedent that might never be changed. It’s really important that we fight for our wages and conditions, and I will be there on September 5.
TAsmAnIAn sUpporT Motion passed by Tasmanian Council in support of Victorian Catholic members protesting
‘This meeting of the Tasmanian Council expresses its solidarity with our colleagues in Victoria in their protest action against the Victorian Government’s divisive pay offer. Tasmanian Council deplores the Baillieu Government’s attempts to divide teachers over performance pay and limit progression for all staff. We congratulate members for the strong stand they are taking in rejecting these proposals and fighting for a better outcome’ Moved: Kerry Hennessey Seconded: John Waldock
August 2012 THE POINT
Get up, stand up!
OUR PAY OUR FIGHT IEU Day of protest
n demand a fairer pay rise n Stop divisive performance pay n Stand up for education in Victoria
Wednesday 5 september Meet at the Royal Exhibition Building, Nicholson Street Carlton at 10.30am for a mass meeting of IEU members, followed by a march to the steps of Parliament House, to meet with other unions and demand a better deal from Ted Baillieu. Contact your organiser or email email@example.com for more information.
THE POINT August 2012
GoVErnmEnT pApEr GoEs WronG WAY In June the Victorian Ministers for Education, Peter Hall and Martin Dixon, released a discussion paper for consultation on reforms they say are aimed at improving educational outcomes in Victoria. While Victoria consistently achieves above the OECD average in PISA results, the document’s premise is that this isn’t good enough and that the reforms proposed will get Victorian student results up to the global top tier of the current 5 highest PISA scoring countries.
nfortunately for the teachers, students and parents in Victoria, the document is largely an elaboration of so-called reforms that, surprise surprise, mirror the most concerning elements of the government’s divisive performance pay, cost-cutting industrial agenda. This agenda of reforms includes: n linking teacher appraisal and feedback to teacher pay (the paper cites Singapore where teachers are ranked A to E); n performance bonuses paid to top performers; differentiated rewards based on effort and performance; n criticism of the current system of progression up the scale ; n criticism of the reduction of class sizes achieved over the past years because they claim this has no significant impact on student achievement; n more flexible pathways into teaching, including for those who are not teaching course graduates, relaxing registration requirements; n requiring teachers to undertake additional days of professional learning and planning from the 11 weeks of school holidays (non-attendance time) at their school; n giving principals greater delegation to take discipline actions, and ‘exit’ teachers – exiting the lowest 5% of teachers; and n mandating that teachers undertake a research project every two years and include progress on this as a requirement in the performance management system.
Underpinning Reform with Myths
Concerningly, the document relies on a good deal of selective and unbalanced presentation of so-called data as ‘evidence’ for the adoption of these reforms. It is unacceptable that an enterprise as important as education is subjected to a myth-based reform agenda which so transparently is designed to both deliver budget cuts and de-professionalise teaching. Here are some of the myths. myth no 1: Victorian education outcomes have failed to improve while Australian real expenditure on schooling has increased by 44%. Apart from the misleading reference to ‘Australian’ expenditure rather than Victorian, the sad reality is that Victoria spends less per student on school education than any other state. Since the end of 2010, expenditure on education has been cut in Victoria. In addition, state government funding to non-government schools was, until recently, the lowest of any state – only recently has it reached 25% of the state’s average school costs, ie. this is now the percentage that has applied in other states (not the dollars). myth no 2: Lower class sizes are a waste of money and do not significantly impact on student outcomes. The document refers to one source for this claim – the 2010 paper from the Grattan Institute’s Ben Jensen. This paper gave brief comment on class sizes and made reference to the meta-analysis of two economists and one study in Florida. There was no attempt to weigh up the wealth of research available
on the significant effects of reduced class sizes emanating from both the US and UK. myth no 3: performance pay/payment by results bonuses makes teachers and principals work more effectively. There is a growing consensus, particularly based on the failed attempts internationally, that bonus-pay schemes have no effect or indeed a negative effect on student performance. The much touted New York bonus program has now been abandoned by New York City authorities as a complete failure. We have even had our own Victorian failed attempt. The PRP scheme introduced under the Kennett government to give performance pay for government school leading teachers and principals for achieving set targets failed. Research by Rod Chadbourne and Lawrence Ingvarson found it did nothing to improve the quality or status of teaching. Principals and teachers generally viewed the PRP bonus as divisive and onerous. Ultimately, the bonus concept is a real slap in the face to any profession. Does anyone really believe that teachers will only teach ‘effectively’ or well if they get a bit extra? Let’s try it out on doctors – say an additional $1,000 for every patient they successfully operate on, or at least who doesn’t die on the table. myth no 4: You can progress all student learning by 6 months through quasi-scientific calculations of the value of each reform. This is a novel and bizarre concept proposing they can precisely calculate that the state’s students can get to the global top tier by progressing an extra 6 months in their learning by the time they enter Year 10 through a ‘formula’ of reforms. Improving the quality of new graduates is worth 2 months, exiting the lowest performing teachers equals another 2 months, and other reforms in ‘the day-to-day work of the teaching workforce’ (equalling 2% per annum) will deliver a further 3 months. myth no 5: Teachers in Australia work less than in other countries. The document makes a number of statements about, and references to, Australian teachers having it too easy, particularly as compared to the PISA top tier countries – small class sizes, teachers do little PD because VIT registration only requires a minimum of 20 hours per year, teaching time is too short, and there are too many holidays. In fact individualisation of learning is a worldwide educational approach which requires much more one-on-one attention to learning needs. At primary and secondary level, Australia has 197 days of instruction per year compared to the OECD average of 186. Only two OECD countries have more days of instruction per year than the gazetted school term days in Australian states and territories. In addition, Australia has one of the highest hours of teacher class-time per week – Australia averages 20 hours and the OECD average is 18 hours. Submissions on the Government’s New Directions paper close on 1 September. The IEU encourages interested members to contribute to this discussion by submitting feedback to the Department on the proposed actions outlined in the paper via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
From the president
actions speak louder
The IEU Committee of Management’s decision to recommend a day of protest against the Baillieu Government’s wages policy on 5 September was not taken lightly.
he CECV negotiating team made it clear that it was committed to achieving parity of outcomes with the government - and that included any negative and divisive proposals around incremental progression, workloads and performance bonuses. Yet, in one of his circulars to Catholic schools, Mr Elder ‘renewed’ his commitment to a fair and just outcome for Catholic staff. What should be asked of Mr Elder is: ‘Does he believe that the Baillieu wages and conditions policy is fair and just for staff in schools?’ No-one that I have spoken to inside and outside of education believes that offering teachers less than the cost of living (2.5%) is fair and just. No-one believes that expecting principals to decide which teachers receive a bonus for being high performers and which should receive no increase because they are clearly not doing a good enough job is the way forward in this state. And what of education support staff? For the most lowly paid in our schools, there is also talk of freezing staff at levels and making them attend school a week before teachers come back. For principals and deputy principals, you can bet your bottom dollar that performance pay is on the agenda too. Assuming that Mr Elder also found the government policy unfair and incredibly divisive for education, you might wonder why he has put direct and indirect pressure on Catholic schools to not participate in protest action, and also walked away from his own
negotiations with the Union. Of course his response might reflect political expediency rather than our collective notion of fairness. Our COM has one major responsibility – to our membership – and the Government outcome sets the benchmark. Our members understand that the campaign in Victoria for a better wages policy and improved conditions is our campaign. As a principal of a Catholic primary school in metro Melbourne, I am not overjoyed at the idea of stopping work or closing my school. But those of us who lead with an ethos which puts social justice at the forefront of how we live our lives know that sitting back and just waiting for an outcome is about ‘living in fairy land’. Just as holding a ‘gold coin donation day’ for the poor is a noble but softer option, we also teach our students that involvement in direct action allows them to make a real difference and experience authentic learning. The majority of Catholic primary principals are members of the IEU and I hope they see beyond the rhetoric of those trying to divide and conquer with talk of being in bed with the AEU. Sitting back and waiting for the dust to settle and then taking what’s given is how we were when we were an ‘Association’, not a Union – and we had little respect from colleagues in our or other industries because of it. It’s time to unite – principal, teacher and education support staff – to challenge and act against injustice.
We’re social! did you know
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August 2012 THE POINT
News principal member proFile
Frank McGrath Frank McGrath is principal of St Joseph’s School in Charlton. Frank has been principal of this small school with an enrolment of 44 children since 1990. He is well known in the community and contributes to local groups such as the football club, trotting club and, of course, the local church and parish. Frank by nature is a proud man and he has experienced many challenges during his term in Charlton, but none has been greater than the floods of January 2011. These floods devastated the town. At least 300 houses were inundated with eighty per cent of the town under water after the Avoca River broke its banks. The school was affected and water damage affected the new works just constructed under the Building Education Revolution. Ten years of drought had been broken by floods in September of 2010. Its 1,000 residents and business owners had only just recovered from that flood when the Avoca broke its banks last January. The impact of these natural disasters on the community has been profound, and Frank is still coordinating a range of support for families in need of professional guidance and support. Frank knows that providing support like this is part of the pastoral aspect to his role as principal. He is committed to looking after his school community, he knows that this kind of work can’t be measured, and yet it is essential. In difficult times the school is at the core of the community, but he questions whether the current reform agenda of government understands the true nature of the work of staff in schools. Frank speaks glowingly of his staff and the commitment they show to provide a broad curriculum for students in this rural town. He has a number of children on the special needs program and lots of work is going into raising the language skills of children in the Junior School. As Frank shares his thoughts he goes about the myriad tasks required of a principal and some specific to being in a small school. While we talk he is answering the phone, dealing with deliveries, overseeing some maintenance work in the school grounds, interacting with staff, students, parents and his parish priest. Frank isn’t afraid to express his opinion and he sees taking action against the Baillieu Government as a justice issue. Frank believes the evidence is clear that Catholic schools are doing very well with both performance and enrolments. The reforms proposed by the Baillieu government such as performance pay are in his view divisive and come at a time when he was expecting the government to be honouring a pre-election promise to make Victorian teachers the highest paid in the country. ‘The principal is put in a no win situation where they have to choose who gets what and this only adds to the stress of those who are already working to the maximum and doing a good job’. Frank values relationships built on trust and he sees performance pay as a serious threat to ‘the good will that is built up in schools’. He expressed his concern for the morale of staff if these measures come to be and he was particularly concerned about the damage this imprint would leave on the teaching profession. Frank feels that he can no longer trust the government and this wages and conditions outcome is an issue really worth fighting for. ‘The current offer by Government is not acceptable and is insulting. We should be striving to be equitable with the highest paid states such as WA and NSW.’ Frank has made it clear that he will continue to voice his disapproval about these proposals to anyone who will listen. He is confident of the support of parents and the community, and a willingness to get behind the staff of St Joseph’s. Frank has one final message for the Premier. ‘Ted, the successful ingredient of a good leader is trust, and you failed at the first bounce. You’ve made promises to teachers that they thought you would honour and all you’ve done is distance yourself from the profession and let us down’.
IEU members at John Paul College Frankston are determined to fight for fairer wages and conditions, and have voted to join the protest planned for Wednesday 5 September.
Cash for results CAThoLIC EmpLoYErs WAnT pErFormAnCE pAY... rEALLY?
If you google ‘Performance Pay for Teachers’, you’ll discover a vast array of articles on the topic. There are posts by serial complainers, to papers from well-respected researchers and everything in-between. There is a lot of comment, but no convincing evidence to support the proposition that performance pay proposals, like the one the Baillieu government wants to see in Victorian schools, actually work.
nstead there is in fact a lot of evidence suggesting that, where performance pay systems have been tried, as in the USA and UK, they actually don’t work. They are divisive, undermine collegiality and don’t lead to better outcomes for students. They don’t lead to better workplaces, better career paths or more fulfilling jobs for teachers, either. The Catholic Employer Negotiating Team (CENT), who purport to represent the views of Catholic school employers in enterprise agreement negotiations, have an eye on delivering to every Catholic school in Victoria the same outcome that the Baillieu government wants in state schools. We know that one-off performance bonuses have the potential to divide our profession, and that they are contrary to what good teaching is all about. So you have to wonder why Catholic employer representatives seem content to sit back and take a ‘we’ll have what they’re having’ approach.
The Baillieu proposal: 1. All teachers would receive a 2.5% pay increase. 2. 70% of teachers would get a one-off performance cash bonus. 10% would get 10%, 20% would get 6% and 40% would get a 1.4% bonus. 3. There would be a quota on progression up the incremental scale with 20% of teachers being refused progression to the next level. 4. Teachers in secondary schools would have 1 hour more in the classroom per week. so what would education look like if the Baillieu proposal was delivered to your staffroom? Talk among yourselves, you know the answer. But just in case, here are a few questions you might want to ask around the lunch table to get the ball rolling: n Are the proposed quotas within a school, region, diocese or are they state-wide? n Who would get a bonus? n What if everyone deserves a bonus? n How do you determine who gets a bonus? n What criteria are to be used? n Would there be an application process and what would it involve? n If I get a bonus this year, what about next year?
n What if I change schools, does the bonus go with me? n Who is going to be refused progression and why? n How long could I be kept on the same incremental step? n Half of teachers are already on the top of the scale, does this mean 20% of the rest won’t progress? n Will there be an appeals process if I don’t get the bonus I think I deserve or am refused progression? n If so, how would it work and how long would it take? n How can specialist teachers obtain a bonus? n How does individual gain reward collegial teamwork? n Would teachers share resources if it increases the chance of missing out on a bonus? n How much notice would I get about whether I would get a bonus or lose one? n Will NAPLAN results, parent/student surveys to be used to discriminate? n If NAPLAN results are to be used, why would you want to work in a school with poor NAPLAN results? n Would students be excluded from testing? n Will it lead to streaming? n Would curriculum be narrowed? n Would I have to teach to the test to get a bonus? n Who would be making all these decisions? What does the IEU think?
The IEU believes that the Baillieu proposal is based on a flawed assumption that by throwing a one-off cash bonus at teachers, students will be better off. Teachers know it won’t work. Principals know it won’t work. Even most employers in Catholic schools know it won’t work. Catholic Education aims to build communities and educate the whole person and there is nothing in the Baillieu proposal that supports this. Apart from being an administrative nightmare, the Baillieu proposal is an attack on the whole profession and if it was delivered to your staffroom then Catholic education, and everyone in it, would be worse off.
THE POINT August 2012
REnEWIng TaSManIan TEaChER REgISTRaTIon
democracy at work
On 10 and 11 august ,almost all workplace reps from Catholic schools around Tasmania gathered in hobart for the inaugural Tasmanian Council meeting.
ne of the highlights of the meeting was the address from the Minister for Education, Nick McKim MP, who affirmed that he was the Minister for Education for all schools in Tasmania. He also stated that he was committed to working in consultation with the IEU and other stakeholders in Catholic education for the benefit of staff and students. The Minister acknowledged the positive on-going working relationship he has with the Union and committed to continue to be open and available to discuss matters of concern. After his address and official opening of the Council, the Minister stayed on for morning tea and was happy to answer questions from many of those present, including Education Support Staff reps who felt they
hadn’t got a lot of mentions in the Minister’s set speech. I think I can say that he coped with that mini-grilling pretty well and took on the concerns about whole year employment (or the lack thereof). The other main business of the day was the presentation and discussion of the draft Catholic Log of Claims. The Tasmanian Executive, industrial staff and elected officials have all been working on this for the past two months, following on from the member survey on bargaining issues conducted in May/June. At Council there was a presentation of the Draft Claim to the reps and then really fruitful discussion followed. Groups gave feedback on the items included in the Draft Claim and made quite a few suggestions for refinement, additions and other changes.
The start of the school year is often a time of mixed feelings and frenzied activity for teachers as well as for students, so it’s important to attend to your registration now.
assistant secretary (tasmania) aNGEla BrIaNT As a result of those discussions the team at the office re-worked the Draft Claim to take all suggestions into account. The resulting Draft Log of Claims was distributed to reps a few days after Council for consultation with members at the sub-branch level. Following on from sub-branch meetings and further feedback from members, the Final Log of Claims will be distributed to all reps and members early in Term 3 for endorsement. Shortly after, the negotiations that will determine the salaries and conditions of all employees in Tasmanian Catholic education for 2013 – 2015 will commence. Right now is an ideal time to remind all those staff members at your school who have been intending to join up that this is the time to put pen to paper – and have a say.
n most years teachers are getting to know students they are teaching for the first time; perhaps also they are teaching in different subject areas or to different year groups. For some of our members an added stress at the start of the 2012 school year was the pressure of having to immediately renew their teacher registration– because it had expired. Quite simply, a teacher who does not have current registration either as a LAT (Limited Authority to Teach), Provisionally Registered teacher or Fully Registered teacher cannot be in the classroom teaching. This is a breach of the Teacher Registration Act and both the teacher and the school are liable for significant fines if an unregistered teacher is working as a teacher. In order to secure registration in time for the 2013 academic year we advise all teacher members to: • check that the Teacher Registration Board has your current contact details. This
includes email, residential and postal addresses so that you will receive correspondence from the TRB. • check your current certificate of registration so that you know when your registration is due for renewal. • if your registration expires at the end of 2012 you should commence the re-registration process between October and December. For more information the policy on the Annual Registration process can be found on the TRB website www.trb.tas.gov.au All principals receive the TRB electronic publication Registration Matters and should circulate it to all teachers on their staff to ensure they are up-to-date with any changes to requirements for registration. If this isn’t happening at your school, it is suggested that teachers request that the process be set up. In the interim it is advisable to check the TRB website for the most recent edition.
August 2012 THE POINT
Industrial updates action stations
‘Managing those worst teachers out of the system produces much better results than simply paying everybody more which is all the union ever talks about’ – Christopher Pyne,
Bargaining in independent schools in 2012 is proving both challenging and rewarding.
ince the last report in The Point, Agreements have been approved for Lauriston girls’ School ESS, Toorak College: Teachers Agreement and ESS Agreement; Kilmore International School: all staff, and Launceston Christian School ESS. Significantly, each of these Agreements represents a first. The Agreements at Toorak College and The Kilmore International School are the first enterprise Agreements at each school. While teachers at Lauriston girls’ School have had a number of Agreements, this is the first time an Agreement will apply to all other staff. For support staff at Launceston Christian School it was a first to have the IEU at the table assisting in negotiating their Agreement. No doubt, first Agreements are more timeconsuming and work intensive than negotiating to replace an existing Agreement. In some cases, getting to the point of agreeing to have an Agreement is a significant achievement. This was certainly the case at East Preston Islamic College, where years of dedicated work have resulted in a new Agreement being lodged for approval at Fair Work Australia. Bargaining at MLC has reached an impasse due to the school seeking to introduce an Hours of Work and attendance time clause based on clause 19 of the Modern Award. The employer proposal would mean that teachers could be required to attend in school holidays. The school argues that the clause is necessary to ensure adequate professional development days for staff. Conversely, the school also states that there is no plan to change current attendance requirements, so the clause should not cause any concern. IEU Organisers and staff reps at the bargaining table have made it extremely clear that the employer proposed clause is not acceptable and that it is likely an Agreement with the clause will be voted down. At MLC, the employer proposed that teachers may be required to attend for an additional 10 days during school holidays and teachers with Positions of Responsibility further days beyond that. This proposal was communicated to teachers by management and then time for consultation before the next bargaining meeting was allowed. An electronic survey was sent to teachers asking if they would agree to the proposed clause, or alternatively would they accept the clause if the number of possible attendance days in school holidays was reduced. The overwhelming majority of teachers indicated they would not agree at all to the proposed clause. School Assistants at MLC remain dissatisfied with the wage offer on the table and continue to enjoy the support of teachers in pressing their claim for an improved wage offer. This position has been conveyed to management and the bargaining team is now waiting to see if this apparent stalemate in negotiations can be resolved.
Bargaining has commenced for all staff employed by Berry Street Victoria, including education staff engaged at campuses in Morwell, Noble Park and Shepparton. Each campus provides education to young people who have otherwise disengaged from mainstream education. Berry Street as a whole provides a range of services in the fields of disability, social and community work and education. Given the range of employees engaged by the organisation, there are representatives from the IEU, the ASU, the HSU and the Victorian Psychologists Association. Our objective will be to ensure that the interests particular to teachers and education staff are recognised appropriately in the new Agreement. The Lutheran Education South Eastern Region Multi-Enterprise agreement 2010, which covers all but one of the Lutheran Schools in Victoria, has a nominal expiry date of 31 December 2012. The parties to the Agreement had anticipated commencing bargaining this year for the next Agreement. However, this has not proved possible due to management changes at LESER. The IEU has had a very constructive meeting with the interim management team at LESER to discuss options for the next Agreement and ways to ensure staff at Lutheran schools are not disadvantaged as a result of the delay in commencing negotiations.
We are continuing or starting Bargain negotiations at: Aitken College Ballarat and Clarendon College Ballarat Grammar Braemar College Bialik College Carey Grammar Cathedral College Embassy College Geelong College Kilvington Girls’ Grammar School King David School Kingswood College Korowa Anglican Girls’ School Lowther Hall Melbourne Girls’ Grammar Mentone Girls’ Grammar Monash College Plenty Valley Christian College Plenty Valley Montessori School Strathcona Baptist Girls’ Grammar St Catherine’s Toorak St Leonard’s College St Michael’s Grammar Taylors English Language College The Knox School Xavier College Mt Scopus Memorial College
WhEn nEGoTIATIons sTALL
Bayview College Portland, an independent school in regional Victoria, has reached a stalemate in negotiations for their next CA.
or many years, staff had been paid well below their government and Catholic colleagues, but won parity in their last Agreement. This resulted in staff from other sectors considering and taking up employment at the College where previously they had been deterred by the wage differential. Staff wanted an assurance that parity would continue, but the College administration was not prepared to give this guarantee. This caused great anxiety for staff who were prepared to leave the College to pursue work in other sectors unless they received some certainty about future wages. One of their other key concerns was that notice periods
required them to make decisions on their future by early term 4. Members contacted the IEU and enquired about any action they could take to let the employer know that this guarantee of parity was very important to them. The IEU then took steps to prepare an application to Fair Work Australia to conduct a ballot of members to undertake protected industrial action. At the time of printing the IEU has deferred making the application as the employer is reconsidering their position and has indicated they will make an offer to the staff. We will update you in the next edition of The Point.
Federal Opposition Shadow Education Minister, on Sky News, 17 July 2012
the Fate oF the review
Pyne vision myopic
We are on the eve of knowing exactly how far the Federal Government will go to achieve the vision of the Gonski review of funding. All education stakeholders committed to Gonski in principle because it recommended a significant lift in education investment, addressed old divides of private versus public schools and focussed on developing a resource standard the nation could be proud of.
hould this ‘education revolution’ grind to a halt, what can we expect from the Coalition? If Christopher Pyne’s rhetoric is to be believed, not much. In a speech to the Sydney Institute last month, and subsequent media comments, his educational philosophy to date can be summed up as needing more autonomy to get rid of underperforming teachers, bigger class sizes because that works well in Singapore, and a focus on teacher ‘quality’ that translates to ticking off the universities for not doing a good enough job getting students ready to teach. He also wouldn’t mind stopping the ‘teacher unions who are running the country’. Much of the research he cites in support of his ideas comes from the Grattan Institute, a right wing think-tank. He also quotes exit research of Year 12 students to generalise that students choose teaching because ‘they think it is cheap, easy and it does not extend or deepen the knowledge they gained during Year 12’. He wants to reward the best teachers, punish the worst and spend less money overall on education because it is throwing good money after bad. Any teacher reading this will probably experience a desire to pull their hair out. The relentless focus on the words ‘teacher quality’ in education debate
deputy secretary lOrETTa COTTEr
coupled with selective references to other nations’ so-called successes has become de rigeur. We may as well shut up shop now and go back to the future. For example, while it may be true that class size is not paramount, there is a big difference between a class grouping of 25 compared to 40, and the capacity to ensure that every child has a chance to learn. We are not another country – there is no culture here of students sitting quietly while the master teacher instructs them. This is a country where for better or worse classes are filled with the most advantaged to the least, the least articulate to the most, and where students with special needs receive systemic support. It is also a country where academic success is valued, but so too are resilience, alternative pathways, and independence. It may also be true that we need to attract a higher calibre of students to teaching – but with the spectre of another political cycle of blame, rhetoric and new reforms designed to squeeze the last drops out of us all, who would want to teach? To use Pyne’s own quote from Kafka, after the education revolution there may well be the inevitable ‘slime of a new bureaucracy’.
THE POINT August 2012
Features your retirement Future
what you can claim
sUpErAnnUATIon BUDGET ChAnGEs
The superannuation industry was less than happy with many of the budgetary changes initiated in relation to compulsory super in the recent budget brought down by the Federal Treasurer, Wayne Swan. Bernard O’Connor of NGS Super reports.
eak body organisations such as ASFA and AIST have urged successive governments to stop ‘tinkering’ with superannuation as constant change to the rules erodes member confidence and reinforces the idea of ‘legislative risk’ which has become a stigma to the superannuation industry. Pauline Vamos, Chief Executive at the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), said, ‘Making small changes at the edges to gain revenue for short-term political gain does not contribute to the development of long-term sustainable retirement incomes policy.’
Some of the changes to be introduced by the government: n Deferral of the $50,000 contribution cap for members aged 50+ with balances under $500,000 until 2014. There will be a $25,000 contribution cap for all workers for the next two years which includes the current 9% employer contribution. Those in the workforce now who did not have the benefit of a full career of super contributions will be unable to top up their super via salary sacrifice beyond the $25,000 cap. This measure will certainly hinder older workers’ ability to ‘catch up’ and those who had planned to top up their super prior to retirement will now have to find other forms of savings. This represents the fourth change to concessional cap rules since 2006! Post-tax contributions to super are still possible subject to an annual cap of $150,000. n Reduction of higher tax concessions for contributions of high-income earners: individuals with incomes of $300,000 will have the contribution tax increased from 15% to 30%. n Changes to tax on employment termination payments (ETPs). The balance of any ETP over
a prescribed limit of $180,000 will be taxed at 45% plus the Medicare levy. For over 55s, this represents a 30% tax increase on the concessional rate that currently applies. n Government co-contribution: a decrease in the co-contribution from $1.00 to $0.50 with the maximum co-contribution reduced from $1,000 to $500. n Low income superannuation contribution: a 15% refund for employees earning up to $37,000 per annum. n Funding levy for the implementation of SuperStream: all APRA regulated super funds will be required to pay a levy for the implementation of SuperStream which is an enhanced e-platform for processing super contributions and payments. This cost will ultimately be borne by super fund members. n 50% discount for interest income: although not strictly super, the promised tax relief for interest on savings has been scrapped by the government. Building confidence in Australia’s world class superannuation system has been a key priority for industry funds since their inception. However, constant ‘tinkering’ with the rules by successive governments serves only to destroy confidence in a system which was designed to provide tax incentives for workers who were prepared to sacrifice now for a more comfortable retirement. In relation to the contribution caps, AIST CEO Fiona Reynolds, stated, ‘We need to remember that most older workers have only had the benefit of 9% compulsory super since 2002 and many have seen their retirement savings hit by the global financial crisis.’ While some of the budget changes are welcome, others appear to neglect the long term view of super for the benefit of a quick fix.
reviewing your future
Now that we’re well and truly into the new financial year, it might be time for members to have another look at their superannuation and see if it fits their needs.
ur members have busy schedules so can find it difficult to make time to review budgets, superannuation and insurance. However, a little time spent planning these things out might make a huge difference in the long term. Carefully managing your super now can have a big impact on the amount you’ll retire with. There are a number of areas within superannuation to consider, including consolidation of multiple funds, your investment profile, and insurance. Consider reviewing the following five areas to ensure you’re getting the most from your superannuation: 1. Consolidation: If you’ve worked for a number of employers, you may have money in multiple super funds. This means that you’re also paying fees on each of these accounts. By consolidating your superannuation into one account, you’ll save on fees and ensure you don’t lose track of your money. 2. Investment profile: Most Australians have their superannuation in their fund’s default investment option. While some have chosen this option after
careful research, the majority haven’t actively chosen an investment options. This decision should be based on your age, lifestyle and risk profile and it’s important to get advice about the right option for you. 3. Insurance: Did you know that most super funds automatically include some level of insurance when you sign on as a member? It’s important you understand what you’re covered for. Most Australians are underinsured, so it’s important to ensure that you have an appropriate level of cover. 4. Additional contributions: this allows you to put aside extra money for retirement and enjoy the benefits of compound interest. You can contribute up to $25,000 a year into super from your beforetax income, meaning you’ll also see benefits when completing your tax return. 5. Financial advice: To ensure you’re making the best decisions for your future, get financial advice that takes into account your individual needs. Many superannuation funds offer members a free initial consultation. So why not take a closer look?
TEAChEr TAX TImE It’s that time of year again – If you are completing your own tax return, it needs to be lodged by the end of October.
here are a whole range of deductions staff in schools can claim, and it’s well worth checking that you have made all legitimate deductions before lodging your return. Common deductions which may apply to you include: n travel expenses (if travelling for work purposes) n depreciation of personal equipment used for work purposes – including phones, computers, etc. n protective clothing, uniform and laundry expenses n sunglasses, hats and sunscreen for staff required to work outdoors n self-education expenses (including conferences, seminars, etc.)
n overtime meals n professional publications n and, of course, your IEU membership fees! The taxation office has produced a useful guide for teachers, including further details of all of the above: Search for Teachers 2011-12 on the ATO website. Graduate teachers should also check to see that they are eligible for HECS-HELP benefit. The benefit was introduced by the federal goverment in 2009 to encourage people to become teachers. For the 2011 12 financial year the benefit can equate to a $1,635.75 reduction in your HECS- HELP debt. For more information go to: studyassist.gov.au
HAVE YOU MOVED HOUSE OR CHANGED YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS RECENTLY? Whenever you change your contact details – whether it’s your home address or email address – it’s important not only to let your employer know, but let us know too. During the year you will receive important information from the Victorian Institute of Teaching, including your annual invoice. So it’s important to let us know when your contact details change. Go to www.vit.vic.edu.au/updatemydetails Keep us updated – and we’ll keep you updated.
August 2012 THE POINT
Union life Footy TIPPING!
After 21 rounds, the IEU footy tipping competition mirrors the closeness of the AFL ladder: all players still have a chance to win.
nly two points separate first and fifth. Damien Halliday (Killester) leads the field with 142 winners and is closely followed by Anne-Maree Fraser (Sacred Heart Croydon), Nicole Volkman (Ruyton) and Brendan O’Brien (Catholic College Bendigo) on 142. Breathing down their necks are Terrie Mooney (St James), Jill Shalekoff (The King David School) and Robyne Vincent on 140
winners apiece. Leaders, you have to maintain your resolve: keep taking it week by week, stick to your structures, do the one percenters and don’t be afraid to make the hard decisions. Just remember, there is many a slip betwixt the cup and the lip. For all you others in the running, keep putting in the tips and remain eligible for the random prize for those who faithfully tip each week.
domestic eQuality supported
dad and partner leave
The Federal Government passed legislation on 27 June 2012 amending the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010 to introduce new paid leave for dads and partners of primary care givers.
sunday, 9 september 2012 where: City of Melbourne Bowls Club
In the picturesque Flagstaff Gardens, adjacent to the legal precinct and Queen Victoria Market (NB. Flagstaff Train Station is closed on Sundays, the closest stations are Melbourne Central or North Melbourne) registrations: 10:45am
Guest speakers include:
karen starkiss Mother of two dyslexic children, ex UK school teacher/ Principal who now assesses dyslexic children and adults.
ann williams Ann has had extensive experience teaching Maths and is currently exploring Speciﬁc Learning Disabilities.
liz dunoon Mother of 3 dyslexic children, author & advocate for dyslexia.
Jenny shaw Has worked in the disability sector. Her interest and knowledge of LD grew and culminated in the position of President of the Australian Learning Disability Association (ALDA).
have your say and contribute to making a difference Numbers are limited so please book early!
rsvp by 31 August to email@example.com with name and details of your area ie Frankston etc. Or call Rebecca Cleaver on 0425 771 357 or Julie Martin on 0418 657 749
he amendment extends the Federal Government’s paid parental leave scheme by introducing a new payment called “Dad and Partner pay” for eligible fathers and partners (including same sex partners). The scheme will provide dads and partners with two weeks pay at the national minimum wage, currently $606. The scheme will apply for children born or adopted after 1 January 2013. To be eligible for the payment, a person must be one of the following: n The biological father n Partner of the birth mother n Adopting parent n Partner of the adopting parent n Parent in a surrogacy arrangement n Partner of a parent in a surrogacy arrangement or n A same-sex partner of the birth mother, biological father or adopting parent. In addition, dads and partners will need to be Australian residents and have worked around one day a week (330 hours) in a period of at least 10 months of the previous 13 months prior to the birth or adoption of the child. Casual, seasonal and self-employed workers will be able to access the scheme.
Access to the scheme has an income threshold of $150,000 and is not linked to the income of the primary care giver or whether that person has accessed the PPL scheme. Dad and partner leave will be accessible during the first 12 months after the birth or adoption of the child subject to the person caring for the child, either through primary care or joint care and not being on any other paid leave or working at the time of the leave. If the person has an existing entitlement to paid partner leave under an enterprise agreement, this will be a separate, additional entitlement. The payment will be made directly by the Federal Government with no involvement from employers. Applications for the leave can be made from as early as 1 October 2012. The amendment also introduced ‘keeping in touch’ days which allows employees to do short amounts of paid work during periods of unpaid parental leave to assist with the employee’s return to work. Keeping in touch days are capped at 10 days and require employee and employer consent. These days could be used prior to a return to work for things such as planning days and professional development. If you would like more information on Dad and Partner leave, please contact the IEU.
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August 2012 THE POINT
IEU pD pACKs oUT TAssIE pUBs
he IEU, together with the AEU Tasmania, earlier this term rolled out the enormously popular PD in the Pub program in Tasmania. Over 200 beginning and student teachers packed out venues in Devonport, Launceston and Hobart to hear classroom management guru Glen Pearsall explain some practical strategies on how to really get students on task. Too often as educators, we focus our attention and energy on misbehaving students without ever stopping to acknowledge the fact that the majority of the class are on task and doing the right thing. At PD in the Pub, Glen reminded us that we should focus on
affirming good behaviour and that by using strategies like cross praising, we could subtly work offtask students around. Where we stand in relation to a misbehaving student, how we greet kids as they enter the room and a number of other strategies were explained as part of a number of tools teachers can use. None of these strategies is a solution in itself, but if each makes 5% difference, in combination, a great classroom dynamic can be achieved. The IEU runs three rounds of PD in the Pub in Victoria each year with one round focusing on assessment coming up soon. From 2013 we will further expand this program into Tasmania. Stay tuned!
YoUTh DECIDE: ThE EnErGY ELECTIon
The australian Youth Climate Coalition, australia’s largest youth-run organisation, has just launched Youth Decide: The Energy Election, a national youth vote on renewable energy. From 10-17 September, tens of thousands of young people around australia will run events in their schools and communities, voting to decide what energy sources should power australia. The project is an easy way for you to make your voice heard on australia’s energy future. running a Youth decide event is a great way to build event organising and leadership skills, as well as to give other young people the chance to vote and have their say. Support will be provided to all event holders, and there will be further development and training opportunities upon the campaign’s conclusion.
Visit youthdecide.aycc.org.au to learn more and register your event.
Student teachers put their best foot forward
Applying for your first job as a teacher in the non-government sector can be a fairly daunting prospect, especially as a graduate teacher.
his year’s conference and webinar was packed with advice on how to apply for jobs in Catholic and independent schools. Steve Whittington, Director of Oxford Education, took participants through writing cover letters, CV layout 101 and interview techniques that leave a positive impression. With the nuts and bolts of applying for jobs out of the way, it was time for our student teachers to meet some prospective employers. This year’s ‘meet the principals’ panel was made up of Deborah Barker, Santa Maria College; Josie Crisara, Aitken College; and
Dom Ryan, Saint Joseph’s Primary School Warragul. Student teachers had the opportunity to ask a range of questions about what principals look for in a graduate and the principals didn’t hold back in telling them, in a considered and candid way of course. This conference is an important part of the union’s professional development package for student teachers and provides practical advice on applying for jobs in our sector. The IEU Best Foot Forward Conference will be held again in July 2013.
YoUnG WorKErs ConFErEnCE The inaugural Young Workers Conference will be hosted by the Victorian Trades Hall Council during the next school holidays on 27-28 September, and the IEU is keen to send members along as delegates to represent our sector. The conference will include keynote addresses from ACTU President Ged Kearney and Richard Dennis, the Executive Director of the Australia Institute, as well as workshops, plenaries, training sessions and social events for union members and delegates from community and youth organisations. The focus will be on the issues facing young people in the workforce (such as contract, casual and insecure work), and the Conference will seek to develop strategies to encourage collectivism and engagement amongst younger workers. The Conference welcomes any workers or job-seekers under the age of 35. If you are interested in attending as a sponsored IEU delegate, please contact Simon Schmidt at firstname.lastname@example.org
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August 2012 THE POINT
National and International Education nATIon Qld Drug testing through random urine and saliva tests are to be introduced at The Southport School on the Gold Coast, as the school claims current detection methods are not working. Principal Greg Wain describes the policy as ‘compassionate’ and one that aims to keep students in school. State Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek says there are no plans to introduce random drug testing in Queensland state schools. nsW Representatives from the IEU NSW have met with Shadow Education Minister Carmel Tebbutt to present a 12,000-signature petition calling for a Parliamentary debate on pay inequity between early childhood teachers and their primary school counterparts. A preschool teacher can earn up to 20% less per annum than a primary teacher with the same qualifications. A shortage of qualified teachers will be a major threat to the future of quality education, unless pay inequities can be addressed the IEU says. The petition is due to be debated in Parliament later this year. sA A lack of suitable accommodation is impacting the ability of isolated communities to attract teachers in the state. The AEU has claimed country teachers are serial house-sitting, or living in caravans, just to find basic accommodation. Country teacher housing is one of the major issues in the current enterprise bargaining negotiations with the State Government. The union called on the government to consider
building more houses in problem areas to address the shortage. nsW The IEU is calling on Reps in all NSW Catholic systemic schools to convene meetings to consider a motion on work intensification. The Union seeks that all dioceses review work practice agreements to provide a maximum 10 hours of meetings per term for primary and secondary teachers, and is seeking to highlight members’ rights to access quality PD without exacerbating workload problems. WA The IEU has joined calls for the Education Department to seek to shut down the Rate My Teachers website after defamatory and slanderous comments about teachers in the state were posted. Although the website is privately owned, unions are calling on the state government to put pressure on the owners, naming the posting of negative comments as cyber-bullying. Qld Government school cleaners and teacher aides are calling on Premier Campbell Newman to promise their jobs are safe, in reaction to a public service directive cutting conditions. Members of United Voice are calling on the Premier, Campbell Newman, to promise that their jobs are safe and will not be outsourced. State Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek has refused to confirm or deny that the directive stripping workers of their conditions would affect school cleaners and aides.
Essence of Tasmania win! Simon Treweek, an IEU member at Corpus Christi Catholic School near Hobart, was recently announced the winner of the Essence of Tasmania Breath of Fresh Air short film competition.
imon’s film, Nick Stranger: A Portrait of Tasmanian Surfing, will be used by Tourism Tasmania to promote the state to the world. Simon has been into filmmaking from a young age, and when he was a student, he used to borrow the school camera and take it on weekends, mostly to film his friends surfing and skateboarding. He’s had several different cameras over the years but started to get serious about it four years ago when he got his first high definition camera. In 2010 Simon released a surfing film called lucid with friend Nicholas Damen, and he has a feature length film to be released later this year called Sally. (See www.sallythemovie.com for more information). His win in the competition was a surprising one – he found out about the competition only a week before it was due, and had only three days to film and edit the whole production!
Mark Equal Pay Day 2012 Equal Pay Day, initiated by the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) in 2008, is an annual event which highlights the serious issue of pay inequity.
ustralian Bureau of Statistic figures currently show that the average gender pay gap for full time workers is now 17.4%. To close this gap, women would have to work an extra 64 days to match what men earn; this means that Equal Pay Day in Australia in 2012 takes place on 2 September, 64 days from the end of the financial year. Removing the barriers which hold women back from earning, saving and being valued fairly at work requires concrete action. Trade union membership has a positive influence on the gender pay gap, with the gap in the majority of countries being lower for unionised employees; we need to encourage women to be union members. We also need to be wary of pay systems based on performance – what can appear as a neutral merit-based system may be inherently discriminatory.
Any system must be transparent - this is a crucial step towards ensuring that it operates in a nondiscriminatory manner. Women also need access to quality part-time work and accessible, affordable and good quality out-of-school care and child care. Again this is best achieved collectively. Be part of the day There will be an Equal Pay Day morning tea to mark the significance of this day on:
Tuesday 4 September Bella Union Bar Trades Hall, Carlton
If you would like to be there, please RSVP to email@example.com To highlight the pay gap of 64 days in the red, please wear something red.
International nEWs The government in Swaziland has reacted viciously to strike action by the country’s public workers by sacking hundreds of teachers, including the entire executive of the country’s teacher union. Workers are seeking a pay rise of 4.5%, which, although below the inflation rate, seeks to give stability of income to education sector workers in one of the world’s poorest countries where over half the population receives some sort of food aid. Consultation with teacher unions in Namibia has resulted in the Government introducing free compulsory primary education for all. The new scheme aims to take vulnerable children off the streets and into education, so that they can become productive members of society and active citizens. The union has warned the government that careful implementation is needed so that all the country’s regions are equally resourced and that schools are not expected to resource the initiative through existing finances. Ireland will need an extra 4,500 teachers by 2026 to cope with a recent baby boom, the Teachers Union of Ireland has claimed. The union has urged the government to act now to prepare for the expected increase in educational services in coming years. The union estimates pupil numbers will increase by 80,000 in the next 14 years and the system
will need 320 more teachers a year in order to cope. Department of Education figures show student numbers at secondary level will grow by 26 per cent over the next 14 years which was recently revised after census figures revealed birth rates were still booming. The union wants action now to both reverse recent cuts and to prepare for the increase in demand. Public school teachers in Uganda have joined massive strike action to protest the government’s unwillingness to meet key issues, including a fair and decent salary for teachers, and the need to fix the failing education system in their country. Educators have received the support of their communities as they seek wage increases that will address income in a country where inflation is currently over 30%. The government has offered 50% over three years, which the union claims is insignificant compared to the inflation rate. And finally, in Pennsylvania, USA, a school mother was arrested after she changed the grades of her children – by breaking into the computer system of the Northwestern Lehigh School District and altering the records. Catherine Venusto’s daughter went from a fail to a ‘medically excused’, while her son went from a 98 to 99. If you can’t rely on your kids to get good marks, you’ll just have to do the work for them!
hear what IEU members had to say about the 2011 Teachers Games – they’re all going to be back for more this year...
Jess: I had a really enjoyable time at the 2011 Games, and I’m looking forward to heading to Ballarat for this year’s Games! Coming from a small school last year we didn’t have enough people to put full teams together, so a few friends and I joined teams with other IEU members. It was a really great opportunity to meet other teachers and hear about their experiences in the world of teaching, particularly as I was in my first year. brendan: The Games were great fun in 2011. A highlight was the fun of participating in the trivia night with a group of teachers we hadn’t met before. My wife (a PE teacher) and I enjoy going to the Games, not only for the sports but also for the opportunity to meet new people. I played mixed basketball with a group of teachers from my school and mixed netball with the IEU team. In both teams we had a lot of fun and won a few games. I did win a gold medal in basketball in 2005 when the games were in Wodonga. I am looking forward to playing mixed netball in the IEU team again. This will be the fifth Games I have participated in and I would encourage all teachers to have a go. There is a sport for everyone and all ability levels are catered for.
melinda: We love the Teachers Games. It’s a great chance for some time away and a catch up with friends and colleagues. The trivia night was a highlight of last year’s games, as it was lots of fun and we had many laughs. We generally do terribly in the sports, but we do make other teams feel a lot better about themselves! For us, it’s about having a laugh and getting some exercise, rather than winning medals (luckily). Teachers Games never disappoints! camillo: The 2011 Teacher Games were the first I had attended. They were awesome! Meeting teachers from across the state was a highlight but catching up with uni friends and past colleagues was also great. The social activities are a must. IEU member drinks are a great way to catch up with IEU members and staff, and the IEU were fantastic to provide our teams with member t-shirts. This year I am competing with a team called ‘Archangels’. The Archangels are sure to attract some attention and to take out a medal in the Netball. I am also competing in the Dodgeball, and have been training with a local sporting group to sharpen my skills (watch out…).
shoW Us WhAT YoU’rE mADE oF
VICTOrIaN TEaChErS GaMES 2012 23-26 september, Ballarat
All staff in Victorian schools are eligible to participate – and we want to see IEU members out there playing HARD! spECIAL oFFErs For IEU mEmBErs: n Exclusive members’ drinks and snacks at The George Hotel on the evening of Monday 24 September n Got a team of IEU members competing? Let us know by 7 September, and we’ll provide you with free custom team shirts, printed with your own logo! n Looking for an extra player for your team, or need a team to join? Let us know as soon as possible via email: firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll do our best to hook you up with other IEU members! n Free merchandise, drinks cards & IEU cheer squads! hoW To rEGIsTEr 1. Go to www.victeachersgames.com for details and registration 2. Let us know what sports you are competing in via email@example.com