Page 1

Budget analysis Page 3

Victorian negotiations Page 5

Teacher performance agenda Page 14

Bargaining briefs Page 9

Reps connect Back page

print post 352524/00374

indePendent education union VicToRia Tasmania

Volume 2 no 2

maY 2012

first 2012 council

IEU Council gives sub-branch reps a forum for decision making and a chance to network

Democracy in action

Over 60 reps fronted up to the first Council of the year, despite arctic autumnal conditions, keen to discuss emerging issues in non-overnment education.


e also welcomed members of the Tasmanian Council Executive, who came to observe and take back ideas for their first Council later this year. General Secretary Deb James gave a detailed progress report on Catholic Agreement negotiations and the state of play in the government sector. She emphasised the need for the IEU to exert maximum pressure on the state government in respect to its inferior wages offer of 2.5%, one-off performance bonuses, and threats to annual progression on the teachers’ incremental scale. Deputy Secretary Loretta Cotter took reps through some of the technical issues that have emerged in Catholic Agreement negotiations, in particular the employers’ decision to opt for an industrial instrument that contains more risk in terms of coverage and protections for workers. Individual Catholic Primary, Secondary and Independent Councils then convened for extensive discussions canvassing the Australian Curriculum, teacher practicum, and national developments in performance appraisal. Catholic Councils spent some time also discussing high pressure issues relevant to the current claim. These

included scheduled class time for primary teachers and the lengthening ‘creep’ at the beginning of the school day, combined with release time being eaten into by too many formal meetings. For Catholic Secondary Council there was discussion on the trend in some schools to start the school year earlier and finish later. Many reps talked about the way that professional autonomy is being eroded by ‘expectations’ in regard to school attendance hours that ignore the work done outside of school hours and the voluntary commitments to co-curricular activities such as sport and camps. The Independent Council discussed the IEU’s position on submissions made by Independent Schools Victoria on behalf of most other equivalent state bodies (excepting NSW) to the current review of all Modern Awards. Council also heard an extensive report on bargaining developments across Victoria and Tasmania. The IEU expects that the second half of 2012 will be extremely busy in independent schools in Victoria, particularly if the government sector settles. Thanks again to all reps who give their time to participating in the democratic processes of the Union. (See P 8 for Council motions passed)


THE POINT May 2012

Contacts, calendar & contents ContaCt us

EDITORIAL/ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES T: (03) 9254 1860 F: (03) 9254 1865 FreeCall: 1800 622 889 E: W: CONTRIbUTIONS & LETTERS from members are welcome and should be forwarded to: The Point PO box 1320, South Melbourne 3205, or by email to: 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/PRODUCTION/SUbEDITOR

Deborah Kelly

COMMITTEE OF MANAGEMENT Secretary Debra James Deputy Secretary Loretta Cotter Assistant Secretary (Tas) Angela briant President Mark Williams Deputy President Elisabeth buckley Ordinary Members Patrick bennett Maureen Shembrey

Andrew Dunne Coralie Taranto

School Officers Margot Clark

Christine Scott

Cara Eckersley Emma Wakeling

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: vacant Tasmanian Council President: John Waldock Deputy: Jeremy Oliver Principals’ Council President: John Connors Deputy: Duncan Arendse




TTuesday 29 May

Initial Rep Training


Tuesday 29 May

ESS Seminar: Working with Students with Special Needs


Tuesday 12 June

ESS Seminar: Working with Students with Special Needs


Tuesday 19 June

ESS Seminar: Lab Technicians


Monday 2 July

Seminar: Creating Independent Learners


Monday 2 July

Managing Your Career/CV Writing


Wednesday 4 July

Student Teacher Conference


Thursday 12 July

CRT Conference: Engaging Students


Thursday 17 July

Seminar: Changing the Classroom Dynamic


ClarifiCation In the article Tips for new teachers! in the previous edition of The Point, we neglected to clarify that 2012 is Ana Amorim’s first year at Holy Name School. In 2011, Ana was teaching at another Catholic primary school in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.

what’s Baillieu Fail How the Baillieu Government has let down our teachers

page 4

Free Periods? The slow and steady erosion of our time

page 6

NAPLAN Evaluating the test

page 7

The Modern Award Dissecting what it means for IEU members

page 8

Barry Wood Award Mater Christi’s Indigenous Education initiative

page 8

Bargaining Roundup The latest on new Agreements in Tasmania and Victoria

page 9

Student-Teacher Relationships Keeping the boundaries clear

page 10

OH&S Asbestos: is it a hidden hazard in your school?

page 13

Anna Stewart Memorial Project Stephanie from CRC Caroline Springs reflects on her time

page 17

International News Education stories from around Australia and the world

page 19

Rep Forum and Dinner Celebrating union values together

page 20

Winners are Grinners! Congratulations to Lis Thompson, a proud IEU member from St Simon’s School Rowville, who won a brand new iPad for renewing her 2012 membership early. Lis is a foundation member of the union, having diligently paid her dues since VIEU’s inception. So it’s especially fantastic to see her ongoing commitment rewarded in this way.

You might also remember that in our last edition we gave away tickets to Chalk and Talk, a Comedy Festival show about education and teaching, to the member who gave us the best excuse they ever received from a student. Congratulations to Anne Fuller from St Francis Xavier College Beaconsfield who shared this gem: ‘Sorry I am late for care group. My mum lost the remote for the garage. We couldn’t get the car out.’

hing, ved ncis m late

May 2012 THE POINT



general secretary DeB james

Baillieu fail

Teachers and support staff in Victoria’s schools are being let down by the Baillieu Government.

The 2012 Victorian Budget raids TaFe to build prisons

Budget blues S

tudents, teachers and unionists gave the previous Victorian Labor Government a kicking when they partly financed a $300 million expansion of Victoria’s TAFE system through massive hikes to course fees. The higher fees, and a proliferation of private providers, have left some TAFEs with falling enrolments, higher costs and shrinking budgets. Fast forward three years, and the Baillieu Liberal Government has a novel way of addressing the crisis. In the May State Budget they cut $300 million from Victoria’s TAFEs, in stark contrast to the $500 million allocated for construction of a new prison. The changes will result in further course rationalisation, the closure of individual TAFE campuses and potentially threaten thousands of jobs. TAFE cuts were arguably the biggest disappointment for education in the Victorian Budget, but not the only one. Among other lowlights: n Education Maintenance Allowance payments to schools will be cut entirely n after means testing the School Start Bonus in the last budget, it is now gone – meaning families who can least afford it will miss out when their children enter prep or year 7 n 45 numeracy and literacy coaches and 15 specialists with Koorie children at government schools will lose funding at the end of the year. There are a few wins – the biggest being a surprise $104 million over 4 years for early childhood development, including $25 million for kindergarten and early learning services for vulnerable children. There’s $86 million for capital works at government schools (though only one new school will be built), and a previous commitment to funding nongovernment schools at 25 per cent of the rate for government schools remains intact. On the whole, however, a budget that

simultaneously slashes public sector jobs and pulls money out of skills and education should give all union members cause for concern.

Gillard puts surplus before Gonski Four years ago Julia Gillard promised an ‘Education Revolution’ in our schools. The revolution certainly wasn’t televised on budget night. Among a mixed bag of mainly modest education announcements, the biggest ticket item was the new Schoolkids Bonus, worth $820 for high school students and half that for primary school children, an automatic payment to parents. The payment replaces the previous Education Tax Refund and addresses concerns about the ability of some parents to meet education expenses upfront, but has been attacked by the Opposition for removing the obligation to prove the money has been spent on education expenses. The budget also provided $243 million boost over the next 18 months to improve literacy and numeracy results across the country. The funding will be used to hire literacy and numeracy coaches, develop individualised learning plans and purchase equipment. The elephant in the room was the Gonski Review, which didn’t rate a mention in the Treasurer’s speech. Released in February, the review calls for an injection of $5 billion of new funds into schools across the country but, apart from some initial posturing between the Federal Government and the States about where the funds should come from, further discussion has been conspicuously absent. Needless to say, without the necessary funds from either level of Government, the recommendations of the Gonski review cannot be implemented. n The next edition of The Point will look at the outcome of the Tasmanian state Budget, which was handed down on Thursday 17 may.

The government’s wages policy of 2.5% per annum (minus productivity gains) leaves teachers and support staff looking at an effective pay cut in real terms. After months of fruitless discussions in the government sector, negotiations have broken down. Teachers have condemned the government’s failure to put an acceptable offer on the key issues of pay, career structure, workload and contract employment and are voting to take industrial action. The government has offered 2.5% and performance pay proposals, funded by extra teaching time in secondary schools and penalising teachers by limiting their capacity to progress through the scale. Ted Baillieu promised to make Victoria’s teachers the highest paid in the country. Big talk from a man standing for election. Now he’s Premier it is a different story. In 1997, teachers and education support staff in Catholic schools fought for parity with colleagues in government schools. It is an established principle for wages, underpinning bargaining in Catholic and independent schools. Wages for support staff in Catholic schools have historically moved by the same percentage as teachers. So this wages outcome for government schools will be ours too. It’s vitally important we let the Baillieu Government know what we think about its wages policy, broken promises, attack on our professionalism and disregard for our work. This intransigent approach to bargaining and bullying tactics in wages negotiations with Victoria’s nurses shows just how unfeeling this government is. In bargaining for Victoria’s public servants, months of negotiations were the precursor to a lengthy arbitration by Fair Work Australia. Together with 3,600 jobs gone from the public sector, it is another example of a government intent on saving dollars off the back of its own employees with little regard to, or respect for, the work performed. Over the coming weeks we’ll be calling on all IEU members to send a message to the Baillieu Government: we’re not happy and we vote.


THE POINT May 2012

News agreement negotiations

The timeline for the outcome of the Tasmanian bargaining is out now

Tasmanian Catholic sector bargaining

During the last two and a half years, Tasmanian IEU members have become quite familiar with the Tasmanian Catholic Education Agreement 2009, if the well-thumbed copies we see at schools are any indication. Now it’s time to negotiate its replacement.


ll members have recently received an IEU news alert with a link to an online member survey. As we begin the process of negotiating the next Agreement, we want to know more about the issues that are important to members. We will be able to provide a summary of the significant issues in the next edition of The Point. The timeline from here for the development of the next Agreement is: n May survey responses will be collated n June a Draft Log of Claims will be produced n July sub-branches will meet to discuss the draft claim, providing feedback

and suggestions for additions and amendments n auGust Tasmanian Council will meet to discuss and endorse the final Log of Claims. All school reps and interested members should mark 11 August in their diaries if interested in attending. tasmanian Catholic sector 2012 salary increase Recently a few members have enquired about when they will receive their annual salary increase, usually received in February or March. The Tasmanian Catholic Education Agreement includes a clause guaranteeing that

the salaries of all staff in Catholic schools will be adjusted by the same percentage increase that Tasmanian government school teachers receive, on the same date. Unfortunately, the Australian Education Union and the Department of Education have not yet reached agreement on the amount of salary increase. As soon as we receive news that agreement has been reached, we will confirm the equivalent salary increase for all staff at Catholic schools with the Tasmanian Catholic Education Office and inform members of the outcome. Rest assured that any increase will be backpaid.


Fighting for social justice

Spend a few dollars on the fight for social justice around the globe, and you could find yourself on a trip around the world.


aPHeDa funds are used to fight for social justice and fairer workplaces abroad

We’re social!

he Union Aid AbroadAPHEDA Raffle is on again, and for 2012 they’ve lined up some amazing prizes. Every ticket you buy puts you into the draw for a first prize of an $8,000 Flight Centre travel voucher, or a great Gazelle commuter bike valued at $1,399. Tickets are only $2, and the proceeds are used to help support more than 60 training projects in 15 countries. The raffle closes on Friday 25 May, so you don’t have much time to get hold of some tickets. Call 1800 888 674 to secure yours.

Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA was created in 1984 as the overseas aid agency of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. It contributes directly to countries and regions of the world where men and women workers are disadvantaged through poverty, a lack of workplace, denial of labour and human rights, civil conflict and war. Union Aid Abroad is committed to justice and solidarity and to self-reliance, not charity. For more information about Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA, visit

Connect with your union online

Did you know IeU Victoria Tasmania is on Facebook, twitter and even Google Plus?

For the latest information, advice, articles, photos and video content, connect with us online today! facebook: twitter: @ieunews

Google Plus: ieu Victoria tasmania

s will rease hers

on have nt of


tholic f the


May 2012 THE POINT


News uPdate

Victorian Catholic agreement Update

The IeU, on behalf of members, has been in weekly meetings with the Catholic employers Negotiating Team (CeNT) since the beginning of Term 1.


t the time of writing, the employers had not tabled their own claim, nor has any progress been made on even cost neutral or low cost issues. This deliberate “go slow” approach characterises their lack of desire to progress anything meaningful until they see the outcome in the government sector, despite a number of our claims being focussed on issues specific to our sector, such as reduced class sizes, consultation, union representation rights, the school officer classification structure, fixed term and part-time employment, leadership, and workloads. Despite having received the claim in June 2010, it was only in late April of this year that employees finally received notices indicating that bargaining was commencing and providing information about the process and employees’ representational rights. The employers’ representatives have chosen to pursue the making of a Multi-Enterprise Agreement. This is despite new provisions in the Fair Work Act that would have enabled them to make a Single Enterprise Agreement, ensuring consistent coverage, the right for workers to take protected industrial action, and strengthened powers to ensure that both parties bargain in good faith.

Members will be kept up-to-date with the progress of negotiations through e-bulletins and sub-branch and Council meetings. Government sector developments The state government’s wages offer to teacher and principal class employees of 2.5% is insulting as it does not even keep track with inflation. After months of meetings and with negotiations stalled, the AEU made an application to Fair Work Australia at the start of Term 2 for a protected action ballot of its members. On 2 May, the application was approved by FWA. AEU members will be asked to vote on a range of actions, including stoppages of up to 24 hours, and work bans. The vote will close on 30 May, and if successful will see AEU members take 24 hour strike action on 7 June. Given the nexus between government teachers’ wages and wages in our sector, it will be important that IEU members commit to ensuring that maximum pressure is applied on the state government. Under threat is not only the wages outcome, but the government’s desire to set caps on incremental progression for teachers, increase scheduled class time in secondary schools, and introduce performance pay bonuses.

agreement negotiations

Negotiating, CECV style

dePuty secretary lOreTTa COTTer

Bargaining has commenced in Victorian Catholic schools. Victoria is unique in that one Agreement covers all Catholic primary and secondary schools (except Xavier), almost all employees, and all Catholic Education Offices. This ensures that, regardless of different resource levels and location, all employees are rightly entitled to the same wages and conditions.


left to right- Peter Shorthouse, Pauline Corcoran, Candice Kindred, Sherill Chaffey, Anthony Chalkley, Shirley Burrell and Teresa Bugoss.

100% st PatriCk’s sChool tonGala

The IEU congratulates the staff of St Patrick’s School Tongala for reaching their goal of 100% union membership!

St Patrick’s is a small Catholic primary school in Northern Victoria, near the tourist town of Echuca. The school has seven staff and three classes, a P/1, a 2/3 and a 4/5/6. In 2011 the school had a major change with most staff being newcomers to St Patricks. Anthony Chalkley is in his second year as principal and is an advocate for IEU membership. Deputy Principal, Peter Shorthouse

is the IEU rep on staff and has been pleased by the response of all staff to join the union. ‘We are a very small and caring staff who want nothing but the very best for our students, parents, staff and wider community. Being in the Union provides a sense of solidarity in which we work together to make St Pat’s a better place for all stakeholders, whether that be for better working conditions, OHS,

professional development, etc. The IEU is working hard to improve conditions for our members and our school in many ways and we feel united in having 100% IEU membership.’ St Patrick’s is a great example of a rep espousing the value of union membership to all categories of staff. It has teachers, education support staff and leadership all IEU members together.

n the last round of bargaining, the only way to make an Agreement like this was to make a MultiEmployer Agreement under the WorkChoices legislation. There was no right to take protected industrial action, a situation that our members have had to deal with before. The approval process required that the majority of employees voted in favour across the sector. Even if one school voted down the Agreement, or a number of schools didn’t lodge their vote, as happened last time, all employers and employees were covered by the outcome. This time around, the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) had different choices they could make about the form of Agreement. Under the Fair Work Act they could either elect to make a Multi-Enterprise Agreement (MEA) or a Single Enterprise Agreement (SEA). Significantly, the provisions of a SEA were introduced in order to deal with industries like ours, where employers are not in competition, and want a consistent outcome. An SEA allows protected industrial action, and there are requirements for employers and unions to bargain in good faith, which are enforceable. The approval process only requires a majority vote across the sector.

An MEA, however, contains fewer protections for both employers and employees. There are no good faith bargaining provisions, no rights to protected industrial action, and, if the employees in a workplace don’t vote in favour of the new Agreement, they are simply not covered by it. Given the potential risk inherent in the MEA provisions, and the general protections contained by the SEA approach, you would think that our employers would do what other Catholic employers in Australia have done – opt for a SEA. No. They have elected to make an MEA and have thus denied our members the rights to an instrument and a process that guaranteed broader coverage and stronger protection. Under the current legislation, unions cannot apply to make a SEA. The Union has repeatedly asked in meetings with employer representatives for the reason behind this decision. Members have rightly questioned the rationale and ethics of this position, purported to be that of all Catholic employers. At Council meetings on Saturday 12 May 2012, reps unanimously passed a motion strongly criticising the approach taken by the employers to date and asked that the CECV be formally advised of their concerns.


THE POINT May 2012

News time erosion

agreement negotiations


Teachers don’t have free periods

I urge members to do a quick calculation - How many times this term have you ‘lost’ your so-called free periods? Talk this over with your colleagues in the staff room when you sit down for the few minutes between playground duties, comfort breaks and meetings, and see what you come up with.


hen ask yourself the next question – Was I compensated for this lost time or did I just take more work home? This is not about being selfish or not putting in; it’s about the quintessential Australian fair go. Teachers’ hours of work (theoretically) are an average of 35 hours per week and within those hours there is an allocation for preparation, correction and consultation. This time is NOT a ‘free period’ and it’s time to change the language we use. Changing the language reframes the discussion and validates that the time spent in preparation, correction and consultation is real work and should be mainly done within working hours.

I recently had just this discussion with a member who is a secondary school teacher; to date this term not a week has gone by in which he hadn’t lost at least 2 – 3 hours from his allocated preparation, correction and consultation time. He wasn’t grumbling (well a little bit) but he was feeling pulled in many different directions and not quite succeeding in some areas of his life, particularly on the home front. The time he lost at school he had to find at home, in addition to the 10 hours or so per week he was already spending on school work and activities at home. His partner and children were getting a bit fed up being last in the queue. Teachers and other staff in

assistant secretary (tasmania) aNGela BrIaNT non-government schools are enormously generous with their time. This stems from a deep commitment to the system and to the school in which they work. But enough is enough; it’s OK to say ‘No, I’m sorry. I can’t go to the mass preparation/extra sports team meeting/school trip preparation because this isn’t a free period, this is the time I need to use for my preparation and marking so that I can do my best as a teacher’. After the first time saying no reasonably, it gets easier. Finally ask yourself the tough question: How much does the excessive time I spend on school -related activities adversely affect my personal health, fitness and well-being, and the people who are the mainstays in my life, my family? Who will be there at the end of the day? The answer is not that hard and we already know it, don’t we?

Jane Knowles and Adrienne Reeve, Holy Rosary School; Anna Greenhill of Sacred Heart New Town Primary; and Abi Ball from St Mary’s College at Hobart Rep Training.

reP traininG in tasMania

Rep training was held recently in both Devonport and Hobart, attracting a dedicated band of reps who were able to learn some new skills to help them in their role. Organisers from the Melbourne office, together with Tasmanian Organiser Dino Ottavi and Assistant Secretary Angela Briant, shared their knowledge and expertise with a very interested and positive group who were able to take new skills and new ideas away from the training, . Sessions were run on the role of the rep, building the sub-branch and tools of the trade, as well as current issues specific to Tasmania. Reps were very positive about the training, calling

it ‘clear and informative’, ‘clear and simple’ and ‘thoroughly delivered by all trainers’, and were all encouraged to take their new skills back to their workplaces and put them into practice. All reps are encouraged to attend rep training, both to develop current skills and to stay in touch with the latest developments in legislation and bargaining. For more information, check or call 1800 622 889.

Ellie McGinnes, Principal of St Mary’s Malvern, represented the IEU Victoria Tasmania at the recent meeting of the Australian Catholic Primary Principals Association (ACPPA), held in Canberra.


CPPA works to promote the overall aims of Catholic Education (across all Australian dioceses), and especially works towards the continuous improvement of Catholic primary education. The Association aims to promote the personal and professional development of principals in Catholic primary schools, and to promote an understanding of the role and significance of the principal in Catholic education among principals themselves, and among the wider stakeholder group. The recent meeting set out the priorities of the Association for the current year and beyond, which includes raising the profile of the Association and building relationships with other Associations. The meeting also heard a report on the recent Principals’ Health and Wellbeing survey undertaken by Monash University last year, and which many principal members would have participated in. The results from the survey can be accessed at The second year of data collection will begin in 2012. The IEU Victoria Tasmania is the recognised affiliate to ACPPA for Victoria, and so all Victorian Catholic primary principal members of the IEU Victoria Tasmania are, by association, also members of ACPPA – another benefit of your union membership!

ented e CPPA),

May 2012 THE POINT


NaPlaN memBer survey

rate the test

haVe your say about naPlan Take seven minutes to express your views about naPlan


recent report prepared by the University of Melbourne for the Whitlam Institute found evidence in the international literature that high stakes testing programs around the world may be having some unintended negative consequences for students, schools, curriculum and pedagogy, including: n lowering self-esteem and long-term confidence of under-performing students n negatively impacting on the reputation of some schools n increasing stress, anxiety and pressure for some students n narrowing the curriculum. However, there are many differences between the Australian NAPLAN / My School model and international student assessment programs and detailed findings such as those are not available in the Australian context. NAPLAN was commenced in 2008 by ACARA in order to assess all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 in Australian schools using

national tests in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions and Numeracy. The introduction of NAPLAN is a significant educational reform, and warrants rigorous research to ensure that it advances the interests of students. This must consider not just questions of educational attainment but of the students’ health and well-being and the overall quality of their educational experience. It is now timely to begin to investigate the impact of this initiative. For this reason, the Whitlam Institute has commissioned the University of Melbourne to survey Australian teachers to elicit their views on the impact of this program on students, schools, curriculum and pedagogy. We take this opportunity to invite you to participate in a very brief (7-minute) survey online to give your view. Go to http://www. survey to have your say.

from the President

It’s NaPlaN time again The annual administration of NaPlaN in every primary and secondary school in australia occured on 15-17 may.


s educators we know that a familiar pattern is now developing due to such ‘high-stakes’ standardised testing. It is probably now almost considered a dereliction of duty on behalf of teachers for there not to be various forms of NAPLAN ‘coaching’ to ensure that ‘no question is left unanswered’ or ‘if you are not sure, circle C’ type scenarios that are well engrained into our Year 3, 5, 7 or 9 students. Unfortunately, a more regular question now comes from prospective parents about our results on the My School website and how these compare with our local schools – not like schools. These kinds of questions show exactly what many educators have said from day one of the advent of such superficial data being publicly accessible. Misinterpretation will always be a problem: schools will continue to be misjudged, often without the opportunity to defend themselves. As a principal, I will waste valuable time trying to explain the pros and cons of standardized data collection. More unnecessary pressure on teachers and schools….. Rearing its ugly head again this year is the administration of NAPLAN for students with diverse special needs. While the official

ses!! n e p x e ld o h e s u Reduce your ho With utility bills and insurance premiums set to rise, making the most of your household budget is more important than ever. Member Advantage offers IEU members a 5% discount on pre-purchased Coles and Woolworths Gift Cards, which could save you around $400* per year on groceries. To find out more about this and other great IEU Member Benefits:

Call 1300 853 352 or go to *Saving calculated from 20 purchases of $500 Coles Gift Cards, at a saving of $20 for each card.

guidelines say students with special needs can be exempt from the NAPLAN, they emphasise, ‘NAPLAN is a national assessment and all students are expected to participate. NAPLAN should be accessible to all students to demonstrate their actual skills and knowledge.’ In attempting to complete an exemption online for a student this week, I was stopped because I could only tick one box for exemption – ‘child is intellectually disabled’. Is a child with ESL challenges and diagnosed with severe language disorder considered ‘intellectually disabled’? And how do you try and explain this dilemma to their parents? I know of special needs Year 5 students and their families deciding to comply with NAPLAN because the local secondary schools require NAPLAN results with the Year 7 enrolment application. Again, more unnecessary pressure on teachers, schools and now families… We need to continue to challenge what testing is being used for, recognise its limitations, and protect our most vulnerable students from the stigma of failure. We are, after all, educators.


THE POINT May 2012

rePort from council


The Principals’ Council is composed of the 17 sub-branch reps and assistant representatives from across Victoria.


annual awards

Win-win award

Mater Christi uses barry Wood Prize Money to suPPort eduCation for indiGenous students In 2010 mater Christi College Belgrave won the IeU Barry Wood social justice award for its indigenous education initiative.


his award is made in memory of Barry Wood, an outstanding educator, unionist and social justice advocate, and the grant that accompanies the award is for a project that promotes social justice in education. In 2009 Mater Christi established a relationship with Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School in Wadeye, a remote indigenous community 400km southwest of Darwin. In 2011 part of the money from the award was used to run a series of events at the College to promote understanding of indigenous cultures. The events were timed to coincide with Reconciliation Week and included Indigenous hip hop, aboriginal flag raising ceremonies at school and at the Knox Shire, as well as sale of cupcakes and goods made by the Wadeye Women’s Centre to raise money.

The week was a great success and Marilyn Huber, a now retired IEU member from Mater Christi, says that ‘students have embraced these activities enthusiastically and we believe that indigenous culture and issues have become part of their consciousness ‘. In 2012 the school intends to continue to build upon this relationship and ensure that both communities benefit from these exchanges. This year Mater Christi intends to send a group of students to Wadeye and invite two Wadeye students, currently studying at Worawa Aboriginal College, to visit the college. Keep an eye out for upcoming issues of The Point, where we’ll be advertising dates and guidelines for membership nominations for the Barry Wood award for 2012.

Raising of the aboriginal flag during Reconciliation Week

his year John Connors is continuing his good work as President and he is ably supported by his Deputy, Duncan Arendse, and an executive consisting of Paul Cahir ( Geelong), Greg Lane (Ballarat Northern), Paul Maher (Benalla) and Simon Dell’Oro (Sale). The Principals’ Council’s goals for 2012 are: 1. Continue to build membership 2. Build a sense of identity among members by holding regular sub-branch meetings and making contact with any new principals 3. Develop the use of technology to maintain and improve communication amongst members and council 4. Focus on key issues related to Principals as decided by Council The Council meets four times a year and regular teleconferences are held with the executive and sub-branch representatives to maintain communication in between meetings. The Principals’ Council holds one regional meeting each year. As a part of the regional meeting, Council members are invited to come the night prior, when the IEU Victoria Tasmania hosts a dinner giving members a chance to meet the local sub-branch. The dinner is always well attended and provides an opportunity to build solidarity and ultimately strengthen the work of the Council. This year the Council met at Ballarat and 19 members gathered at St Alipius School Ballarat East. The venue showcased the wonderful facilities that had been added to schools under the BER. The Council was warmly welcomed by students of the school who took them on a brief tour prior to the commencement of the meeting.

Thanks to St Alipius Principal, Eileen Rice, and her community for making us feel so welcome. Duncan Arendse chaired the meeting, as John Connors along with Michael Bourne and Mary Abbott were in Canberra representing our members at a conversation with the Education Minister, Peter Garrett. The meeting agenda tabled reports from the President (John Connors), the Principals’ Officer (David Forbes), APPA (Duncan Arendse), ACPPA (Ellie Mc Ginnes) and Principals’ Australia Institute (Justin LIoyd). The Ballarat Meeting had IEU Victoria Tasmania Organisers Brian Martin and David Brear leading sessions on the agenda. Brian, in his role as Occupational Health and Safety Organiser, spoke on the topic of taking a risk management approach to preventing occupational violence. Brian concluded this session by inviting members to make contact with him if they require any advice on Occupational Health and Safety in their schools. The second session was led by IEU Organiser David Brear who provided a number of thought provoking questions about the role of the principal as the subbranch representative. David provided some strategies for working with colleagues and suggested ways that principals could engage in conversation with colleagues about industrial matters. The feedback from the Council to both of these sessions means that the Executive will look to consider further conversation around these topics at future meetings. The Regional Council will be held in Gippsland in 2013 and the next meeting for the Principals’ Council will be held on Friday 24 August at the IEU office.

ieu Principal members’ function friday 15 June, 3-6pm Principal members are invited to a Keynote address and afternoon function presented by lucinda Hartley. lucinda is a landscape architect who has been working in asia, and her work focuses on engaging and mobilising young people to improve cities and space through community orientated design. This session is part of the Behaviour In education Conference being held at the melbourne showgrounds on 15 and 16 june.

May 2012 THE POINT


Industrial updates members’ action in 2009 to achieve wage parity

h a.

ipal, nity me.

rs and erra at a ation

ed John icer an innes) action stations titute

Bargaining briefs

IEU rs ar nda. ational The union’s bargaining experience in independent schools continues to demonstrate that r, a there is endless variety in both what can be achieved in bargaining and how outcomes to are reached. While there are always key issues in common for teachers and ess in schools, olence. such as concern about wages and workload, each school will have its own particular issues n by contact of importance. y alth congratulated, especially Nicole Pearce, Jeremy Kemp, t launceston Christian School we are in the Keith Freestone and Wayne Johnson who showed final stages of drafting a new Agreement ed by unwavering commitment to reaching a fair result for Support Staff. At the start of the process, who for all. the school acknowledged that Support Staff ght Negotiations at MlC are close to conclusion, but wages had fallen behind both state school wages the there are four outstanding issues. Bargaining reps and comparable independent schools. There was ubstated very clearly, following staff meetings, that staff agreement that everything possible would be done to would not vote in favour of an Agreement unless address this problem. tegies school assistants were given a fair pay structure. Staff While the timing of pay increases is still to be s and confirmed, Support Staff have been offered a 4% pay also oppose introduction of the Modern Award clause pals on Hours of work, which would be a diminution of increase effective from 1 April 2012 and then further on existing conditions. The claims for a camp allowance increases to occur in July 2012 and 2013 that will see strial staff reach parity with State wages. This will mean and indexing of POR’s to CPI are also maintained. Despite not having met since December last year, staff will receive increases in some instances of over ouncil 30%. In addition wages will increase in line with East Preston islamic College attempted to cancel a eans future State-agreed increases. meeting scheduled for 17 April at the last minute. We to insisted on the meeting going ahead. The Agreement also sees the introduction of a on The principal proposed a pay increase which would paid parental leave allowance for both primary re put all teaching staff at 15% above the award rates. and secondary care givers. The wage increases in A similar proposal has been put for general staff. this Agreement are a great achievement and a big be For teachers this would result in pay increases of commitment. We are looking forward to seeing nd the the Agreement finalised and implemented for between 9.5 and 11.5%. The wage offer for 2013 and pals’ 2014 is a minimum increase of 5% each year. We are Launceston Christian staff! ay 24 now waiting for the Board at EPIC to approve the Bargaining at Taylors College has now concluded, wage proposal before taking the offer to staff. We after some difficult issues were negotiated at the trust the Board will agree to the proposal, as this table. wage offer will mean a significant improvement The Agreement will deliver 3.5% pay increases on current wages and provide the security of an for each year of the Agreement for Teachers and Agreement for future pay increases and conditions at Teaching Assistants. The top of the teachers’ salary the College. scale will be $91,178 in 2013. A draft Agreement has been tabled at Xavier The Agreement will see an improved redundancy which is currently being considered for comment. pay scale and an increase of paid parental leave to 14 Bargain negotiations continue weeks. Meanwhile we are busy at the table at: Face-to-face teaching hours will be specified in the Ballarat and Clarendon College Agreement, and changes were agreed to in relation to Ballarat Grammar attendance time and monetary and time allowances Berry Street (now deferred awaiting consideration for positions of responsibility. of the Equal Pay Case) The lauriston Girls’ School General Staff Cathedral College Agreement is awaiting Fair Work approval. Eltham College This is the first enterprise Agreement for General Freshwater Creek Staff and will deliver a transparent classification Kingswood College structure and significant improvements in core Korowa Anglican Girls’ School conditions such as personal leave and long service Lowther Hall leave. Melbourne Girls’ Grammar The union anticipates that this Agreement will Plenty Valley Christian College pave the way for a whole school Agreement in Plenty Valley Montessori School the next round of bargaining at Lauriston. All IEU Strathcona Baptist Girls’ Grammar members who contributed to the process are to be



Regular readers of The Point will recall previous problems at Mowbray College, particularly those relating to difficult Agreement negotiations in 2009, failing to consult on major change in 2010, redundancies, ‘revolving door’ principal appointments and poor decisions by the Board of Directors. Unfortunately, despite a relatively peaceful 2011, matters again appear to have deteriorated. The union became aware in mid-March that the principal was ‘parting ways’ with Mowbray. This coincided with a sharp decline in student numbers, and at least two changes in leadership of the College board. There were also rumours circulating about the closure of the College’s main Patterson Campus in Melton. The union immediately requested a meeting with the new principal and wrote formally to the college, notifying them of their legal obligations to consult around introduction of change. The new principal is a former long-term Mowbray board member and Chairman. The union has also been in regular contact with the Victorian

Registration and Qualifications Authority, a body taking a keen interest in the operations of the College. Members are clearly unsettled by the uncertain future, and we are taking all steps to keep them informed of developments. Rumours continue to circulate about the proposed closure of the Patterson Campus. Reportedly, student numbers continue to decline in inverse proportion to the College debt, only magnifying the problems. Parents and ‘friends’ are taking action to try to safeguard the College’s future. Clearly, there will be significant short and long term decisions for the College leadership to make. Just as clear is the IEU’s intention to ensure members’ interests are represented and protected during this difficult time for the school community.


Two years of negotiations have now been completed at Toorak College for the school’s first enterprise Agreements. Separate Agreements for teachers and general staff are being voted on as this is published. The long haul has been worth it, with significant improvements to both pay and conditions. All staff will receive 14 weeks parental leave, a new consultative committee will be established, IEU reps will get access to paid union training, and more flexible access to long service leave was agreed. For general staff, highlights include: • 4% wage increases for each year of the Agreement • a minimum pay scale that is 15% above Award rates - with anyone below this point to move up • 15 days personal leave for all General Staff and • an increase to 5 weeks annual leave.

For teachers the benefits include: • wage increases of 3.5%, 4% & 4% • a new pay point at the top of the scale to provide a premium over Government school pay points • provision of a camp allowance • a cap on attendance days and consultation about term dates • full payment of POR allowances for part-time teachers and • inclusion of rates and allowances for instrumental music teachers. Everyone involved in the negotiations for this Agreement should be congratulated, with particular thanks going to the staff bargaining representatives, our IEU rep Mark Richardson and the staff association president Michele Coventry who all made fantastic contributions to the process. Well done to all on a great Agreement!


THE POINT May 2012

Professional relationships with students The student-teacher relationship is a powerful and unique relationship that needs to be nurtured and protected at all times. One of the greatest joys in teaching is developing a positive connection with students that empowers, educates, and assists them to reach their potential. Understanding the boundaries of this relationship and staying within them is ultimately the teacher’s responsibility. The potential consequences of blurring those boundaries are too serious for any teacher to ignore.


hile some of the points below may seem obvious to more experienced teachers, it’s important to be aware of these issues. These tips are worth revisiting from time to time, particularly if you mentor newer teachers.

Social Networking Modern methods of communication are developing faster than the rules and etiquettes that would normally regulate them. SMS, Facebook and other electronic exchanges are a sure way into trouble so to avoid potential problems set clear boundaries with your students about how and when they can contact you. In almost all cases this should only be during school hours. Don’t provide your mobile number to students as this will make it easy for them to contact

TEACHERS GAMES The Victorian Teachers Games in Ballarat on 23–26 September are fast approaching.


EU Victoria Tasmania is again a major sponsor, and everyone working in a Victorian school (including non-teaching staff) is eligible to participate. Our members had a fantastic time last year, and many have already encouraged their colleagues to come along, organise teams and join in the fun. Registrations open in June so it is time to get organised and pick your sport from a list that includes netball, basketball, dodge ball, laser tag, golf, cycling, lawn bowls, running and indoor soccer. Make sure you let us know when you have registered so you can access sponsorships, drink cards, IEU functions and giveaways! We can also help to organise members into teams. Contact us via email at for further information or to let us know you are coming along.

you outside of school hours which can blur the student – teacher relationship. Don’t become friends with your students on social networking sites like Facebook and twitter. If any contact or communication you have with a student seems ‘odd’ then it probably is and if it makes you uncomfortable then you need to be wary. You should clearly tell the student not to contact you in this way again and you can also take that opportunity to remind the student of the agreed means of communication. If this happens to you, you need to report it to your employer. Immediately reporting any incident or questionable interaction is the right thing to do for both you and the student as it will offer you greater protection against any allegations of misconduct or inappropriate behaviour. Reports should be made via email to the year level co-ordinator, vice principal or

principal. The employer needs to respond to you and tell you what course of action needs to be taken.

Parties and drinking Older students are likely to start participating in social activities like going to pubs and clubs. This means that you have to be careful to protect the boundaries of teacher – student relationship when you encounter students in these social environments. You shouldn’t attend student parties or mix with students in social settings like pubs or night clubs outside of official school activities. This can be particularly difficult in regional areas where there may only be one pub or you may play sport for the local team with the students you teach. If it is unavoidable, stay in control and be very careful, otherwise you risk exposing your reputation to criticism from your employer and parents. This becomes particularly

problematic when your public behaviour is inconsistent with the public image of a professional. Your obligation to act professionally when in the company of students exists regardless of the hour, the location and your mental state. If you have had a couple of drinks, you are better off leaving immediately than spending the next two years explaining what you did when your judgement was a little impaired. If you are at a licensed pub or club and you encounter students that you know to be under age then you should inform them that they should leave.

Relationships with students It is never OK to have a sexual encounter or relationship with a current student. A teacher who is found to have had an inappropriate relationship with a student will lose their job and will have their registration suspended or permanently cancelled. Allegations about inappropriate relationships are serious and to ensure a fair outcome investigations and formal hearing processes can take many months. The reality is that

your reputation will be under a cloud and the matter may attract media attention.

What about ex-students? Your obligation to maintain a strictly professional studentteacher relationship doesn’t last forever. However, it is important to realise that it doesn’t expire on the day the student ceases to be a student at your school. Teachers must be aware that perceptions are important, and that a relationship of any type (including online) with a student after they have finished school will not be viewed in isolation from when they were a student. Very often a relationship that begins after a student’s time at school will raise questions about whether any ‘grooming’ took place. Maintaining a professional relationship with your students doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be friendly with your students, but it does mean you shouldn’t be their friend. In some circumstances you may want to provide extra pastoral support to a student, in these instances this should only occur within strict boundaries and with the explicit consent of the employer and parent/s.

May 2012 THE POINT


Beginning Teacher Conference

start out strong

Dr carrGregg

Graduates hear soMe first Class adViCe, & offer soMe of their oWn

Vox PoPs

What significant challenges have you faced as a graduate teacher? “Time management, for me. There is all this stuff you want to pack into one lesson and it always goes over. I can’t fit everything in !” Ashlee Milne, St Joseph’s College Newtown What are the greatest rewards? “being able to work in a job that I love and that I have wanted to do for so long, as well as getting to shape the minds of the future” Sally Lewis, Our Lady of the Pines School Donvale What advice would you give to a graduate before their first day? ”Don’t stress too much. Someone said to me, ‘It will all fall into place’ I didn’t believe them but it actually does. Give it to two, three or four weeks and it’ll be fine” Russell Wynne, Christian brothers College St Kilda What is the most useful thing you have learnt at the Conference? “One generic thing won’t cover every kid in your class. You must adapt and learn to cater for each child to know where they are coming from” Emma Madigan, Our Lady of the Pines School Donvale “To be refreshed about why I’m a teacher. Listening to Michael CarrGregg reminded me about what we can do with these lives before us. This is very rewarding” barry Fleming, St Leonard’s College brighton

in MarCh the IEU held its annual Beginning Teacher Conference. Renowned psychologist and author Dr Michael Carr-Gregg provided graduates with an insight into the mind of the child and adolescent. His presentation unpacked a number of big issues that impact upon today’s students like depression, suicide, body image and bullying. A good conference provides time to consider serious subject matter, participate in discourse and build relationships. Hopefully also there are some lighter moments! This year comedian Damian Callinan took the edge off the room by delivering some great gags about teaching and schools. Graduates also attended workshops on participation through IT, health and wellbeing, classroom management and engaging students. For many this conference is the first professional development opportunity they participate in as new teachers and, with the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received, we are assured that the IEU has again raised the benchmark for what constitutes great PD.

mere naisua moci and Jane Tieni Kora, winners of the alisi Fusi Wightman scholarship


THE POINT May 2012

modern award review

The Fair Work legislation requires the review of all the Modern Awards at their two year anniversary. Applications to vary awards were called for and had to be submitted by 8 March 2012.


he IEU submitted an application to vary the Teachers Award to ensure that where a teacher gains an additional qualification and is to progress up a level on the salary scale, the teacher’s previous experience will also be recognised when assessing the appropriate level. A second application was made to vary the Post Secondary Award in relation to the appropriate classification of ELICOS teachers. Several other organisations have made applications to vary either the Teachers or General Staff awards and the IEU will respond to each of the applications when the applications are listed before Fair Work Australia. Independent Schools Victoria has made applications on behalf of its state counterparts, except for New

South Wales. While some aspects of the applications are technical in nature and seek to remedy previous drafting errors, there are some key proposals that the IEU will vigorously oppose. The ISV proposes that where the relevant Australian authority does not recognise an overseas qualification any experience gained on the basis of that qualification should also not be recognised. This would mean, for example, that a teacher with many years of practical experience gained overseas, but with a qualification that is not recognised in Australia, would not have any of that experience recognised when having his or her salary level determined. The ISV also seeks to include provision for a part-time teacher to be able to do additional face-to-

face teaching, beyond reasonable additional hours, paid as a casual, which attracts a 25% loading. While this may be beneficial in some circumstances, the proposal opens the way to increase the use of casual work at the expense of ongoing part-time work. In addition, the ISV advises that such casual work would be calculated in accordance with the award, rather than at the teacher’s actual salary level. This means that for casual work of less than 5 days duration, a teacher can be paid at no higher than level 8 on the salary scale. Given the clause will apply to existing part-time employees, the effect is to cap the payment at level 8, even where a teacher is more experienced. Of particular concern are the proposed amendments to the General Staff Award. The ISV

is seeking to extend the range of staff not covered by the award to include a broad range of professional roles, such as accountants, finance managers, marketing, legal, human resources, public relations and information technology specialists. This would see many school employees who are not covered by Enterprise Agreements lose the coverage of an award and therefore fall back to individual contracts. The ISV is seeking to exclude more employees than were previously excluded by the pre-modern awards and to erode access to such entitlements as overtime and penalty rates. The IEU will oppose this application and the alternative position put to annualise salaries so that award entitlements to penalty rates, overtime, allowances and leave loading are replaced by one annualised salary. A variation in either of the terms proposed by the ISV would also significantly

weaken the position of employees who have Enterprise Agreements. The other significant amendment proposed is to change the classification structure for sports coaches, so that junior rates can be paid and all classifications would be downgraded to lower pay levels. The ISV has provided no evidence in support of this application, but argues that the current classification structure results in sports coaches being overpaid for the work they perform. The IEU does not agree to the payment of junior rates in any circumstances and maintains that the current structure provides appropriate recognition of the skill required to coach students. Fair Work has advised that a timetable for determining the process for dealing with applications to vary specific industry awards will be notified shortly. It is expected the Modern Award review will be completed by the end of the year.

ieu councils

in opposition, Ted Baillieu was a vocal supporter of higher teacher pay

That was then, this is now

As leader of the Opposition, Ted Baillieu joined forces with Victorian teachers to demand they become ‘the highest paid in the country’. In Government, he would rather see teacher pay go backwards in real terms.

Motions passed by ieu Council On Saturday 12 May, the following motions were passed unanimously by IEU Council: Motion one concerns the Catholic Education Commission

of Victoria’s failure to work constructively with the union through a Single Enterprise Agreement, and the second deals with an inadequate pay offer from the Baillieu Government.

Motion 1 ‘That Council has heard a report from the Secretary about progress towards the next Agreement to cover members in Catholic education in Victoria. Council notes that a Single Enterprise Agreement (SEA) contains a number of protections for all parties: n Requirements for unions and employers to bargain in good faith; n Protected industrial action; n Voting processes that minimise risk of employers and employees not being covered by the new Agreement. Whereas a Multi-Enterprise Agreement (MEA) contains none of these protections. Council expresses its strong concerns about the decision made by the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria to pursue a MEA rather than a SEA. The decision ignores a legislative option that was specifically created for a sector like Victorian Catholic education and is out of step with other Catholic employers in Australia. Further, it has the potential to fragment conditions for Victorian Catholic employees. The Secretary is directed to convey Council’s

views to the Directors of Catholic Education.’ Motion 2 ‘That Council:

n expresses its solidarity with teacher and principal members in Victorian government schools who are preparing to take industrial action on 7 June in support of their claims after more than eight months of negotiations; n condemns the State Government’s 2.5% wages offer as insulting to education staff;

n notes the Government’s intention to offset any wage increases by delaying incremental progression for teachers, introducing competitive performance pay bonuses, and increasing workloads. Further, Council recognises that the wages and conditions outcome in government schools has a significant nexus to the outcome in non-government schools, particularly in Catholic schools. Committee of Management is called upon to develop and circulate to sub-branches proposed actions that will exert maximum pressure on the State Government.’

May 2012 THE POINT

What is a Webinar?

ployees ments.

change for or rates ations ower ided his t the ure ing

agree tes in intains rovides the skill

at g h c tified Modern pleted

Get on board!

uPCoMinG traininG oPPortunities

Managing your Career: CV writing & interview skills This training provides you with information and skills to enable you to fully plan, enjoy and control your career. The seminar is aimed at all staff in schools. It will include information on careers and work, networking, CV writing and interview skills. Please note: places are strictly limited. Devonport: Monday 4 June, 9.30am – 4pm Code: TCV122 Cost: $25 members $100 non-members Melbourne: Monday 2 July, 9.30am – 4pm Code: CV122 Cost: $25 members $100 non-members Hobart: Monday 10 September, 9.30am – 4pm Code: TCV121 Cost: $25 members $100 non-members

ess: Working with students with special needs This seminar, presented by Kaye Dennis, will focus on ways teacher aides, integration aides and other staff can effectively support students with disabilities in the classroom. It will examine how to encourage independence in learning, motivating poor learners and developing confidence and capability in students. Mildura: Tuesday 29 May, 1.00- 4.00pm Cost: $25 IEU members $50 non-members tholic Code: ES125 Shepparton: Tuesday 12 June, 1.00- 4.00pm Code: ES126 Cost: $25 IEU members $50 non-members

Managing student behaviour The interactions teachers have with their students can occur in ipal a range of settings, and at times they can be challenging. In this seminar, Jo Lange, one of Australia’s premiere PD presenters, will ho are explore student behaviour in detail, with a particular focus on practical, strial port of occuPational health & safety than iations;

ges ucation


aying on ng nce asing

es ons hools he nt holic

ent nd

exert State


everyday strategies to set up and continue a productive work and social atmosphere in the classroom. Devonport: Monday 2 July 1pm – 4pm Code: TTR 122 Cost: $50 members $100 non-members Casual relief teacher seminar: engaging students This seminar is for all casual relief teachers in Victorian schools, allowing you to join your colleagues for professional learning, networking and sharing. It has been scheduled for Victorian school holiday time to give casual relief teachers the best opportunity to attend. Please note: this seminar must be booked through the Teacher Learning Network – visit for further information. Melbourne: Thursday 12 JulyCost: $55 for IEU members $255 non-members Pd in the Pub: effective Classroom management, with Glen Pearsall Effective classroom management is a skill all teachers need to continue developing because of the changing environment we work in. While these events are targetted primarily at students and teachers in their first few years, even the most experienced teacher will find them valuable. For student teachers it’s a chance to learn effective techniques you can use on rounds and when you get a job. This session is presented by Glen Pearsall, a highly experienced classroom teacher. He has delivered a wide array of acclaimed workshops throughout Australia. Devonport: Monday 16 July, 4.30pm – 6pm Code: TPD121 Cost: FREE for IEU members Hobart: Wednesday 18 July, 4.30pm – 6pm Code: TPD122 Cost: FREE for IEU members

The Teacher learning network offers a comprehensive program of free ‘webinars’ – online, live, interactive seminars – across a broad range of subjects of interest to teachers and support staff. It’s an easy alternative for those who would like to take part in PD opportunities, but can’t make it to our training venues. Victorian IEU members are eligible to participate in TLN webinars if their school is a member of the Teacher Learning Network. The good news for Tasmanian IEU members is that you already have full access to TLN’s range of webinars. Members have already been participating, and the feedback so far has been positive. Wendy Forsyth from St Mary’s College Hobart told us the webinars are a ‘very good presentation method’ and that it’s ‘really worth providing (webinars) for teachers’. Debbie Dodd from St Patrick’s College Prospect was impressed with how easy it was to get set up for the webinars – ‘There was good support with emails for log in information and equipment requirements. Documents were available to download and it was well-timed to allow participants’ contributions as well as notetaking.’ So why not look into participating in a webinar yourself? For more information on how, call the TLN on 03 9418 4992 or visit uPCoMinG tln Webinars: Thursday 7 June: Working Right Thursday 14 June: New Roles for Early Childhood Assistants Thursday 2 august: Using Computers to Support Thinking Skills Thursday 9 august: Writing and Early Childhood Philosophy

asbestos: hidden hazard of the workplace

Asbestos and its presence in the built environment is a very significant hazard, not only in the workplace but also in many older residential buildings.


ollowing exposure, it is dangerous to human health. Asbestos occurs naturally in the environment and its many properties as a heat resistant material made it attractive to use in building, construction, manufacturing and industrial applications. From the 1940s into the 1980s it was widely used in more than 3000 applications. Asbestos fibres are microscopically small and when released into the environment as airborne dust the fibres are easily inspired, accumulating in the alveolus of the lung. This may result in the onset of one or more asbestos related diseases such as mesothelioma, lung cancer or

asbestosis. The period between exposure and the onset of disease is typically 30 – 40 years. When asbestos containing materials are dry, crumbling, pulverised or able to be reduced to powder by hand or other pressure, the fibres are able to easily become airborne. Asbestos in this condition is known as friable asbestos. Asbestos dust may also be released into the air as a result of work, such as contractors drilling into the material during repair or installation work. Asbestos can also be found in common materials like asbestos cement sheeting and vinyl floor tiles, where the asbestos is mixed with other products, like cement,

to bond the asbestos fibres and reduce the likelihood of the product crumbling. Overtime and exposure to the elements, these products deteriorate and the risk of the material becoming friable increases. So, the first step in protecting persons from asbestos exposure is to know where it is located and to assess the condition of the material. This principle should apply to both workplace and residential environments constructed or renovated prior to the late 1980s. This can be achieved by arranging for a competent person to identify the presence, location and condition of asbestos containing material

as well as any work activities in your workplace which may affect or cause damage to asbestos containing materials. Following the identification process a formal report should be provided. Asbestos should only be removed by qualified, approved removalists, as removal and disposal must comply with strict safety requirements. Once asbestos has been identified in the workplace, if it is not removed it must be continually monitored to ensure it remains in a condition which will not expose persons to harm. Regardless of any change to its condition, asbestos which is enclosed or sealed should be reviewed regularly, adequate records maintained and revised. Ultimately, the objective of asbestos management in schools

should be to get rid of it. The most effective way to protect persons from asbestos exposure at work is to find it, assess its condition and have it removed. This process should include consultation with health and safety representatives where they have been elected, and, in their absence, consultation with all workers likely to be affected. Asbestos management plans, appointment of a School Asbestos Co-ordinator, robust contractor management systems to inform contractors of the location and condition of asbestos are measures that enhance the management of asbestos risks. The presence of asbestos may also be further indicated by labelling. For further information and assistance contact Brian Martin, IEU OHS Officer.


THE POINT May 2012

Feature teacher Performance ProPosals

Two proposals related to teacher performance have been endorsed by Australian Education Ministers

jump? How high?

tWo neW national sCheMes foCus on teaCher PerforManCe aPPraisal

The april national meeting of education ministers (the standing Council on school education and early Childhood) endorsed two schemes that will significantly push the performance pay and compulsory teacher appraisal agendas closer to a reality for australian teachers.


he mechanics and basic principles of both schemes have been developed by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL). One, the process for Certifying Highly Accomplished and Lead teachers is a voluntary scheme which is to be implemented from next year. The other, the Australian Teacher Performance and Development Framework proposes guidelines for the mandatory annual appraisal of all Australian teachers. Ministers agreed to release the new teacher performance and development framework for consultation. Unfortunately, like so many “consultations” on important issues, the time line is inadequately short and ministers will consider the results of the consultation in August. It is proposed that this scheme be implemented in all schools. The IEU Victoria Tasmania has made a national submission along with our sister branches in other states and territories to the consultation on certifying Accomplished and Lead teachers (available on the IEU Victoria Tasmania) website and will do so in respect to the performance and development framework. A key concern about both of these schemes is the underestimation of the workload involved and the unwieldy and complicated processes.

Certification of Highly Accomplished and lead Teachers While the AITSL draft document was subject to consultation, the final document has essentially no change. The issues raised in the IEUA submission were essentially ignored. The process remains overly complex in both the evidence requirements and the evaluation process. This will result in an overly bureaucratic and costly model. The model not only will involve a large amount of work by the applicant to evidence the standards and be observed in classroom work, but relies heavily on what is a work intensive “vetting” by an applicant’s principal/supervisor. The process requires the principal/supervisor to undertake almost all aspects of assessment:

Teacher Cost issues AITSL itself is not commenting on this issue, as it says they have developed the standards and accreditation model. Who will undertake the oversight of the applicants’ assessment process, and the funding of this has not been made clear. However, the question of teachers paying for application was discussed by Ministers at the April meeting and there was some talk that eligible teachers might have to pay approximately $1500 to be accredited. If teachers are successful they receive a one-off bonus of $7,500 for Highly Accomplished and $10,000 for Lead.

Government Funding The federal government has put in $60 million for the administrative set up of the program. (Victoria’s share is approx $15 million). In the first year of the program (2013-14), the federal government will distribute $40 million (Victoria’s share $10 million). The Victorian Minister for Education, Peter Hall, has raised in the Victorian Parliament, issues of inadequacy and wastage of money. He stated that what this means is that Victoria would spend $15 million to set up the scheme administratively and pay $10 million out in bonuses to an estimated 1200 teachers.

Victorian employers project The Department, the CECV and Independent Schools Victoria, in conjunction with VIT, have just commenced running a project to develop a consistent approach to the certification of highly accomplished and lead teachers. The IEU is interested to hear from teachers and schools involved in the project.

The Australian Teacher Performance and Development Framework The IEU will consult with members and make a comprehensive response to the consultation document. The union’s conference last year adopted a comprehensive policy on Teacher Appraisal to assist in fair and useful processes at school and system level. There are a number of issues that the union will particularly raise in respect to the guidelines proposed: The IEU’s initial response to the process outlined in the consultation document is: n The IEU would agree that identifying priorities for improvement is not enough without access to support that allows teachers to improve, and that development opportunities need to be negotiated n There is not generally a problem with the premise of the importance of developing a culture of professional improvement, feedback and growth within a school, with the ultimate aim of improving student outcomes. This should occur in a context of good leadership and support. However: n The proposal seems produced in isolation from what is already happening in schools and systems and under many industrial agreements n It is prefaced on there not being existing clear accountability for improving the quality of teacher performance and development – we don’t agree n The cost is totally underestimated regarding time, provision of PD opportunities and staff resources. The document states as integral regular feedback and coaching, access to quality development. It identifies as critical ‘ongoing and extensive support for schools, groups of schools, teachers and school leaders’, but not how this is to be resourced. n There are problems with the time and workload associated with a number of aspects of this document/model. There are questions about how data is to be collected and who conducts the performance review.

Compulsion? The document states that after consultation the framework goes to Ministers in August 2012. Upon endorsement, work will begin to implement the framework across Australia in 2013. Minister Garrett’s press release commenced with the statement that ‘teachers in every Australian school will have a yearly performance assessment which will include classroom observation and evidence of student outcomes.’ It is certainly not clear how non-government schools will be ‘made’ to do this.

May 2012 THE POINT


Feature technology in the classroom

engaging with images

As the technology we use becomes better designed, more intuitive, lighter and more adaptable to our needs, it is the image in particular that dominates.


e consume images at a prodigious rate, as we create them in mindboggling numbers and then exchange them and manipulate them, collate them and contrast them. We can now record an image and share it with the world while on the run, literally, as almost all of us carry a camera of some kind in our pockets. Students, in particular, are voracious consumers of images, and as educators, we need to be able to shape and guide this consumption. We’ve always had a fetish for images, as they can convey so much information, so much more quickly. It’s little wonder that the image has become such an obsession, as we absorb the information from an image an estimated 60 thousand times faster than the written word. Images are powerful – just ask your friendly local dictator, or anyone producing advertising material. Images stay in your mind. Our images are also loaded with more context, from more sources, than they ever have been. Our friends tag and caption our images, influencing their meaning, and share them with their friends – where the process begins again. Facial recognition maps who is in the picture auto-magically and makes connections of its own, while meta-tagging tells us when and perhaps where. Text within the image can be read by sophisticated software, and then made searchable. Images are far more numerous, and their ability to be altered, mashed and remixed is now in the hands of every one of us. There are vast numbers of images in the public domain now – taken, uploaded, scanned and created at a prodigious rate. Flickr, perhaps the world’s largest online repository of images, has over 5 billion images available to be tagged and grouped, explored and refashioned. Images are now viewed and interpreted by a wider audience as our personal recorded histories have become a social play-space online, to

Imagine a world, or a school, without bullying

be observed and dissected, to be tagged and edited, mashed up and recreated. We also have become swift critics of our own work, and we no longer have the same sense of permanence about an image that we once had. Capture, view, delete – repeat. With all this change and transition, how significant is the image in education? There’s no doubt that we are more aware of the impact of images on conveying ideas to students, and we’re becoming more sophisticated in our application of images, using them to inspire ideas to guide discussion and much more. There’s also little doubt that understanding how we use images with our students is increasingly important. Studies tell us that young adults are far less likely to be able to distinguish between genuine content in images and promotional or peripheral material. They are less likely to appreciate appropriate boundaries and context when sharing images, or to appreciate possible ramifications. Images increasingly accompany reading material, particularly in new ebook-style texts. Images can significantly influence our judgment on issues. When a carefully selected handful is distributed throughout a written textbook, we can be relatively sure that the context has been carefully considered as, for the most part, the editorial process examines the influence and context of these images carefully. When they are peppered amongst text with less regard, as they are likely to be now that we can all be textbook writers, problems can arise. It has never been more important to teach students the value of dissecting an image, of discussing how meaning changes when context changes, and of what part they play in the evolution of the image. When looking at an image, information is absorbed on many different levels, and we make an account of them influenced by a host

of factors. This has in the past principally been due to the intent of the photographer, but as we use and re-use, manipulate and mash-up, the original intent can be lost. Account can be taken of foreground, background, and midground, and of the emphasis or size of a particular object. We draw meaning from symbols in the image that are sometimes universal, sometimes culturally or socially specific. We take into consideration the setting of the image, and how it intertextually influences the meaning of what has been framed within it. We are influenced by the use of colour, light and exposure to sway our opinion of the meaning within the image. There are many other factors and considerations that we need to be able to educate our students to be alert to. What skills do students need to navigate these new image forms? Before we begin with honing our skills in manipulation, we need to acquire the vocabulary associated with the image. The more we understand about an image, the more we can take pleasure in it, for having the right language to critique gives us a deeper understanding and appreciation. Students already have a rich experience handling images – it’s appreciation for the nuances involved that’s needed, and having the language to critique them gives them this. Don’t hesitate to use images in education, but remember that they are delicate creations, and your students need to develop the appropriate vocabulary needed to examine these images critically. A picture really does tell a thousand words. Martin presented at the recent Beginning Teacher Conference. His website is a fantastic resource for teachers and students alike, and has a library of digital tools for use in the classroom. This article is adapted from material originally appearing in his blog, and is reproduced with permission.

What if …. ?

There are times as an educator where you get an opportunity to imagine ‘what if …..’ What if we could get all children to read regularly and to love reading? What if all children left school with a sense of amazement and curiosity about the world of numbers? What if all children left school with a clear pathway that would enable them to reach their goals? What if I was taught at school all of the things that enabled me to live an emotionally mature life? What if every school was safe for every child every day ….?


hat if one day you got an email from someone who said they had a program from Scandinavia which had effectively eliminated bullying in a school – not just reduced it a bit, not a program to help victims, not a program that dealt with perpetrators, and not a program about fixing things after the event, but a program that eliminated bullying across a school. And then, what if you invested several months in creating a pilot project in six Victorian schools to trial this program and at the end of that program a really high quality teacher from a secondary

school in Melbourne said to you, ‘This program eliminated the bullying in my classroom’. What if Swinburne University conducted a study of the pilot project and reported back to you that the results showed a significant increase in a number of key markers of emotional intelligence among the children in the program compared to their peers in control groups. What if the principal who took part in the project said to you that her staff was functioning more effectively as a result of working with the same program – an unintended consequence of

implementing the pilot project. Well we did invest the time; that principal and teacher did tell us those things; the research did conclude the significant outcomes; and now we want to tell everyone about it. The Four Rooms of Change is a program being offered by the TLN. The program increases students’ emotional intelligence, increases staff capacity to deliver effective education programs and has the capacity to eliminate bullying. They are big claims but there is substantial research and anecdotal evidence to back them. If you want to know more, call

Michael Victory at the TLN on 9418 4991 ( or register for the Introduction to The Four Rooms of Change on Monday 21 May from 2.00pm – 5.00pm. All registrations at You can also order one or more copies of the latest TLN Journal – ‘Why wasn’t I taught this at school?’ which maps out the pilot project and has information from the pilot schools about their success with the program.

Personal finance solutions There are all sorts of reasons why we need to borrow money - travel, debt consolidation, furniture, weddings or cars. Whatever your need, get a great deal from a customer owned bank!

Our Personal Loans offer: n Competitive interest rates. n No early repayment fees. n Repayments aligned to your pay cycle. n No monthly service fees. n A low establishment fee. Applying is easy. Call 1300 654 822 or visit


Our range includes: Personal: n Revolving. n Green. Cars: n New. n Used. n Green. Shares. Students (including deferred payment option). Line of Credit. Credit Cards.

Fees and charges apply. Terms and Conditions available on request. ABN 44 087 651 769, AFSL/Australian Credit Licence Number 240 960.

04_IEU_255x365c.indd 1

8/05/2012 4:14:20 PM

May 2012 THE POINT

women and work

2012 anna stewart memorial Project

This year Stephanie Szwajlyk from Catholic Regional College Caroline Springs was the IEU’s participant in the Anna Stewart Memorial Program. Anna Stewart was a former journalist and active union official until her untimely death at 35 in 1983. The program that honours her, a two week secondment with the union, is designed to expose women to the full range of work conducted by trade unions, and promote the involvement of women within the union movement.


thought that I had a pretty good idea of what was involved in union issues and business. However, it wasn’t until I had the opportunity to participate in the Anna Stewart Memorial Project that I truly started to appreciate the incredible work in which unions are involved, and in particular the efforts of IEU Victoria Tasmania to support staff in our Catholic and independent schools! During my (all too short) two weeks of participating in sessions and workshops at the Trades Hall I had the privilege of working alongside women from various unions – manufacturing, nursing, police, childcare and fellow educators – on issues ranging from Fair Work, Fair Pay, Family Violence and the role that women have played in advancing social justice through unions in Australia. At the IEU offices I have been exposed to many experiences that reflect the diverse nature of union

business: enterprise bargaining negotiations, Health and Safety training, attending a union rally, meeting union members on school visits, discussing the progress of the new Victorian Catholic Agreement negotiations and the investigation of family friendly provisions in our independent schools’ Agreements. It has been my good fortune to capture a snapshot of the day-to-day business of our union staff, all of whom have been mentors to me and taught me so much in such a short time. My participation in the program has empowered me with greater confidence to take union as well as social causes back to my workplace to educate staff as well as students. Looking towards the future, I hope to also be able to make a contribution to the union movement and women’s rights, to honour the legacy of all the fabulous women that I have encountered as well as Anna herself.

WoMen and unions in australia – a bit of history • Australian women have been an important part of the trade union movement since the beginning of Australian trade unionism. • The first rebellion staged by women in Australia was in 1827 when convict women at the female factory in Parramatta went on strike over tea and sugar rations being withdrawn. They were victorious in getting these provisions reinstated. • In 1882 the first women workers’ union was formed when tailoresses in one factory stopped work after their piecework rates were cut. They soon had 2000 members and went on strike in support of a catalogue of claims which was eventually won. This strike took place before unions were legally recognized. • The word ‘log’ was coined from this dispute, referring to the different pieces of work on garments. • The outcomes of the tailoresses’ strike were significant and won great public support. The strike stimulated growth in trade unionism, leading to the legal recognition of unions in the mid 1880’s. The strike was also partly responsible for a Parliamentary enquiry into allegations of ‘sweating’ in factories in Victoria, which led to the formulation of the Factories Act. • The participation of women in trade unions has not always been welcomed by male trade unionists. The prevailing view was that women belonged in the home and as such were not a permanent part of the workforce, with many male trade unionists strongly resisting the admittance of women members to ‘their unions’. • Until 1949, women earned only 54% of the male wage on average.


Teachers, students and unionists rallied outside Victorian Premier Ted baillieu’s offices on Thursday 10 May to protest savage cuts to TAFE funding announced in the recent state budget. About $290 million is expected to be ripped out of the Victorian TAFE system, at the same time as the baillieu Government is preparing to spend almost $700 million on extra prison beds. Members and staff of the IEU joined thousands of others to loudly let the Premier know that his priorities are out of order, and might cost as many as 1,500 jobs in the TAFE sector. For more information, see our budget story on page three.


ore information about the Anna Stewart Memorial Program for Tasmania, which will run from 7-16 August, will be available in coming editions of The Point. If you’d like to be involved, contact


Call our dedicated Pension team – we’ll step you through your options and compare your existing Pension fund

CSF The point Advert 255w x 182h v1.indd 1

27/02/12 1:39 PM

Do you want to learn more about your finances?

Au Su

Then visit NGS MoneyCoach, a fun and interactive online learning platform that includes: • • • •

24 multi-media modules on all things finance and super games tools resources and more!

Visit and start taking control of your finances today!

Issued by NGS Super Pty Limited ABN 46 003 491 487 AFSL No 233 154 the Trustee of NGS Super ABN 73 549 180 515 NGS Super Pty Limited ABN 46 003 491 487 AFS Licence No. 233 154 the Trustee of NGS Super ABN 73 549 180 515 NGS15115_NGS The Point JUN Advert.indd 1

0807 (0212)


19/04/12 2:44 PM

May 2012 THE POINT


National and International Education nation

Wa The Attracting Outstanding Principals trial, announced by Western Australia’s Education Minister Elizabeth Constable, will see annual incentive packages of up to $28,703 offered for 30 principal positions in selected schools over the next three years. The Ngaanyatjarra Lands School Principal position will be the first of two in Western Australia to be offered a salary incentive on top of their normal package in order to attract a candidate for the role. The incentive will be added on top of usual pay rates and aims to attract high quality principals to work at complex schools. Qld The new LNP government has made education a priority as part of its ‘First 100 Days’ plan, including addressing school infrastructure and identifying the first 150 classes to be funded for more hours for Prep teacher aides. The government also plans to call for expressions of interest for ‘Independent Public’ Schools. Unions have called for priority to be given to negotiations for the new Agreement for teachers in government schools which is nominally due to be negotiated by 1 July this year. Initial negotiations

had already commenced with the Department of Education and Training prior to the state election. nsW The NSW Teachers’ Federation has written to all members of the NSW Parliament outlining its concerns that the salaries, staffing and security of the teaching profession are under threat and that the state government is retreating from its responsibility to ensure that every child in every public school is taught by a qualified teacher. The union is calling for a guaranteed teacher transfer system across the state, professional salaries to attract and retain the best teachers, and security of employment. sa The AEU in South Australia led a ‘Black Friday’ protest at the Department of Education in protest at the State Government’s decision to save $8 million by closing and amalgamating almost fifty schools. All but two of the review panels set up by the government have recommended against amalgamation, yet the government has been unable to provide any educational justification for the decision.

2/12 1:39 PM

International neWs

Australian Education for Sustainability

The IEU is proud to be a founding member of the Australian Education for Sustainability Alliance (AESA), which was formally launched in Canberra on 20 March.

AESA consists of a range of organisations including the Australian Education Union, the National Tertiary Education Union, Australian Youth Climate Coalition, and the Australian Conservation Foundation. AESA was formed to campaign for higher prioritisation of “Education for Sustainability” (EfS) across all levels of the education system. The main policy platforms relate to: - Quality sustainability curriculum content, supported by effective professional development and resource development - Whole-school approaches to environmental and community outcomes, through support for such programs as the Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative (AuSSI) - Equipping tertiary students with the skills to engage in a sustainable economy

- ‘Green skills’ professional development, supporting the wider workforce for a transition to sustainable industry After the launch, representatives of the members of AESA visited the offices of nearly 30 politicians, including the Ministers and Shadow Ministers for Education and the Environment, to lobby for greater support for EfS and to kick-start a bipartisan, positive discussion about issues including professional development and pre-service teacher training. Feedback from the day was overwhelmingly positive, and many of the politicians we spoke to have expressed interest in engaging further with the Alliance and promoting its aims within their respective parties and electorates. For further information visit the AESA website:

In Bahrain, authorities have again adjourned the case against Mahdi Abu Dheeb, President of the bahraini Teachers Association, thus prolonging his detention, and are still refusing to release him on bail. Together with other unionists, Abu Dheeb was arrested after the protests of March 2011, and during his arrest has claimed mistreatment at the hands of the authorities. His health is apparently deteriorating. Grave concerns for the union leader remain as officials reportedly continue to deny him the medical help he urgently needs. One of every four enrolments in private schools in India will now be earmarked for socially and economically disadvantaged groups, after the Supreme Court endorsed the validity of a disputed clause in the Right to Education Act. This Act, originally approved in 2009, makes education a fundamental right of all children aged six to fourteen, thus placing the responsibility of ensuring universal education on the State. Private providers had challenged the Act’s validity based on protecting their autonomy, but this legal ruling has determined that the Act applies uniformly to all schools across the country. Teachers and educators in Nova Scotia, Canada, have denounced

the government’s plan to cut the education budget by $30 million. A petition organised by groups including the Nova Scotia Teachers Union has gathered over 20,000 signatures. The petition was presented to the government late last month. The cuts include more than 600 teaching positions which aim to match personnel numbers to an ongoing drop in the student enrolments. Late last month, education unions in Chile joined a massive march in support of public education in the capital, Santiago. The protest called for the fundamental right to state funded education to be guaranteed. The education union, Colegio de Profesores de Chile, has been leading the fight to end profitdriven education and return the management of the education system to the state. And finally, in Connecticut, USA, a 5 year-old brought along an unusual item from home for his class show-and-tell. Alongside his classmates’ pet hamsters, holiday souvenirs and favourite toys, the bridgeport boy brought along 50 packets of heroin to show. We’re sure there is some line about not taking drugs, especially to show-and-tell…

the life of the union

The sub-branch rep is a treasured member of the IEU community

Old hands, new faces

Friday 11 may marked another successful rep Forum and rep Dinner. It was great to see some new, fresh faces, but also inspiring to see so many reps fronting up for now the third year to experience some great PD, connect with each other, and reflect on their broader role in the trade union movement.


riday’s forum had Deputy President Smith from Fair Work Australia provide a fascinating insight into his perspective of the changing role of the Commission since its early days as a Conciliation and Arbitration Board. He succinctly summarised the growing influence of various federal governments in legislative change, and how that has replaced the Commission’s previous capacity to resolve nearly any employment related dispute and benchmark best practice through test case decisions. DP Smith then spent time with reps who appreciated the opportunity to ask the ‘architect’ of consultation what guiding principles ensure genuine consultation in the workplace. The second afternoon session focussed on recruitment. Will Wyatt from the CPSU Growth team outlined some of the techniques he uses to encourage non-members to join. For reps, who are clearly unionists by principle, it can be challenging to focus on ‘selling’ union benefits such as shopper discounts. Will’s session kicked off some great debate about this concept, and also practical examples of how reps are keeping the union visible in their workplace, and ‘having the conversation’ with nonmembers.

the dinner More than 60 reps turned up to hear Lisa Fitzpatrick, Secretary of the Victorian ANF, talk candidly and in detail about the nurses’ last campaign. She spoke about the enormous challenges members faced to preserve existing conditions such as professional nurse/patient ratios. When the State Government intervened and got orders from Fair Work Australia to prevent further protected action, the campaign literally went grass roots and underground. The use of Facebook and twitter by members, and the co-ordination by Trades Hall of other unions like us to step in and meet with members to support them in unprotected action, built an unstoppable momentum. Lisa reinforced the importance of community campaigning, sheer hard work from members and organisers to just keep going, to try something different when traditional means fail, and to win the debate in the public’s mind. The evening was again a celebration of union values – solidarity and collectivism.