catholic Agreement updates page 3
2012 Bargaining Review page 5
iEU Annual conference page 10–11
hall of shame page 7
Best Practice Ohs structures page 14
PRINT POST 352524/00374
INDepeNDeNT eDuCATIoN uNIoN VicTORiA TAsMANiA
VOlUME 2 NO 6
geNerAL SeCreTAry deB James
The iEU has had some big wins in 2012 and risen to new challenges in what has been a strong year for the union. however as we wind down i’m also mindful of unfinished core business which must be resolved in 2013.
the third ieu / aeu Green schools conference was held at the ieu conference centre in south melbourne on Friday 16 November
Melbourne weatherman Rob gell (above) was the star speaker in a packed out day of environmental action planning.
he Green Schools Conference is part of the IEU’s commitment to making environmental issues part of the union’s business. The conference aims to bring together educators from across the state who share a passion for sustainability. It then examines broad environmental issues facing the community as a whole and how schools can play a part in the solution through curriculum development, sustainable practices and raising social awareness. The Conference started with two wonderful speakers, Paul Dullard and Thea Nicholas. Paul Dullard has been teaching in Catholic Education for 26 years, and for the past eight years has been an Education Officer (Sustainability) for the Catholic Education Office Sandhurst. Paul passed on his passion for his work to the audience, giving an insight into the development of the new ‘Kinship with the Earth’ Education for Sustainability Curriculum Framework for Sandhurst Catholic Education, as well as the Certificate III in Carbon Management VET course for VCE. Thea is a highly decorated teacher having won numerous awards, and she shared how she was able to ‘teach live’ from the rainforest, and experience firsthand the effects of climate change on the biodiversity of the Wet Tropics of Queensland through the 2010
Earthwatch scholarship. Thea also showcased the Cool Australia website which is an amazing resource for teachers. Workshops were delivered by individual schools, as well as by the Global Education Project and Ceres, with the CEO-placed teacher at Ceres, Matthew Navaretti, exploring the ways in which Education for Sustainability can be based in theology. The day concluded with an address by Rob Gell. Rob is a coastal geomorphologist who was a teacher before spending 31 years presenting television weather. He challenged participants with the concept of change, outlining some major issues facing us globally as well as offering some positive solutions. One major obstacle to tackling climate change seems to be the inability of government to accept that the problem even exists, as well as a lack of commitment by governments to take action. Participants found his discussion compelling and were left with both inspiration to encourage their students to make a difference and the motivation to make change themselves. Thank you to all our wonderful speakers and workshop presenters for a thought provoking and rewarding day.
At the time of print, there is still no sign of a deal for government schools and, of course, this means that we are not even remotely close to an Agreement for Victorian Catholic schools. Even if agreement were to be reached before the end of the year between the AEU and the State government there is still a lot of ground to be traversed in our log of claims not to mention the claims of Catholic employers. It’s been a frustrating campaign and I can’t remember a round of bargaining that has gone unresolved for as long as this. In Tasmania, our claim is now served on Catholic employing authorities and formal bargaining will most certainly kick start soon. An ongoing priority is to continue to grow the number of comprehensive Agreements we have in independent schools as we strive towards members’ wages and conditions being regulated in legally enforceable instruments. Many schools this year delayed their Agreement-making while waiting on an outcome in the Victorian government sector and will no doubt ramp up when these rates are known. Add a federal election, the implementation of a new funding model and dealing with the conditions and strings that are going to come with it and we’ve got ourselves a very big agenda. With the support of a strong and growing membership, committed and active workplace reps, and the hardworking and resilient team of staff, the IEU is well up to the challenges that lie ahead. Best wishes for the festive season and a happy, healthy and harmonious new year.
THE POINT November 2012
contacts, calendar & contents contact Us
EDITORIAL/ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES T: (03) 9254 1860 F: (03) 9254 1865 FreeCall: 1800 622 889 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.ieuvictas.org.au CONTRIBUTIONS & LETTERS from members are welcome and should be forwarded to: The Point PO Box 1320, South Melbourne 3205, or by email to: ThePoint@ieuvictas.org.au MELBOURNE OFFICE: 120 Clarendon Street, Southbank 3006 HOBART OFFICE: 379 Elizabeth Street, Nth Hobart 7000 The Point is published by the Independent Education Union Victoria Tasmania. EDITORIAL CONTENT Responsibility for editorial comment is taken by D.James, 120 Clarendon Street, Southbank 3006. Views expressed in articles reflect those of the author and are not necessarily union policy. DESIGN/SUBEDITOR
COMMITTEE OF MANAGEMENT General Secretary Debra James Deputy Secretary Loretta Cotter Assistant Secretary (Tas) Angela Briant President Mark Williams Deputy President Elisabeth Buckley Ordinary Members Patrick Bennett Andrew Dunne Coralie Taranto Emma Wakeling School Officers Margot Clark
sUmmer hoUrs at tHe ieu
the ieu Victoria tasmania ofﬁ ces in melbourne and Hobart will be closed from 1pm Friday 21 december for the summer break.
a duty ofﬁ cer will be available to assist with member enquiries from Wednesday 9 January, though messages will be checked periodically before this date. regular ofﬁ ce hours (8.30am – 5pm monday to thursday, 8.30am – 4.30pm Friday) will resume on wednesday 23 January 2013.
Keep your details cUrrent
Council Presidents & Deputies Catholic Primary Council President: Christine Hilbert Deputy: Maree Shields Catholic Secondary Council President: Stephen Hobday Deputy: Ruth Pendavingh Independent Council President: Gregory Hawkins Deputy: Cara Maxworthy Tasmanian Council President: John Waldock Deputy: Jeremy Oliver Principals’ Council President: John Connors Deputy: Duncan Arendse
your member details Form 2013 is on the way, and should arrive by 8 december. make sure you ﬁ ll it in, keep your membership card, and return the form. memBers who paY earlY, in FUll, go into the draw For an apple ipad!
Voting for education IEU volunteers have been letterboxing against attacks in education
Asian Century White Paper Government calls for more Asian language studies, but it’s not that simple
Contract workers What members in Tasmanian Catholic schools should know
Surviving the first year New to teaching next year? You need to read this
2013 membership fees frozen! Strong growth means no increase in fees next year
Changes to teacher registration Different rules are on the way in Victoria
Staff issues at CEOM The IEU has been working with CEO employees to resolve ongoing problems
Training in review A big year of professional development for IEU members
Seasonal Safety Looking after physical and mental health these holidays
My summer What IEU members will be getting up to over the break
Summer: time for beach holidays, naps in the hammock, long lunches, reading for pleasure, pottering at home and getting organised. It’s also a good time to explore the financial and other benefits of IEU membership.
s part of a great, growing union of over 20,000 members the collective buying power of membership helps you save money and enjoy time away from work. Your union membership card is also your ticket to the lifestyle savings offered by Member Advantage. The program offers savings across everyday shopping, gifts, entertainment, movie tickets, wining and dining. If you are hitting the road, book a motel through Best Western or HotelClub or choose an adventure experience through Red Balloon or discounted theme park passes to make the most of your summer. For members lucky enough to be headed interstate or overseas over the break, Member Advantage also provides discount access to travel insurance, airline lounges, car rental and international mobile SIM cards. Spend some time exploring the range of shopping discount options which include toys and
games, electronics, gift cards, handbags and accessories, books and magazines. Even if your budget won’t accommodate purchases now, it may help you save time and money in future.. The summer break is also the time to tackle your ‘to do’ list whether that be buying a new car, getting or changing your home or personal loan or insurer, seeing a financial planner or advisor, or updating your will through the free referral available to members. Your IEU membership gives you access to Teachers Health Fund (THF) which exists specifically to provide health cover to the education community and their families. Request a quote online to make sure you have the best value. So while IEU membership will always be important for providing support and advice at work, to get the full value of membership check out the other member benefits: www.ieuvictas.org.au/ membership
November 2012 THE POINT
Catholic Agreement(s) update Victoria
Close to a year since our Agreement expired in the Catholic sector, there is no sense that this sometimes torturous process will ever be over. A key factor of course is that the government sector outcome is still unknown, and with wages the big ticket item, there can only be in principle exploration of many other member claims. A delay that could have been avoided was the CECV decision to suspend negotiations with the IEU for close to three months as punishment for the decision to engage in protest action on 5 September. We have been back at the table since 31 October, and one key issue has been exploration of our claims for improvements in the school officer wages and classification structure. It is overdue for improvement, with references to out-dated duties, many overlapping steps, and most critically, with pay points that undervalue the changed work and role that many of our members perform in schools. The IEU has tabled specific proposals to address the key deficiencies in the structure, and they are being considered by employer representatives. There is no doubt that our campaign for improvements to members’ wages and conditions will be one of the most protracted in our history.
After several months of rep and member consultation the final claim was tabled at an initial meeting between the IEU and employer representatives who will comprise the negotiating team for the next Agreement. Formal negotiations will not commence until Fair Work Australia approves the application for a Single Enterprise Agreement, and the notice of representational rights is sent to employees in Catholic education. The issues for Tasmanian members, as outlined in the claim, are strikingly similar to those of members in Victoria. Workloads, the classification structure and conditions for support
staff, parity with government schools on key conditions, work-life balance, part-time provisions, class sizes and employment security are features of the claim. Members have also claimed nationally competitive salary increases. Until recently, there was a salary ‘nexus’ agreement that ensured ESS and teachers’ wages were increased by the average of that achieved in the preceding year in other states and territories. It was only in the last round of bargaining that members in Catholic schools received these increases on the same day as those in government schools – pay parity. However, the government has moved away from the nexus agreement and with the state in economic trouble, the AEU settled for a two year agreement with increases of 2% each year. There is another meeting scheduled between the IEU and employer representatives before the end of the year, and regular meeting dates for terms 1 and 2 in 2013 are currently being finalised. and elsewhere…. Members in Catholic schools in Queensland are currently voting on their new Agreements. After strike action on 6 September, many negative employer proposals were taken off the table. The wages offer from Catholic employer representatives replicates the state government outcome – 2.7% or 23 dollars a week, whichever is the greater, backdated to 1 July 2012, and then a further two pay increases of 2.7% in 2013 and 2014. The stalemate in NSW has not been broken. The state government has stripped 1.7 billion dollars from the education budget over the next four years, effectively freezing funding for non-government schools at mid-2013 levels, and will not budge from a wages policy position of 2.5% in the public sector. Negotiations between the government and Teachers’ Federation (the public education union) have broken down completely. The IEU is calling on all Catholic and independent employers to join it in fighting this attack on wages and employment security.
snapshot: teachers’ wages in catholic schools
Four year traiNed
top oF automatic scale
56,984 58,250 58,437 57,565 59,749 84,086 86,878 79,905 84,188 83,007
N.B Queensland rates are being voted on. two additional payments above the top, with criteria attached. NsW rates to increase by 2.5% in January 2013.
THE POINT June 2012
News From The preSIDeNT
that was 2012
it might sound repetitive, but 2012 has been another busy year!
ur Union organisers have been out on the road resolving disputes, representing members in workplace issues, and negotiating Agreements in independent schools. Agreement-making is never easy, never short term in processing and never without some employers trying to negate or minimise long fought for conditions and salaries in independent schools. Thank you to our organisers and reps in schools for their patience and perseverance. To union officers and members representing the interests of Catholic and independent school staff ‘behind the scenes’ on various school authority committees and working parties, thank you. Representation is never short term and always a challenge. A major highlight of 2012 has been the consolidation and growth of the IEU Victoria Tasmania after the amalgamation of VIEU with our Tasmanian Catholic colleagues in 2011. Much work has been implemented in Tasmania in 2012 with overwhelmingly positive responses, both sides of the Strait. Of course the other major highlight of 2012 was Wednesday 5 September. After the two to three weeks of disappointing threats and rhetoric disrespectfully aimed at staff in Victorian Catholic schools, it was wonderful courage and commitment to justice, true valuing of our work and rejection
of Baillieu’s proposals that saw a record number of members attend the mass meeting at the Exhibition Building. Buses, trains and cars came from all over the state to vent members’ displeasure at the inadequate wages offer and divisive performance pay proposals on the table. At time of writing, the CECV have finally got their machinery moving and the State certainly has met regularly with the AEU, but this is shaping up to be one of the more difficult campaigns in our history. Unless the AEU is offered substantially better than what is currently on the table, they will be in full strike mode again in February and work to rule bans have already been implemented for the remainder of the 2012 school year. When the wages outcome is finally decided in the government sector, we must remain vigilant in applying pressure on the CECV to ensure that all aspects of our own claim receive the consideration and respect that they deserve. I thank you all for your support and commitment to the union again in 2012, to your colleagues in schools and I particularly wish to thank, on your behalf, the union leadership, officers and support staff for their skill, commitment and strong sense of social justice in collectively holding all our employer organisations to account during 2012. I look forward to working with you again in 2013 for the betterment of our members.
Voters for education
premier Baillieu – Voters don’t like your attacks on education. Mr Baillieu doesn’t understand what constitutes good policy when it comes to education. His plans to introduce performance pay, cut real wages in education and take funding away from TAFE will have a devastating impact on the education system in Victoria.
he decision to reduce TAFE funding has an impact on the children in our schools by making it harder for them to access further education and the proposed introduction of performance pay will mean that teachers and support staff in our sector will be working against each other instead of together to achieve the best outcome for the children they educate. IEU members have continued to send a clear message to the Baillieu Government – that not only do we not agree with his divisive and short-sighted approach to education in Victoria, but that if things don’t change he and his Government will be voted out at the next election. The Baillieu Government has the slimmest of majorities in the parliament, meaning that, when we send a clear message to voters, the government has to Mowbray members’ farewell
MOWBRAY MOVEMENT Towards the end of October, Mowbray College members who had completed GEERS forms received their cash entitlements under the scheme.
EERS is a Government scheme designed to assist the ‘victims’ of bankrupt businesses that close without assets sufficient to meet employee entitlements. This occurs prior to and during the liquidation of the company’s assets. The scheme caps entitlements and goes nowhere near meeting the claims members would have under their Enterprise Agreement. But it does provide financial compensation where previously there was none. The union has provided comprehensive assistance in completing the forms, liaising with the GEERS office, and in some cases requesting reviews. Clearly, members are concerned about the gap between what GEERS provides and what they would have received under the Mowbray EBA. As creditors, they have a right to claim the ‘gap’ on liquidation, but the ranking order of creditors for payment is something the Union continues to pursue. Readers of The Point will be aware from media reports that the 3 campuses of the College have
been sold, so the process of liquidation is moving forward. The Union is informed by the Administrator JP Downey that the process could take anything upward of two years. Further media reports indicate the possibility of pursuing directors for possible culpability and liability in the College’s closure. The detailed forensic process of investigation that Downey is undertaking may provide some satisfaction to members as questions still remain unanswered about how an eminent independent school could disappear overnight. Throughout this unfortunate process, the IEU has continued to support our members of the former Mowbray College. Many have moved on to other employment, others are taking a break after the stress experienced by the forced closure. One thing that is consistent is the universal appreciation of members for the care and support that they have received from the Union. This support will continue, and we wish all well in their future endeavours.
listen. A message that says, if the Baillieu Government won’t respect staff in schools, our kids will miss out. 40,000 postcards have been letter boxed to voters in the four key marginal seats of Mitcham, South Barwon, Mordialloc and Bentleigh. The Liberal MPs that hold these seats are acutely aware this government’s approach to education reflects badly upon them and that it may cost them their jobs and Baillieu his majority. Our campaign has been about exposing the Baillieu government’s regressive education agenda. We have taken to the streets in protest and pounded the pavement to deliver our message. A healthy and vibrant education system needs Catholic and independent schools, with staff whose work is respected so that they can get on with the job of educating the next generation of Victorians.
MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS
The sudden announcement of the closure of Acacia College in Mernda last month came as a surprise to the whole education community.
s a new independent school, less than three years old, with growing enrolments, predicted to be at over 700 for 2013, and with backing by the Uniting Church, just how the college found itself in such a dire financial position is still being uncovered. With debt levels quoted to be between 10 and 40 million dollars depending on which report is read, the truth may never be fully made public. Unlike the allegations levelled during the closure of Mowbray College earlier in the year, there have been no discussions of financial mismanagement regarding Acacia. It seems the decision of the Uniting Church to cease supporting the college that was struggling under start up debt lead to the closure. The only positive outcome at
Acacia is that the school is closing on its own terms and providing a level of notice to staff, unlike the closure of Mowbray College earlier in the year. The Uniting Church has also undertaken to meet all entitlements of staff so members will not need to rely on the limited payments under the Government’s GEERS. However, there are still 70 staff members from an independent school in Victoria looking for work with a new employer for 2013 with only a couple of months’ notice. There are also hundreds of parents trying to secure enrolments for their children in other schools. The collapse of Acacia College, the second independent school this year, has led to the IEU calling on all levels of government to tighten controls over the financial viability of schools.
November August 2012 THE POINT
industrial rouNDup For The yeAr
Bargaining in review: 2012
Bargaining at independent schools in 2012 has seen some significant firsts and good results for schools that have finalised agreements. With the wages outcome in Government schools still outstanding, many schools have also chosen to defer concluding negotiations for a new agreement until that outcome is known and this has meant that fewer agreements have been approved by Fair Work australia this year than last year. We expect a high number of agreements will be concluded once there is certainty about what will occur in the Government system.
any schools benchmark against Government school wages to maintain a competitive edge. This has resulted in some reluctance to commit to a wages agreement this year, though a number of schools have proceeded with their n’t Agreements. In reviewing the year, it is clear there is a broad range of salary outcomes through bargaining. The average increase across all Agreements m approved in Victoria for 2012 is 3.64%. This compares to a rise in CPI from September 2011 to September 2012 of 2%. This also compares favourably with the State vernmentGovernment wages policy of limiting increases to 2.5% iss out. unless productivity trade-offs are achieved. o voters A number of other schools have elected to make outh interim wage increases for 2012, or the start of 2013 al and defer bargaining until the Government outcome is this known. In these schools the average increase for 2012 badly has been 3.3%, but has been as high as 6%. obs and In Tasmania, Agreements were approved for general staff at Scotch Oakburn and Launceston Christian e School. The salary increase at Scotch Oakburn was genda. 3.4% for 2012. At Launceston Christian, general staff ounded wages had fallen significantly behind government thy benchmarks. The Agreement provides wage increases c and of between 13 and 31% for 2012/13 and subsequent is increases in line with state wages. b of At Methodist Ladies College, bargaining reached an impasse due to the school’s proposal to require teachers to attend for professional development during school holidays. After considerable discussion and very strong advocacy on behalf of staff, the school agreed not to pursue this claim. Instead, the school has proposed a restructure of the way meeting times are scheduled to create greater certainty and efficiency for staff attending meetings. Scheduling will include College professional development times. The IEU and staff le are very pleased with this sensible outcome and with the preservation of teachers’ working conditions and recognition of teachers’ professionalism. While the s closing negotiations have not been finalised, it was also very viding good news for staff that the school determined to pass nlike on a wage increase of 6% for teachers and 3.5% for ollege school assistants to be paid in the first salary payment niting in November 2012 and backdated to 1 February 2012. en to This year the first Agreement in a Victorian Islamic taff so school was approved at East Preston Islamic School o rely on after over three years of consistent effort from union der the reps and officials. The Agreement has set in place wever, minimum salary increases for teachers of 5% each mbers year which will move wages to a margin of at least ool in 15% above current award wages. At IEU’s annual with a conference, teacher Tane Cane was recognised for ith only her tireless efforts ensuring the bargaining process e. There continued to fruition. Congratulations Tane and all the nts staff who worked towards obtaining this Agreement! nts for The Lutheran Schools Agreement is due to expire at hools. the end of 2012 and we would ordinarily have expected College, to have bargaining underway for the next Agreement. school We have, however, met with representatives of LESER U calling and have agreed that bargaining will commence in nt to Term 2 in 2013. This delay is to allow new management financial appointees at LESER to settle into their positions. In the interim, Lutheran Schools have proposed to pass on a
3% wage increase at the start of 2013. Back at the IEU office, short, issue-focused bargaining workshops have been introduced in 2012 to support organisers in their bargaining work and to increase skills and knowledge. The sessions have provided an opportunity for succinct technical issues to be discussed in some depth and for organisers to exchange ideas about common negotiating and bargaining experiences. Bargaining workshops will continue in 2013 to support organisers’ capabilities. Bargaining meetings are continuing at 38 schools. Each school has its own style of bargaining and issues to be discussed. For example, at St Leonard’s College Brighton claims being pursued include the removal of the hard barrier to reach the top of the teacher classification scale and to access paid parental leave after one year of service, rather than the current two years. At Bialik College an important aspect of the employee claim is seeking access to long service leave entitlements for general staff from 10 years of service rather than 15 years. These claims aim to ensure that staff in all independent schools have access to the best standards of working conditions possible. We can expect a number to be finalised before the end of the year and 2013 to start with much activity. currently bargaining at 38 schools: Aitken College Ballarat and Clarendon College Ballarat Grammar Ballarat Christian Bayview College Berry Street Bialik College Billanook Teachers Braemar College Carey Grammar Cathedral College Embassy College Freshwater Creek Kilvington Grammar King David School Kingswood College Korowa Anglican Girls’ School Life Education Longerenong College Lowther Hall Melbourne Girls’ Grammar Mentone Girls’ Grammar Methodist Ladies College Monash College Mount Scopus Memorial College Newhaven College Penleigh and Essendon Grammar Plenty Valley Christian College Plenty Valley Montessori School Presbyterian Ladies College Preshil, Magaret Lyttle Memorial School Strathcona Baptist Girls’ Grammar St Catherine’s School Toorak St Leonard’s College St Michael’s Grammar School Taylors English Language College The Knox School.
After almost two years of negotiation, Xavier College staff have voted overwhelmingly to support a new collective agreement covering teachers and general staff across the school’s three campuses. Over 200 staff voted in favour of the deal with only six against. The new Agreement delivers wage increases of at least 10.8% over 2012 – 2014 and includes a commitment to negotiate improved rates if union negotiations in government and systemic Catholic schools deliver more. In 2013, a top of the scale teacher at Xavier with homeroom responsibilities will earn $91,265, plus leave loading and, if applicable, a Saturday sport allowance. The Agreement breaks new ground for general staff with the introduction of annual incremental progression within levels to be introduced for the first time. Under previous arrangements, general staff were employed on a particular pay point within a range and could only progress subject to an undefined application process. Face-to-face teaching hours remain the same with full time ELC hours at 22 per week, Prep to Year 4 at 21 hours, 20 minutes, Year 5 to Year 8 at 19 and a half hours, and Year 9 to Year 12 at 18 hours. Other improved conditions include 14 weeks paid parental leave and increased severance pay for long serving employees. Negotiations were held up for some time by moves to allow the scheduling of PD during non-term weeks. In the end the parties settled on a model that maintains the status quo. The new Agreement will be in place until 2015. pictured above is the Xavier College negotiation committee, from left: IEU Rep Tim Clifford, Kostka Rep Gerry Sullivan, Senior Campus Rep Ken Ferguson, College HR Manager Peter Hudson, Senior campus Rep Bernie Brysher, IEU Officer David Brear, Burke Hall Rep Ron Gaztowicz, College Principal Chris Hayes and College Chief Financial Officer Val Marinelli.
MONAsh cOllEgE AgREEs
A new Enterprise Agreement at Monash College has been negotiated which sets a useful standard for pay and conditions in the private colleges sector.
onash College employs experienced VCE teachers to deliver a foundation program for overseas students to obtain entrance to Monash University. The first Agreement was a ‘greenfields’ Agreement made with the IEU prior to the College employing teachers – negotiations are now complete for the first Agreement involving employee representatives and member input. Monash College has a high level of union membership, an active IEU sub-branch and the College leadership have been very positive and open to ideas during negotiations. The key elements of the new Agreement (still in the final drafting stage) will be as follows: n 3.5% per annum salary increase over the life of the
Agreement – maintaining a significant premium on government schools at all levels n A new Teacher Classification Structure, several new Positions of Responsibility and a new allowances table n Improved Consultation Committee and Redundancy consultation clause n Maximum 210 Attendance days, down from 220 attendance days (teaching days are below 180 days) n Maximum of 20 hours of timetabled teaching per week plus 1 hour of pastoral care as a full-time load n Incorporating a new First Aid Allowance for teachers n Formalising the existing ‘Extras’ process – limiting extras to 1 per week.
THE POINT November 2012
education ForeIgN poLICy AND eDuCATIoN
rethinking language education policy in the ‘asian century’ the Federal Government’s recently released white paper, australia in the asian century, sets a goal that every australian primary and secondary student should have access to one of four priority asian languages, namely mandarin, Hindi, indonesian and Japanese.
hey seem to be serious about it too – the provision of access to these languages in schools is set to be a precondition of new school funding arrangements with state governments and nongovernment education providers. Of course it’s not the first time we’ve been handed such ambitious targets for language education in schools. This initiative isn’t far removed from the Hawke Government’s National Policy on Languages, launched 25 years ago with similar aims (albeit prioritising Korean over Hindi). Successive governments’ efforts have seen a dismal 6 per cent of students completing Asian language studies in year 12. Why is the take up so low? Not only are languages considered an intrinsically difficult subject, nonnative speakers are discouraged from continuing study. As an estimated 94 per cent of students studying Chinese in Year 12 already speak Chinese at home, and with similar percentages
for many other languages, nonnative language speakers are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to mastering a language at school. With no ‘streaming’ of language classes it’s unrealistic to expect that a large number of students, ever mindful of their future ATAR score, would pit themselves against native speakers who have been exposed to the same language since birth. Further, students know that while being potentially beneficial, few careers or further study actually require as a precondition of entry fluency in another language. While the government’s emphasis on developing students that are ‘Asia literate’ is sensible, the national obsession with gearing future language education in Australia so heavily toward purely vocational outcomes deserves more scrutiny than it’s getting at the moment. In recent years governments of all persuasions have called for more education in virtually
every discipline: maths, science, history, civics, physical education… The list goes on and continues to grow, and not everything can be a priority. Given Australia is already home to more than 320,000 native Mandarin speakers and 105,000 native Hindi speakers, we really have to question the extent to which a commitment to increasing the numbers of nonnative speakers of these and other
Asian languages is of national importance. If preparing ourselves for the ‘Asian century’ means simply increasing the number of people fluent in Asian languages, then we need to acknowledge that we’re already one of the most linguistically diverse nations on the planet. If it’s about engagement with Asia and cultural immersion, then that’s a different conversation altogether.
international research gagged
When government education officials seek to limit discussion around some of the most important policies, in Victoria and in the world, there is serious reason to worry.
o mused one of the world’s leading educational scholars when his invitation to speak last week to Victorian government principals was cancelled by the Department of Education and Early Childhood because they believe his views on performance pay may be ‘too controversial’ and ‘not relevant’. Undaunted, however, instead of addressing the Department’s seminar on Friday 9 November, US academic, Professor Michael Apple addressed a forum of principals, teachers and other invited guests held the same day at the AEU building. His address was lively and informative, and provided a thoughtful synthesis of what he calls the trend of ‘downwards blame-shifting’ to schools and teachers for social policy problems. This is not a new phenomenon nor one limited to some western countries, such as the United States and more recently Australia. Professor Apple cited the latest trend in China for performance pay as an educational strategy. He stated, however, that there is no robust evidence that performance pay raises educational standards. In countries which adopt this approach, the only measures of educational outcomes are test scores, and that is all that is measured. Performance pay is part of the corporate model of competition which is being forced into the schooling context. It relies on competition in all things – principal against principal, teacher against teacher, and school against school. Competition keeps one on one’s toes apparently, insecure and worried! However, increased insecurity through competition and increased casualisation causes people to focus only on the narrow measures of what is being valued at the time, and not on the bigger, deeper issues. The rhetoric being used to underpin this performance-culture approach to improving student learning in schools is that through
mechanisms such as performance pay we will identify problems with teaching, identify good teachers who will become mentors for other teachers, and student learning will as a result improve. Sounds okay? Professor Apple, however, points out what we actually know happens in this scenario. Performance on tests and test scores are the measure of student learning, teachers and schools teach to the test, maths and reading skills become the major focus and humanities become unimportant. A lot of time is spent on test preparation, and schools often start to recruit only ‘good’ students and not those who need help and require significant resources and broader strategies to improve. Collegiality goes out the door. Professor Apple is not a lone voice in the United States. IEU members may well remember the amazing about-face only a few years ago by Diane Ravitch, one time high flying education bureaucrat in the Bush administration. She was an outspoken advocate of the power of standardised testing, charter schools and free markets to improve schools. She underwent an intellectual crisis when she discovered these strategies, which she began calling faddish trends, were undermining educational outcomes for students. Ravitch is now advising school leaders that United States education policies are ill-conceived compared with those in nations with the bestperforming schools. She highlights that countries like Finland and Japan seek out the best college graduates for teaching positions, prepare them well, pay them well and treat them with respect. These countries make sure that all their students study the arts, history, literature, geography, civics, foreign languages, the sciences and other subjects. Despite efforts to stop us, we can all learn a thing or two from overseas experience and ensure that these significant educational issues are properly examined before we head in the wrong direction.
The NSW Government has announced budget cuts in September affecting both the public and private education sectors, which has caused both the AEU and the IEU to threaten strike action. The IEU is considering a state-wide day of action if planned cuts are not overturned, and the AEU organised a community day of action on 18 November, accusing the government of putting its budgetary bottom line ahead of the community and describing education in NSW as being ‘abandoned by this government’. As part of the campaign, Opposition Leader John Robertson will visit 40 schools in 40 days and has called on the government to reconsider cuts to education in light of a re-evaluation of the state’s finances showing the state to be $1 billion better off than it claimed in July... and actually in surplus. In Western Australia, a new Agreement covering all teachers in the State was registered in late September. Covering salaries and conditions for the next three years, the Agreement makes significant improvements in a number of areas, including the rights of part-time teachers and remote area allowances, as well as providing significant pay increases in line with those achieved in the State sector: a 4% increase this December and a further 4.25% in December 2013. A number of areas remain under discussion between the union and employing authorities, including negotiation of student-free days at the end of the school year, and reduced workload for Graduate Teachers. The IEU in NSW is running a campaign to address pay rates for early childhood teachers. The union is calling on Premier Barry O’ Farrell to direct a proportion of new federal funding to raise the salaries of early childhood teachers. The union claims that, unless salaries in this sector are improved, the state could face a shortage of qualified teachers. IEU General Secretary John Quessy reiterated the Union’s position on the news of the funding boost, welcoming the money, but called on the NSW Government to make the funding available to early childhood teachers. Catholic Education in the NT is in mourning after two principals from Indigenous Catholic schools were killed in a road accident in Darwin. The principals, from Ltyentye Apurte Catholic School in Santa Teresa in Central Australia, and Murrupurtiyanuwu Catholic Primary School on Bathurst Island, were in Darwin for a meeting of Catholic Education principals. The schools lost not only principals, but also community leaders, and their loss will be keenly felt.
November 2012 THE POINT
News WIShFuL ThINkINg
chRisTMAs FOOd ANd giFT dRiVE iN TAsMANiA Senator Catryna Bilyk coordinates an annual Food and Gift Drive in support of Colony 47, a not-for-profit organisation offering services to disadvantaged Tasmanians.
olony 47 puts on a Christmas lunch with over 300 meals for disadvantaged individuals and families every year, and the Food and Gift Drive aims to help make the day a little brighter for those in need. Donations of non-perishable foods and gifts from IEU members are welcome, and can be dropped at these collection points between now and 14 December. The collection points are:
senator catryna Bilyk’s office n Shop 3, Kingston Plaza, 20 Channel Highway Kingston colony 47 n Allports Building, 432 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart n Mimosa Building, 446 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart n Eureka Clubhouse, 6 Florence Street, Moonah n The Aboriginal Information and Referral Service, 192 Charles St, Launceston.
All I want...
all i want for christmas (in no particular order): For bargaining to proceed in good faith at every independent school, with the starting point that what people have now should not be eroded but built upon. Then instead of spending months fighting to preserve entitlements like school holidays, we could have progress made on real improvements to conditions.
e wouldn’t have to pore over every ISV-produced draft Agreement looking for the loopholes. There would be respect across the table rather than legalistic sparring. Education support staff in every school to have a classification structure and a pay scale that recognises the value and specialist experience they bring to the role – the aide who works with a disabled child and gives them the assistance they need to achieve the best education possible, the admin staff who deal with parents, students, and staff, the lab tech, the library assistant, the counsellor, the cleaner… Oh, and employment security to boot, so that theirs are not the first jobs that have hours cut to relieve budget pressures. The Catholic Education
Commission of Victoria to espouse the principles of social justice, rather than rhetoric about fines and penalties for engaging in protest action. For them to move at a breathtakingly fast pace in negotiations and agree to all of our claims because they know members deserve a decent pay rise and a real improvement in working conditions. For the word “flexibility” to become associated with good things rather than bad things… more flexible working hours so that you can care for an aged parent, as opposed to longer hours so that you can take minutes at after-school meetings. Starting the school day late after you have been away on camp for a week, rather than being flexible enough to fit the school camp and reports in the same week.
DepuTy SeCreTAry loretta cotter Key government advisors and ministers to go on compulsory exchange to an Australian school for at least a month and see if they can identify the top ten per cent of teachers in each workplace. They then have to tell the rest why they haven’t been working hard enough and on what basis they picked that top tier. Every non-member waking up on New Year’s Day remembering that the night before while they were dancing and watching the fireworks they had an epiphany and pledged that they would join the collective. Not reneging on New Year resolutions…. And finally, a summer break where nobody can contact you and enough time to feel bored by nobody contacting you.
INDuSTrIAL LoWLIghTS 2012
This year there are far too many instances of employer malevolence to choose from in the hall of shame nominations
employer Hall of shame 2012
2012 has been a spectacular year for poor employment practices. the union has had more calls from mistreated employees than ever before and the creativeness demonstrated by employers has astonished even the most hardened union officials. this year’s finalists in the darth Vader memorial trophy for employer cruelty are ....
Dishonourable Mention: The systematic destruction of a publicly-funded independent school takes real vision and effort. The loss of hundreds of jobs together with the loss of a school for thousands of students is a hard act to follow. The horribly sad closure of Mowbray College could not have been achieved without the dedicated effort of the College’s Board leadership over recent years. One Board Chairman seemed to think that picking fights with the union was more important than managing the college. Another did a stint as Principal and demonstrated a capacity to treat staff awfully even before the closure became inevitable. How could such a great school be so poorly managed? A worthy dishonourable mention goes to Mowbray’s College Board. We’re genuinely sorry they won’t be competing next year.
Runner Up: Demonstrating the extraordinary quality of this year’s field, the Melbourne Catholic Education Office were unable to repeat their wins in the past two years. While looking like early contenders, a few late acts of common sense cost them valuable points. However, the Stephen-Elder-inspired response to the Day of Protest (September 5) can’t go unrewarded. Trying to get orders against reps and members who participated in the rally, then threatening members with fines, showed real endeavour.
Of course the CEOM couldn’t have done it alone – they were backed up by a small number of principals silly enough to pass on their threats. And the result was fabulous – the biggest rally of Catholic members ever! So, while they missed the big Hall of Shame prize this year it’s a creditable second, and they could still win best Union Organiser for 2012.
And the winner is ….. In the field of employee abuse, most employers are familiar with the use of ‘EPB’ techniques. EPB is ‘Employment on a Precarious Basis’ and it’s the school employment equivalent of water-boarding. The suspect is kept on fixed-term contract(s) so they can never relax. Then one bad day, often following a harsh word to the Principal, their term is not renewed. Each year they must grovel, supplicate and prostrate themselves in the hope of another year’s work. Then it’s like being shot – you never see or hear the bullet. One dark day for a reason you never get told, your contract is simply not renewed. No redundancy pay – nothing. One college has lifted this to an art-form. Legally, they can’t put teachers on fixed-term contracts except to replace absent ongoing teachers – but they apparently have 11 fixed-termers replacing one woman on maternity leave. Either she is Superwoman, or the College is breaking the law. This year they just decided to advertise their jobs. Hey – a whole lot of new staff for the new year – genius! No real competition, this deserving winner demonstrated a complete absence of humanity unmatched by any other entrant.
THE POINT November 2012
News FAIrer WorkpLACeS
calling all ‘contract’ employees
in recent times it seems inventive management minds in some tasmanian catholic and independent schools have created a new category of employee that hasn’t existed in schools in the past - the ‘contract’ worker.
n most cases the designation of certain teaching and support staff positions as anything less than permanent is misleading, incorrect and a clear breach of the relevant Agreement. Employees in this situation should seek advice from the IEU on a low-key, noncombative way of challenging and resolving this. The industrial reality is that most employees fulfil on-going needs of schools and their positions are in fact permanent. Few staff positions in Catholic schools are genuine limited tenure or replacement positions. Members should note that the Tasmanian Catholic Education Agreement specifies that replacement employees have the right to know the circumstances of the employee they are replacing. This is useful to know as an employee on maternity leave
has the right to return from leave at an earlier date than initially negotiated, but an employee taking leave without pay doesn’t. The use of phrases like ‘casual’, ‘temporary’, ‘one-year positions’ or even ‘the contingent workforce’ in employer speak is also gaining some traction. No doubt highly paid and specialised staff in in-demand sectors of the workforce may be relatively content working now and again, though I don’t see too many of those in Catholic and independent schools in Tasmania. I urge every staff member in a Tasmanian Catholic or independent school whose letter of appointment does not designate them as permanent/ ongoing to query it - contact your union for advice. Experience has taught me that it is surprisingly easy to quickly and satisfactorily
ASSISTANT SeCreTAry (TASmANIA) aNGela BriaNt resolve most of these situations. In the end security, certainty and clarity for all involved benefits the school, staff and students. Flexibility is a good concept and when negotiated by mutual agreement between the employer and employee can be a win for both. Not too many teacher assistants earning less than $25 an hour, 20 hours a week for 40 weeks a year are looking for flexibility when it means uncertain and changeable income; nor are beginning teachers, single parents or anyone with a mortgage, rent or food bills to meet - isn’t that all of us? We are as close as your phone. Feel free to call the union on 1800 622 889 (or email us on: email@example.com) and have a conversation about your situation – your union is here to support and assist you.
ieua resolution: asylum seekers That the iEU Federal Executive expresses its disgust with the way the government and Opposition have failed to step up and deal with the asylum seeker boat issue in open, fair and honest manner.
The IEU notes that Australia has only provided resettlement of 56 people per year from Indonesia between 2001 and 2010. Further, only 24 were resettled in the first 5 months of 2012. The IEU believes that the Government’s decision and legislation to resort to punishment for those fleeing persecution is wrong and misguided. The recommendation that those arriving by boat should not have access to family reunion is to punish those genuine refugees who arrive on our shores by guaranteeing family separation for ever. The IEU further notes that the Government’s decision is contrary to Article 157 of the Labor Party Platform which states: Labor will ensure that asylum seekers who arrive by irregular means will not be punished for their mode of arrival. Accordingly the IEU calls for: n A return to onshore processing
WAY TO CONSULT FOR ST BRENDAN-SHAW COLLEGE
St Brendan-Shaw College has taken an innovative approach to the formation of its school consultative committee.
he Tasmanian Catholic Education Agreement requires all schools in the sector to vote on whether staff prefer a whole-of-staff consultative committee or a representative committee comprised of a staff representative, voted for by all staff, and a union representative, voted for by IEU members. At St Brendan-Shaw College, it was initially decided to use a whole-of-staff model. This proved difficult, given the size of the school, which is around 100 staff. It was then decided that a ‘hybrid’ representative model be set up in order to make decision-making easier. The union had always suggested that the best approach was for larger schools to have a representative model, and for smaller schools to use the wholeof-staff model. In this case, the leadership at St Brendan-Shaw felt that a ‘hybrid’ model could work more effectively. The Principal proposed a way
forward, discussed first with key stakeholders, including sub-branch rep Jeremy Alomes, and then with all staff before being put to a vote. The process is now as follows: 1. Issues are raised and presented to the Reference Group. 2. The Reference Group determines whether the issue is a Consultative Committee issue. If it is determined to be a Consultative Committee matter, then the Reference Group creates and distributes various models, along with a notice of meeting, at least three days prior to the meeting date. 3. Following discussion at the full Consultative Committee meeting, minutes of the meeting are distributed to all members of the Consultative Committee with the various models presented for on-line voting. This process seems to be a good way for large schools to have good and quick consultation.
While our organisers are always happy to discuss questions or issues of concern to ieu members about their employment or working conditions, we’ve found over the years that often there are a handful of significant issues that keep coming up in conversation.
With that in mind, the union has prepared a series of advice sheets for members on some of these common issues. These advice sheets discuss a range of important topics for members, including: n Annual review meetings n Contracts of employment n Cost claims by employers n Cyber-bullying n Electronic communications n Intellectual property n Managing professional relationships n Supervision n Using your own car n Working a second job. Remember, the IEU is always happy to assist members with any concerns they may have either over the phone (1800 622 889) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), but the answer to your questions may be just a click away! To have a look at the IEU’s advice sheets for members, visit www.ieuvictas.org.au/your-union/ieu-advice/
n Over-turning of the new punitive provisions with respect to arrivals by boat n An immediate increase in the Refugee and Humanitarian Program to 20,000 places and an increase to 27,000 places within five years. n Increased funding for UNHCR to improve processing systems for asylum seekers in Asia and the Middle East. n Increased support for capacity-building and service delivery programs among NGOs and civil society groups in the region. The IEU commits to donating $2000 to support the work of the Edmund Rice Centre in relation to its work for asylum seekers.
oymentand told they must sign ce cts of Emd pl new contracts ract. This IEU Advi Contraare ente with cont often pres to sign any
s. you legal issue Current staff dy can ever force , various the related nobo y entitlements ss up the pay racts and them, but school holida loyment cont your progre sick leave, slow down looks at emp nces, and
allowa Contract that scale. employee ct” can mean , between an “entire contra promise, custom ing in s a contract The two words every perk, There is alway You may not have anyth agreement that is not benefit of yer. Your you lose the accepted arrangement and emplo to still exists. usly ct. a contract agreement and previo writing, but n in the contra yer and their ct refuse to your emplo contract. Your contra expressly writte reasons to to work for a ing: t always good return forms number of the follow reason to sign. pay you in There are almos ct, and seldom any of any sed contra may be compo sign a new ct l written contra misleading • A forma acts can be ct and Written contr of appointment written contra • A letter yees read their it is enforceable, and in Many emplo agreement se: every word true, becau • A verbal to change is far from assume that agreements pursued. This n or verbal can be cannot be • Writte standings conditions and under employment agreements l Verba • es and practic ct of enforceable. terms of your contra • Customs ngs about have under you standi you that under rights ken on to the • The rights • Unspo are in additi Fair Work employment employment you a ing under the (if give includ to ment law, have Agree have under it becomes Enterprise yer does not and your applicable Your emplo ct. However, if they do, legal minima. Act and the Generally you you wish, the or Award. written contra its meeting ver terms there is one) subject to agree to whate better than enforceable, employer can ing that is equal or in your including anyth reement. Anything to sign? t be ard/Ag to you canno Do you have starting a new Act/Aw able are the or favour yee, is less little choice new emplo contract that employer. probably have a permanent If you are a the of y contract, you ss”) terms enforced by fixed-term you are alread a new n (or “expre ”, However, if to sign on to the writte also be “implied terms but to sign. t be forced • In additi you don’t you canno between ct, there will your job if employee, cally agreed your contra you don’t lose existing contract must those not specifi but implied by contract and g you yee, which are on to your offerin the is emplo in ct variati and happened sign. Any new contra the employer d to (eg. an ent. If the e (e.g. what or by the and practic be by agreem are not otherwise entitle ed. employees) custom other to you tempt eable. given may be something also be enforc past, or was increase) you t the These may attractive pay reliable, normally benefi be general law. will not ct ct may a new contra it will benefit you. of your contra more rights Otherwise, more than In short, much t certainly have many of the terms employer much idea what and you almos in your contract. ) yees have little example: over page… than are stated Most emplo (continues ly mean. For seem contracts actual rn award” can nce to a “mode e five days’ A mere refere in fact could remov but inoffensive,
has a Everyone
Staff in schools are no more immune to “cyber-bullying” than students. Incidents of cyber-bulling are increasingly common, and staff in schools can fall victim through no fault of their own. This can seriously impact on your health, well-being, and self-confidence. This IEU Advice looks at the legal issues and how to deal with cyber-bullying. What is it?
Reporting to the school
Like regular bullying, cyber-bullying is an attempt to frighten, humiliate or defame someone; however it has the added problem of often being carried anonomously. It can include:
Report all incidents to your supervisor or a member of the school senior management team and ask that they take responsibility for ensuring that you are supported, and the incident is investigated and managed. The school should contact the police where it appears that a law has been broken – for example, where death threats, assault, or racially motivated criminal offences are involved.
• having negative or defamatory material sent by SMS, or posted on websites/social networking pages, • being humiliated, embarrassed or impersonated using IT, or • receiving threatening or abusive messages or calls
Employers must act All employers, including schools, have statutory and common law duties to look after the physical and mental health of their employees. Schools should have policies and practices designed to combat cyber-bullying. Larger schools should have a designated member of the senior management team assigned to oversee and manage the recording, investigation and resolution of all bullying incidents.
Recording it and preparing Firstly make a hard copy of the material. Do not delete texts or emails. Take screen prints of messages or web pages, and be careful to record the time, date and address of the site. Too often offending material is taken down or amended before you have a chance to copy it, and then you have no proof of the content as it was originally circulated. Armed with the material, get advice from the IEU on progressing your complaint.
If the school doesn’t, you should report serious incidents directly to the police. You should specify exactly what you want done.
Follow up the complaint Dealing with incidents quickly and effectively is the key to minimising harm and dissuading further incidents. If the school does not act quickly and appropriately, you should write demanding that the material be retracted and/or the bullying stop. Identify all those with any capacity to stop the conduct (the Principal, the Chair of the School Board, the Priest or order, the Mobile Phone or Internet Service Provider and/or the chat room or network page moderator). Advise them you may take action and that, if they fail to take all reasonable steps to stop the conduct, you may include them in any legal action you initiate.
Websites/Social networking Before contacting a service provider, be clear about where the content is (take a screen capture of the material that includes the URL or web address). If you are requesting they take down material that is not illegal, be clear how it contravenes their site’s terms and conditions. (continues over page…)
Annual Re view Meeti ng
The Annual Review Meet Catholic Educ ing requirem ation Mult ents are detai i-Employer Agreemen led in the Victo t specifies rian that teachers Agreement 2008 claus the principal es 28.3 and are required or the princ 33.11. The to participat to participat ipal’s nom e in an inee and schoo e in an ARM . l officers may ARM with be required What is the focus and purpo
se of the ARM The Agreem ? ent specifies The written that the ARM comments • be format must: on achievement professional ive (that is, development s and development completed suggestions • focus on al); by you, the are affirming achiev staff memb section for er. There is a ement; and the principal • suggest or principal’s comment on avenues for nomin the areas in professional focus and profes ee to development development Please note suggestions. that sional . with the Standa for teachers this is in accordance rds of Profess 3). For school What if anoth ional Practic officers the (Appen er proce dix profes would relate ss is propo school? sional develo sed by the to their role. pment The ARM must The agreed documents not be: and process used as they • a substit must be ensure that ute for Due the ARM is in the manne Proces conducted concerns about s which deals r prescribed by the with you are presen conduct or performance; ted with a differe Agreement. If • an assess documentatio nt process and ment for n, you should the classification incremental progre discuss this ssion up with your Organring the IEU office to scale; iser. • a perform ance manag ement apprai What if the conducted sal ARM deals by the emplo with matte yer. of its prescr
d the ARM
cted? The IEU and Cathol Unit have agreed ic Education Indust rial Relations on the docum for the ARM. entation to This the requirements documentation is consist be used ent with in the Agreem areas to be ent and commented on by the staff outlines the the principal. member and It should be the basis of in the ARM. the discuss ion The agreed documentatio n includes: • Explanatory Guidelines; and • an ARM template form to be used
If, during the ARM, you feel focussing on that the proces matters that Process, you rightly fall unders is should contac Due meeting to t discuss wheth the IEU following the er this require follow up. s further
November 2012 THE POINT
the ieu wishes the best of luck to all our graduating student members as they hunt for work, and looks forward to welcoming many of them back as full members in 2013! We spoke to two student members who have already tied down a job for next year.
sUrViVing YoUr First Year: a gUide
if you have been lucky enough to secure your first teaching position next year, there are a few things you have to think about after the excitement of knowing that finally you will have a regular income wears off.
e asked some experienced practitioners for their best tips for first year players and came up with the following ‘comprehensive’ guide to surviving year one. n Buy an alarm clock. n Label all clothes (and your special mug if you have one) clearly to avoid any confusion …custody disputes over personal items in the staff room are not a good look. n Plan your lunches well in advance as you can’t rely on confiscating Tim Tams all year round. n Have a think about what ‘professional dress’ means in the context of your workplace. A kilt may or ut their may not be appropriate. n Organise enough clean and ironed clothes to get er the through week one. You don’t want to fall in a hole sues on the first Thursday when you realise that you have run out of shirts. n Don’t get dressed in the dark. Always put your heets for clothes on right side out and endeavour to wear discuss a matching socks at all times. n Sleep at home not at, or under, your work desk. n When you are loading your car with corrections for the weekend, don’t put student work on the roof when opening the door…it can be hard to explain that all your year 8 geography assignments are filed along the Eastern Freeway. n Send in your contract of employment to the union for review. There are a limited number of reasons for a teacher to be on a fixed term contract and being in your first year is not one of them… so it might be worth finding out whether you are employed correctly. ny n If you have don’t have a written contract get by email one. Evidence of how and why you are employed can e just a be very helpful. n Don’t give your mobile phone number to
students. Just don’t. n Review your privacy settings on Facebook. Better still think twice about anything you share, tweet, put on-line or befriend. …it may be safer to communicate by pigeon in all respects. n Don’t forget: the office staff really run the school. Be especially nice to them. n Check to see if your teaching load is reduced compared to an experienced teacher. Reduced teaching loads for teachers in their first year of experience apply in all Catholic schools and some independent schools. n Find out who your mentor is for the purposes of completing your registration requirements, and make sure you can spend enough time with them. n Have a discussion very early on with your mentor/principal about how the school will support you through your provisional registration. VIT is now only running PRT seminars in second semester, but that may be a bit late to start the process. n If you work and live in the same locale (especially regional towns) it is not easy to be anonymous. Don’t forget, there are now ‘professional expectations’ so keep yourself nice at all times. n Don’t give students a lift in your car…it’s not worth trying to be nice. n Don’t leave Tupperware containers with half eaten lunch remains in the staff fridge. They will be unusable and cause resentment by end of term. n Upgrade your Union membership from student to graduate teacher. n Find out who else is in the union and make some new friends. You may need them or they may need you. n Book in for the Beginning Teacher Conference on 8 March 2013. Places fill fast and it is great professional development, so don’t miss out.
susannah mcginnes ‘After completing a BSc in Zoology, I worked as a Dolphin Care Officer, and then as a Senior Penguin Keeper at Melbourne Aquarium. I have always loved working with kids and found the best part of my job was sharing my passion for nature and conservation with students and other visitors. So I decided to take the plunge and become a science teacher! I have spent this year completing a Graduate Diploma of Education at ACU and will be qualified to teach general science, biology, chemistry and religious education. I have thoroughly enjoyed the course, in particular the two placements I undertook at MacKillop College in Werribee and Thomas Carr College in Tarneit. I worked with mentor teachers who gave me helpful feedback and encouraged me to try out some creative ideas for lessons. I have been fortunate to secure a position teaching science and religious education at Thomas Carr College starting in 2013 and I can’t wait to get started. I was a member of the IEU throughout my studies and will continue as a graduate teacher member. IEU membership is valuable to me because of the opportunities for professional learning and also for the support network the union provides.’
hannah Banks ‘I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. I love being in the classroom and I really enjoy learning, so it made sense to me. I travelled for a while and took some time away from studying to make sure it was exactly what I wanted to do – and now here I am! The Melbourne Uni program is very intense, so there has been a lot of work–the year has flown by. The highlight was definitely being on placement and spending time in schools. I was really lucky to have a fantastic placement mentor this semester who looked after me and kept me motivated. I have been offered a position at Galen Catholic College next year, teaching English and Humanities. I am nervous but excited about starting work. I have been looking forward to having my own classroom and the responsibility that comes with that– I can’t wait to get in and get my hands dirty! I am also looking forward to being part of the school community in Wangaratta. I know next year is going to be very busy but I am looking forward to it. I hope to prove that I am a more than capable teacher, to build good relationships with fellow staff and students, and to have all of my students exceed expectations. I look forward to continuing as a member of the IEU next year. I attended PD in the Pub and found it a beneficial opportunity to discuss concerns about next year as graduate teachers. The information I received from the union this year as a student member has been helpful and has kept me informed and up-to-date with the politics that surround teaching and also with new ideas and pedagogical approaches to different issues.’
STuDeNT memberShIp NumberS SeT NeW reCorD in 2012 IEU student members grew to over 2,000 across Victoria and Tasmania: the largest number of students to ever join the IEU in a year. IEU officers involved with the student program have been lecturing at universities, holding stalls at expos and conferences, and organising fantastic professional development like the Best Foot Forward Conference and PD in the Pub. Crucially, the IEU continues to work closely with the AEU to provide a comprehensive member program that assists students with their transition from study to work. The lecture series provides valuable advice and practical information to students in the areas of legal issues, applying for jobs and conditions of employment.
Finding a job after graduation is a significant challenge for new teachers and this is why the IEU has specifically developed a student teacher conference that focuses on CV writing and interview skills. The conference also provides an opportunity for students to meet principals from a variety of Catholic and independent schools. This year’s conference was sold out for attendees and had many more participants online. The IEU student program will no doubt continue to evolve in 2013 and therefore ensure that each generation of new educators is welcomed into the profession by their union.
THE POINT November 2012
annual conference 2012 aeu presidentelect addresses annual conference
Fresh from her victory in the recent round of AEU elections, President-Elect Meredith Peace was warmly welcomed by IEU Annual Conference delegates in giving a report on the progress of negotiations in the state sector. Whilst obviously bound by the need for confidentiality in negotiations, Meredith gave a broad brush and comprehensive report on the difficult path in concluding the Agreement.
learly, there is a dual focus in her role, that of concluding the frustratingly long bargaining period to the satisfaction of members, while at the same time continuing the rolling stoppages, bans and preparedness for ramping up action in 2013 should there be no breakthrough. Meredith spoke of the apparent preparedness of the government negotiators to improve outcomes for Education Support Staff members. As an aside, she spoke of the spectacular growth in union membership among ESS during the dispute, as well as strong first
time participation of this section of AEU membership on the 5 September stopwork. For teachers, Meredith made it clear that performance pay was a non-negotiable, non-acceptable area for their members. Members can be confident that the close working relationship between the respective leaderships of the IEU and the AEU will continue, especially as both unions pursue the best outcome for members in Agreement negotiations. As Deb James noted when thanking Meredith: ‘There’s more that unites us than divides us’.
2013 fees frozen
ue to strong membership growth in 2012, IEU Victoria Tasmania is able to provide the same service and representation to members in 2013 with no increase in fees. Remember, your ongoing IEU membership: n helps protect your job and your rights at work n gives you a voice in negotiations with your employer n helps improve your pay and conditions through our collective strength n ensures both staff and students benefit from a safer, fairer and more democratic teaching and learning environment n gives you access to a comprehensive program of
quality training and personal development n provides you with access to expert advice and support on any workplace matter n gives you peace of mind with free legal advice, professional indemnity and legal liability insurance. pay early, save money, win an ipad! IEU members who pay the full annual fee in advance by 26 January by BPAY, direct debit, credit card or cheque are eligible for an early bird discount. Tick the discount box on the Payment Options section of your Member Details form to pay a discount fee. Plus, every member who pays their annual fee early goes into the draw to win a new iPad!
November 2012 THE POINT
SAFE AT HOME, SAFE AT WORK
ieu Women’s officer, therese o’loughlin, gave a presentation to annual conference delegates on a new federally funded initiative, the ‘domestic Violence Workplace rights and entitlements project’.
he project, which runs until the end of June 2013, aims to reduce the impact of family violence on working women by achieving better workplace rights that support them to stay safely in their jobs and in their homes. The key strategies to achieve the goal involve adoption of family violence provisions in Enterprise Agreements, to develop workplace information and training resources, and to produce policies and plans to assist in the introduction of these provisions. Both the IEU and the AEU have domestic violence clauses in their claims for Enterprise Agreements. Obviously in a sector with such a large proportion of female employees, such clauses are critical in combating discrimination, improving leave entitlements and in assisting members in dealing with the consequences of family violence. In the first instance, reps and bargaining team members are urged to seek information from their relevant organisers for assistance in the development of school-based policies and the development of key domestic violence clauses in Agreements.
Meeting our social charter the ieu Victoria tasmania branch has had a busy year representing members in 2012. along with the events, training and campaigns we have focussed on this year, the ieu continues to deal with member issues as they arise.
his year has seen a steady flow of members attempting to negotiate flexible work arrangements in workplaces; this can be difficult terrain to traverse. If you are considering a change in the future, the IEU encourages you to contact us. Activities the IEU has been involved in this year include: n International Women’s Day; with guest speaker Laura Smyth, Federal member for LaTrobe. n Equal Pay Campaign and Equal Pay Day morning tea at VTHC in September. n Parental Leave Seminars; where among the stand out issues for participants is the right to request a return to work part-time. n Anna Stewart Memorial Project; with participant Stephanie Szwajlyk from Catholic Regional College Caroline Springs in Victoria and Adrienne Reeve from Holy Rosary School Claremont in Tasmania. n Alisi Fusi Wightman Scholarship; the recipients were Ms Mere Wairita Naisua from the Fijian Teachers’ Association and Ms Jane Tieni Kora from the Cook Islands Teachers’ Union. n Dad and Partner Pay: The IEU has welcomed the ‘Dad and Partner’ paid leave which, from 1 January 2013,will be available under a Federal Government scheme. Fathers and partners can take two weeks’ paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child. The amount of pay will be linked to the minimum wage
and will be open to same sex couples. environment 2012 has seen the IEU Victoria Tasmania strengthen and develop its work with regard to environmental sustainability. Unions have always been at the forefront of social change, and environmental concerns are no different. The IEU recognises the need for action now, and has the ability and a responsibility to bring people together to discuss ways we can all assist to live more sustainably into the future. The third annual Victorian joint IEU/AEU Green Schools Conference was held on Friday 16 November 2012. This event is intended to support members with new initiatives and practical information about climate change and education. Some teachers are currently finding themselves in the middle of a new learning curve due to community expectations of delivering a curriculum including sustainability. The IEU is also active in the Education for Sustainability Alliance, along with the NTEU, AEU, Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), Australian Association of Environmental Education and the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, among others. This group of organisations is looking at Australia’s current Education for Sustainability initiatives, and is now involved in a productive journey to assist teachers and educators advance in this area over the next 18 months under a DEEWR grant coordinated by the ACF.
2012 awards the ieu presents a number of awards to members each year.
tane cane, sub-branch rep at epic At the recent annual conference, member Tane Cane was awarded a Member Achievement Award. As you would have seen in an earlier edition of The Point, EPIC has recently finalised the first Workplace Agreement in the Islamic sector in Victoria. Tane was instrumental in the success of the 5 year long campaign to achieve an Agreement at the college. st thomas more’s newstead sub-branch This award recognises that St Thomas More’s School has played a strong leadership role in Tasmania in maintaining over 90% union density for nearly 10 years. In fact in 2012 the membership reached 96%! St Thomas More members exemplify the values of positive, proactive and fair collective action. They have been founders of the Catholic Education Union in Tasmania, as well as being on the Tasmanian Committee of Management. Jan Bavinton award Tracey Spiel from Kingswood College is the winner of this year’s annual Jan Bavinton Memorial Award. This award is made to an Education Support Services member of the IEU so that they can complete a professional development project which will be of benefit to both themselves and the broader ESS membership of the union.
Tracey is a laboratory technician as well as being a committed and active member of the IEU. She will use her award to partially fund her attendance at a major conference on IR and the changing nature of work in Amsterdam next year. Barry wood award Michael Wright, Religious Education Coordinator at St Ignatius College Drysdale and treasurer of the Geelong-Viqueque Friendship Schools Program recieved this year’s Memorial Grant. The program links schools in Geelong with partner schools in East Timor. Michael will use the grant to support his participation, and that of two other members, to help deliver English language programs to students in partner schools in Viqueque in 2013. chris wilson & simon reid, sacred heart corryong Chris and Simon received a joint award in recognition of their significant contribution as IEU reps to the growth and strength of the union membership at Sacred Heart Corryong. After attending the Teachers Games in Bendigo last year, and meeting staff from the IEU, they decided to get more involved. They both volunteered to become reps and the school hasn’t looked back since, with a dramatic increase in membership at the small school this year.
THE POINT November 2012
leadership LeAVINg your job
teacher registration: changes ahead?
the ieu has been in consultation with the Victorian department of education and early childhood development on a number of proposed amendments to the legislation governing the registration of teachers, the education reform act.
he proposed changes relate to the functioning and powers of the Victorian Institute of Teaching. VIT has requested a number of changes and the government is currently drafting up amendments on some of those proposed. Some of the changes involve fairly minor issues, others propose some changes in registration and disciplinary hearing processes. The IEU is concerned always that the clauses in the Act operate in the fairest, most efficient and least onerous way possible.
n including an additional declaration for applicants for registration on whether they have been refused registration in respect to any other profession that requires registration;
What are the changes?
n strengthening provisions on the non-publication of the identity of witnesses;
n amending the definition of criminal offences to include the Commonwealth definition on charges involving transmission of child pornography across states; n amending the definition of Teacher, in respect to a Principal or head of School, to include reference to employment as a teacher in an Australian or overseas school; n including the requirement for teachers to provide change of address details (no penalty will apply);
n increasing the number of persons in the pool available to participate in hearing panels (currently limited to 30 persons);
n inserting the ability for information on prior investigations to be provided in the proceedings of informal, formal and medical panels;
n enabling the referral of a matter to a medical panel during a formal hearing;
n making a minor technical correction to clause numbering in respect to Permission to Teach.
IEU has provided an initial response in respect to the matters and will be consulted again on the draft legislation. It is likely that the legislation will not be through Parliament until early next year.
closing the gap in the classroom More than 145,000 students in 640 schools across Australia have joined the broader community to help ‘close the gap’ in life expectancy between Indigenous and nonIndigenous Australians. Registrations are open now for the 2013 Close the Gap campaign.
he campaign calls on governments to take action to achieve Indigenous health equality within 25 years by: n Increasing access to services n Addressing issues such as poor housing, nutrition, employment and education n Building Indigenous control and participation in the delivery of health and other services n Getting governments to work with Indigenous communities and health organisations to develop and monitor a plan to tackle the Indigenous health crisis
n Promoting real, meaningful partnerships between Indigenous and nonIndigenous communities and health services. A National Close the Gap Day in your school community can help students develop an awareness of social justice, human rights and equity. Students can also develop positive values and recognition of shared responsibilities, as well as developing active citizenship skills. Registered schools will receive a pack in February that includes a DVD that shows real-life stories from young people and ambassadors, as well as posters,
stickers, wristbands, removable tattoos and an Event Planning Guide for Students to lead in organising the event. Up-to-date teaching resources will be available online in Term One and can be incorporated into subjects such as Society and Environment, PDHPE, English, History, Geography, Food Technology and Indigenous Studies. If this sounds like something your school may be interested in taking part in, you can find more information or register to hold your school’s 2013 National Close the Gap Day event at: www.oxfam.org.au/national-day
2012 prINCIpALS’ ANNuAL LuNCheoN The final meeting of Principals’ Council for 2012 was held at Riverview Reception and Convention Centre on Friday 9 November, and included the final reports from office holders and our representatives to APPA, ACPPA and PAI.
ouncil President, John Connors, thanked all reps for their hard work and commitment to the IEU. John was also grateful for the support he received from his Deputy, Duncan Arendse, and all the members of the Executive. He wished everyone well for the remainder of 2012 and stressed that it was essential we continue to promote the pivotal role Council plays for principals at the IEU. Principals’ Officer, David Forbes, tabled a written report outlining a summary of his work for 2012. The Council has focussed on the core needs of principals through its affiliation with a number of key organisations such as APPA and ACPPA. David has continued to liaise with Dr Philip Riley on behalf of Council and has been a link to principals for the Principal Health and Well-Being Study. The Council has enjoyed the input of a number of IEU staff such as: n David Brear (Role of the subbranch representative) n Brian Martin (Occupational Health and Safety) n Cathy Hickey (Education Issues) n Deb James (Industrial Updates) n Denis Matson (The MultiEmployer Agreement) David spoke about the importance of his school visits and he will continue to focus on these in 2013. Ellie McGinnes tabled a written report to ACPPA which was printed in the magazine Topics which is distributed to all principal members. Ellie, like many of our principal members, gives her time to represent the voice
of Victorian Catholic primary principals and the IEU Principals’ Council appreciates the time she gives this role. Mary Howlett recieved the sector’s John Laing Award for professional development. Mary has always been a dedicated union member and prepared to question education reform. Mary’s influence on others has been significant through her interactions and example. She has been an advocate to colleague principals to use the various forums offered by the IEU to express opinion and help shape direction. The final speaker was Deb James, IEU General Secretary, who gave an update on negotiations for the new Agreement. Council agreed that continual planning for the future was essential; so a working party was established to review current goals and to determine some new objectives for 2013. Following Council, the traditional annual luncheon was held to acknowledge members who are retiring or leaving Principalship. We were pleased that the following members were able to attend as guests: n Marie Cassar n Tony Levett n Gunnar Rasmussen n Joan Janssen n Judith Rivers The five guests spoke about their time in Catholic Education, and everyone enjoyed hearing the varied experiences of their colleagues. A presentation was made by John Connors to each speaker acknowledging their commitment to the IEU as a Principal member.
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November 2012 THE POINT
leadership prINCIpALS AuSTrALIA INSTITuTe
INSIDe The Ceo
John laing professional development award
Ceom STAFF ISSueS
John Laing was a Tasmanian School Principal and foundation member of the Australian Principals Association Professional Development Council (now Principals Australia Institute) in 1993. John’s passionate belief and energy was the driving force behind the first cross-sectoral professional learning projects for all school leaders in Australia.
ohn’s retirement from the profession prompted a special award to be set up in 2004 in his honour – the John Laing Professional Development Award. This was established to recognise school leaders who have significantly contributed to the professional learning of other school leaders. The Convenors of the eight branches have refreshed and reinstated the award in a new format. The John Laing Professional Development Award is now a noncompetitive, peer nominated, celebration of school leadership and professional learning. The main aim is to celebrate leadership learning: for school leaders by school leaders. ieU Victoria tasmania recipient Mary Howlett accepted the John Laing Award as the recipient for the Victorian Catholic Primary Principals sector. Mary was presented with her award by the Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Inga Peulich MLC, at a dinner held in Carlton on Friday 19 October. Mary Howlett joined the IEU in 1990 and has been an active and committed member of the Union. Mary was nominated for this prestigious award by Lidia Goodwin, Principal of St Joseph’s School Trafalgar. Lidia had worked with Mary in a number of settings such as staff member, colleague principal and mentee when Mary was employed as an Educational Consultant in the diocese of Sale. Mary’s leadership displays justice, wisdom, integrity, courage and conviction. Mary has been able to build positive relationships at all levels of her leadership. She is respected for her progressive view
on Education and for the trust she placed in her staff enabling them to use their talents for the best of the school community. Mary is passionate about education and she enjoys nothing more than joining with colleagues and friends alike to discuss the current educational agenda. Mary has strong convictions, typified in her acceptance speech at the function where she was prepared to question current Government reforms such as the emphasis on standardised testing. Mary has always been an ongoing learner and as a leader has supported the learning of others. Mary has travelled the world in her pursuit of learning and she has helped nurture others with this breadth of experience. Mary appreciates the simple things in life and she has the ability to relate to people from all backgrounds. The IEU is proud of Mary and the way she has lived out so many of the values that are shared by the Union. We wish her every success in her retirement, but we know she will make a positive contribution in whatever path she pursues.
A small but significant group of IEU members work in the Catholic Education Offices across the four Victorian Catholic dioceses in administration, finance, student wellbeing, speech pathology, student services and as education officers. Members in Catholic schools will know many of these staff and rely on them for their expertise. n Melbourne, these members mostly work at James Goold House in East Melbourne or in one of four regional offices. Some members work out of different organisations across the state including Ceres, Sovereign Hill, the National Gallery and the Aquarium. While providing support for a number of individual members a key focus of support from the IEU in 2012 has centred on issues relating to members in the Melbourne offices. This has involved seeking assistance from Fair Work Australia when very little progress was being made in negotiations. The major three issues included: 1. The recently introduced two week shut down period over the summer holidays. A number of our members only get four weeks annual leave so to suddenly have two weeks taken out of your control has had a significant impact. For members in schools who enjoy access to school holiday periods it would be hard to appreciate how precious holidays are when you get
four weeks but only have two to spread out over 11 months. 2. Difficulties with the professional learning policy through which members gain access to professional development. The policy has a sound financial element; the problems have centred on a complex and time consuming application process. In many cases over five sign offs are required with a number of cases where members have missed attending or registration timelines because of this very slow process. 3. Challenges related to excessive workloads and lack of any time in lieu policy. It is worthwhile noting the courage of reps and members in taking up these issues and being determined to see the discussion through, despite what was sometimes a tense and indeed threatening atmosphere. At the time of writing discussions and negotiations continue, fortunately in a more productive atmosphere following FWA intervention.
Phil Billington (Director of Catholic Education, Sandhurst), Peter Moran (IEU Office), and Sister Josephine Dubiel RSJ
sandhUrst diocese awards
Two recent events in the Sandhurst Diocese have highlighted the importance of art and the recognition of educational achievement. The Educare Award is an annual award honouring an outstanding contribution to teaching and curriculum innovation. This year the award went to the senior learning team at St Monica’s Wodonga. The award citation states ‘through collaborative practice engendering high levels of trust, the team has created a strong and effective learning environment that encapsulates the best practices of contemporary education.’
The team has established a dynamic and child-centred learning environment which develops the students’ skills and encourages independent, yet guided, learning. Students have an innovative set of study spaces designed to provide a variety of different learning areas, ranging from soundproofed classroom to small pods and lecture style spaces. IEU congratulates the school, and in particular the senior team and students, for this great
recognition of their work. The Mary MacKillop Art Award in late October was at the stunning Sacred Heart Cathedral in Bendigo, a dramatic display area for the works of students across the Diocese. The annual MacKillop Art Exhibition is preceded by an Artist in Residence program in schools across the diocese. Schools can ‘opt in’ to the program. The awards place the visual arts at the centre of the diocese’s approach to education.
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THE POINT November 2012
News LeTTer From A member
Induction for the real life school
Congratulations on ‘Quality education needs quality induction’ [News, The Point, Oct 2012], which is even more important for those newly graduated teachers who have had to endure what passes for practical training in realitylite education degrees.
Debra James with Mr Denis Torpy (CEOM) and Father Tony Kerin
social inclusion online
The IEU hosted the launch of an excellent new social justice website in mid-October.
EU General Secretary Deb James welcomed guests and invited Fr Tony Kerin, Episcopal Vicar for Justice and Social Service in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, to officially launch the website. A highlight of the launch was the entertainment provided by senior students from Mazenod College Mulgrave. The website, www.meetingpoint.org.au, contains a wide range of resources designed to assist schools and other organisations respond to the challenges of social inclusion. The host organisation, Meeting Point, is a joint initiative of the IEU, Catholic Education Office Melbourne, Good Shepherd Youth and Family Services, Catholic Social Services Victoria, Brigidine Secondary Schools Council, and the Australian
Catholic University. The working group also has primary and secondary principals involved in its work. The resources on the site include a range of important documents from Government, church and other groups that underpin the arguments for social inclusion. These provide an excellent basis for discussion and information. There are resources specifically designed to assist schools examine their own practices and plan for change, as well as some very practical and engaging activities that can be used to raise awareness and promote discussion. IEU is delighted to be a part of Meeting Point and encourages all our members to visit the website and make use of it.
SAFeTy AT Work
Of course, as I know from experience, there are many savvy tyros who set off on their careers despite this, and who more than get by without formal induction. But this should not be exploited as a justification for inaction or neglect. Your points are uniformly practical, particularly those about the expenditure of the time and effort needed for successful induction. Sometimes, good shepherding by interesting, alert and experienced mentors is all that is needed in the first fortnight or month to set tenderfoots on the right path, particularly if it is devoid of the moronic catch phrases, slogans and mantras proffered by safe ‘n’ cosy academics, bureaucrats and screen-jockeys distantly ensconced in EdCentral. Principals and deputies have a very important role here, and effective help at the start of a school year will obviate later problems. Experienced, committed and knowledgeable teachers might even consider going the extra mile in terms of ‘unpaid’ effort* - their reward will be a better functioning school from which they, and all, will benefit. * not to be taken as caving in to wage injustice Leonard Colquhoun IEU member 5515 INVERMAY TAS 7248
s Your letter
Contributions from members to The Point are warmly welcomed. Email email@example.com and have your say!
Australian and international research shows conclusively that workplaces with established OHS structures are safer, experience fewer injuries and have higher levels of morale.
ince 1985 workers in Victoria have had a legislated right to elect a workplace health and safety representative to be their voice. Now, from January 2013 our colleagues in Tasmania will have the same right enshrined in legislation. So, as the current school year comes to its conclusion, let us stop and think a little about how well prepared our workplace is to take advantage of the most fundamental of all industrial rights, that is the right to be represented, heard and listened to when it comes to matters which threaten our physical and psychological safety at work. Victorian and Tasmanian OHS legislation gives that right to all. It is not a privilege to be granted by a benevolent boss. It is a right to be assumed by deserving workers, and it is the members of the IEU who must grasp the banner of leadership when it comes to health and safety at work. Ask yourself, on a scale of 1–10, how important is safety in your workplace? Is there a health and safety representative? If so, how did they become the rep? Did they volunteer? Were they tapped on the shoulder or appointed by the boss? Were they elected by the majority of employees? Has the principal engaged in consultation, and discussion and negotiation with the staff to agree on how many designated workgroups there will be in the workplace? Is there a notice displayed informing all staff who the health and safety representative is? When they were elected? What their term of
office is and when another election is required? Does your workplace have an OHS Committee? When and how often does it meet? Is your health and safety representative a member of the committee? Are health and safety matters regularly discussed at staff meetings and are the opinions of staff taken into account? If your school doesn’t have an elected OHS Rep, if there is a rep but no designated work group established, if it is unclear how long the rep has been elected for or when the next election is required, contact your IEU Organiser. Colleagues get hurt at work because there are hazards that are often known about but are left unaddressed. The slippery staircase, the moving of furniture and equipment, the challenging, aggressive behaviours of students are examples of hazards best addressed collectively with the leadership of an elected and trained OHS Rep. As we head toward the conclusion of this school year, now is the time to initiate OHS Rep elections for 2013. Health and Safety is core Union business, your health and safety rights are as important as your rights to a fair and decent pay rise, paid parental leave or a fair and reasonable workload. At the next meeting of members in your school put OHS on the agenda, discuss ways the membership can support the OHS Rep, or how a rep may be elected. If your school currently does not have an elected OHS Rep, make this a priority activity for the members for term 1 2013 and aim to get to Easter having elected your rep. For advice and assistance on how to go about it, contact the IEU.
November 2012 THE POINT
professional development International
The training year in review
The IEU Victoria Tasmania Professional Development and Training Program seeks to provide members with a range of opportunities which will support their work in schools.
ep training continues to be a key focus of our training program. IEU reps are integral to all that goes on at the IEU and we continued this year to build on the positive relationships we have with reps. We look forward to seeing as many of our reps at possible again in 2013. This year we had positive experiences with training programs in Tasmania and we look to 2013 as an opportunity to see more of our members at training sessions throughout the year. rep training (Victoria/tasmania) We continued to see good numbers of reps attending training programs. This year there was quite a turnover of reps so our initial rep courses were full. The training provides our reps, the backbone of our organisation, with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively represent members on the ground. The training program in Victoria and Tasmania is facilitated by IEU organisers, and the consistent feedback from reps is that sessions are relevant and valuable.
VICTORIA rep Forum The day before May Council marked another successful Rep Forum and Rep Dinner. Deputy President Smith from Fair Work Australia provided insight into his perspective of the changing role of the Commission. Will Smith from the CPSU growth team provided some great debate and discussion in his session on recruitment. At dinner, more than 60 reps turned up to hear Lisa Fitzpatrick, Secretary of the Victorian ANF, talk about the nurses’ campaign this year. leadership/management team Trinidad Hunt’s How to Communicate in the Most Challenging Situations was a full house with participants enthusiastic in their response to all that was offered in this most engaging day. teachers Trinidad Hunt provided training for teachers in Social Style. Trinidad continues to provide professional development to teachers which is hugely popular with IEU members. Managing your career/CV writing and Interview skills: This program runs each term break, and we continue to have waiting lists each term. Steve Whittington provides a practical and relevant training session with added follow up. crt conferences Three conferences for CRTs jointly run with the AEU provided the opportunity for invaluable PD, which CRTs need to access each year.
education support staff Trinidad Hunt provided two packed out training days; one in NeuroLinguistic Programming and another on Time Management. Laboratory Technician Seminar: All seats were filled for this seminar and again this year it provided an opportunity for this group of employees to engage in discussions around their own issues. Working with Students with Special Needs: Sessions were provided across regional areas. Managing Difficult Behaviour: Jo Lange facilitates this very popular seminar. Already we have a waiting list for sessions in 2013 conferences and events n Beginning Teacher Conference n Student Teacher Conference n Casual Relief Teacher Conferences n Green Schools Conference the ieU has also been a major sponsor of: n The CEOM Administrative Officers Conference n The CEOM Leadership Conference n The Education Show n The School Resources Expo n The Victorian Teachers Games n LABCON
There has been great interest from Tasmanian members in the quality professional development opportunities we have offered. This has greatly assisted in raising our professional profile and engaging members who are interested in broadening their professional skills and knowledge. The Webinar seminars offered through Teacher Learning Network were picked up by many Tasmanian members. Tasmanian members have been offered a number of PD opportunities this year: n Consultative Committee Training n Rep Training n Creating Independent Learners, presented by Jo Lange n PD in the Pub: Effective Classroom Management n Changing the Classroom Dynamic, presented by Glen Pearsall n Managing Student Behaviour, presented by Jo Lange IEU members also had access to a number of professional development programs made available as webinars through the Teacher Learning Network.
Teacher unions in Sweden have come to an agreement on a wage rise with local employers, narrowly avoiding a strike. Two teacher unions covering 200,000 teachers worked together to negotiate with employers representing the 290 municipalities in Sweden. The unions are seeking a wage equivalent to that earned by similarly educated professionals. After nine months of collective bargaining, lobbying and mediation, an agreement for a wage increase of 4.2 per cent this year was reached. Unions, however, warn of a looming national teacher shortage and will continue to lobby for increased funding to improve learning conditions and school quality. In Lebanon, teacher unions have demonstrated in support of the implementation of a new salary scale, and have threatened to further escalate their actions unless the Cabinet implements a long-awaited pay raise. The government has approved a substantial pay rise for civil servants and public school teachers, but the decision still requires approval from Parliament, which has been delayed as the government seeks to secure the necessary funding for the wage increase. Teachers who have engaged in action have been threatened by school administrators, and unions are losing patience with the government who they accuse of breaking an agreement with the union. Teachers in Namibia have rejected the deal struck between their union and the government, which would have ended two years of dispute. Teachers are seeking a living wage, which would necessitate an increase of 40%, while the union deal is for 8% with increases in various allowances. The teachers, who have now been joined in action by nurses and school students, say they will not return to work until they achieve their goals, while the government has stepped up its attempts to intimidate striking teachers by seeking High Court injunctions and threatening to use force to move protesters. And finally, students in Batu Busuk in West Sumatra, Indonesia, face a daily obstacle course just in order to make it to school. After a bridge connecting their village to their school’s village was washed away in heavy rain two years ago, the kids now have to either wade through the river or use the steel wires of the former suspension bridge as a tightrope to cross 10 metres above. At least when that part’s over, they only have a ten kilometre walk through dense forest to reach their school!
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November 2012 THE POINT
seasonal safety Make this Christmas one for your brain!
Being safe at work, at home and on holiday is made easier when we take time to look out for ourselves.
s I prepare for my break this year, I can’t help thinking of ABC Radio presenter Red Symons and his morning segment ‘…diseases I support, in case I catch them later on.’ I happened to catch the segment one early morning as I drove in from Ballarat and Red was talking about the risk of dementia. While there is no current cure for dementia, and while I cannot do anything about the genes I’ve inherited, I know it is in my long term interest and the interest of others for me to keep my body healthy and do all I can to maintain a healthy brain. While I cannot totally eliminate all risk that I may develop dementia, I can make decisions about my lifestyle which may reduce the risk. Social isolation is a known risk factor and the numbers of Australians living in single person households has never been higher. Stress is also known to be a contributing factor in the destruction of cells essential to memory. Poor diet, characterised by an inadequate intake of fresh fruit, vegetables and foods high in saturated fats and sugars increase the risk. Obesity, smoking, lack of regular exercise and low vitamin D are all linked to an increase in risk. The accumulation in the body of heavy metals such as mercury, aluminium copper and zinc have also been linked to and attributed to an increase in risk. So as I prepare for my Summer holiday, what can I do about the brain in my head? How can I promote its healthiness and longevity? What value do I attach to its uniqueness, awe and wonder as the most complex and amazing of all the organs? This year I’m planning for brain exercise. Not only will I pack the wet suit and flippers but also the suduko and jigsaw puzzles. I’ll commit to learning new things and exercises to engage my powers of memory. Time away from work also gives me time to reinvigorate the exercise plan. Not only is there a benefit in getting physically fitter and maybe
developing a long forgotten ‘six pack’ but exercise more than three times a week is known to significantly reduce risk. I’ll find opportunities to dance the night away. As well as the chance to make new friends, dancing enhances the connection between the left and right side of the brain. In neuroplasticity terms, dancing is gold. It is fun, and great for your fitness too. This Summer break I’ll take the opportunity to reconnect with quality sleep, spend quality time with valued friends, relax and engage in enjoyable social activity. The risk at Christmas is to over-indulge in alcohol and food, and whilst, not forgetting the importance of treating myself, I’ll pay attention to getting more of what’s good for my brain and less of what is not. Fish and fish oil, fresh fruit and vegetables, blueberries, cherries, wholegrains, dark chocolate, tea, red wine are known to be beneficial. Olive oil is a better choice for salad dressings and cooking. Of course, wherever I travel these holidays I’ll be chasing the sun. In recent years we’ve been scared out of the sun for fear of melanoma, but the truth is, we need some sunlight to avoid becoming vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D deficiency is known to increase the risk of the onset of dementia. It is said it takes three weeks to develop and embed a new habit. That’s about the period of time the brain needs to rewire a new pathway so that it becomes the new way of doing. This year during my Christmas break I’ll apply the safety mantra of looking out for my own health and safety and the safety of others by changing some of my long worn habits, adopting a healthier lifestyle, looking after my amazing, unique brain and hopefully reducing my risk of dementia. Won’t you join me?
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en sta sch 1981 with a Sunday then, Ken generatio has becom of the sch Raised farm, Ken worked a wool clas gardenin his secon correspon of years i enrolled i course an Diploma Monash, Anne, a t the famil While s History, E Literature rediscove social and he recalle pivotal m as he rea novel An it incredi had writt so accura Ken hims This mom for know to furthe Graduate Aquinas Ringwoo Marist Si 1981 St Pa Ken re days mon needed to and ingen the lack o In his firs Ken taug English, G
November 2012 THE POINT
membership keN WILSoN reTIreS Foundation member Ken Wilson is retiring from St Paul’s Anglican Grammar Warragul after 32 years.
en was one of the first staff members of the school when it opened in 1981 with 20 Year 7 students in a Sunday School building. Since then, Ken has taught several generations of local families and has become a well-loved member of the school community. Raised on a soldier settlement farm, Ken left school at 15 and worked at various jobs including wool classing and landscape gardening before completing his secondary schooling by correspondence. After a number of years in the police force, Ken enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts course and then a Graduate Diploma of Education course at Monash, encouraged by his wife Anne, a teacher who supported the family while Ken studied. While studying Geography, History, English Literature, Russian Literature and Language, Ken rediscovered the curiosity for the social and physical environment he recalled enjoying as a boy. A pivotal moment for Ken came as he read the first page of the novel Anna Karenina. He found it incredible that an author who had written years prior could so accurately describe emotions Ken himself could relate to. This moment fed Ken’s thirst for knowledge and exposure to further study. Following his Graduate Diploma, Ken taught at Aquinas Girls’ Secondary School in Ringwood, Mt Lilydale Secondary, Marist Sion Warragul and then in 1981 St Paul’s Anglican Grammar. Ken recalls that in the early days money was scarce and he needed to rely on his creativity and ingenuity to accommodate the lack of resources available. In his first few years at St Paul’s Ken taught History, Geography, English, German, Woodwork,
Weaving, Macramé, Drama, Physical Education and even Russian. On one occasion Ken promised his class that if each student passed their spelling test he would take them on a camp. Watching the students working hard to achieve this convinced Ken to issue a slightly easier than normal test which of course everyone did pass and celebrated the news of the promised camp. In the years since, Ken has continued to enjoy exposing students to a broader world than their own community, and has since run several overseas trips to China, Nepal, the battlefields of Europe and to Gallipoli where, despite his retirement, he will return in 2013 with another group. Ken has been a union member for over 50 years, initially joining the Storeman and Packers union at 15 just as the union was about to go on strike for better pay. Ken remembers the union organisers were jailed and the workers eventually received a 2 shilling per week pay rise. As a member of the IEU since 1993 Ken believes that union membership is a significant way to support colleagues and ensure just conditions for all. Reflecting on his years of teaching, Ken notes the most important lesson he learnt was to allow time to get to know the students and time for them to get to know him. This simple mantra has enabled Ken to teach with empathy, understanding, patience and motivation. The impact of his work has been recognised by the naming of the Ken Wilson Humanities building at St Paul’s. Students, colleagues and friends who have heard some of Ken’s fascinating stories have urged him to write at least one book. We wish Ken and Anne all the best and eagerly await the first edition.
Farewell, our lady of Victories
Our Lady of Victories School is celebrating 125 years of Catholic education this year. Sadly, for all those in the school community, it is also closing at the end of the year.
he decision to close the school was made by the CEO because of a decline in student numbers; this had been evident for some years. The property will be retained for Catholic education purposes and used as an Early Learning Centre for Loreto College, Mandeville Hall, Toorak and St Kevin’s College, Toorak. The school opened as St John Bercham’s in 1887 and was first staffed by lay teachers. In 1897 the FCJ sisters travelled from The Vaucluse in Richmond to Camberwell to teach, and in 1904 the Sisters of St Joseph began work at the school. As the population grew, new buildings were constructed and in 1918
the school became known as Our Lady of Victories. By 1954, as the Sisters of St Joseph struggled to cope with classes of 80 and 90, lay staff were employed. Over the years further building and extensions have been completed which make the most of the original buildings and create a lovely learning environment. It is a difficult time for a school community when a decision like this is made. There are ramifications for staff, parents and children. Given this challenge, the closure process has been well planned and organised with all staff working with the IEU, the CEO and the whole school community to finish the year and the end of an era on a positive note.
Our members are hardworking, dedicated and diligent professionals who work in the sector that nurtures our most important assets: our children.
n Saturday 27 October Jade Vecchione was named by Tasmanian Minister for Education, Hon. Nick McKim, as an Australian Early Childhood Teacher of the Year finalist in the 2012 Australian Awards for Outstanding Teaching and School Leadership.
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Jade works at John Paul II Catholic School Rokeby, and her ability to inspire is one quality that is shared by many of our members who have a passion for working within our Catholic school sector in many occupations. Congratulations go to Jade from the IEU!
My Summer Jen Crampton
My summer – family and friends with this beautiful view over to Tamboon jetty. wendy Baines, teacher and school officer, plenty Valley christian college It’s been a big year. On top of looking after accounts receivable I’ve been a Bargaining Rep for our new Agreement. Looking forward to sunshine and the outdoors with family and as an animal lover would just like to say thinking Xmas dinner, think free range! Jen crampton, clerical and admin, the Knox school Summer is going to be a crazy time with family, friends and new sights from one end of the state to the other. I’ll visit mates in Mildura, head down to Mornington, spend some time along the Murray and maybe squeeze in a quick trip to Vietnam. Bernard green, teacher, assumption college We start the summer break with the celebration of Hanukah, then it’s taking the kids on night drives to see the festive lights, visits from friends and family and hopefully a few trips to the country. In Feb I head back to work for my 15th year of teaching! shari wittenberg, lote teacher, mt scopus memorial college
I will go on holidays named Ms McInnes and come back Mrs Plush! I got married recently in the beautiful Coonawarra region and over summer we’re off on our honeymoon. Teaching has always been a passion and I think it’s an amazing career. Kate mcinnes, teacher, st Joseph’s coleraine TO DO LIST – SUMMER: sleep until I wake up: bliss! Wrestle with the big decisions: bubbles? rose? G&T? Truly celebrate Christmas: all our family will be around the table once again this year – we are blessed. Read: whatever I want to and only because I want to! Walk more, take time to smell the roses, and the beach, and backyard BBQs... elizabeth lenders, principal, Kingswood college I plan on doing as little as possible. I am going to Melbourne with the family in January to see “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” - the musical, but other than that it’s catch up with family, a bit of school work and relax. Jeremy oliver, teacher, st John’s richmond, tasmania
ieU switch:We’ll be here answering the phones of course – apart from a bit of a break over Christmas and New Year –izabela apostos