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President’s Wrap

It’s ‘Sco-No’ for kids after COVID disruption.

When much of the world sank into recession during the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2008, Australia maintained economic growth and avoided recession with rapid and extensive government investment.

Included in that economy-saving government investment was school infrastructure.

The school building program created jobs, gave communities some confidence and schools are still utilising and enjoying those facilities today.

We have not been so fortunate in 2020 and sadly, it is our children who are really missing out.

It seems the Morrison government’s sudden concern for the education of disadvantaged children has not translated to investment in the public schools supporting those students.

It’s not a shortage of money – the federal government has rightly spent big to support people through tough times. They’ve also announced a $270 billion boost in defence spending – that’s around $29 million for every public school in Australia.

We don’t need $29 million for every school, but something would be nice.

The sad reality is that public schools and the children who learn there have not received an extra cent from the federal government to recover their learning and come out of this pandemic potentially better than we went into it.

Maintaining learning through this year has been a challenge teachers and school staff have never faced before, but they have risen to meet it. Students have every bit of support teachers and support staff can provide and together we are catching up and coping.

To their credit, the Department of Education and the state government have done their bit; they provided additional resources and wound back $120 million of cuts planned to come from the education budget beginning this year. They know the devastation those cuts would have on our schools, students, staff and economy and the benefit of maintaining that investment into the future.

Investment is what our students and our economy need, but it seems public schools are a blind spot for the Morrison Liberal Government.

Not one extra cent. How is this possible?

Private schools were certainly on the Morrison Government radar – they received $10 million for additional hygiene measures while public schools received nothing and our members were left driving around buying any sanitiser they could find with money out of their own pocket.

As well as gaining access to JobKeeper money, private schools had $3 billion (yes, $3,000 million) in funding from the federal government brought forward.

All our public schools got from the Morrison Government was the odd lecture and misguided criticism.

The federal government is in a far better position to invest in public schools than our state government. They create the currency, but they also have the ability to recover public money from the big corporations and wealthiest executives who are still doing very well despite the pandemic. Something our state government can’t do.

Investment in our public schools spreads economic benefits across our state like no other investment can – from King Island to Bruny Island and Strahan to Winnaleah. The benefits in jobs can be immediate, but the investment in education for disadvantaged students can be for a lifetime.

So Mr Morrison, you have the money, our communities and schools have the need and the benefits are clear. So how should the money be spent?

Here’s just a few suggestions: bathroom facilities, upgraded kitchen and meals facilities with staff to provide nutritious meals for students, digital infrastructure, devices and home internet access for all families, additional professional staff such as school psychologists and social workers and a capital fund for schools and college infrastructure.

That’s just a handful of options, spend some time talking to our members – teachers, principals and support staff – and you’ll get plenty more quality education investment opportunities.
Our kids are worth it.


New Member Welcome

A big, warm welcome to new members joining the AEU – gaining and adding strength in union.

  • Anna McDonald, Teacher, Relief
  • Jos Kovacs, TAFE Teacher, TasTAFE Clarence Construction
  • Mary Brooke, Support Staff, TasTAFE Launceston-Alanvale
  • Tanju Hassan, Teacher, Relief
  • Annettte Graham, Library Aide, Libraries Tasmania Queenstown
  • Chris Jones, Teacher, Kingston High School
  • Niki Griggs, Teacher, Bothwell District School
  • Caitlyn Wheaton, Teacher, Relief
  • Colleen Treloggen, Support Staff, Relief
  • Carrie-Ann Smith, Teacher, Relief
  • Julie Waddington, Teacher, Snug Primary School
  • Abbie Midson, Teacher Assistant, Rosny College
  • Elena Begovic, Teacher Assistant, Windermere Primary School
  • Leesa Blair, Teacher Assistant, Glen Huon Primary School
  • Jen Rehn, Technical Assistant, North West Support School
  • Melissa Fennell, Teacher Assistant, Relief

If anyone at your work hasn’t joined the AEU yet – send them this link to join quickly and securely online:


New staff introduction

Nick Brown joined the AEU office team as Executive Assistant in March this year as the union was ramping up our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. AEU Branch Executive was meeting daily at times, the phones were running hot and there was a huge amount of activity and work required. What an introduction!

Months later, we asked Nick to introduce himself to members so you can get to know the person who will often answer the phone when you call and is busy behind the scenes supporting the elected members on decision-making bodies like Branch Executive and Branch Council.

I am extremely proud and excited to be a part of the AEU Tas Branch. Having previously held Executive Assistant Positions in membership service organisations and coming from a strong public education background this feels like a perfect fit.

I attended Lindisfarne North Primary, New Town High School and Elizabeth College before moving to the Gold Coast to explore a career in professional golf, quickly realising it’s true what they say “you drive for show and putt for dough” and I cannot putt.

I come from an education family, with both my parents being teachers and fierce advocates for public education, my father and grandfather were both principals in schools around Tasmania.

I truly value public education, learning and growth and I am grateful for the opportunity to assist members of the AEU in any way I can.

When not at work you’ll find me either golfing or gardening, I have 2 cats and one dog and probably play too much Xbox for someone my age.

It has been a very turbulent start to the year for everyone and I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling grateful to be in Tassie. I have learnt a lot since starting with the Union in March, I still have more to learn and I can’t wait.


Member win! Repeat of selection process ordered

The AEU MSC team has successfully supported a member to obtain orders that the selection process in which they were an unsuccessful candidate be undertaken again.

A Launceston College member, with the support of their union, went to the Tasmanian Industrial Commission (TIC) and won orders that the job selection process be undertaken again with a fresh panel and convenor.

The member contacted the AEU and sought the TIC action after being overlooked for an interview shortlist. It was not clear that the selection process had followed the merit-based approach required in relation to Public Sector employment. The member had significant cause for concern that the process had not followed DPAC and DoE policies, and the AEU agreed to support them before the TIC.

An initial TIC hearing saw the Department representatives appropriately concede that a subjective approach to selection had been taken. The Department then agreed to orders that they recommence the selection process from the stage of considering who to interview, with an entirely new panel and convenor.

This demonstrates the strength of members in union and how the AEU MSC team can help you hold management accountable for unfair decisions.

This is a great win for all members of the public sector and AEU members in particular. A fundamental element of Public Sector management is the integrity of the job selection processes and this decision reflects the importance of that. Well done to all involved and thanks to the Department for ultimately recognising that the initial process was not conducted appropriately.

Unions Tasmania Covid-19 Recovery Survey

We want to see a better Tasmania coming out of this pandemic, so we’re asking for your views on Tasmania, your work, and any specific ideas for recovery that you have for our state.

The survey takes just under 10 minutes and you will be helping set our priorities and feedback to Government. Plus we’ll be giving away a hamper with local food and beverages to one lucky participant, valued at up to $200.

Your individual responses are confidential but we’ll share the outcomes once everybody’s feedback is in.

Survey closes Saturday 15 August 2020.

Click here to begin:


Elections are coming – get involved in your union!

AEU elections for key positions and decision making bodies for your union are coming up.

The AEU is a proudly member-led union. The peak decision-making bodies of Branch council and Branch Executive are all made up of elected members.

Members are elected to Branch Council and Branch Executive as representatives of different sectors and regions, or by the statewide membership in some cases.

Here is a list of positions that will be up for election in the coming months (the Australian Electoral Commission have had to postpone some elections this year and have yet to advise of a date for the AEU Tasmania elections):

  • Branch President
  • Branch Deputy President (DoE Sector)
  • Branch Deputy President (Secondary Colleges Sector)
  • Branch Deputy President (TAFE Division)
  • Branch Deputy President (Support Staff Sector)
  • Branch Executive Members (6)
  • Indigenous Members (Branch Council) Delegate

General Division, DoE Sector

  • DoE Sector Council Delegates from Southern Region
  • DoE Sector Council Delegates from Northern Region
  • DoE Sector Council Delegates from North Western Region

General Division, Secondary Colleges Sector Sub-branch Secretaries

  • Claremont College Sub-branch
  • Elizabeth College Sub-branch
  • Helleyer College Sub-branch
  • Hobart College Sub-branch
  • Launceston College Sub-branch
  • Newstead College Sub-branch
  • Rosny College Sub-Branch
  • The Don College Sub-branch

General Division, Support Staff Sector

  • Support Staff Sector Council Delegates from Southern Region
  • Support Staff Sector Council Delegates from Northern Region
  • Support Staff Sector Council Delegates from North Western Region

General Division, Secondary Colleges Sector

  • Secondary Colleges Sector Vice President
  • Branch Council Delegates from Secondary Colleges Sector

TAFE Division

  • TAFE Division Vice Presidents
  • Branch Council Delegates from the TAFE Division
  • TAFE Division Women’s Officer

TAFE Division Executive Representatives

  • TAFE Division Executive Rep of Support Staff Members
  • TAFE Division Executive Rep of Community Knowledge Network Members

TAFE Division Sub-branch Secretaries

  • Hobart Sub-branch
  • Clarence Sub-branch
  • Launceston Sub-branch
  • Devonport Sub-branch
  • Burnie Sub-branch
  • Drysdale Sub-branch
  • Bender Drive/ Claremont Sub-branch

TAFE Division Council Delegates

  • Hobart Sub-branch
  • Clarence Sub-branch
  • Launceston Sub-branch
  • Devonport Sub-branch
  • Burnie Sub-branch
  • Drysdale Sub-branch

Ensure your vote counts by updating your details on our website here:


Primary Instructional Load Reduction

Primary teacher members officially now have a reduced instructional load of 21 hours per week – a one hour per week reduction thanks to a successful EBA campaign in union. This was a significant union win for public education, students and educators.

Implementation in the middle of this very challenging year was always going to present some challenges, but the AEU has secured a commitment from the DoE to audit the implementation of the primary instructional load reduction.

Most primary members are already enjoying the benefits, while some workplaces are still working on employing new specialist teachers or adjusting timetables.

The DoE has provided guidance that confirms the intention of this change (read their full article in Principal Matters here):

The new provision was agreed as a workload reduction for primary teachers and correspondence to teachers and principals promoting the new agreement also supported the workload reduction as additional time per fortnight for planning, preparation and assessment. It was also directly linked to the commitment for an additional allocation of specialist teachers to provide additional specialist teaching per class.

Therefore, it is extremely important that the implementation of this change supports this philosophy.  

Congratulations to all members who took up the fight, in some cases for years, to win this change –more specialist teaching time for students and individual teacher planning, preparation and assessment time for teachers.

The instructional load* in Term 3 for a full-time unpromoted K-6 teacher shall be no more than 42 hours per fortnight.

It may take until 2021 to get the implementation right and creases ironed out, but take a moment to appreciate your AEU member colleagues who made this happen.

Get the updated ‘Teaching Hours Of Duty And DoTT’ AEU Fact Sheet for Term 3 here.

Instructional load means regularly, timetabled face-to-face instruction of students. It includes:

  1. timetabled class teacher periods, when a class is together for the purpose of receiving administrative instruction and discussing problems which are common to the group
  2. timetabled electives offered in the school curriculum
  3. timetabled tutorial periods
  4. timetabled pastoral care periods
  5. timetabled periods for recreational and sporting activity
  6. timetabled assemblies — does not include end of year assemblies

Activities that are voluntarily undertaken and are not approved variations of your instructional load will not form part of the instructional load.


National TAFE Day 13th August

National TAFE Day will be celebrated this year on Thursday 13th August!

Every year, National TAFE Day provides us with an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our public TAFE system and to remind politicians that TAFE is too good to lose!

This year our theme for the day is the vital importance of investing in TAFE for Australia’s economic recovery.

There are a number of things you can do to take action as part of this important day.

  • Print a poster, take a selfie and publish to your social media with the hashtag #NationalTAFEDay
  • Update your Facebook Profile picture using our National TAFE Day frame
  • Share this graphic on social media.
  • Follow the Stop TAFE Cuts Twitter and Facebook pages and share the blogs and social media graphics of prominent people speaking out about the importance of TAFE as well as highlights from the Centre for Future Work research.


Why TAFE is Critical to Economic Recovery

New research by the Centre for Future Work at the Australia Institute explores the economic and social benefits of the public TAFE system and this webinar will address why it must play a critical role in reconstruction of the national economy after COVID-19.

This Thursday 13th August (National TAFE Day) at 4:00pm, join Michele O’Neil, President of ACTU, and Correna Haythorpe, President of Australian Education Union, in conversation with senior economist at the Centre for Future Work, Alison Pennington.

You must register to attend this webinar, hosted by the Australian Institute and Centre for Future Work.

Free to attend – but registration is essential.

Thursday Aug 13, 2020 4:00 PM

Register by clicking this link: Why TAFE is critical to economic recovery


AEU member working groups update

We have a growing number of member working groups tackling a range of issues and there has never been more opportunity to work collectively with your colleagues in union to win changes that benefit educators and students alike. Here’s an update from a couple of the Groups that have met recently.

Report Writing Review Working Group
This a very exciting and extensive project to overhaul school report writing with AEU representatives at all levels of this review process. We have now agreed with the DOE on the Terms of Reference and the engagement framework, or structure, for the various committees and teams. As part of the engagement structure, four key DOE/AEU reference groups are to be formed, one each for:

  • Kindergarten
  • Primary Teacher (P-6)
  • Secondary Teacher (Years 7-10) and 4.)
  • Senior Secondary (Years 11&12).

These reference Groups will each have an AEU representative, to be drawn from our existing Report Writing Review Working Group, and be joined by DOE selected teachers, leaders, curriculum and data people. We expect to finalize our representatives in the coming weeks and then we will meet again with the Department to work through the rest of the meeting group schedules.

Isolated School Incentives Working Group

This is the latest Working Group to form and just had its first meeting, via Zoom on Thursday. It brings together teachers (including new educators) and principals from both “the islands” and the West Coast – meaning we have almost all of Tassie’s officially “isolated” workplaces represented. Its mission is to develop some solutions to the address the issues of attracting and retaining educators to our most beautiful but isolated teaching locations and in so doing address some of the inequities that exists between students studying in isolated versus urban centres. If you work in one of the “isolated eight” you will be hearing from a member of the Group during the year via workplace conversations, surveys and visits as part of the consultation process. We meet again in three weeks to progress plans.

Teacher Workload Working Group

We met last week with the Department to develop a revised plan of joint work in this area, which had been paused because of the COVID interruption. The next meeting with the DOE is on 26 August.

Ahead of this we will convene an internal AEU Workload Working Group (WG) meeting and discuss which issues we want to prioritise for attention such as PA days, Individual Learning Plans, Mentoring for early career teachers and Instructional load implementation.

Instructional Load Working Group
A meeting for this group will be convened toward the end of Term 3 to check in on how rollout of the reduced primary instructional load is progressing. Stay tuned for more…

To find out more about working groups, contact the AEU office: or phone 6234 9500 or 1800 001 313

ESP Working Groups

A number of ESP/support staff members have joined two working groups looking at Education Support Specialist roll-out and the new Health Care Procedures Allowance Agreement.
To join, contact:


TasTAFE Member Working Groups

TasTAFE members – join an AEU member working group and play a role in improving key conditions:

  • Family friendly working arrangements
  • Workload (including modes of delivery, tasks undertaken by teachers, definition of teaching activities associated with the modes of delivery, best practice for teachers.)

To find out more or express an interest, email:


New and Updated ESP (support staff) Fact Sheets

ESP members have won in union with new Agreements and Award improvements bringing improvements to wages and conditions. There’s so many improvements, your AEU staff have updated all ESP Fact Sheets and added some new ones so you have the latest, reliable information at your finger tips.

Here’s the new and extended list of ESP (support staff) AEU Fact Sheets:

Download the fact sheets and print them out for your noticeboards so all members can get the latest information.


Fact Sheet Update

The following AEU Fact Sheets have been updated for 2020 with new Agreements and new member benefits.

Make sure you’re up to date with the latest information and entitlements:

Download the fact sheets and print them out for your noticeboards so all members can get the latest information:


Principal Classification Review

The AEU and DoE have exchanged letters to review the Principals Classification Structure by the end of 2020 and both parties have completed a scan of what best practice looks like in other jurisdictions.

An AEU Principals Working Party of 15 members was formed at the beginning of 2020, providing feedback on issues with the current classification model – a model that provides heavy weighting to student enrolments.

AEU Principals Organiser John O’Rourke and Acting State Manager Adam Clifford have recently conducted regional workshops and visits with AEU principals to gather member feedback on how the classification structure could be improved and what a new model might consider.

Around 60 principals have engaged in the process so far, which has also been informed by the AEU’s Principals Working Party.

An online session through Microsoft Teams will also be run for Isolated School Principals and those who missed the regional workshops on Tuesday August 11 from 11am – 11:30am. Please contact John O’Rourke at to be included.

It is intended that a list of ‘guiding principles’ will be sent to all AEU Principal members later in the week for their endorsement, paving the way for formal negotiations to commence with the DoE in Week 5. It is vitally important that all AEU Principals participate in this process.

Later this term, EOIs will be sent out for ASTs and Assistant Principals to participate in an AEU working group looking at their roles in a new classification structure.

For questions relating to this review, please contact John O’Rourke:


Wellbeing Fitness Challenge – Week 9

Find out about the ROCC of Trust leadership model in this week’s Wellbeing Fitness Challenge. It’s a roadmap to provide reliable, open, competent and compassionate leadership to others.

Start by downloading this week’s worksheet here:

Share whether you’re a ROCC star by sending a message to our Facebook page here: or email:

This initiative is exclusively for you, not just as a member and an educator, but as a person. The program is led by Mick Walsh, a former teacher, school leader and expert in educator wellbeing, but it requires your participation to be effective. This is your chance to do something for yourself, that will help you continue as a professional and healthy individual.

Mick Walsh is happy to answer your questions or concerns, so please email and we will pass your questions and comments on to Mick who will respond quickly.


Anna Stewart Memorial Project

The Anna Stewart Memorial Project (ASMP) is a week-long training program that Unions Tasmania run each year aimed at increasing women’s participation and involvement in their union.

The program is packed with training around recruitment, organising and campaigning. It also includes opportunities to meet local female political leaders and a visit to the Tasmanian Industrial Commission.

It usually concludes with the annual Women’s Conference and we *hope* it will again this year. We’re just monitoring public health advice and will come back to you shortly on this point.

Any union woman interested in applying should apply online at and talk to women’s officer Kathryn Lee ( about participating. We look forward to hearing from you!


Payroll deduction changes

Members who make their contributions via payroll deduction may notice a small change in their contribution amount. Changes to these amounts bring them into line with the contributions made by members choosing direct debit contributions. Any increases to contributions will only apply from the time the change is made, no back payments will be charged or requested as a result of these changes.

Please direct any questions on these changes or membership contributions to the AEU membership team:


Maternity Leave – member contributions pause

Union membership is often most valuable during maternity leave or when returning to work. It’s vital that members retain their membership and their access to support throughout this time.

Some members choose to continue active roles with their union during parts of their maternity leave and of course whenever a member returns to work they want to know that their pay and conditions are protected and improving thanks to their ongoing support and collective strength.

In recognition of the financial pressures that accompany maternity leave, the AEU Tasmania Executive has decided to offer a member contribution pause during maternity leave.

To find out more and notify of changes to your circumstances, contact the AEU office: or call (03) 6234 9500 or 1800 001 313


Healthcare Procedures Allowance Increase

The updated Healthcare Procedures Allowance Agreement has been signed and lodged with the Tasmanian Industrial Commission. Great news for Education Support Personnel (ESPs – support staff) who are a step closer to receiving their increased allowance.

The new Agreement raises the rate from $13.20 to $30 a week!

Thanks to AEU advocacy – these payments will be backpaid to 27th February, 2020!

The allowance is payable to both full time and part time employees at the same rate.

Undertaking of health care procedures is voluntary for employees and employees who elect not to undertake a health care procedure will not be discriminated against by the employer.

  • Here’s the list of procedures the allowance recognises:
  • Catheterisation
  • Use of rectal DiazepamTM/ MidazolamTM
  • Injection of medication in an emergency (such as a severe allergic reaction)
  • Use of gastronomy tube
  • Suctioning and use of a suctioning catheter
  • Resuscitation
  • Administration of oxygen
  • Tracheostomy care
  • Blood and urine testing
  • Administration of oral glucosal sugar
  • Stoma care
  • Peg feeding
  • Changing colostomy bags
  • The collection, storage and dispensing of prescription medication

Need support? Talk to your AEU workplace Rep or contact the office: or call (03) 6234 9500 or 1800 001 313

If you know a support staffer/ESP who’s going to benefit from this but hasn’t yet joined the union, now’s the time to ask them to join the AEU:


Shared Teaching Resources – Interested?

Do you have some great teaching resources you’d like to share? Would you like to see what other resources have been developed around the state to share in the experience and creativity of colleagues?

A new AEU members-only website may soon give us the ability to share resources among members but we need to know if you’re interested and if you have resources to share.

Let AEU Communications Advisor Jon Stanger know what you think of the idea, whether you would make use of it and what you have to contribute:


Changed your work arrangements?

Notify us now!

If anything about your work arrangements has changed such as your FTE status, or you’re taking maternity leave, or you’re retiring soon then you must let us know straight away so we can make appropriate amendments to your membership subscription payments.

There are several quick and easy ways to let us know about any changes to your circumstances: