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President’s Wrap

Welcome back!

While 2020 is set to be an exciting year for AEU members, with great wins from new agreements to be rolled out in every sector, it hasn’t quite started as well for me. I’ve been unwell (it’s not Corona!) for the last few weeks.

I’m looking forward to getting through to the other end of this illness and getting back to work, rolling out the wins for members across the state.

Our AEU Tasmanian Branch State Manager Roz Madsen gave notice last year that she is resigning from that role, her last day will be 9th March. We haven’t slowed down at all coming back from the Christmas break though, with new staff beginning and members of EBA implementation working groups getting ready to have their first meeting in the next couple of weeks.

I’m very excited to welcome our new staff members, please see below for more detailed introductions or look out for school visits and further introductions in the next eReporter.

Please join me in welcoming:

  • Ruby Clifford, who has gone from a trainee position and reception wiz to Membership Officer.
  • Steve Smith, leading the Member Support Team as our new Senior Industrial Advocate.
  • Leeanne Clifford, bringing new energy and passion to the Southern Organiser role along with 25 years experience as a teacher, teacher assistant and AEU member.

I’m also very pleased to welcome back John O’Rourke as Principal Organiser for 2020, he has made some great strides with principal members in 2019 and I’m sure members will be pleased to see that work continue this year.


Teachers Agreement implementation and working groups

A new DoE Teachers Agreement was registered at the end of 2019

What does that mean? Well, there will be pay rises in March and two hours per fortnight instructional load reduction for primary teachers starting Term 3, but some members are seeing benefits already.

Here’s a few key things that have already begun to be implemented:

  • Corrections Allowance – 6.5% allowance to employees at Ashley Youth Detention Centre.
  • Principals’ isolated schools allowance where applicable.
  • Principals transferred to new classification.
  • School psychologists can move to Band 1 Level 13 if they’ve been at Band 1 Level 12 for 12 months.
  • Superannuation employer contributions – for employees on workers compensation and while on unpaid parental leave.
  • Three weeks paid partner leave and 16 weeks’ paid parental leave.

And some more things to look forward to in 2020:

  • Wage increases from first full pay period after 1 March 2020 and 1 March 2021.
  • AST relativity: increase of $1,050 to Band 2 AST immediately before the wage increases in March 2020.
  • Isolated Schools – paid time off to attend urgent personal business – from Term 1 2020.
  • Primary instructional load reduction of two hours per fortnight – starts Term 3 2020.
  • BeTTR time for second year teachers of 1 hour per week.

It really is a great list of union-won improvements that makes 2020 a very exciting year to be an AEU member as we roll out this new Agreement together.

Working groups with AEU members participating and leading the process, will be meeting very soon to begin some of the important reviews taking place this year thanks to the new Agreements. These groups will also be guiding the implementation of Agreements in some cases. Stay tuned for more news through your Workplace Reps and future newsletters.


Employee Assistance for tough times

Some school and college communities have been deeply affected by recent incidents, which is a good time to remind all members that you have access to an Employee Assistance Program.

You and your immediate family have access to help in dealing with challenges, concerns or issues at the workplace or at home.

Contact our Member Support Team for assistance or to be connected to the Employee Assistance Program: (03) 6234 9500 or 1800 001 313

Or you can contact Converge Employee Assistance directly: 1300 687 327


Introducing Leeanne Clifford, Southern Organiser

It’s a great pleasure to introduce your new Southern Organiser, Leeanne Clifford. Leeanne brings extensive experience as an educator and AEU workplace Rep to the union as well as incredible energy and passion for our work in public education.

Just a few days into the job, Leeanne is off and running – look out for her at workplaces in the South. Leeanne is also your lead organiser contact for years 11-12. I’ll allow her to tell you a bit about her background here:

I have had a variety of experiences in education. I began my educational journey as a Teacher Assistant in 1994 and worked across classes and students with additional needs for ten years.

I had always wanted to teach and during my TA time, I learned so much from my colleagues and students that I decided to pursue a career in teaching. Strongly supported by my family, my husband Paul and four sons, I am part of a proud public education family with nine educators across the primary and secondary sectors.

My experiences as a TA, parent and relief teacher spurred me on and I was challenged by a diverse range of learning abilities and socio economic issues. I loved every minute! I have taught at Bowen Road, Warrane, Lauderdale and Clarendon Vale and have a stellar teaching career. 

Beyond the day-to-day, I have attended many education rallies, spoke at small events and stop work meetings and will continue to pursue conversations around how to grow OUR union.

My last two years has seen me pursue my passion in supporting colleagues and students within Public Education through my role as a Support Teacher and Workplace Rep. This was further supported when I completed a Graduate Certificate in Educating Students with Multiple Disabilities. I nominated for Branch and Executive positions within the AEU and continued to learn from fellow colleagues. I have had many opportunities and positive experiences through my union representation and education roles; the natural progression, for me, was to apply for a staff position.

I am looking forward to promoting public education and supporting staff within the southern region to have a voice around their workplace issues, to celebrate public education successes and progress our profession. I will be an active organiser, visiting schools and growing our membership to become a truly member-led union. 

Contact Leeanne as your Southern organiser, or for issues relating to years 11 and 12.


Phone: 0447 340 361


Ruby Clifford, stepping up as Membership Officer

I was excited to accept my initial traineeship with the AEU, with an academic history based solely in the public system and a mother working as a nurse at the Royal, I appreciate the work unions do.

I started my education at Dunalley Primary School. The knowledge I’ve gained on the issues facing public schools while working at the AEU has given me a better understanding of the work our educators do. I look back on my education and only now realise the lengths my teachers went to, especially in a smaller rural school, in order to ensure all students received a great education.

I recently took up an opportunity to apply for the role of Membership Officer. This role has given me the chance to further pursue my interests in the areas I have most enjoyed at the AEU such as data management, admin systems and regular chats with members.

Contact Ruby and the membership team for any membership enquiries:


Phone: (03) 6234 9500 or 1800 001 313


Steve Smith, new Senior Industrial Advocate

Issues at work? Industrial advice? If you can’t resolve things with your Workplace Rep or with some help from your local organiser, Steve Smith is here to help, leading the AEU Member Support Team.

What to tell you about me? 

I came to Tassie 13 years ago from Darwin where I met my 7th gen Tassie wife, Min.  We have three disease vectors, all girls, 2 at Kingston High and one at Margate. I am originally from the UK, born in Scotland, raised in London and Essex. 

I have worked in a wide range of jobs over the years including Partner in a National law firm, laboring in Perth (WA) in 40 degrees, youth worker in crisis and medium term accommodation in Paramatta, selling cans of cold soft drinks on the beaches near St Tropez, installing computers in service stations and training their staff in the UK in the 80’s, cleaning houses, and I failed to sell a single water filter when going door to door in Perth in the late 80’s.

As a lawyer I have advised workers, employers and insurance companies about their claims including workers compensation and other employment issues. I am delighted to be working to support AEU members with the wide range of issues and queries you bring to the Union, and am looking forward to working with you to support your bringing positive changes to the sector. We will be appointing new members of the member support team in the near future and with them improving our support for each of you.

Since I started in late October I have been impressed by the dedication of teachers, principals and support staff I have met to helping students reach their potential. My first site visit was out to the TAFE team at Risdon and I came away in awe of the stoic dedication of that team. 

I have one request of you. Your impressive dedication can become destructive. Mental health for most of us is not inexhaustible, please if things are becoming difficult contact us early. It is both better for you and it increases our capacity to help find a solution if we have time to work with you and the department.

Contact Steve and the Member Support Team:


Phone: (03) 6234 9500 or 1800 001 313


Education cuts entrench Tasmanian poverty and bad health (media release Feb 12, 2020)

The Australian Education Union today condemned $109 million of cuts to education confirmed in today’s Revised Estimates Report.

“Cutting education funding when the health and wellbeing of many Tasmanian children and young people is in decline makes a bad situation worse,” said AEU Tasmania Acting State Manager Adam Clifford.

“Teachers and support staff have just spent two years campaigning for the resources they need and workloads that allow them to focus on their students’ needs. Cuts to the education department will only push more administration and work onto teachers who simply can’t afford the time.”

“The Productivity Commission has just reported that since coming to power, the Liberal Government increased funding to public education students by just 1.5 percent while increasing funding to private school students 18 percent.”

“Funding cuts and growing the gap between funding for public and private schools is no way to tackle the extreme inequality experienced by Tasmanian kids and their families.”

The Commissioner for Children and Young People Tasmania has just reported that “many wellbeing outcomes of children and young people in Tasmania have remained stagnant or worsened.” For example:

  • developmental vulnerabilities of Tasmanian children have remained unchanged since 2012.
  • There has been a 37 per cent increase in the number of children and young people in out-of-home care in Tasmania since 2011.
  • The current youth unemployment rate for 15 to 24-year olds (2019) is 14 per cent and has not changed since 2012.
  • The percentage of children and young people (0 to 24-year olds) who report having a mental or behavioural condition has increased from 10.6 per cent in 2012 to 18.8 per cent in 2018.
  • The percentage of children meeting all 21 markers on the Kindergarten Development Check has declined year on year since 2013, from 74.5 per cent in 2013 to 67.8 per cent in 2018.
  • The percentage of 15 to 24-year-old school leavers fully engaging in education, training and employment is 48.1 per cent in 2019, compared to 74.6 per cent in 2015.
  • Twenty-nine per cent of government school students have reported they frequently worry about things at home and at school (with 38 per cent of students in year 10 having reported that they frequently worry about things), and 19 per cent of senior students (Years 10 to 12) have negative feelings about the future.
  • Tasmania has only met one of the Closing the Gap targets toward equality in the health and wellbeing outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“Reversing health cuts in the middle of a crisis while going ahead with cuts to education is short sighted and lacks compassion and common sense.”

“It is increasingly clear that health is determined by social factors such as education, evidenced by the 19 year life expectancy gap between Bridgewater and New Town.1 It’s time for investment in young people and their education, not cuts.”

“We used to call public schools state schools, but it seems the state government is walking away from public schools.”

“Schools are a microcosm of society, and the best preventative health measure is a good education.”

  1. PHIDU Torrens University Australia Social Health Atlases of Australia Data Release 21 January 2020


Election Notice: Casual Vacancies

Click here for the full AEC Election Notice and Nomination Form.

Nominations are called for the following AEU casual vacancies:

AEU Branch Deputy President – DoE Sector (1)

AEU TAFE Executive LINC Representative (1)

DoE Sector Council Delegate from each of the following:
Southern Region (1)
North Western Region (2)

TAFE Division Vice President (1)
TAFE Division Women’s Officer (1)

Branch Council Delegates from each of the following:
TAFE Division (1)

Secondary Colleges Sector (1)
Indigenous Members (1)

Secondary Colleges Sub-Branch Secretaries for each of the following Sub-branches:
Hellyer College (1)
Newstead College (1)
Rosny College (1)

Support Staff Sector Council Delegates from each of the following:
Southern Region (4)
North Western Region (2)

TAFE Division Council Delegates from each of the following Sub-branches:
Hobart (1)
Launceston (2)
Devonport (1)
Burnie (1)
Drysdale (1)

TAFE Division Sub-Branch Secretaries for each of the following Sub-branches:
Drysdale (1)
Devonport (1)
Bender Drive/Claremont (1)

Collegiate Offices
Support Staff Sector Vice President (1)
(by and from members of the Support staff Sector Council)
DoE Sector Vice President (1)
(by and from members of the DoE Sector Council)


Nominations, which must be in writing and comply with the registered rules of the Organisation, may be made at any time from 21/02/2020. Additional forms are available from the Returning Officer.

Prospective candidates and nominators should verify their financial status and any other qualifications required by the Organisation’s rules prior to lodging nominations.

Nominations must reach the Returning Officer via the lodgement method(s) stipulated below not later than 12:00pm Local Time (office of the Returning Officer) on 06/03/2020.

How to lodge nominations, nominations must be lodged via the following method(s):

By Post: Jeff Webb, Returning Officer, AEC, GPO BOX 4382 MELBOURNE VIC 3001

By Hand: Returning Officer, AEC, Level 8 Casselden 2 Lonsdale Street Melbourne VIC 3000

By Fax: 02 6293 7603

By Email: A properly completed nomination form including all necessary signatures and attachments may be scanned and submitted as a pdf file to


  1. Emails to the AEC inbox that appear to be spam may be blocked. It is the responsibility of senders to ensure that their email reaches the AEC before the deadline for nominations.
  2. In order to be able to be received by the AEC, emails (including attachments) should be no greater than 6 MB in size.
  3. You may call 03 9285 7141 to enquire about the status of your nomination.

Withdrawing Nominations

Nominations cannot be withdrawn after 12 Noon Local Time (office of the Returning Officer) on 06/03/2020.

Candidate Statements

In accordance with the Tasmanian Branch Rule 32(7), candidates may submit a statement (together with a passport-size photograph of the candidate if desired) to be included with ballot material. Such statement must not exceed 200 words and must be submitted as a doc or docx file to Only statements which comply with the Rules and are received by the Returning Officer by 12 Noon (Local Time (office of the Returning Officer)) on 13/03/2020 can be accepted.

Candidates are also required to sign a declaration taking responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained in the statements they provide.

Voting Period

The ballot, if required, will open on 27/03/2020 and close at 5:00pm Local Time (office of the Returning Officer) on 17/04/2020.


The appointment of scrutineers opens 21/02/2020 and closes at 9:30am Local Time (office of the Returning Officer) on 20/04/2020. A form is available from the Returning Officer for the purposes of appointing Scrutineers.

Other Information

Changed Address? Advise the Organisation now.

Please Note: A copy of the AEC’s election report can be obtained from the Organisation or from the Returning Officer after the completion of the election.

Jeff Webb – Returning Officer
Telephone: 03 9285 7141


Support Staff Wrap

Welcome back support staff members.

Click here for a full Support Staff Wrap – includes a big union win and information to help you check you’re getting all the correct allowances.


TAFE Update

Welcome back TAFE members.

There’s a lot to catch up on, so here’s a few important updates: Click here for a full TAFE Wrap.


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.

It’s now even more important that you keep us up to date with your current or future working arrangement because there is a three-month cap on refunds for subscriptions.

For example, if you retire this week but wait six months to inform us, the maximum refund we can give you is three months’ worth of subscriptions.

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

Call us Mon to Fri, 8.30am to 5pm, on 6234 9500 or 1800 001 313  (free call outside Hobart)


Click here to complete a short online form on our website