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Contents

President’s Wrap

Education key to Tasmanian recovery

Tasmanian teachers, principals and school staff have won even greater respect and appreciation from our broader community this year.

While very focused on the health and safety of students, their families and vulnerable colleagues, we worked together to rapidly and completely change how we delivered education in schools and colleges.

In recent weeks and months educators reconnected with students and welcomed them back to class attendance.

Now, as we look towards a safe recovery, we must again look to public education as an opportunity for a stronger and more effective recovery that also delivers fairer outcomes for all Tasmanians.

The Minister for Education said it very well in his budget message last year, a message now far more significant than it was then:

“Education is the single most powerful driver for improving economic and social outcomes in Tasmania, including health, life expectancy, happiness and productivity.”

So when we look for investment priorities that will stimulate our local economy, but also improve the lives of Tasmanians, we need look no further than public education.

Yes, infrastructure is important and many public schools are in desperate need of upgraded or expanded facilities – during COVID-19 we found out how many schools were short on bathroom facilities or found their bathrooms outdated and not fit for purpose.

However some proposed infrastructure is poorly considered, delivers minimal economic benefit and fails to spread the broad economic benefits that investment in public education ensures.

So what should we look for in the Tasmanian Government’s delayed 2020-21 budget? Public education investment that creates jobs and generates economic activity in every corner of our state and creates a more fair, skilled and knowledgeable state ready to take on the challenges and opportunities of the future.

Here’s some specific ideas the government should be looking at:

  • Increased funding to support students with a disability – more funding is required by schools as we transition to a fully funded needs-based model.
  • Fund new teacher positions to reduce class sizes to a maximum of 20 in Kinder to Grade 2 and 25 in other years and ensure more students have access to a specialist Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), music, drama, language and art teacher.
  • Increase the number of Education Support Specialists who are trained and qualified to support students with additional and complex needs, especially for those in early years.
  • Expand free, public, community-based Early Childhood Education and Care by building and funding pre-schools for three year olds in more communities.
  • Fund a new classification for public school principals that ensures we attract and retain our best education leaders.
  • Pay Teacher Assistants for 52 weeks per year – they are some of the lowest paid workers in our community, but they are so valuable to the students they support. Some are forced onto Centrelink payments over summer and this is unfair for them and bad for our local economy.
  • Immediately increase professional support staff such as school psychologists, speech therapists and social workers. Our students are under immense pressure, teachers and support staff suffer violence at work, yet we have a critical shortage of professional support in schools.

There’s so many great investment options in public education and as the Minister says, they are all powerful drivers for “improving economic and social outcomes in Tasmania, including health, life expectancy, happiness and productivity.”

I’ve only listed some options for schools and colleges, but of course our public TAFE also has the potential to deliver enormous economic and social benefits from much needed new investment.

As well as putting public education front and centre of investment in their 2020-21 Tasmanian budget, the State Government should be strongly advocating that the Federal Government do their bit.

The Morrison Government has failed to guarantee public schools the federal funding they need to reach the minimum Schools Resource Standard that ensures every child has access to the quality education they need and deserve.

Our state representatives should be having more than a quiet word in their federal colleagues’ ears about the benefit to Tasmania, our children and economy of meeting and boosting their funding obligations to public schools.

Public schools and colleges and the educators that work there cover every corner of our state. Investment in the people who have supported children and families through the tough times will deliver benefits more fairly and evenly than any other option could.

 

New Member Welcome

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

  • April Bishop, Teacher, Andrews Creek Primary School
  • Lauren Gard, Teacher, Austins Ferry Primary School
  • Luke Wood, Teacher, Bayview Secondary College
  • Vicki Coppleman, Teacher Assistant, Blackmans Bay Primary School
  • Maddison McDougall, Teacher, Brooks High School
  • Meriki Wilton, Teacher Assistant, Campania District High School
  • Rebecca Kalis, Teacher, Campbell Street Primary School
  • Jordan Latham, Teacher, Clarence High School
  • Stefanie Hall, Teacher, Deloraine Primary School
  • Sophie Edwards, Teacher, Dodges Ferry Primary School
  • Michael Wilson, Teacher, Fairview Primary School
  • Anita Toohey, Education Officer, Geeveston Child and Family Centre
  • Leah McKinnon, Teacher, Glenorchy Primary School
  • Nicolle Morphett, Teacher, Huonville High School
  • Liesl-Mari McIlwraith, Teacher Assistant, Illawarra Primary School
  • Stephen Hall, Teacher, JRLF – Senior School Campus
  • Melissa Hudson, Teacher, Kings Meadows High School
  • Chanelle Murray, Teacher, Kingston High School
  • Rachel Bain, Early Childhood Teacher, Lansdowne Crescent Primary School
  • Carmen Kemp, Teacher, Lauderdale Primary School
  • Karen Wilson, Teacher, Lauderdale Primary School
  • Wendy Knight, Teacher Assistant, Lindisfarne North Primary School
  • Gabrielle Woodman, Teacher Assistant, Lindisfarne North Primary School
  • Leah Waugh, Assistant Principal, Margate Primary School
  • Akari Koyama, Teacher, Mount Stuart Primary School
  • Sebastian Poeschla, Teacher, Mountain Heights School
  • Jasmine Armstrong, Teacher Assistant, North West Support School – Burnie
  • Michele Bradshaw, Teacher Assistant, North West Support School – Burnie
  • Jennifer McLaughlan, Teacher Assistant, North West Support School – Devonport
  • Tracey Searle, Teacher Assistant, Northern Support School – Ravenswood Road
  • Purdie Day, Teacher, Princes Street Primary School
  • Alexander Johnston, Teacher, Punchbowl Primary School
  • Phoebe Bowen, Teacher, Queechy High School
  • Ian Carter, Teacher, Relief
  • Maddison Hayward, Teacher, Riana Primary School
  • Mallory Priest, Teacher, Romaine Park Primary School
  • Stefanie Daffara, Teacher, Rose Bay High School
  • Luke Denholm, Teacher, Rose Bay High School
  • Yuan Yang, Teacher, Rosebery District School
  • Tyeisha Hinds, Teacher, Scottsdale High School
  • Lauren Wiggins, Teacher, Sorell School – Senior Campus
  • Rebecca Miller, Teacher, South Arm Primary School
  • Alexandra Garwood, Teacher, South George Town Primary School
  • Tula Thomas, Teacher, St Leonards Primary School
  • Rikki Murray, Teacher, Swansea Primary School
  • Madeline Nichols, Teacher, Taroona High School
  • Adam Savill, Teacher, TasTAFE Clarence
  • Justin Plunkett, Teacher, TasTAFE Clarence
  • Matthew Jeffs, Teacher, TasTAFE Clarence
  • Loretta Carbray, Teacher, TasTAFE Hobart Campbell St Campus
  • Nicole Taylor, Teacher, Triabunna District School

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

 

Lunch/Meal Breaks – did you know?

As a teacher you are legally entitled to a daily lunch break of 30 to 60 minutes between 12 noon and 2.00 pm. This entitlement is safeguarded in the Teaching Award! (p42)

As Education Support Personal (ESP/Support Staff) you are legally entitled to an unpaid meal break of 30 to 60 minutes. This break is to be taken not later than five hours after you begin work. If you and your principal/manager agree then you can work more than five hours (but not more than six hours) without a meal break. This entitlement is safeguarded in the Tasmanian State Service Award! (p104)

Click these links for the full AEU Fact Sheets:

Talk to your AEU Rep, Organiser or contact our MSC team if you’re not given your lunch/meal break entitlements: (03) 6234 9500

 

AEU Noticeboard Competition

How’s your AEU noticeboard looking? Full of up to date member information and inspiring reasons to join the AEU and be a proud union member? Or does it need a bit of a lift?

Now’s the time to update and upgrade your noticeboard – and win!

Send a photo of your noticeboard to: communicationsadvisor@aeutas.org.au and the best one will win a prize.

You’ve got time to update and refresh it, get it looking its best for the start of Term 4.

What will the prize be? Who will judge it?

Well we don’t honestly yet know, but the prize will be great and the judging fair.

Competition closes Week 2 of Term 4.

Some workplaces have already updated and improved their noticeboards and seen the rewards!

Forest Primary School clearly value their union and their informative noticeboard – quickly judged as very impressive by North West Organiser Gerard Enniss, Workplace Rep Mikayla Poulter and Forest PS members enjoyed a special morning tea of coffee walnut cream cake. Yum!

Winners are grinners! Send your entries and questions in to: communicationsadvisor@aeutas.org.au

Handy materials are available on the AEU members-only website here: https://members.aeutas.org.au/forms/

There’s also updated fact sheets (printable version links at the bottom of each fact sheet page) for all members here: https://members.aeutas.org.au/resources/

 

Member Win for Plastering Teachers in Allied Trades

Since the resignation of two veteran teachers in the plastering team of the allied trades there has been ongoing issues with workload.

Clarence Campus Workplace Rep and AEU TAFE Executive member Ben Wright met with new AEU members Danny and Julian to discuss the issues and work towards solutions.

The two veteran teachers left TasTAFE following management’s failure to employ another teacher to help with the huge number of apprentices state-wide.

When Danny and Julian were finally employed they had to complete their TAE while learning the ropes without a lead plastering teacher!

After the AEU raised significant concerns again with senior management regarding the workload in the allied trades team, TasTAFE employed new teachers for every allied trades delivery team.

The newest recruit into the plastering team was Mark Ransley, also a Teacher Under Supervision, and the three teachers came to Ben Wright again saying they were still run off their feet with all the teaching and state-wide onsite assessment and they needed another meeting.

The teachers had met with their Industry Rep Clinton Steele, the President of AWCI (Association of Wall and Ceiling Industries) to share some concerns and ask for his support.

A letter was sent to senior TasTAFE management expressing the concerns about TasTAFE going down the same path again that led to the loss of two veteran teachers.

Another meeting was scheduled between teachers and managers to discuss timetables, apprentice portfolios, missed classes and other things affecting workload.

In a great result for the team, the new Teacher Under Supervision Mark had his 0.5 contract lifted to 1.0 full time.

Congratulations to the plastering and allied trades teams – stronger in union!

 

Recent Member Wins

Salary Classification: AEU support provides the key arguments for positive change

The AEU Member Support Centre (MSC) team recently supported a member who was asking to be reclassified from Band 1 Level 5 to Band 1 Level 8.

After months of correspondence between our member and the DoE, there had not been much progress. The member then contacted the AEU MSC whoidentified an additional legal argument. Once we were able to present this new argument to the DoE, they agreed to change the member’s classification and pay a year of back pay.

If you are in need of support or would like assistance in corresponding with the DoE, please contact our MSC team: (03) 6234 9500. We are stronger in union.

Avoiding an ED 5

With the support of our MSC team, a member recently avoided an investigation into a potential breach of the Code of Conduct. Issues of concern had been raised with the member who sought our assistance. We assisted the member to respond constructively in the context of the Code of Conduct. As a result, no further action will be taken; a positive result for our member.

We note that the member sought our support as soon as the issues were raised. This enabled us to support them to resolve the issues constructively.

Your initial response to allegations or issues raised with you by your principal, manager, DoE or TasTAFE can set the tone for the process to come. Contacting your AEU MSC team before you respond gives us the chance to help you minimise what may follow.

All members should appreciate that responding to allegations without fully knowing the consequences can be very detrimental, and can result in a lengthy investigation into actions that you may have thought appropriate and which may turn out to have been appropriate. We have supported members in drafting responses that clearly outline their actions and why they do not breach the Code of Conduct, in situations that would have otherwise resulted in an investigation.

If you are informed of any kind of allegations against you, contact your MSC team who can assist in drafting a response and talking you through the possible outcomes: (03) 6234 9500

 

ESP (support staff) Update

Part Time ESPs and Permanent Additional Hours

Over the last few months many contract Teacher Assistants have been offered permanent hours, often without an interview process being required.

Current permanent Teacher Assistants, who have a small number of permanent hours or would prefer more, and have been working above those permanent hours for many years, feel they have not been acknowledged in this process and have not been offered a ‘top-up’ of permanent hours. This has been very frustrating for those members.

We have been advocating strongly for members to the DoE and sharing many member examples of actual permanent hours, current hours worked above permanency and length of time working for DoE so they have a clear understanding of the current situation.

Following strong AEU advocacy, the DoE committed to change regarding these employment practices, looking in particular at continuous top-up hours.

BREAKING NEWS

AEU intervention and ongoing, strong advocacy on behalf of ESP members is producing results – the DoE has just provided a significant update.

DoE will produce a report which describes each part time employee’s permanent hours and their consistent and continuous top up hours where the top ups have been in place for three years.

These reports will be sent out to schools early in Term 4 so schools can verify the information.

Following feedback from schools DoE will meet with AEU to discuss a plan for increasing part time hours from fixed term to permanent where the duties are ongoing.

In the meantime, if you or a member at your workplace have been asked to reduce your top-up hours that have previously been in place consistently for an extended period of time then talk to your AEU Rep, organiser or contact the AEU office to work through this with the employer on a case by case basis.

Contact: support@aeutas.org.au or call (03) 6234 9500

ESP Facebook Page

If you haven’t already, please join the AEU Members only Facebook page for regular posts and updates relevant to your role. Its also an opportunity to meet ESP’s from across the state, hear their stories and chat about

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ESPTas

Your ESP Representatives on AEU Tasmania Branch Council

The Branch Council is the supreme decision making body of the AEU and meets four times a year to debate and endorse policy and steer the direction of AEU to represent ESPs and other members on wages and conditions in Agreement negotiations, policies, issues and progress on all your Industrial entitlements.

Council members undertake these duties in a volunteer capacity but have access to relief to attend meetings.

Your Council Representatives are:

Tanya Adams-Lab Technician-Ulverstone Secondary College

Susan Foden-Teacher Assistant-Summerdale Primary School

Jo Stevens-Library Technician-Beaconsfield Primary School

Rebecca Greeves-Library Technician-Cygnet Primary School

Harriet King-Teacher Assistant-Bowen Road Primary School

Nanna-Jansen Munday-Education Support Specialist-Illawarra Primary School

Mandy Jackson-Laboratory Technician-Hellyer College (Deputy Branch President)

Please don’t hesitate to contact them if you would like to raise an issue or topic that you would like presented at Council.

 

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

Helen Richardson (AEU Tas President) has attended the first Steering Committee meeting (6 weekly) and Adam Clifford (Acting State Manager) has attended six project team meetings.

The DoE have appointed Jen Ashton (Kinder), Gaye Cummings (P-6), Jill Burrill (7-10) and Mark Sivilles (11-12) as Reference Group Leads and the project team have developed the materials and session outlines for the initial meetings of these groups.

We have also met with the Leads and ensured the focus of these sessions will be ‘blue sky’ thinking about reporting, communicating with parents and addressing teacher workload. It has been reinforced several times that Educational Performance and Review (EPR) have a purely observer role. There are place holds for three Teacher Reference Group meetings already in all participants’ calendars.

The project team have developed consultation documents for school associations and students to occur between now and mid-November. Adam will be attending meetings to identify key themes through the initial consultation phase during the October school holidays will report back to the AEU Executive. The Teacher Reference Groups, with AEU reps on each, have either had or will have their first meeting before the end of Term 3.

Isolated School Incentives Working Group

This is a brilliant working group with representatives from every school defined as ‘isolated’ in our Teachers Agreement. Members have supplied a lot of information including some case studies that can be used in advocacy with DOE to improve member conditions and how entitlements are implemented.

A member survey focusing on both issues and solutions is planned for Term 4.

A jurisdictional scan will be undertaken to explore the various incentives that other states offer.

Teacher Workload Working Group

The Teacher Workload Reference Group was established as part of our previous Teacher Agreement. Our present Agreement allows this group to continue with the purpose of working together with the DoE to put in place practices that will assist in reducing the workload of classroom teachers. The previous TWRG group gained some major wins around reporting but there were many issues that had previously been raised by members that are yet to be addressed. It was agreed that the issues that had previously identified would be a good starting point for this newly formed group.

  • Individual Learning Plans for Students
  • PA Days
  • Administrative tasks undertaken by teachers
  • Recording of student attendance

Additional Issues (from present Agreement)

  • Relief Teacher Pool
  • Mentoring Early Career Teachers

Reporting to Parents Review: this group will be regularly updated on the progress of the reporting review.

Year 9-12 Curriculum Review

A smart and articulate group of AEU members in Years 9-12 joined a half day workshop last Friday.

An AEU working group has been formed in response to the DoE’s Year 9 to 12 Curriculum Project which will see new courses rolling out at the start of the 2022 school year.

These major curriculum changes will have implications for those teaching across Years 9 to 12, whether they be in Colleges, High Schools and/or Extension and District schools.

The AEU Working Group will ensure member voices are heard during the consultation phases focusing on outcomes such as:

  • No increase to Workloads
  • Teachers are comprehensively supported through the changes
  • Systemic issues are addressed, e.g. in VET.
  • Barriers that prevent our students achieving a Year 12 qualification are removed.

You can read more about the DOE’s Year 9 to 12 Project here on their website.

ATSI Working Group

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander working group met for first time last week.

School visits are being planned for Term 4. Already a great range of issues from language and terminology to major (trauma funding of Aboriginal kids) for this group to tackle.

Addressing some unique needs and structural barriers for ATSI students is also on the working group agenda.

To find out more about working groups, contact the AEU office: support@aeutas.org.au or phone 6234 9500 or 1800 001 313

 

Principal Classification Review

Just a quick update:

On behalf of the Promoted Positions Reclassification working party, the AEU met with the Department of Education representatives on Thursday September 10.  The findings from the statewide workshops and the individual meetings that we have had with Principal members were presented.  We were extremely pleased with the reception of our feedback.

DoE representatives had also met with the Principals’ Advisory Group recently and we were encouraged to hear that the feedback PAG presented was closely aligned to ours. We have scheduled our next meeting for early term 4. Following that we will report any progress to our working party and look for further opportunities for them to contribute.

In parallel to this work, we are also about form a working party to discuss at the classification of ASTs and Assistant Principals. This is important work that has the potential to affect the salary and conditions of all members.  Please consider nominating yourself, or encouraging any of your colleagues to participate, so that we have a wide variety of opinion and diverse cross section of nuances, specific to some unique settings, with which to form a position.

Please contact John O’Rourke at principalorganiser@aeutas.org.au to be included.

 

Unions Tasmania Awards – nominate an AEU member today!

Members are the union and it’s the skills, dedication and passion of hundreds of union delegates, councillors, reps and activists who make the difference.

The Tasmanian Union Awards recognise the special efforts of just a few of these people.

AWARD CATEGORIES

  • Delegate of the Year
  • Health and Safety Representative (HSR) of the Year
  • Local workplace campaign of the year
  • Outstanding contribution to the union movement
  • Community contribution by a union member

Nominations are open until 30 September.

To make a nomination, complete and return the entry form.

 Tasmanian Union Awards Entry Form 2020.pdf

 

Branch Council Update

Elected member leaders of AEU Tasmania Branch Council met on Friday 18th September and the following motions were considered and passed:

Phonics testing

Moved Margaret Laird Valentine

Seconded Lucie Cornelius

“That the AEU monitor the process of the phonics testing in regard to timings allocated for the test and relief required for the teacher taking the test”

Base Testing

Moved Di Vickers

Seconded Margaret Laird Valentine

”The AEU explore adequately, centrally funded resources for administering base testing in schools”

DoE Staff Laptops

Moved Sallyann Geale

Seconded Ryan Thomas

“Branch Council endorses that the AEU will ensure that the DoE will take full responsibility for the cost of repairs, replacements of teacher-supplied laptops, including chargers, as mentioned in the Memo, dated October 2019.”

“Branch Council endorses that the AEU will advocate for the DoE to fund the upgrade of laptops for those educators whose job requires them to use more specialised programs.”

“Branch Council endorses that the AEU will prioritise advocating for Support Staff being provided with a laptop to allow them to meet the wide ranging demands of their job.”

 

AEU Elections Delayed by COVID-19

AEU internal elections are conducted by the independent Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). Normally scheduled to take place during Term 3, the AEC notified the AEU that due to COVID-19 disruptions they would be unable to conduct the AEU elections at the scheduled time.

The AEC has since told the AEU that our elections are on their ‘priority list’ but we still have no timeline. It is hoped they can still take place before the end of the year.

These internal elections are for key positions and decision making bodies for your union. We encourage all members to consider putting their hand up and to encourage their colleague members to run.

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:

  • 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: aeutas.org.au/updatedetails/

 

Women’s Conferences – AEU and Unions Tasmania

Two women’s conferences are coming up – contact support@aeutas.org.au to express an interest in attending.

First, join AEU women around Australia on Friday 2nd October at the Federal Women’s Conference 2020.

Strengthening Public Education – A Feminist-Led Approach

Date: Friday 2nd October
Time: 10.30am – 5.30pm
Lunch: provided with 1 hour break
Location: Hobart and Launceston AEU Offices – connect to national women via Zoom video conference

Secondly, join Tasmanian women in union at the Unions Tasmania Women’s Conference 2020.

If you’re a woman union member, delegate, or activist we hope you’ll come along to the 2020 Unions Tasmania Women’s Conference!

Packed with great speakers and workshops, it’s the biggest day of the year to meet up with union women from across the movement to network, learn and organise around women’s rights at work.

Date: Friday, 6 November 2020

Time: 9:30am – 4:30pm Registrations open from 9:00am

Location: Kingborough Community Hub, Goshawk Way, Kingston

Cost: $40 waged / $30 unwaged

Book at trybooking.com/BIKWK

Free parking is available at the Kingborough Community Hub and lunch is provided.

Participant health and safety is our priority and we will be able to maintain physical distance in this venue. We will update plans in line with any changes in public health directives.

Contact support@aeutas.org.au to discuss attendance.

 

Student Climate Request: please show this video in your classroom

Chloe, for the Launceston School Strike 4 Climate Team, asks you to show a video in your classrooms on Friday September 25 for the Global Day of Action.

To the Members of the Australian Education Union in Tasmania,

Launceston SS4C is asking you to show a video in your classrooms on September 25th, the international day of climate action. More information below.

We commend you for declaring a Climate Emergency in your state branch. To the National Australian Education Union, congratulations for endorsing the Fridays For Future and School Strike for Climate International movements. Thank you for the support of your students engaging with their future and encouraging them to have a say in issues that affect them and for which they are passionate.

On Friday, September 25th, the Launceston School Strike 4 Climate team is standing in solidarity with Greta Thunberg and thousands of activists all over the world, young and old, on this global day of action. We need your help to engage Tasmanian students in this international day of awareness and action. 

The theme of this event is Build Our Future and we have chosen to create an informative and accessible video educational tool titled Build Our Future: Stories from Tasmania and Beyond. This project has been entirely student-led and focuses on issues pertinent to the young people of Tasmania to encourage and empower them to connect with the climate crisis in a way that inspires them.

We are asking you to show this video in your classes on Friday. The video will be on Youtube and accessible after this date as well. After viewing the video, we encourage you to allow your students to take their own action within their school and beyond. Actions on the day could include sign making and photographing, persuasive writing, letters to MPs, research project, debates, experiments, etc.

We have engaged a number of both local and nationally recognised speakers from a broad range of areas of expertise. These speakers include doctors, farmers, government advisors, academics, scientists, young people and international activists. This is complemented by personal testimonies and stories from young Tasmanian students. The video is well-rounded, informative and inspiring and includes a call to action to encourage young Tasmanians to make a difference in their local communities and realise the impacts these have on a global scale.

Thank you so much for your support. We are so excited for you and your school to see the video on Friday. It is sure to be 35 minutes well spent engaging with experts in many fields, in addition to countless hours of inspiration, critical thinking and change-making.

The YouTube link to the video will be circulated to you tomorrow, Friday at 8am and will be posted on the School Strike 4 Climate Launceston Facebook page. The link to our YouTube channel where the video will appear tomorrow is: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB0d3cvfBW-QX36y4bRYlpw

In Solidarity,

Chloe, for the Launceston School Strike 4 Climate Team
chloe.mccann@aycc.org.au

 

Unions Tasmania Covid-19 Recovery Survey Results

On 14th September Unions Tasmania released the results of its COVID-19 Recovery Survey, conducted between June and August 2020, which asked workers across the state about COVID-19 pandemic impacts, and priorities for Tasmania’s economic and social recovery.

Nearly 2,000 workers completed the survey with respondents strongly indicating they want to see an inclusive recovery plan that invests more in public services, targets sustainable new jobs and addresses both economic and social inequality in Tasmania.

The survey findings also indicate that more secure jobs and decent pay remain priorities for workers who see these as critical to supporting recovery.

Key results from the survey: 

  • Close to 60% of workers want investment in more public services.
  • 74% want a multi-faceted plan that supports all workers.
  • 83% of workers want an inclusive recovery to address social and economic inequality.
  • Increased workload and work stress are the top 2 ongoing job impacts for those still employed.

“Workers have kept supplies moving, our communities safe, kept businesses running, carried out vital public services and saved lives throughout this pandemic. They have now clearly told us their priorities for recovery,” said Unions Tasmania Secretary, Jessica Munday.

“Workers are saying that they need a multi-faceted recovery plan that delivers for them in terms of jobs and working conditions, that gets services to people and makes it a priority to tackle inequality. Workers need to have secure jobs and decent wages, so they can continue to spend in the local economy and support Tasmanian businesses.”

“Tasmanian workers overwhelmingly told us they don’t want to return to the old ‘normal’. In the months and years ahead, we will be advocating for a worker-centred recovery that creates a better Tasmania,” said Ms Munday.

 

ACTU ‘For the Workers’ Campaign

Workers have carried Australia through the pandemic.

We need politicians to realise that workers are the hidden heroes of this crisis.

Sign the petition

Email your MP

Workers are the hidden heroes of the pandemic crisis

This pandemic has affected us all.

But it is working people who have carried Australia through this time. Many of us have literally been on the frontline.

For many essential workers this comes with great risk. Even while wearing personal protective equipment, health workers are 3.4 times as likely to contract COVID-19 as the rest of the population.

Many more workers have moved mountains to rapidly transition to working remotely so they can keep services available and businesses open.

Many of us have had our hours, pay and jobs cut. And some of us and have had to use our super just to survive.

It has been union members who have campaigned and won JobKeeper, JobSeeker and pandemic leave. Our efforts have saved jobs, livelihoods and lives.

But no matter the workplace, it’s Australian workers who have carried the load during this pandemic.

 

National TAFE Day

National TAFE Day was celebrated on Thursday 13th August!

TasTAFE members got together in teams with cakes that read “Cut cake not TAFE” and wore their new AEU badges that read: “TAFE means quality. Invest in TAFE”.

Politicians from all parties were invited to attend TasTAFE campuses to better understand the quality education and training TAFE provides and why investment in TAFE is a great way to boost our economy and improve people’s lives.

Tasmanian Labor Leader Rebecca White and Tasmanian Greens Leader Cassy O’Connor both attended a TAFE campus for a tour with AEU members. Labor MPs Sarah Lovell, Josh Willie, Anita Dowe and Michelle O’Byrne attended campuses to meet AEU members too.

We asked the politicians to commit to TAFE, with the question: “Will you commit to increasing funding and rebuilding TAFE as part of an education and training-focused COVID-19 recovery, ensuring that TasTAFE is always prioritised over private providers?”

Only Labor Leader Rebecca White responded – here’s her full response:

Labor is the strongest supporter of TAFE and believes it has a fundamentally important place in our education system to help people gain the skills and qualifications they need to get a foot in the door to a rewarding career.

We are absolutely committed to increasing funding and rebuilding TAFE to ensure that our state’s public provider of VET courses is seen as an attractive option for students and respected by industry.

We have announced a Labor Government would introduce Free TAFE courses in areas of greatest skills need, to provide 5,000 students with the qualifications they need to find jobs in our fastest growing industries.

Labor’s Free TAFE  policy is a key part of our COVID-19 Recovery Package, which was submitted to the Premier’s Economic and Social Recovery Advisory Council.

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 was the vital importance of investing in TAFE for Australia’s economic recovery.

 

Learning during COVID-19 study

From UTas and University of Queensland research team:

The Learning during COVID-19 study aims to understand how children and young people who were already struggling with learning and school, experienced learning during COVID-19. The key purpose is to be able to provide important information to help schools and service providers support children and families during times like this. With the information we collect we seek to understand perspectives on who is in need, what their strengths are, and what responses can best serve these needs and build on the strengths of at-risk children and young people. The study will identify evidence-based options for action to provide implementable policy and practice solutions that are most likely to be successful.

Survey information

We are writing to you with regard to the stakeholder consultation. We are consulting public sector employees, service providers who work in and outside of schools, and other experts in academia, government and the not for profit sector. There are a number of ways that people can participate. We are running an online survey, targeted interviews with stakeholders and roundtable sessions. Detailed information about the study will be provided to all participants (please see the attached Information Sheet).

As mentioned before we would like to invite you to participate in the online survey. By clicking on this link Learning during COVID-19 Stakeholder Survey Link you will have access to the information sheet and consent form and can decide if you would like to take part. The survey should take no more than 15-20 minutes to complete. We would also like to invite you to share this study information and survey link with other relevant members of your organisation.

We hope that you are able to help us with this important study.

This study is being led by Professor Lisa McDaid at The University of Queensland, Institute for Social Science Research. If you would like more information about the study or have any questions, please contact Lisa:

Prof Lisa McDaid
Institute for Social Science Research, The University of Queensland
Email: l.mcdaid@uq.edu.au
Phone: 07 336 56070

 

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 https://www.unionstas.com.au/news-events/events/anna-stewart-memorial-project/ and talk to women’s officer Kathryn Lee (centralorganiser@aeutas.org.au) about participating. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

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: communicationsadvisor@aeutas.org.au

 

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: