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Contents

President’s Wrap

Wellbeing.

Sometimes as educators it can feel like it’s all take and very little give. To make things worse, sometimes that is how we treat ourselves.

Your AEU Executive has made an effort to give back to you with the Wellbeing Fitness Challenge, but to receive the benefits you need to participate.

Click here for all three weeks of wellbeing resources – videos and worksheets.

Members who have undertaken the program have found it transformative – it deliberately knocks us out of autopilot and challenges us to both reflect on our wellbeing and take steps to feel better and be better.

If we don’t give ourselves some time for our own wellbeing, things are unlikely to improve. We’ve heard from many members feeling anxious at this time; overworked and undervalued. The wellbeing program presents an opportunity to address some of that internal damage.

As a union, we have been tackling the external factors – reducing primary instructional load, advocating for the best possible response through the COVID-19 crisis and reforming the working groups coming out of the new Agreement that will work on key issues like reporting, workload, PA days and early career teachers.

Some things we tackle in union, but for individual wellbeing, there are steps we can all take. Even better, we can support and encourage each other to take those steps by participating in the Wellbeing Fitness challenge in teams with colleagues – incorporate it into your staff meetings, allocate the time.

Yes, everyone is under a lot of workload pressure right now, but we’ll get through this in better shape, more ready to face the challenges at work, if we take some time for ourselves.

Please give it a go. Click here and start with Activity 1 if you haven’t already.

 

Returning to PDPs

AEU Branch Executive met on Thursday and discussed member feedback around PDPs.

Accordingly, they passed a motion which read: “That the AEU put out a proforma of what a PDP could look like for educators in each sector”.

Below are two generic PDP examples for those members who are seeking an interim PDP with an ICT or wellbeing goal that fulfills the requirements.

The Department of Education recently communicated the below information around the returning to PDPs:

Advice was provided in Term 1 to DoE principals, managers and staff, that PDPs did not need to be progressed at that time, given the focus on COVID-19 priorities. Now that schools and workplaces are beginning to return to a level of business as usual, it is timely to return to a focus on the performance and development of staff. It is recognised that PDPs provide an important means to engage staff, provide support, and focus effort on priority areas.

Principals and managers should apply the following principles in managing the return to PDPs with their individual staff:

  • Where the Term 1 PDP deferral has resulted in no significant impact on the annual PDP cycle for staff, usual PDP requirements will apply and the annual PDP goal setting, review and assessment should continue as normal.
  • Where an employee has an identified area of underperformance, or is due for Advancement Assessment at their next anniversary, a full PDP needs to be in place.
  • Where the Term 1 PDP deferral has impacted on the annual PDP cycle (for example, planned time had been set aside in Term 1 to undertake PDPs and this did not occur), an option is available for the remainder of 2020 to establish an interim PDP.
    • An interim PDP will involve a minimum of one performance goal, which includes a focus on associated development needs;
    • The interim PDP goal is only for the remainder of 2020; and
    • A return to the full PDP process from the start of 2021.

The timeframe for completion of the PDP is by the end of week four, Term 3 (14 August 2020). This may need to be earlier if it relates to an Advanced Assessment or underperformance.

Any queries regarding the return to PDPs can be directed to HRCovid-19@education.tas.gov.au or phone (03) 6165 5649.

 

Reporting

All DoE members received an email update about mid-year reporting requirements, including some useful examples of written report templates from three different workplaces. It’s important that members are allowed to maintain a learning focus and reporting work is minimised at a time when many members are communicating regularly with parents and many have had limitations on direct observation.

The current situation is not business as usual, far from it, and expectations must be adjusted accordingly.

Click here to read the reporting member update in full.

We’ll be checking in with Reps next week to get feedback from workplaces, please talk to your AEU Rep, organiser or call the office for support or concerns.

 

Teacher transfers

Transfer applications for teacher transfers in 2021 close on Friday 12 June 2020.

To be eligible for a transfer you must be a base grade teacher who has held the same position for 3 years in a level D school/college, 4 years in a level B or C school/college, or 6 years in a level A school/college. The Department has indicated that, in light of the current situation brought on by COVID-19, promotable positions (ASTs/Principals) are very unlikely to be transferred. As you know, this is difficult in the best of times.

Applications can be submitted at the following link: https://teachertransfer.education.tas.gov.au

All eligible transfer applications will be considered, however eligible A transfer applications will not be guaranteed and this year it will be more difficult than usual to secure a transfer.

If you are seeking a transfer as you are concerned about your capacity to continue working at your current school please contact your AEU Member Support Centre: support@aeutas.org.au or 6234 9500 or 1800 001 313

Please don’t hesitate to make contact if we can assist in any way.

 

Sick leave – working through is no longer an option

Things have changed. It’s no longer ok to come to work with a sniffle, a cough or a cold, let alone anything worse. But what if you have used up your sick leave?

The DoE knows that it is government guidelines that require you to stay home with just moderate symptoms and that this will have an impact on some members’ accumulated sick leave.

If you are suffering symptoms that may be COVID related, we recommend that you arrange to have a COVID test without delay. Our understanding is that then you will be required to enter into isolation in accordance with a direction under S 40 of the Emergency Management Act or S 16 of the Public Health Act until you are cleared. If so ordered, for the day of the test and until you get your result in our view you are entitled to COVID leave.

Taking this approach in appropriate circumstances means that you are not using up your accumulated sick leave, as well as doing the right thing by public health guidelines. Note that the DoE requests you contact your Principal or Manager in this situation to discuss WFH arrangements, and if such can be arranged this will avoid you having to take any leave. We recommend that you do so as soon as possible, preferably the same day/morning, after you determine that you have relevant symptoms.

If you are running out of sick leave, or if you’ve already run out and you’re concerned, there are options.

Contact your AEU Members Support Centre to discuss your options and get support – it may be better to know where you stand before you are faced with a situation of needing to stay home but having no leave. Continue with confidence, armed with the information that your union can offer – call 6234 9500 or 1800 001 313

 

TasCOSS – renewed membership

The AEU Tasmanian Branch is proud to renew our membership of the Tasmanian Council of Social Service (TasCOSS). TasCOSS is the peak body for community services in Tasmania, with a mission to challenge and change the systems, behaviours and attitudes that create poverty, inequality and exclusion.

The COVID-19 crisis highlighted the critical work of AEU members across our public education system, but it also revealed inequities so many in our community are unaware of.

When certain politicians found a sudden concern for disadvantaged students, we were quick to remind them this inequality existed before COVID-19, that as educators in the public system we are on the frontline of tackling inequality and systemic changes were required to address inequality, including more investment in public education and hardworking educators.

 

Recruit a winner

All members are now experiencing the benefits of our new union-won Agreements – whether it’s pay rises, increased allowances, decreases in instructional load or BETTR for new educators.

We are able to improve our collective conditions because in union we have big numbers and greater strength. Do you have a colleague who won big out of the new Agreement but isn’t yet a member?

Now is the time to ask them to join you in the AEU so our next round of negotiations bring more improvements for quality public education, our students and our colleagues.

Some of the biggest winners in the new Agreements that you might not know about are:

  • ASTs: received a relativity payment of $1,050 earlier this year and promoted position salaries will be further reviewed during the current Agreement.
  • School Psychologists: now able to access Band 1 Level 13, after they have been on Band 1 Level 12 for 12 months.
  • Primary Teachers: instructional load reduced by two hours per fortnight.
  • ESPs/Support staff: significant increases in toileting allowance and other payments as well as TOIL locked in as compensation for Easter public holidays that fell in term break.

Download a membership form for colleagues who need one or send them the link to join securely online: https://aeutas.org.au/join/

 

ESP Day

Saturday 16th May was ESP Day and as well as celebrating the critical work of support staff, we introduced the title of Education Support Personnel (ESP) that has been adopted globally and locally to reflect the professionalism of the members and their roles.

A new Facebook group for ESP members and others interested in ESP issues was launched – search for ‘Support staff united! Education Support Personnel (ESPs) of Tasmania (AEU)’ or use the link: https://facebook.com/groups/ESPTas/

 

Public Education Day

Thursday 28th May saw celebrations across workplaces and online for Public Education Day.

A range of prominent Australians expressed their love and support of public education, with many reflecting on the role public education played in their own lives and success.

Go back and check out the Public Education Day blogs here: http://www.aeufederal.org.au/news-media/public-education-day

 

Health Care Procedures Allowance win for ESPs

Education Support Personnel (ESPs) will welcome news that the administration of medication is now included in eligibility for the Health Care Procedures Allowance. This significant win has been pursued by ESP members and AEU organiser Kathryn Lee.

A successful union member campaign saw the Health Care Procedures Allowance more than double from $13.20 to $30! The AEU are pursuing back pay of this allowance to 27th February and once agreement is achieved it will be taken to the Tasmanian Industrial Commission to be registered.

 

Fact Sheets updated

AEU Fact Sheets are being updated to reflect your new Agreements and improvements in conditions.

Download them, print them, put them up on noticeboards and send them around to your colleagues – know your rights and know your union benefits!

 

Organiser visits recommencing

Some workplaces have welcomed the opportunity to invite their AEU organiser out for a visit as COVID-19 restrictions on visitors ease. Of course whether visits are allowed and how they are conducted will be governed by each workplace’s COVID-19 Safety Plan and organisers are happy to work with those guidelines.

If you’d like to discuss a workplace visit, contact your organiser:

 

Student member update details

We recently contacted all AEU student members to check if their details are up to date. Keeping your member details current is important to ensure you have access to union benefits and information relevant to you.

If you have colleagues who have changed workplaces, moved address or changed other details recently, please encourage them to contact the AEU membership team to pass on those changes.

Student Members can update their details here: https://aeutas.org.au/student-update/

All members can update their details securely through our website here: https://aeutas.org.au/updatedetails/

 

Relief members – support extended

The DoE has reviewed the relief arrangements that were put in place following union advocacy and negotiation with AEU representatives.

DoE agreed to extend the arrangements for a few weeks, confirming that additional relief will continue to be centrally funded and relief members will continue to have access to guaranteed hours.

Supportive arrangements will include some additional flexibility to better place people where their speciality and skills are best used, in negotiation with Learning Services.

AEU advocacy for Relief Members continues, please send in your feedback and let us know what the arrangements mean for you and your thoughts on future advocacy to ensure Relief Members and workplaces in need of relief staff are supported and well represented.

We’ve made it clear to DoE and government that sufficient notice of any changes to relief arrangements is required – sudden changes without notice will not be welcomed by members.

The reduction in primary instructional load will require some additional staffing, including some relief.

Introducing TAFE Division Women’s Officer Dr Deb Brewer

I would like to introduce myself as your new (returning) Woman’s Officer, for the Tasmanian TAFE Division of our teachers’ union, the AEU.

It is a privilege to be returning to the position of Tasmanian AEU, TAFE Women’s Officer, and I look forward to working hard in representing the interests of all TAFE teachers, focusing on the issues and concerns of women members.

I teach Community Services at Clarence Campus, having recently returned from a temporary transfer position with the Tasmanian Government in Communities Tasmania, developing a Child and Youth Services quality improvement model and reviewing and consulting on new child and youth legislation.

I have worked for both the state and commonwealth government, and community-based organisations, over many years, as a manager, social worker and as a teacher. I have also supported the humanitarian work of the AEU through APHEDA (our union’s international aid arm) in East Timor, as a volunteer Vocational Education Advisor.

I see the work of our union, the AEU, as extending beyond that of looking after members work conditions and remuneration to the quality assurance of educational outcomes and the progress of our shared educational ideology. A shared belief in the provision of the highest quality public education, and in the vital role public education plays in developing and sustaining a socially just society.

I am committed to education, and in particular, to vocational education. Like all AEU members, I believe education is the corner stone of a thriving, innovative and just society. TAFE education is taught by highly skilled, knowledgeable, qualified, committed and specialised trade practitioners. We teach our chosen trade as a career because we know quality pre-vocational and on-the-job education builds human capital and creates work participation opportunities. While we concentrate day-to-day on the individual vocational learning outcomes of our students, collectively, our work builds the Tasmanian community’s education capital.

Collectively our efforts directly support Tasmanian industry, businesses and services; and build community social cohesion and economic prosperity. These are pretty big picture vocational education outcomes, but ultimately I believe this is why we do what we do, and why the AEU go into bat for member teachers, students and to maintain the quality of the training we provide.

TAFE teachers have a responsibility to our students and industries to lead the way. Professional development is not ‘catch up’ on the skills of our industries, it is not just about pedagogy and using technology. TAFE teachers lead the way in industry innovation and knowledge. We must be supported through our Award to access the cutting edge professional knowledge and skills of our chosen vocational field, so we can then teach this to our students.

The decisions TAFE management and our government make about TAFE’s delivery of public vocational education must be based on evidence that supports the on-going professional development and well-being of members, and focuses on the educational outcomes of students. As your AEU TAFE Women’s officer representative I want to listen to AEU members’ insights and views, and convey these, and your concerns and endeavours, to management and government so they listen and use this information to make decisions that are progressive and well-informed.

I look forward to meeting and talking with you. Please contact me anytime on deborah.brewer@tastafe.tas.edu.au

 

Facebook groups for ESP and TasTAFE members

In addition to new regional AEU educator groups on Facebook, there are now groups dedicated to ESP (support staff) and TasTAFE members. These are a great way to get quick updates and connect with other members. Please share useful resources or inspiration for members in your region or sector.

Support staff united! Education Support Personnel (ESPs) of Tasmania (AEU): https://facebook.com/groups/ESPTas/

TasTAFE AEU members united: https://facebook.com/groups/AEUTasTAFE/

Tasmanian Educators North West group: https://facebook.com/groups/AEUTasNW/

Tasmanian Educators Northern group: https://facebook.com/groups/AEUTasNorth/

Tasmanian Educators Southern group: https://facebook.com/groups/AEUTasSouth/

 

Tasmania Peace Trust grants

The Tasmanian Peace Trust invites Tasmanian students and adults to apply for a grant, to implement a project aiming to promote peace and justice.

Due to the pandemic, applications can still be submitted until the end of June (there’s also another round that closes in November). It’s simple to apply – see the website for details on how, and to read the conditions. The website also features the wide variety of projects that have been supported in the past.

While these grants are small, some projects have previously used a Tasmania Peace Trust grant as seed funding to then attract additional grants.

See: https://peacetrust.org/

Women & Leadership Australia grants

Final Call: Last Chance to Register for Scholarship Funding

Women currently working in the education sector have a final opportunity to register their interest in a scholarship worth up to $5,000 to support participation in an online leadership development program.

Funding must be apportioned by the end of the financial year and it is uncertain when these grants will be available again. Find out more and register your interest by completing the Expression of Interest form prior to 5pm on June 19: www.wla.edu.au/education.html

 

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: