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President’s Wrap

Your Future – Your Union

You may not have been able to vote for Jacinda Arden, or thankfully Donald Trump, but you will soon be able to exercise your democratic right and elect members to all governance positions in our great union.

It goes without saying that I urge you to vote in the upcoming election. I also want to strongly encourage you to consider nominating for one of the many positions ‘up for grabs’.

[click here for AEU election information]

You may never have thought of putting your hand up for AEU Branch Council or Branch Executive and you may consider this a very big step. I certainly did.

When I started my career back in the 80s, I enthusiastically undertook the role of workplace rep, but it wasn’t until 20 years later that I had the courage to nominate for Branch Executive. My passion for public education drove me both to my career as a teacher and to become involved in my union.

It’s natural for us, as educators to want to ‘change the world’ and while we may not be able to do this overnight, we can make a difference by becoming more involved and contributing to our union, the future of public education and the union movement improving peoples’ lives.

At a New Educators conference, I recall an AEU President of another state telling the conference participants, who were beginning their education journey, that the most important thing they can do for their union is to elect members you admire for their professionalism and competence to all elected AEU positions.

And luckily, in Tasmania, we have them in spades. On school visits, and through our many member working parties, I never cease to be in awe of our amazing dedicated members. And while you may think that you need to save all that enthusiasm and skill for your students, in union we can make big changes that benefit students all across the state.

So please nominate. Members will only get a vote and a choice if there is more than one candidate for every position. Nominate. If you have a colleague you know would make a good contribution, please also encourage them to nominate.

Nominations close 12:00pm this Monday 9th November. After that, candidates have two days to submit a maximum 200 word statement and photo.

For our students, for public education, to give members a choice and for your future – nominate for an AEU Tasmania position.

Get all the information and forms on our website here:


AEU Elections – Nominations Close 12:00pm Monday 9th November

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is administering an election for leadership and governance positions of the AEU.

All AEU members are invited to nominate for these important positions – please click here for a list of positions and the full election notice and nomination form.


New Member Welcome

A big, warm welcome to a huge list of new members joining the AEU – gaining and adding strength in union. Have a colleague who hasn’t joined yet? Send them this link to join securely online:

  • Katherine Dawson, Austins Ferry Primary School, Teacher Assistant
  • Allison Midgley, Austins Ferry Primary School, Teacher Assistant
  • Kylie Palmer, Austins Ferry Primary School, Teacher Assistant
  • Lisele Rankin, Bellerive Primary School, Teacher Assistant
  • Michelle O’Connor, Bowen Road Primary School, Teacher Assistant
  • Karen Davis, Bruny Island District School, School Business Manager
  • Tania O’Meara, Bruny Island District School, Teacher Assistant
  • Rachael Gillespie, Burnie High School, Teacher
  • Stephanie Quinn, Campbell Town District High School, Teacher
  • Bjorn Porsbro, Devonport High School, Advanced Skills Teacher
  • Brett Smith, East Devonport Primary School, Teacher Assistant
  • Nicole Barratt, East Launceston Primary School, Teacher
  • Sheree Paynter, Fairview Primary School, Teacher Assistant
  • Sandra McConnon, Glenorchy Primary School, Teacher Assistant
  • Georgia Fountain, Goulburn Street Primary School, Early Years Network Leader
  • Amy-Rose Langmaid, Hellyer College, Teacher
  • Shannon Kirkpatrick, Hillcrest Primary School, Teacher Assistant
  • Melanie Best, Hobart College, Laboratory Technician
  • Sheena Lowe, Huonville High School, Teacher
  • Jo Blair, JRLF – East Derwent Campus, Teacher
  • Bernadette Large, Lauderdale Primary School, Teacher Assistant
  • Joanne Barfield, Launceston College, Laboratory Technician
  • Roberta Lewis, Launceston College, Teacher
  • Christine Street, Lilydale District School, Teacher Assistant
  • Kerri Gay, Lilydale District School, Teacher
  • Marita Hankin, Moonah Primary School, Teacher Assistant
  • Annie Lewis, Newstead College, Teacher Assistant
  • Sonia McDermott, Norwood Primary School, Teacher Assistant
  • Kristen Anstice, Relief, Teacher
  • Rebekah Pybus, Relief, Teacher
  • Georgia Park, Rose Bay High School, Teacher
  • Alison Spruce, Rosetta Primary School, Teacher
  • Claire Wade, Smithton High School, Teacher
  • Sarah Sauer, South Hobart Primary School, Teacher Assistant
  • Sarah Bovill, St Marys District High School, Teacher
  • Lisa Ahearn, TasTAFE Campbell St Hobart, Teacher TAFE
  • Michael Ganey, TasTAFE Campbell St Hobart, Technical Employee
  • Kathy McDonald, TasTAFE Clarence, Nurse Teacher
  • Jayne Williams, TasTAFE Launceston, Nurse Teacher
  • Lisa Johnstone, Waverley Primary School, Teacher Assistant
  • Petrina Evans, Waverley Primary School, Teacher Assistant
  • Tracey Wickham, Windermere Primary School, Teacher Assistant
  • Rod Dann, Winnaleah District High School, Teacher

Join AEU Tasmania – we’re for educators:


Organiser report – Leeanne Clifford

I am often asked about the role of an Organiser with the AEU.

The focus of the organiser role is to be seen, to be present in workplaces, to connect with members and their issues, to offer support and to recruit new members and/or union representatives within a workplace. An Organiser is the face of the union with the opportunity to demonstrate in one-to-one contact how important a strong member-led union is for the education sector. I am there to serve the collective interests of members in workplaces.

An Organiser has the opportunity to listen to, respond and follow up any questions related to the expectations members have in their day to day teaching practice; be it department expectations, curriculum demands or industrial requirements. I want to instil the importance of driving change by growing union membership, developing leadership amongst our members, encouraging active member participation in the union and to continue building an AEU that is truly representative of the membership. I do this by getting out to workplaces regularly to hear what our members have to say. This is my way of creating opportunities for members to participate in all aspects of the union and feel confident in raising issues and concerns that impact upon their teaching.

This year has seen many recruitment opportunities for the AEU, with new educators, including university students at the beginning of their studies and preservice teachers completing their practicums in November, electing to take up membership. I am proud to know that many students will have had the benefit of union membership to support them through the year and guide them through their studies.

I see the most important part of my organiser role is to ensure all members are supported and are aware of their workplace rights. By working with the AEU, I envisage having AEU committees within each workplace, across primary and high schools and colleges. My commitment is, and will remain, to recruit Health and Safety, New Educator and ESP Reps to support Workplace Reps alongside co-Reps to ensure that they support each other, confer and work together to support their colleagues.

I would encourage any AEU member to sign up for a Rep role within their workplace, to ensure every member is informed about workplace issues and has the opportunity to engage in union activism, to promote public education, to continue fighting for better conditions for our educators and the highest standards of public education for students and their families. It is also an opportunity to mentor new reps within your workplace.

As well as being the Southern Organiser, I organise Colleges and School Psychologists across Tasmania. Please contact me with any issues, questions or ideas: or 0447 340 361


Queer and here in Launceston!

We’re in the process of establishing an AEU Tasmania Queer Group to provide support to members, raise issues of concern, campaign and get together for some fun too!

An initial meeting of the group has been held in Hobart and now it’s our turn to come to the party! Lee from The Kingsway Bar in Launceston, a proud supporter of Queer events, has kindly offered to open just for us to hold our first meeting on Tuesday 24th November at 5:00pm.

We’ll have a chat about what role we want the AEU Tasmania Queer Group to play and how we can work together. We might even have a cocktail or two!

Everybody is welcome, but please RSVP to so we can confirm numbers.


2020 Arthur Hamilton Award

This is our chance to celebrate AEU members who are making an outstanding contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education. The Arthur Hamilton Award commemorates the achievements of Arthur Hamilton, a Tasmanian Palawa man, who was active in promoting cross-cultural awareness, recognition of Indigenous peoples and the right for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to access a high quality public education. The winner will receive a $1500 prize and be flown to Melbourne to accept the Award at the AEU’s annual Federal Conference in February 2021.

Closing date for nominations is Friday 6 November 2020.

Click here for more information and to download a nomination form.


Reporting Review survey reminder

Are you concerned about the workload involved in reporting? Are reporting requirements relevant and useful to teachers, parents and students?

Click here to begin the Review into Reporting to Families – Teacher survey

A significant win out of last year’s successful EBA campaign was a review of report writing. A major part of that review is a Teacher Survey recently launched by DoE. The workload involved in report writing is a major concern for members – to ensure teacher workload is front and centre of this review and well understood by DoE please participate in the survey and encourage your colleagues to do so.

Click here to begin the Review into Reporting to Families – Teacher survey

The survey closes on 13 November 2020.

Phase 1 of consultation for the Review into Reporting to Families has identified a range of consistent themes. Phase 2 will explore these themes in more detail in order to make informed recommendations on a future direction for reporting to families.

Phase 2 of consultation is open from 12 October to 13 November 2020 and will include:

  • Ongoing consultation with School Associations, Teacher Reference Groups and PAG
  • Online surveys available for all teachers and families
  • The gathering of student voice

Principals are please asked to:

The DoE Review Team has acknowledged that these requests do add to your workload, but feel it’s important to gather the teacher’s voice, particularly pertaining to teacher workload with report writing.

For more information visit the Review webpage.


VET survey

VET teacher and trainer members have identified some issues unique to them. Steve Harrison has been employed as an AEU Project Officer by AEU Branch Executive to focus on these issues and engage with fellow VET members.

We have sent a survey to all high school and college members to identify who is working in VET and collate information to drive change. For non-VET members it will take just a few seconds to answer the first question of the survey, for VET teachers and trainers the full survey will take around 10 minutes. The results will help us advocate for improvements to member conditions.

If you are a teacher/trainer in a high school or college and haven’t received the survey by email, please contact us:


Isolated schools survey

AEU Tasmania wants to achieve more wins specifically for teachers in isolated schools as part of negotiations for the next Teachers Agreement, which will start next year. We also want to identify and promote improved and new measures which will increase the ability of schools in remote places to recruit and retain educators.

A survey has been sent to members in isolated schools – please complete it to help build a strong case for positive changes that will benefit members and students.

If you are a teacher or principal in an isolated school and haven’t received the survey by email, please contact us:


Hearing Loss Due to your Employment?

We have recently been able to assist a member in a workers’ compensation claim for hearing loss which occurred in the course of her employment. Our member has now received hearing aids which she has said will likely extend her career and has made teaching much more enjoyable again.

Members such as music, MDT and some TasTAFE teachers may be in environments that have a dangerous level of noise, sometimes for extended periods of time. While this is a broad issue that needs to be addressed across the DoE and TAFE, we are also able to assist individual members to be compensated for damage caused in their workplace.

If you, or somebody you know, may have suffered hearing loss as a result of your work environment get in touch with out member support team to find out if you will be eligible for compensation for your hearing loss. Contact: or call 6234 9500


TASC course accreditation win

After problems with TASC VET course accreditation last year that gave a significant number of students unnecessary stress by initially denying them their TCE, new AEU Projects Officer Steve Harrison has had some success. Steve has been working with TASC on this issue for months and it appears the issue has been resolved ahead of this year’s assessment.


WIN: School Psychologists can progress to Level 13

DoE have confirmed that School Psychologists are eligible to progress through to Band 1 Level 13 without full teacher registration. This follows a significant win in the latest AEU Agreement that removed the requirement for School Psychologists to have dual qualifications to progress to Band 1 Level 13.


WIN: Long Service Leave for Part Time Members

The DoE has confirmed that the ‘1 week minimum’ Long Service Leave (LSL) condition will now be applied pro rata for part time members.

For example, If a member on 0.6 FTE applies for 3 days LSL, that is the equivalent of a normal working week and therefore this will be approved. Similarly, a member on 0.8 FTE would only need to apply for a minimum of 4 days (their normal working week) to be approved.


Top up Hours for Permanent Part Time Support Staff

Huge news!

In one of the biggest wins for Education Support Personnel (support staff) members in years, the DoE has agreed to make long-term top-up hours for part time staff permanent.

Your AEU representatives have been advocating strongly and pushing for change all year. We have a good working relationship with the DoE and once again it has resulted a big win for members.

You can read the full update included in ‘Principal Matters’ below, but here’s a few key parts:

  • Employing staff with a low base of permanent hours and continuously topping up hours over a number of years is not a supported employment practice.
  • The DoE has done an audit on top-up hours over the past three years
  • DoE will contact schools and where a permanent part time member has had top-up hours above their permanent allocation continuously for a three year period, and where the duties are ongoing, their permanent hours will be increased accordingly.

Congratulations go to all the members who have worked in union to make this important change happen – whether you’ve shared your story, talked to your colleagues or worked through your case as an individual to show the need for change.

I’d also like to thank and recognise our Acting State Manager Adam Clifford, Principal Organiser John O’Rourke and ESP Organiser Kathryn Lee who have all worked very hard on this for a long time.

Click here for a poster to promote this great win for ESP members.

Here’s the full detailed update from Principal Matters last week (or click here for Health Care Procedures Allowance news):

For some time an employment practice has been adopted of employing school support staff, mainly Teacher Assistants, at a low base of permanent hours per fortnight (10 hours is common) and then increasing hours temporarily from year to year, for a number of years in some cases.

Temporary increases above permanent hours are a legitimate method of employment where there is a specific need to cover a range of operational requirements such as maternity leave, workers compensation absence, leave without pay, long service leave or to cover specific needs of a particular student or students. In these cases temporary increases would normally be expected to extend for a maximum of one school year and under one employment contract for a temporary increase in hours. 
In the context of the recent conversion of fixed-term support staff to permanency aligned to the PSUWA agreement, the AEU and CPSU have raised the above issue on behalf of support staff members in schools where the temporary increase has been continued for some time and under multiple employment contract extensions for a number of years.
Employment of an individual with a low base of permanent hours and continuously topping up to a higher number of hours through continuous extensions over a number of years is not a supported employment practice and Learning Services HR staff will work with schools to support the phasing out of this approach, whilst ensuring there is appropriate cover to meet student needs.

Temporary increases in hours for permanent part time support staff may continue for specific operational reasons or circumstances but the practice of providing a temporary increase for a number of years and through multiple continuous contract extensions will cease.
Accordingly, employment information has been extracted from the Department’s Human Resource Payroll system to examine the extent of top up hours for permanent part time support staff over a three year period.

It is considered reasonable that where a permanent part time employee has been employed for increased hours above their permanent allocation continuously for a three year period and where the duties are ongoing that the employee’s permanent part-time hours allocation is increased accordingly.
Schools will be contacted by Learning Services HR staff during this week to review and confirm employment data for school support staff which details payroll records for temporary increases in hours above permanent hours for 2018, 2019 and 2020.
The purpose of the initial contact is to provide the opportunity for schools to analyse the employment data, verify its accuracy and to discuss the nature of the duties and whether such is on-going.
Following the verification of the payroll data, Learning Services HR will summarise the school feedback and where it is clear that an employee has been employed on a higher number of hours above the permanent hours allocation for a continuous period of three years or more, the average of those increased hours during the past three years will be offered to the employee on the basis of their new permanent part-time hours.


Health Care Procedure Allowance – to be paid next week!

We can confirm …FINALLY… the date of payment for the increase in Health Care Procedures Allowance won in the current union agreement is 11th November – with backpay to February 27th 2020.

Health Care Procedure Allowance

  • Currently: $13.20 per week.
  • From Feb 27 to July 1 (to be back paid): $30 per week
  • From 1 July: $30.70 per week

For many ESP members this means well over $500 in back pay!

The other significant change is that school administration staff who undertake the administration of prescription medication will now also receive the Healthcare Procedure Allowance! Payment to those members is being processed as DoE receive application forms.

This increase and expansion has been won by AEU members during the negotiation of the wages agreement last year and back pay won because we refused to sign an agreement until it was included.


Electric car – Tasmanian power for public education

How should we power public education? With polluting imported petrol or clean Tasmanian energy?

The AEU has replaced an old fleet car with a new electric car. This backs the AEU Branch Council acknowledgement of the climate emergency and makes a small contribution to the zero emissions future our students need for a safe climate.

There’s practical benefits too – Tasmania imports all petroleum products, but our electricity is locally produced and that’s good for jobs and our economy as well as the environment. There will be significant savings for the union in fuel and servicing costs.

The charging infrastructure required for electric vehicle travel around Tasmania is progressing, but more needs to be done. The government has a big role also as they replace their vehicle fleets as ex-government vehicles go to the second hand market which is currently short on affordable electric options.

AEU members power public education in Tasmania and we’re walking the talk with an electric car that will power our organising and demonstrates a strong commitment to our students’ futures.


AST and AP member survey + EOIs for working group

The AEU and DOE are working together to review school-based promoted positions.

150 of 184 AEU Principal members have already provided input and endorsed a philosophy for changing the principal classifications to better reflect the complexity of their roles and their level of experience in the principalship.

The scope of this work also includes analysis of the classification of AST and AP roles.

Principal members have told us clearly that ASTs and APs roles vary greatly across schools and a future salary scale should reflect this. They also believe that school complexity heavily impacts on the work of ASTs and APs, as well as the resourcing of senior staff positions in schools.

That noted, we are seeking your feedback so that we can represent the thoughts of AEU AST and AP members to the best of our ability.

If you would like to express an interest in joining the working group, or if you didn’t receive an email link to the AST/AP member survey – please contact John O’Rourke:

School based promoted position working party

During term 3, 150 of our 184 Principal members engaged with our working party looking at the classification of school based promoted positions. The focus of this group was obviously to discuss, investigate and propose suggestions which we believe better reflects the work of Principals in our schools, in the current context. A proposal was presented to the Department of Education in recent weeks that was received positively.

The suggestions that we made are currently being reviewed at Executive level. We expect to hear back from the DoE shortly.

We are now engaging with AST and AP members to examine their classifications. The survey of AST and AP members will gather their thoughts and initiate a working party to develop a position, similar to the process we have undertaken for Principals. If you are an AST or AP, we hope that you become involved and take the opportunity to have discussions with your non-member colleagues on a similar classification about the importance of AEU membership. Contact John O’Rourke:

Please contact John O’Rourke at to be included.


World Teachers’ Day!

World Teachers’ Day 2020 was celebrated in Australia on Friday 30th October with the theme “Leading in crisis, reimagining the future”.

World Teachers’ Day proud of is a day when our whole community comes together to celebrate and thank teachers.

How did you celebrate? We’d love to share your stories and photos, send them through to:

In other parts of the world, World Teachers’ Day was celebrated earlier in the month. You can catch up and watch the global event online here:

2020 has been one of the most challenging years in recent history. With over 90% of the global student population out of school at the height of the pandemic, education has been severely impacted by the spread of Covid-19.

During these trying times, teachers everywhere mobilised and rose to the enormous challenge at hand. Working together to find solutions for remote teaching and learning, distributing meals, books and even internet connections, teachers have gone above and beyond to ensure that education continues. They have played a vital role in guiding their students and communities through this unprecedented crisis.

David Edwards, Education International General Secretary, stated: “Teachers have been absolutely outstanding during these incredibly hard times. Now is the time to stand together because together we have the power to effect real change in the world. We are the teaching and learning profession. If the world is to learn the lessons of the pandemic, teachers must take the lead.”


Welcome to TAFE Exec/Council Rod Taylor!

Rod Taylor, a Trades Teacher at Risdon Prison, is the newest addition to the AEU TAFE Executive and Council.

TasTAFE teachers are the first group of AEU members to begin their new EBA process after last year’s successful campaign, so Rod has joined the leadership team at an important time.

This term, AEU members at TasTAFE will begin formulating their log of claims – the improvements in wages and conditions that they want to see in a new Agreement. The campaign and negotiations will begin early in 2021.

Rod brings a wealth of experience to the role – congratulations on stepping up for TasTAFE members!


AEU Noticeboard Competition – still open

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: and the best one will win a prize.

The competition remains open, so get email your photo and details in fast!

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:

Handy materials are available on the AEU members-only website here:

There’s also updated fact sheets (printable version links at the bottom of each fact sheet page) for all members here:


Team Tasmania – For the Workers Campaign

It is Tasmanian workers who have supported us through the pandemic.

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

Take Action: Sign the Petition & Email MPs

This pandemic has affected us all, however women and young people have been most severely affected. So when it comes to economic recovery, investment in infrastructure on its own won’t be enough.

Now is the time to unite as Team Tasmania and send a strong message to government that secure jobs, good wages and investment in public services, including education, is what a good recovery plan looks like.

Investment in public education must be a centrepiece of economic recovery for Tasmania – from early childhood through to high schools, colleges and TAFE. Public education produces great economic returns, but it also delivers social returns and creates good jobs.

Join the campaign.



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: