End of Term 2 President’s Message

An 11 week term coming to an end. For those of you old enough to remember, how did we use to get through 15 week terms?

For those that are fortunate enough to have a break over the holidays, please enjoy your time and rest. For those still working, I hope that you can enjoy some quiet as the workplace must have a completely different vibe and stillness that you don’t get during the term.

It continues to be a tough year for a lot of schools and colleges as the educator shortage hits hard for both teachers and support staff. Despite being warned for years, the Rockliff Government’s lack of a short or long-term strategy to fix this has hit hard, with collapsed classes or classes being covered becoming the norm. We will continue to advocate for strategies that can help staff get the focus back to learning and not just trying to cope. We need a government that is being proactive and reactive when it comes to issues in schools.

Federally, we have been continuing to campaign for fair school funding. The goal of achieving 100% SRS funding for all schools is the focus and whilst talks and reviews continue to happen, our colleagues around Australia, continue to stand up for public education putting their best foot forward in this campaign. We saw what happened in the NSW State election, when they campaigned on a 100% SRS funding platform, I want to see it become a reality for Tasmania too.

Thanks to all of you and our campaigns in 2022 and early 2023, we are FINALLY seeing the benefits flow into schools for Term 3. All three of our major agreements, Teachers, PSUWA & AHP are now through the Tasmanian Industrial Commission and implementation is almost in full swing. It will be great to see those wins rolled out fully into schools.

Our campaigns don’t end there with our TAFE sector currently negotiating and our Principals Agreement also at the bargaining table, so we are very focussed on getting the best outcomes in those deals too.

I would also like to reiterate what will be mentioned elsewhere in this eReporter, that our Union is fully behind the Voice campaign but more importantly the whole Statement of the Heart calling for Voice, Treaty & Truth. I have heard from our Federal Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander group, Yalukit Yalendj and what this vote means to them, as well as our First Nations Advisory Group and how a No vote is simply unacceptable and I will continue to stand by them in support of the Voice to Parliament referendum. I hope you will too.

A big thank you to all members who have been part of our Advisory groups who help guide our Union. The time they give up and the contributions they make are extremely valued.

In Union

David Genford, AEU Tasmania President