School and College teachers are required on site for 70 hours per fortnight.
An unreasonable and excessive workload is one that cannot reasonably be done in a teachers official hours of work. If teachers are consistently starting work early, finishing work late or working weekends then their workload is not reasonable.
It is the employer’s responsibility to make sure teachers are not overloaded, and when it is demonstrated to a Principal that a staff member has an unreasonable workload, the DoE must provide you resources and support to reduce the workload so it is manageable for the staff member.
The Teaching Award and Agreement includes provisions that protect staff from being subjected to excessive workload and also provides a guide for how Principals manage the situation when a staff member claims their workload is excessive.
Workload Management – Award Part VII clause 5.
An employee who believes they may have been allocated duties that exceed those that can be reasonably performed in the time allocated for them to be undertaken should formally advise their principal/supervisor. Where practicable to do so, the employee should suggest how their allocated tasks can be prioritised.
A principal/supervisor who has been advised in accordance with subclause (a) should respond promptly to the employee’s concerns. Where the principal/supervisor acknowledges the workload is excessive the response should include a plan to reduce the workload to a manageable level. If the principal/supervisor does not accept that the workload is excessive the response should outline such reasons.
Agreement- Workloads – part 7
7.1 The employer will ensure that supervisors and managers are aware that the tasks allocated to employees must not exceed what can reasonably be performed in the hours for which they are employed.
7.2 The employer will ensure that supervisors and managers implement procedures to monitor the hours worked of the employees they supervise and where employees regularly work in excess of the hours for which they are employed to perform their jobs, changes (technology, responsibility, extra resources) will be implemented.
What do I do if a staff member claims their workload is excessive?
The Award provision provides that a teacher must formally advise their principal, this implies a written application stating:
The tasks they are allocated are exceeding what can reasonably be done in the hours for which they are employed
This should involve specific examples of what their tasks are and the time it takes to complete them and the hours they claim to be working in excess of work hours
Where possible the teacher should provide suggestions as to how their workload could be managed and prioritised.