What does the AEU Counter-Claim mean for Relief Teachers?
Some relief teachers have expressed concerns about changes proposed by the State Government in their latest Teachers Agreement offer. The government is maintaining a position of reducing the current relief teacher loading to fund an AEU claim for a reduction in teacher instructional loads.
For over 20 years, AEU members in union have been fighting for equity of instructional load for primary and high school teachers. A reduction in instructional load of two hours per week for primary teachers is now in both the government’s most recent offer and the AEU counter-claim. If agreed, we would be the first state or territory to achieve this. A reduction of two hours instructional load per week would make a significant different to unsustainable workloads for over 2,700 primary teacher members.
AEU members have also been fighting for years to win a pathway to permanency for Relief Teachers. The AEU counter-claim put to the State Government, if accepted, would deliver exactly that, with more permanent jobs in a Permanent Relief Teacher Pool giving members permanent employment, holidays, sick leave entitlements and more.
Permanent employment opportunities like this are especially important for early career teachers with a pathway to permanency that has never been available before.
The AEU counter-claim also includes an increased loading for relief teachers for hard to staff schools of between 50%-82% so casual relief teachers who are not made permanent have an opportunity to maintain their casual loading rate.
Right now, some schools are struggling to get relief staff. A Permanent Relief Teacher Pool seeks to address this by placing permanent staff in schools that have had high relief over the past 3 years or are hard to staff.
AEU executive members are confident that reduced instructional load for primary teachers, permanent employment for relief teachers, maintaining loading rates for casual relief teachers in hard to staff schools and seeking to address relief teacher shortages in some schools forms a counter-claim that is strongly supported by AEU members across the board.