ESP Day 2020
How did your workplace celebrate or recognise Education Support Personnel (ESP) Day?
ESPs deserve recognition every day, but ESP Day is a great opportunity to lift awareness of the role of ESPs in education and unite globally.
It was wonderful to be able to share some celebrations and stories from different Tasmanian workplaces, as well as the articles from the national AEU magazine that featured Tanya Adams and Nick Frech.
The name change: from Support Staff to Education Support Personnel (ESP)
You may be wondering why the title change from Support Staff to Education Support Personnel (ESP)?
On May 16 and 17, 2018, Education International – the voice of education employees across the globe – hosted a conference in Brussels focused on education support personnel.
David Edwards, the general secretary of Education International (EI), opened the conference by saying “In quality education systems around the world, behind student success there are invisible armies of education support personnel. These under-recognised workers are absolutely vital for student success.”
AEU Education Support Personnel/Support Staff Deputy President Mandy Jackson was one of only two people from Australia that attended this conference.
Due to serious concerns about support staff members across the world, EI was initiating a campaign to improve the status, rights and working conditions of education support personnel.
This conference was the launch of the first International Day of Education Support Personnel, so education support staff can be recognised and celebrated in every school around the world on 16 May each year.
At this conference the motion was moved and accepted that there would be a global and united title. Mandy then presented this motion at our AEU Executive and Council which was then also accepted.
ESPs/support staff connect on Facebook
Get connected – join the AEU support staff Facebook group.
Increase to Toileting Allowance is on its way.
As you would be aware during the recent Public Sector Unions Wages Agreement (PSUWA) we negotiated and won and increase to the toileting allowance from $13.20 to $15 per week and $17 in Support Schools.
As these are Award variations an order from the Tasmanian Industrial Commission had to be issued before increase could be processed.
The Order was received on 1 May 2020 and therefore internally Workplace Relations have provided formal advice to our HR Systems and Payroll division who will action the Award variations by updating the system. Arrangements will be made for back pay where appropriate also.
Internally changes will be made to the documentation and policies to reflect these updates also.
Rest assured that these will be actioned and back pay paid where required.
Are you entitled to the Toileting Allowance?
If a TA regularly undertakes toileting and/or showering duties with a high needs student, including changing nappies and cleaning up vomit, the toileting allowance will be paid. ‘Regularly’ is open to interpretation but what we suggest is;
if you are timetabled to assist a student with toileting and/or showering, then you should receive the allowance.
A ‘Kinder TA’ is not automatically entitled to this allowance but many schools support their Kinder TA’s and process it for payment. If you are a Kinder TA, go to your Principal and ask, as well as fill out the ‘Toileting Allowance’ found on the DoE Intranet. If you work in kinder with a high needs student that needs toileting, then yes, you are entitled to the allowance.
Why you may not be receiving the allowance
As of this year you do not automatically get the allowance. Previously (and some still do) your SBM will apply for you to get the allowance. Now, you must apply yourself.
Go onto the DoE intranet and search for TOILETING ALLOWANCE form and complete that. Once that has been done, it goes to your Principal for approval, who will then push the button for it to go to Payroll. If you have done that and are still not receiving the allowance please follow up with your Principal and after that. If you are still not receiving it, please email Kathryn at firstname.lastname@example.org
This allowance must be applied for each year.
Correctional Facility allowance
Another great win during the recent Public Sector Unions Wages Agreement (PSUWA) was for Support Staff at Ashley School to be paid the Corrections Allowance of 7.5% of their salary.
Again for this to be paid, an order from the Tasmanian Industrial Commission had to be issued before the increase could be processed. As with Toileting Allowance, arrangements will be made for payment and back pay where appropriate also.
TOIL days for Easter Monday and Tuesday
This entitlement is for all Support Staff (ESP) that work 40/42 or 43 weeks, including Teacher Assistants and Admin.
If you normally work Mondays and Tuesdays you are entitled to 2 days of Time off in Lieu (TOIL), if you only work one of these days you are entitled to one day TOIL.
Please check in with your line manager and organise one or two days to have off. The preference is that they be student free days or days when relief is not required, but that is not always the case.
In these remaining COVID-19 days when a lot of students are learning at home, there may be more options for you to take them.
The other option is if you work the extra 2 or 3 weeks you could take the day/s off in those weeks.
Please let us know if you are having a problem accessing this.
We are getting some feedback from people who are going to their SBM to organise their TOIL day for Easter Monday and/or Tuesday say that their SBM know nothing about it and have not been notified by DoE to process this.
Although we were told recently SBM’s and Principals would be notified, this notification may still be on its way.
If you want to find details of this entitlement to take to your SBM, it can be found in the ‘Tasmanian State Service Award’ (where many of your entitlements are found) on page 209.
You can download the full Award on the AEU website here:
Please note 40 week office staff are entitled to TOIL days as well.
ESP/SS Join the AEU Offer
Recruit your colleagues to build our ESP strength!
New AEU members who join this year will get the cost of their Work with Vulnerable People Check reimbursed!
In a special offer for Support Staff, those who join the AEU now will receive a one-off payment to cover the cost of a three year cycle of Registration to Work with Vulnerable People.
The offer is back dated so it doesn’t matter exactly when the registration was paid for. All new ESP members have to do is join the AEU after 1st January 2020 and produce proof that they paid for their registration and we’ll refund the amount.
New ESP members means a stronger union for all ESPs to deliver better wages and conditions – it’s a win all around!
So send any non-member colleagues the link to join:
And the link to get the reimbursement:
Once the online form is completed with receipt/proof of payment and a new membership is maintained for 6 months, we will refund the full cost of registration.