Teachers Agreement Offer endorsed by AEU member ballot

Australian Education Union Tasmania teacher members have voted to accept a Government offer for a new Teachers Agreement.

The offer was accepted with a 90 per cent ‘Yes’ vote, ending 18 months of drawn-out Government negotiations and unprecedented stop work action in response to Government inaction on teacher shortages, under-resourcing and low pay.

Seventy per cent of eligible members casted a vote.

AEU Tasmania President David Genford said the newly endorsed Agreement delivered significant benefits to educators and student learning, but would not solve the state’s Education crisis.

“This strong result shows teachers are desperate to see much-needed Lifting Learning solutions in their schools and colleges,” he said.

“While there are some significant wins achieved by thousands of members taking action, the acceptance of this Agreement is not an endorsement of a Government that forces teachers to take stop-work action to achieve the investment our students need.”

Under the deal – covering teachers, principals, education support specialists and school psychologists – educators will see a range of measures implemented including:

·         Pay increases between 4-5.8 per cent in first year (the highest single-year increase of any state)

·         Improved paid parental leave (primary and secondary carers) and other leave improvements

·         In-Class Support for every base grade Teacher

·         New Education Support Specialist positions in district and combined schools

·         Quarantined Self-Directed Time for Teachers and limits on staff meetings

·         Improved support for Early Career Teachers

·         Workload protections for 11-12 Teachers across schools and colleges

·         Time release for mentor teachers

·         Additional social workers in schools

·         Isolated Schools Incentive Package

·         A reduction in out-of-hours Professional Activity Days 

·         A new allowance for relief coordinators

·         A new allowance for teachers in Support Schools and Tier Four settings

Mr Genford said the Agreement would lift Tasmanian teachers off the bottom of the pay scale nationally.

“For too long Tasmanian teachers have been the poorest paid nationally,” he said.

“Part of tackling the teacher shortage is boosting pay closer to the national average, but it shouldn’t have taken teachers stopping work to achieve this recognition.”

He said despite the significant wins for educators, schools and colleges, there is more to achieve through ongoing campaigns and advocacy.

“It is unacceptable that every public school student in Tasmania is missing out on $2,000 in funding every year due to government neglect,” he said.

“We must bridge this gap with proper investment, so no student falls behind. AEU members won’t rest until all Lifting Learning solutions are implemented.”