Tasmanian Times


Teachers: The true outcome of yesterday’s hearing

Download this statement from The AEU Legal officer, Malcolm Upston, about concerns Elizabeth College staff already have with the consultation process that was announced to teachers yesterday before the ink had even dried on the agreement reached in the Industrial Commission.

The AEU also has concerns with the way that the agreement in the Industrial Commission has been reported in the media.

It is important to note the true outcome of yesterday’s hearing at the Commission. The AEU achieved what it set out to achieve for its members. As an act of good faith it was agreed that the stop work meetings should be suspended for a week, which is the length of the resolution phase of the consultation process that has started between the Elizabeth College teachers and employer.

The teachers have not extinguished any rights. Their application remains in the Commission to pursue should the DoE and the Academy/Polytechnic officers not comply with the intent of the agreement.
Thee Education department in effect said “yes we will do what you have asked for”!

What must be acknowledged in the media is:
It was the teachers’ application
It was the Department that was summoned to the Commission
the conditions the Union sought were achieved
there was no order coming from the Commissioner to cease industrial action and
the department agreed to “discuss” “provide further information” and “consult” in an appropriate way, committed to “provide as much information and choice” and ensure that the “outcomes, rationale and reasons for placement shall be provided ed to you in writing” so that the teachers will know the factors which are or were considered in making the decisions to place them. The Department is required to provide options for them in the DoE and Polytechnic, including possible areas of teaching, placement and team structures.

The teachers concerned have demonstrated tremendous strength of character to pursue this matter. They have been extremely anxious about it. They feel they have been deserted by their own senior staff and their employer.

The AEU will be pro-active in overseeing the process. Teachers have been told to keep referring to the agreement, not to be intimidated and to request from those “doing the consulting” the information needed for them to be informed and/or fully engaged.”

Problems have already arisen. (See the Download).
Malcolm toJules121109.doc

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  1. AEU Councillor

    November 14, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Is it a campaign or is it just that the AEU hasn’t managed to get their message out strongly and clearly?

    Leanne Wright is in the media an awful lot, and the media seem to give her plenty of latitude to air her views. Her mouth moves, but she doesn’t say much that’s clear or meaningful.

    The coverage of Tasmania Tomorrow is another measure of the AEU’s poor performance, not a result of a campaign of misreporting.

  2. salamander

    November 14, 2009 at 12:15 am

    And why is there apparently a campaign to misrepresent this issue in the media? Hasn’t it been managed badly enough already, without misreporting?

  3. AEU Councillor

    November 11, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    “The teachers concerned have demonstrated tremendous strength of character to pursue this matter”

    That’s pretty clear. But the same can’t be said for their union’s leadership.

    The Advocate reported on a stopwork meeting held at Ulverston on October 10, with a picture of AEU president Leanne Wright addressing the meeting, probably armed with a prepared media release.

    The paper says “Importantly, they voted for the right to hold a future secret ballot on whether to revert to the old system that existed before January”.

    Teachers were also asked to vote on a resolution that said “Demanding the right for every secondary college that entered the new system, and former TAFE teachers in the Polytechnic and Skills Institute, to hold secret ballots as to whether they exit the system and revert to pre-2009 structure”

    So lets get this straight. It’s pretty obvious that it’s completely up to the union whether they have a ballot or not. (Who did they think was going to stop them having a secret ballot?)

    But this union asked teachers to vote on the right to hold the ballot.

    They got teachers to go to a stopwork meeting to vote for a right they already had.

    It’s no wonder it’s taken so long to get the issue into the industrial courts.

  4. AEU Councillor

    November 11, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    David Bartlett announced Tasmania Tomorrow in mid 2007. It’s now nearly the end of 2009. During that time, the AEU has entered into new collective agreements and awards with the government which apply to teachers in the new system, and replaced the agreements and awards that already existed for these teachers.

    If there have been so many problems and so little consultation (which is quite likely) why did the union enter into the agreements, and why has it taken this weak union more than 2 years to get it into the Industrial Commission?

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