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).