Further stop work action effecting schools, colleges and TAFEs has been called for late November in a bid to force the State Government to start negotiating in good faith and avoid the dispute dragging into Christmas and the start of the 2019 school year, the AEU said today.
“Educators have been trying to negotiate for months with the State Government for immediate solutions to crippling workload issues and for fair pay but it has all fallen on deaf ears,” said Roz Madsen, AEU Tasmania State Manager.
“The State Government’s response to concerns from teachers in schools and colleges was a counter offer that would be a pay cut in real terms and increase workload which was an astonishing display of contempt,” she said.
“We’re in the run-up to Christmas when educator workloads spike and yet the Government is content to keep dragging its feet and leave workload issues unresolved into 2019 and have our most experienced school teachers start the new year as lowest paid in the country.
“Support Staff, whose take home pay is as little as $25,000, are stood-down over the summer break and some are forced onto Centrelink payments and Will Hodgman refuses to negotiate anything beyond 2% for these educators.”
AEU members will attend 45-minute stop work meetings at 9am at one of about 17 regional locations over two days. Stop Work Meetings in the North and North West will be 9am-9.45am, on Tuesday 27 November. Stop Work Meetings in the South will be 9am-9.45am, on Wednesday 28 November 2018.
AEU members from schools, colleges and TAFE will travel directly from home and not attend their workplace until after the meetings, with the majority being back on site by about 10.30am and ready to resume normal duties. The Education Minister will decide whether schools will remain open or close for the morning. CPSU members working in education will also join the stop work meetings.
“Educators have imposed work bans and held one hour stop work meetings and still the Government refuses to act so educators are left with little choice but to escalate action,” said Ms Madsen.
An independent ACER survey in 2017 of Tasmanian educators revealed shocking statistics on workload and resource shortages that was impacting on the quality of education students received. The survey showed that principals worked 60-hour weeks and teachers were struggling to meet the individual learning needs of students because of excessive workload and administrative tasks.
“Will Hodgman says he wants to ‘lead the nation in education’ and in order to do that he needs to start respecting educators and negotiating pay and conditions that will attract and retain the best and brightest.”
Roz Madsen is AEU Tasmania State Manager