2013 In Review

Thank you for your commitment and energy over the last year. Together, we improved our working conditions and our students' learning conditions. 

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More resources for our students  

Our three-year school funding campaign paid off on May 30 when Chief Minister Katy Gallagher signed up for the Gonski reform package. This means $190 million in additional funding will flow into ACT schools with the majority of it (more than $100 million) going to public schools. It’s just the boost we need to get the best results for our students and it’s come about, in large part, because of the tireless campaigning of thousands of AEU members around the country.  

Better pay for teachers

The October 1 pay rise means teachers at the top-of-the-scale are now earning $10,000 more per year than in June 2011. And we can all look forward to a 2.5% pay increase in April.

Reduced face-to-face teaching load for beginning teachers  

As a result of our successful 2011 Enterprise Agreement campaign, first year teachers now have reduced face-to-face teaching loads: a maximum of 20 hours per week in preschools and primary schools (down from 21.5) and a maximum of 18 hours per week in high schools and colleges (down from 19).

Respect and recognition for School Assistants

We’ve put renewed focus on representing School Assistants and recognising the essential role they play in our schools. Hundreds of school assistants have joined our union; school assistants met with Minister Joy Burch; we celebrated our second School Assistants’ Day; and we are bargaining hard for a better deal in the School Assistants’ Enterprise Agreement.

Supporting a positive workplace culture at CIT

Our advocacy on behalf of members led to the report from the Commissioner for Public Administration, Andrew Kefford, ‘Colleagues, Not Cases - Managing People and Resolving Workplace Issues’, released in September. The report identified flaws in the management and support of people who had raised issues formally and made 9 recommendations aimed at implementing cultural changes at CIT, focusing on treating people with respect and equity when managing complaints and other workplace issues.

Bargaining for CIT members

Member action saw off a move by CIT to implement a 10% teaching load increase for a mere 1% pay increase. And AEU negotiators are continuing to bargain for a better deal for CIT members, including on the future of AST and STP roles; access to tablets and Ipads for teachers; overseas and interstate travel allowances; workload management; and recognition of extra time worked.

Promoting public education

Public Education Week 2013 was an outstanding success. Hundreds of members attended the Public Education Dinner and heard the honourable Michael Kirby speak on the value of public education to the broader community.

Reconciliation Action Plan

AEU members, committed to the cause of reconciliation, developed the AEU Reconciliation Action Plan. Goals in our plan include promoting positive pedagogy and cultural awareness and celebrating National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week.

Deciding our bargaining agenda together

In Term 3, members put forward ideas about what we should bargain for when the current Enterprise Agreement expires in 2014. In Term 4, sub-branches provided feedback on a discussion paper and Executive endorsed a draft claim. The key idea of our draft claim is that educators need more time to collaborate professionally: this is the key to making more lessons great lessons. AEU ACT Branch Council will vote on the draft claim at its meeting on the 22nd of March. That means there’s ample opportunity in Term 1 for you and your Sub-Branch to advise your councillors about any changes you’d like to the claim as it currently stands.

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