February 14 Council Report-back

EA negotiations, Birrigai, activating sub-branches, Branch Executive elections, Alex White, divestment & more. The main points from our very well-attended meeting on Saturday.

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Enterprise Agreement Negotiations

Pleasingly, there is now recognition that teacher workload is a problem in schools.  

Over a thousand members armed us with evidence by completing our survey, hundreds wrote to the Minister, and many members participated in workload focus groups jointly conducted by the AEU & ETD.

The conversation is no longer about whether there is a problem. It’s about how to fix it.

Our core claim for reduced face-to-face hours to allow time for PLCS remains a live claim.

Following the workload focus groups we jointly conducted with ETD, dialogue is occurring about current tasks teachers are performing that i. don’t need to be done at all or ii. could be more appropriately performed by other school staff. The latter area intersects with the School Assistant Classification Review, currently underway, which has been set up to clarify the role of School Assistants.

Branch Secretary, Glenn Fowler, emphasised that we will absolutely not accept a scenario where workload is simply shifted from one group of workers to another. Additionally, we need a solution that is guaranteed across the system, rather than something that is contingent on site-by-site negotiation.

Resolved in principle vs still under discussion

Beyond our core claim, Glenn outlined those claims that have been accepted in principle at the bargaining table and those that are still being discussed. Please refer to our log of claims to learn more about the substance of each claim -

Resolved in principle

Still under discussion

 Claim 3: Maximising permanency

 Claim 4: Certainty for teachers nearing retirement

 Claim 5: Supporting teachers who are leaving a school
 against their will

 Claim 6: Payment of fees for applying for certification 
 against national standards

 Claim 7: The guarantee of paid time for WSRs

 Claim 8: Time for AEU Sub-Branches to meet

 Claim 9: Paid maternity leave for employees who are on  LWOP and working for an employee organisation

 Claim 10: Appropriate synergy between all teacher appraisal instruments

 Claim 11: Domestic Violence Leave

 Claim 18: Teachers at Birrigai@Tidbinbilla and Instrumental Music Program

 Claim 19: Birrigai@Tidbinbilla

 Claim 21: Salary back-dating

 Claim 22: Professional Learning requirements

 Claim 24: School Leader placements

 Claim 26: New Educator Support Plans

 Claim 28: Central funding of industrial leave


  Claim 1 and Core Priority: Reduced face-to-face teaching time

 Claim 2: Salaries

 Claim 12: School Principals

 Claim 14: ICT in schools

 Claim 15: Teachers of VET

 Claim 16: Teacher Librarians

 Claim 17: School Psychologists

 Claim 20: Analysis of Potential Workload Impacts

 Claim 23: Payment to Casual Relief Teachers meeting TQI Professional Learning requirements

 Claim 25: Different kinds of School Leader positions

 Claim 27: Acceptable temperature for workplaces


Birrigai AEU Leaders’ Retreat

Our leaders’ retreat at Birrigai will run all day Friday the 27th , in addition to Saturday the 28th .  Council expressed support for the proposed scheduling and agenda and discussed the necessity of taking Industrial Leave to attend on the Friday. Council was advised that Industrial Leave is scheduled to be added to SIMS shortly, simplifying the process of accessing it. Council was also advised that applications for Industrial Leave should be submitted at least 14 calendar days in advance.

Membership Checklist

Please complete and return your Sub-branch Membership Checklist. As Andy emphasised, accurately mapping our Sub-branches is really important to our continued growth as a union.

Sub-branch Representative Elections

Please send in the Nomination Form for 2015 Sub-branch Representatives by Friday, the 27th of February.


Posters for Sub-branch Noticeboards

Councillors were provided with a range of posters for your sub-branch’s noticeboard.
Our Sub-branch
EA Negotiations
Branch Executive
Public Education Week 2015

Organisers allocated to geographic regions

Lead Organiser, Andy Jennings, explained that organisers will now be working in geographic regions:

South: Therese Tonna
Central: Jacqui Agius
North: Sue Amundsen

There are lots of upcoming training sessions. Find out more at  

Some upcoming events include:

* February 17 School Assistants
* February 19 Making Workload Committees Work
* February 25 Navigating Annual Professional Discussions
*February 28 & March 1 New Educators Conference at Bundanoon
* March 5 AEU Principals & Presidents Working Together;
* March 6 International Women’s Day Events

Please note the Sub-branch Executive training that had been scheduled for Wednesday the 18th has been cancelled.

Find out more at


Executive Elections

The term of the 8 General Membership and Preschool and TAFE representatives on Branch Executive concludes at the end of June. We are waiting on the AEC for exact dates but nominations will open and close this term and elections will be held in Term 2.

Please consider nominating to be on Branch Executive. Leading our union is a powerful way to make a difference in the lives of your colleagues and students.

Presentation from Alex White, Unions ACT Secretary

UnionsACT is the union peak body in the ACT and represents 24 unions and 33,000 Canberra unionists. Alex came along to our Council meeting to find out more about the main concerns of AEU members. 

On Wednesday March 4, UnionsACT will be running the Canberra component of the Fight For Our Rights National Day of Action.

Fair Go For Canberra is the community campaign run by UnionsACT to help create a fairer community. Sign up at:


Divestment Working Party

Branch Executive has established a working party to review and consider the exposure of AEU ACT finances to fossil fuel companies. Interested members are invited to join the working party. Contact Tom Greenwell (, 6272 7900) for more information. 


Public Education Week

The guest speaker for the dinner on May 29 will be Mem Fox. The MC will be the Chaser’s Craig Reucassel. Tickets for the dinner will go on sale March 2.

The Public Education Showcase will be held at the Tuggeranong Hyperdome on May 22.  

Nominations will open soon for the Public Education Award, Friend of Public Education Award and Reconciliation Award.


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