MTeach: Council Report & Resolution
AEU ACT Vice-President, Roger Amey, reported on issues in relation to MTeach and Council passed a series of resolutions demanding these issues are comprehensively addressed.
Master of Teaching UC, Report to Branch Council by Roger Amey
Members are experiencing three main Issues:
- Equity in workload for mentoring and coordinating teacher’s in schools
- Equity in payment
- Quality of experience for the pre-service teachers.
This is an industrial issue, we must ensure that those teachers who participate in this process carry the same work load no matter where they work.
All payments should be the same no matter what school a teacher works at.
Currently by custom and practice (there is no current agreement on this) daily cash payments are capped by ETD at $12.45 per day
In NSW it is $21 per day.
Universities are allocated $570 per year per student by the federal government to cover practicum costs. Most Universities supplement this.
Cash payments involve the school notifying ETD shared services who make the payment to the teacher, taking out administration and tax costs. So the $12.45 quickly diminishes. ETD/Shared Services then invoices the school who invoices UC.
Schools then have to invoice UC and to date there has been no payments to schools by UC.
From an industrial view point we need to ensure the funds are allocated the same way in all schools.
For example, I know of one school where all the associated funds are being allocated to the teachers who were involved in mentoring and coordinating the M Teachers.
But it varies from school to school, so in some schools decisions are being made to allocate the funds to the Professional Learning budgets of faculties involved irrespective on how many staff in the faculty were involved in mentoring. This seems to be a way for the school to supplement its PL budget rather than adequately rewarding those involved in the process.
Quality of Experience:
As a profession we need to ensure that every pre-service teacher gets a high quality experience.
For this to occur we must have Pre-Service Teachers placed in appropriate settings with mentors who have the time and skill sets needed to provide this experience.
Universities often find they cannot get the Pre-Service Teachers into suitable placements and so will simply take anything that is available. We cannot accept this.
Many University academics have expressed the opinion that none of the above should be an issue as it is part of every teacher’s job, according to the standards, to act as a mentor.
But the standards also assume that all teachers have the skills and resources to be effective mentors. This is something the employers do not ensure.
Resolutions passed by AEU ACT Branch Council
That all payments to mentors for all practicum placements in all ETD schools be reviewed immediately and be adjusted to a level that as a minimum is equivalent to the NSW payment of $26/day.
That all PL funds allocated to schools by universities be expended on the teachers who either mentor or supervise the Pre-Service Teachers.
That mentoring teachers have the option to:
Take the payment as cash.
Take the payment into their individual school based PL fund, this fund to be accessed only by the teacher and that it be transferable to other schools/workplaces within ETD if they move. That this PL payment not be able to be converted to cash.
That a payment process be negotiated that is the same for all schools, and that once agreed it not be varied.
That a process to monitor workloads of mentoring teachers be implemented and that a required set of conditions be identified under which mentoring teachers can work.
That agreement be sought between the AEU, ETD and the universities that all PSTs be placed only if the environment in the school is suitable to their training needs.