Report-back from November 22 Council

Update on EA negotiations; extreme temperatures; MTeach; School Chaplaincy program; Anna Stewart report and more...

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Next Council: Saturday February 14, 2015 (Week 2)

- The next meeting of Council is on February the 14th. Please note that this is the last meeting for current Councillors (whose terms conclude in March 2015).
- Apologies from the AEU ACT Office Team: the calendar which will arrive in schools has incorrect dates for Term 1 Councils. It says they are on February 21 (Week 3) and March 14 (Week 6). In fact, they will be held on February 14 (Week 2) and March 21 (Week 7).
- The March 21 meeting will be the first Council meeting for 2015 Councillors.

Update on Enterprise Agreement Negotiations

The AEU is adamant that the Government must make a better offer to meet our demand to be in the top three jurisdictions by salary. 

We continue to pursue our core claim for reduced face-to-face hours to facilitate professional learning communities. It was noted that constructive conversations are now occurring at the bargaining table about workload issues and reducing administrivia that takes teachers away from our core duties. Focus group meetings will be facilitated to investigate what aspects of teachers’ workload could be freed up to redirect time to core work.

Erin Aulich, Vice-President AEU Victoria, addressed Council and provided a message of solidarity. She said that other AEU branches across the country are paying close attention to what happens in the ACT because workload is the hot-button issue everywhere. 

Numerous issues have not been fully resolved at the bargaining table, including:

  • Guarantees around analysis of workload impacts wrought by new initiatives
  • Support for teachers of VET
  • Our claim for New Educator Support Plans
  • Our claim for acceptable workplace temperatures
  • Payment to Casual Teachers for Professional Learning
  • Details around Executive Teacher positions and their placements
  • The advertising of principal jobs and detail on the principal remuneration model

Find out more about EA negotiations here:

Extreme Temperatures

Members were reminded of actions to take if they and their students experience extreme classroom temperatures (i.e. 30 degrees or more) over summer. Workplace Safety Representatives have an important role working with Principals and AEU Sub-branch Executives to plan ahead and monitor temperatures. See all the advice at:

MTeach (Secondary only)

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. Most importantly, Council resolved that all payments to mentors for all practicum placements in all ETD schools should be a minimum of $26 per day. Read Roger’s full report and the full Council resolution here -

Resolution on School Chaplaincy Program

Council considered the ACT Government's response to the Abbott Government decision to continue the chaplaincy program, while taking away the option for schools to choose a secular welfare officer. Councils two main concerns were:

  • Our students need to be supported by fully qualified psychologists, counsellors and other health professionals.
  • We need to preserve the secular nature of public schools, as the optimal environment for all students

Council passed a resolution which includes the following request to all AEU members:

Council respectfully requests that members in schools refrain from applying for a chaplain for their school if a chaplain is not currently present in that school.

Council asks each AEU Sub-Branch President and/or other Sub-Branch Executive members to meet with their school principal to discuss the AEU’s position on this matter.

Read the full resolution here:

Glenn and Lana Re-elected

The AEC has declared that Glenn Fowler (Branch Secretary) and Lana Read (Branch President) have both been elected unopposed to serve in 2015/16. Read more here -

Angelo Gavrielatos Resigns as Federal President to Take Up Role with Education International

Council passed the following resolution:

The AEU ACT Branch congratulates Angelo Gavrielatos on his appointment to Education International and thanks him for his significant contribution to the Australian Education Union. Branch Council requests that the Secretary communicate this message of thanks to Angelo.

Curriculum Review

In December, State and Territory Education Ministers are scheduled to discuss the recommendations and the Commonwealth Government’s response to the Curriculum Review. State and Territory agreement is a prerequisite for change. The AEU’s view is that much of the Donnelly agenda will be rejected.

Anna Stewart Report by Heather Page

2014 Anna Stewart Officer, Heather Page, spoke to Council about her week in the AEU ACT office and also on who Anna Stewart was and why she continues to be a source of inspiration. Read Heather’s full presentation:

Annual Report

This is usually presented to Council at this time of year. It has been delayed until early 2015 so that the Report reflects work from the whole calendar year and the full year financial statements can be provided.

Annual Conference Report

A series of conference workshops were held at the conclusion of the October 25 Council meeting. These workshops identified a series of goals for our union in 2015. AEU ACT Branch Executive will consider the reports from each workshop as part of its review of our strategic plan and the 2015 operating plan.

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