Response to Misleading Canberra Times Headline
The Canberra Times headline suggesting a strike is looming is not correct. We hope and believe negotiations can yield a positive outcome. Any consideration of potential industrial action, down the track, will be a matter for members.
The headline of the Sunday Canberra Times (1/2/2015)
is misleading and incorrect.
Canberra Times Incorrect
Strike action isn't looming. Constructive discussions are continuing between the Australian Education Union and Education & Training Directorate negotiating teams. If we were to even consider industrial action, it would be debated and voted on by Branch Council. Fair Work Australia would then conduct a ballot of all members.
Headline Not Backed Up By Article
If you've seen the article you will have noticed that, as is sometimes the way, it bears only a loose relation to the headline.
In the article, Glenn explains that teachers need "... a reduction in teaching hours to ensure they could spend more time on training. He said some primary school teachers were working up to 50 hours a week at present. Essentially they're giving up to 13-14 hours a week beyond what they should be expected to give," Mr Fowler said.
"We surveyed them a couple of months ago and 98 per cent of ACT teachers said that the number of tasks they're asked to do has increased over the past five years."
Glenn did say: "... every now and then we have to stand collectively and insist on what we need." This of course is a statement of fact. It does not mean strike action is 'looming'.
The headline of the online version was less misleading but still inaccurate.
The Real Story
We understand The Canberra Times needs to sell papers but the reality is that after conducting our teacher focus groups in December, Government negotiators are for the first time beginning to understand the workload issues we're facing.
Constructive discussions are continuing at the bargaining table.
AEU Members Decide If And When We Take Industrial Action
If the regrettable situation arises where we need to consider industrial action, it will be a decision for all AEU members. The matter would first be put to a vote of representatives from all ACT schools at ACT Branch Council. Fair Work Australia would then conduct a ballot of all AEU members. A majority would be necessary before we could legally take industrial action.
But that decision-point, if it arises at all, is some time in the future.