The New Agreement: What We’ve Won

Look at all the ways we've improved learning and working conditions via our new agreement.

The new Agreement is now in operation and pay increases have started to flow. 

ACT Public Sector Education and Training Directorate (Teaching Staff) Enterprise Agreement 2014 - 2018

Agreed guidelines and procedures attached to the new Enterprise Agreement

Resources and commitments to reduce workload

$7million dollars of new money will provide the equivalent of almost 60 new school assistants across the system. Each school is now in the position of deciding how to allocate between 500 and 900 hours of administrative relief each year. 

The new Section Q Guidelines specify the tasks where teachers will now have a limited role or no role at all.

ETD will provide a central resource to monitor teacher workload reduction across the system, to locate best practice and to report to the AEU on a quarterly basis.

Nationally competitive salaries

A settlement of 12.6% over 4 years is a salary outcome that will retain our nationally competitive position as number three in the country over the life of this agreement.

Financial rewards for achieving Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher certification

This will consist of an additional salary increment for classroom teachers on the salary scale. For teachers already at the top of the scale and Executive Teachers, the benefit consists of an allowance paid over one year equivalent of more than $5600.

More School Psychologists

Four new full-time equivalent school psychologists will soon be working in our system as the result of this agreement. We will continue to campaign for a ratio of one school psychologist for every 500 students.

Ensuring new educators receive support days

A new clause stipulates that “New educators negotiate with their supervisor during term 1 each year a New Educator Support Plan” that outlines the use of New Educator Support Days. (P5.8 New educator support, p.124). This will help ensure new educators access the support days they are entitled to.

Analysis of Potential Workload Impacts

The Director-General has written to the AEU Secretary guaranteeing open and genuine consultation on any new policy initiative that may have an impact on staff workload. As always, we largely rely on members to be our eyes and ears on the ground.

Maximising permanency

We now have a new clause in our Agreement which states: “The decision to engage a teacher as a temporary teacher rather than as a permanent teacher will be made on sound workforce planning grounds and in accordance with sub-clause A2.2.” (N3.1 Temporary Employment, p.112). Clause A2.2 in turn states that the ACTPS will only use temporary employees when no qualified permanent officer is available and there is urgent, specialised work which is temporary in nature (A2.2 Retaining our people, p.10). The net effect is to maximise our access to the security and peace of mind that comes from permanent employment.

Certainty for teachers nearing retirement

Previously, members have faced the unnecessary and often stressful disruption involved in moving schools when their retirement is imminent. ETD has now committed to make every effort to avoid transferring a teacher for their final year of employment.

Certainty for teachers through transfer

In the past, teachers in the transfer round have faced situations where they have not been notified of their new school until after the new school year has begun and/or their new placement is very short and not in their area of expertise. A new provision in the Annual Professional Discussion Guidelines addresses this: “If the teacher is advised that they must apply for transfer, the Directorate will make every effort to confirm prior to the end of that school year a suitable placement of at least one year’s duration, with strong emphasis on the teacher’s expertise and recent teaching practice.”

A good deal for school principals

Salary increases of at least 3% per annum are guaranteed for principals during the life of this EA - no less than classroom teachers. A revised principal remuneration structure based on previously agreed principles (qualities attributed to the principal and qualities attributed to the school) will be developed during 2016 for implementation in 2017.  Additionally, there is a new section in the Agreement: W5 - Principal Wellbeing which outlines that: “The Directorate, in consultation with the AEU and principals, will develop policies and a professional learning program to enhance the wellbeing of principals and deputy principals.” (p.163):  

Paid professional learning for casual relief teachers

While we were not able to secure payment to relief teachers for all professional learning required to maintain professional registration, the Agreement includes this new clause: “Casual teachers regularly engaged by the school are to be included in professional learning community programs.” (P8.4 – Professional Learning Communities, p.128). As such activities are part of the casual teacher’s duties, they should expect to be paid as they would be for any other duties.

Addressing the administrative burden faced by VET teachers

We have secured an independent review to, amongst other things, “reduce administrative workload for teachers” of Vocational Education & Training (VET).  The review will be concluded in 2015 and the Directorate and the AEU will, as soon as possible, negotiate and agree appropriate arrangements and conditions for teachers delivering VET in secondary schools. 

Acceptable temperatures for workplaces

A new document Procedures for Managing Extreme Temperatures in ACT Public Schools has been devised. Importantly, it references the AEU’s preferred forecast temperature range of 17°C and 30°C and also places significant responsibility with the Directorate’s Infrastructure and Capital Works Branch. The campaign continues, particularly around the October 2016 ACT election, for serious investment in permanent heating and cooling solutions.

Domestic Violence Leave

Domestic Violence Leave of up to 20 days per year is now available for all employees. This leave is crucial for affected employees who often need to attend a range of appointments and support services that have not been accommodated under previous leave arrangements.

Guarantee of paid time for Health & Safety Representatives

Under the new Health and Safety Representative (HSR) Guideline, the HSR will be guaranteed such time as is reasonably necessary to exercise his or her powers under the Act and to conduct regular (weekly) consultations with staff in the workplace.

Time for AEU Sub-Branches to meet

Principals are expected to negotiate with the relevant AEU Sub-Branch President during the first four weeks of Term 1 of each year to schedule a one-hour AEU Sub-Branch meeting during each term of the school year. Such scheduling is consistent with a clause in the current enterprise agreement which states that reasonable notice of meetings should be provided and scheduled meetings should be included in the school’s year/term planner. 

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