Workload Reduction In The New Enterprise Agreement
The new Enterprise Agreement, subject to final approval from the Fair Work Commission, will introduce a range of important measures to reduce workload.
A Teacher’s Core Role
The new Section Q – Core role of teachers and Section Q Guidelines: Addressing teacher workload outline tasks teachers will no longer do:
- packing, stocktaking and moving equipment and furniture;
- cleaning and maintenance of facilities, furniture and equipment;
- procurement of resources, including ICT;
- grant submissions;
- weekend events;
- weekend professional learning (unless self-directed).
- Teachers and school assistants are no longer required to complete fortnightly absence records.
In the case of the following tasks, teachers’ involvement will be limited to their educational aspects:
- student reports; excursions and camps;
- school community events;
- student competitions;
- student attendance, management and welfare;
- communication with parents/carers;
- data entry;
- use of ICT (beyond the normal trouble shooting expected of all ACTPS employees).
The core role of teachers is now clearly defined:
- instruction of students;
- supervision of students;
- curriculum planning;
- assessment of student learning;
- reporting of student learning;
- professional learning;
- attendance at meetings, parent/teacher interviews and;
- activities to enrich the educational experiences of students, in accordance with these guidelines.
Almost 60 New School Assistants
To help teachers and school leaders bring these workload commitments to fruition, the Agreement provides $7 million dollars to fund almost 60 additional full-time equivalent school assistants across the system. Each school will now be in the position of deciding how to allocate between 500 and 900 hours of administrative relief each year. Sub-branches and Workload Committees are encouraged to meet to discuss what approach would best support teachers. Identify which tasks you’re currently performing outside of your core role and how an additional staff member could help. Sub-branches and Workload Committees are encouraged to make recommendations to school leadership about how new staff can be optimally deployed.
Enhanced Role for Workload Committees
The new Section Q – Reducing Workload Guidelines make it clear that the establishment of the workload committee is the job of the school principal, in collaboration with the AEU sub-branch. It is an important forum for dialogue between staff and management at every school.
Crucially, the guidelines state that “Members of the workload committee must be provided with sufficient time to conduct their work, including consultation with staff, and preparation for and attendance at meetings.” AEU Workload Committee representatives should meet with your manager or principal as soon as possible to negotiate arrangements to ensure you have time to perform your role.
The Workload Committee has a crucial role in ensuring that teachers are not required to perform work outside of our core role. As the guidelines state, it is “an opportunity to shed outdated non-mandatory programs, [and] to reassess practice and procedure”.
Where workload issues cannot be resolved at the school level, members of the workload committee can seek the assistance of ETD’s central workload function.
Central ETD Workload Function
The new guidelines acknowledge that ETD has a direct and active responsibility to ensure that what it has agreed to on paper is implemented in practice. The central function means that ETD has identified an explicit resource support schools transition from current practice to implementing the guidelines around tasks requiring limited teacher involvement and tasks not expected of teachers. This support will include assisting workload committees resolve disputes; developing and sharing models of best practice in reducing workload; and reporting quarterly to the Directorate/AEU EA Implementation Committee.