What's new in the new offer?
A new offer has just arrived in our inboxes and we now need to decide how to respond. All councillors are urged to attend our meeting of Branch Council at 4.30pm today.
Similarly, sub-branches are encouraged to meet at lunch to discuss the offer, if it’s at all feasible.
The following summary of what is different in the new offer is intended to support our collective decision-making.
Resources to Reduce Workload
- The Government is now offering $7 million to support the new Section Q, which outlines both a teacher’s core role and the non-educational tasks teachers will no longer be required to perform.
- The $7 million will fund the equivalent of .75 of a School Assistant in primary schools and almost half a School Assistant in the remaining (secondary) schools. It adds up to approximately 57 additional full-time equivalent staff across our system.
- These new positions are designed to pick up the work teachers would no longer be required to perform.
- The $7 million only funds the additional School Assistants for 2 years (and not the whole 4 years of the proposed Agreement).
- With respect to the final two years of the Agreement, the Government states: “A review after two years will assess the impact of the additional resources on teacher workload and determine any future need for resourcing.” (p.6) It would be up to an incoming Government (Labor or Liberal) to commit to the continuation of the resources.
- Part of the $7 million has been found by taking it out of our salaries. Under this offer, we would be back-paid to November 1, 2014, rather than October 1 when the previous Agreement nominally expired.
- Under this offer, the first 1.5% pay increase would be delayed one month and start on November 1, 2014.
- The following three 1.5% pay increases would also start one month later (May 2015, November 2015, May 2016).
- The last two years of the Agreement would see a reversion to increment dates of October and April, as proposed initially.
New School Psychologists
- The new offer provides $900,000 to fund four additional full-time equivalent school psychologists over two years.
- There is no guarantee of funding for these additional school psychologists in the final two years of the proposed four-year Agreement.
- With respect to the final two years, the Government states: “An assessment of the impact of these additional positions will be undertaken to determine future funding needs.” It would be up to an incoming Government (Labor or Liberal) to commit to the continuation of the resources.
- There is a commitment to implement a new principal remuneration structure by 2017.
- All principals will receive a minimum 3% per annum salary increase.
- There will be a principal well-being clause for the first time.
- The Education & Training Directorate remains committed to open merit selection for all principal positions despite our claim to the contrary.
Our initial response to the offer will be determined by Council this afternoon. Whatever happens, this negotiation still has a way to go and it’s imperative we maintain maximum pressure until we have a final agreement.
If you haven’t already, it’s crucial you cast a yes vote in the protected industrial action ballot, which closes next Friday. The option of escalating pressure on the Government through protected action is crucial to achieving a satisfactory outcome.