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Teacher’s pay resolved for now

By johnboy - 14 March 2007 27

The ABC reports that Andrew Barr is declaring agreement has been reached over teacher’s pay going forward.

Despite some teachers being palpably better than others they’re all going to get guaranteed pay rises over the next two and a half years.

The final deal features an 11.5 per cent pay rise over three years.

Education Minister Andrew Barr says graduate teachers coming into the ACT system will be the highest paid in the country under the deal.

What’s Your opinion?


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27 Responses to
Teacher’s pay resolved for now
shauno 2:23 pm 15 Mar 07

At the end of the day when you look at it its fairly piss poor pay rise lol. I reckon the Govt is going to want to use that arbitrator again next time. Basically you didn’t get a pay rise at all you just barely got a default cost of living increase.

louise 12:47 pm 15 Mar 07

However anti I am towards the cosy relationship between ALP and unions, and however disgusted I am with unions continually selling out members, I still maintain that a collective agreement, negotiated by unions, is better than individual AWAs.

The simple reason is that, even when unions do sell out members, the result is better than it would be if members were set against each other through individual negotiations.

My great concern is that unions seem to do more selling out to ALP governments than Lib governments.

neanderthalsis 12:16 pm 15 Mar 07

So a Union makes another substandard deal that essentially sells short their paying members and panders to the incumbent Labor Government. Yet another case of politics clearly distorting what could well have been a successful outcome for teachers.

If teachers chose to forsake the Unionised Award negotiations and opt instead for AWAs they would, no doubt be far better off. Indeed the May 2006 ABS Employee Earnings and Hours showed that workers on individual agreements earned, on average, $511 more per week than those on award wages.

Individual agreements would allow higher quality teachers to be rewarded for their effort and encourage others to lift their game. In an industry with chronic skills shortages, AWAs put the bargaining power into the hands of the teachers, not the Unionised Labor stooges not wanting to upset the party and miss pre-selection at the next election.

With all the Labor / Union scaremongering over work choices, most people have failed to see how it could potentially benefit them.

And 3…2…1… begin the left wing, Labor, anti-workchoice onslaught.

tristero 12:12 pm 15 Mar 07

Kirk and Nyssa: The arbitration was for the points not agreed upon by both parties that were holding up negotiations: pay increase, whether working hours should be included in the workplace agreement, and if hours should be included, what they should be.

The employer argued hours should not be included, but claimed that if the decision to include them was made, they should be set at 22hrs 40mins! The arbiter set the hours at 19 per week face to face for secondary teachers. And yes, many schools have set up an ‘internal relief’ situation. It will be interesting to see how relief lessons are covered when the next big flu passes through and takes out 1/4 to 1/3 the staff in a school. Relief teachers are already difficult to find at short notice.

The union executive agreed to support the result of arbitration; thus include it in the proposed agreement and encourage members to support the outcome. Much discussion was had by union members in relation to this, and whether to support the agreement as a whole.

If the vote returned a ‘no’ there was the suggestion that as the face to face teaching hours are not set in past agreements, ACT teachers could suddenly be required to teach face to face greater than 19 hours. It really was a damned if you don’t/do situation.

As per law, all employees must vote on the content of the whole agreement (a 135 page document). The vote was not just for the result of the arbitration, but for the whole, detailed, document.

Queen Vic: Your comment makes no sense. Looking after your members is not extending negotiations so that employees don’t see a pay rise for more than two years after the previous agreement has expired. The cost of living continues to rise, don’t forget that.

Yes I’m a teacher in the public system. Yes I am an ACT AEU member. The situation isn’t anywhere near as black and white as some riotact members would have you believe. eg. Some posters around here think that the ‘union leaders’ make decisions without consulting members (when in fact individual schools hold elections for their personal reps, who attend monthly council meetings, who vote on the direction the union executive take). Yes, some sub-branch (school) reps are better than others. If a workplace finds they have a self-serving rep who does not represent their views they need to get involved in the yearly school based elections and ensure they elect a team who will act as representatives for all members in the school. (Yes, this is an ‘in a perfect’ world argument, I know there are flaws and that the ‘real world’ is not always like this. )

Am I completely happy with the current agreement after all we went through? No. But I do feel that in the current political climate, taking into account the rulings of an independent arbiter who regardless of the outcome resolved a deadlock, this is not as bad as it could have been.

louise 10:03 am 15 Mar 07

Just a note – I realise the difference between unions (AUE and CPSU), it was more a question of how widespread this allegiance actually is.

nyssa76 8:58 am 15 Mar 07

That’s ok, in order to meet the 19hrs, high school teachers will have to take on 6 classes (out of 7).

Atm they’re all doing in-built relief to make up the hours – like teachers have nothing else to do.

The Arbitration was final so I too didn’t understand the need for the AEU vote. They even sent me a voting slip – which I promptly tore up and threw in the bin.

GnT, I will agree with you over the back pay. For those who don’t know, it’s from Dec 2006 and not from the end of the last EBA (March 2006).

I’m glad I’m not paying AEU fees.

fun size 2:24 pm 14 Mar 07

Just a note Louise – the union in question is the AEU (Australian Education Union), not the CPSU

louise 1:54 pm 14 Mar 07

It is very odd that a union reaches a deal that tides the incumbent ALP government over until after the next election, particularly since the CPSU has recently joined/affiliated with the ALP.

Not sure whose interests we’re talking about here.

Thumper 1:40 pm 14 Mar 07

I would suggest that the government only agreed to it because there was something in it for them.

I wouldn’t be a teacher for quids, or even for a payrise!

GnT 1:31 pm 14 Mar 07

The biggest rip off is the lack of back pay. Teachers have gone more than a year without a pay rise because they refused to accept the first offer. This sets a dangerous precedent – you’d better accept the first paltry offer because if you fight it and drag it out with industrial action, you are guaranteed to be worse off.

queen_vic_toria_II 1:14 pm 14 Mar 07

Another tale of unions that arn’t really there to look after their members. If the Teachers Union had any smarts whatsoever, they would have tided this over (somehow) to the election next year and really made it an issue. The teachers are really the losers here and that is disappointing!

James-T-Kirk 1:05 pm 14 Mar 07

Pretty funny that it needed a *vote* – I thought that it was an ARBITRATION DECISION – and that both parties AGREED TO AN ABRITRATION DECISION…

In any case, I agree that they settled for far too little – Sad when you think about it – but that’s what you get when you let some other person determine your conditions for you.

Kramer 12:53 pm 14 Mar 07

Also, 11.5 percent over 3 years that’s only 3.83 percent per year – that’s not that much of an increase considering how hideously underpaid they have been. I’m sure within the next few months the other states will be up for renegotiation, and will again surpass the ACT teachers salaries.

Kramer 12:51 pm 14 Mar 07

I believe that while ACT teachers will have one of the highest teachers salaries in the country, they will also have the highest class hours in the country. I am wondering whether this will see a decline in ACT education standards, as teachers resort to more textbook lessons as they are pressured for time to prepare lessons?

louise 11:14 am 14 Mar 07

I’m pretty suprised at the support it got in a vote. A lot of teachers I know weren’t too happy about it.

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