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Teachers revolting.

By johnboy - 26 August 2011 51

That headline never gets old.

But we do have this email from the Australian Education Union:

Dear Sub-Branch Reps and Principal Members,

The latest offer for teachers or “What’s NOT in it for me?”
A brief summary:
· A salaries offer that will return us to the worst paid in the nation within months. NSW will forge ahead once again next year.
· Prospective “Teaching Leaders” competing not only against professional standards but against each other for up to 50 positions in the first year.
· An underwhelming total of 50 teachers skipping a step on the scale through accelerated progression (out of 1200 eligible teachers).
· A reduction in teaching load for first year teachers that is one-quarter of what was available until the mid-1990s.
· Nothing for our principal members except a salary increase of 3.5% – an inadequate reflection of an increasingly complex role.
· Nothing to increase the attractiveness of school counsellor positions, despite the system’s inability to fill 7 full- time positions, and despite more than 20 schools not having a counsellor at all.
What are we doing about it?
· Stopping work next Thursday morning to consider further action (see previous email for details).
· Mounting a vigorous campaign of community engagement.
· Asking members to write a polite email to the politicians through www.aeuact.asn.au/campaigns/.
· Banning the fortnightly absence record…
ALL MEMBERS: As per a decision of Executive on 23 August, from the morning of NEXT WEDNESDAY 31 AUGUST 2011 (AND NOT BEFORE!), PLEASE CEASE ALL PARTICIPATION IN THE FORTNIGHTLY ABSENCE RECORD PROCESS.
And stay tuned for information about further bans which AEU Executive has authorised to be implemented progressively over the next couple of weeks.

Regards,
AEU Officers

What’s Your opinion?


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51 Responses to
Teachers revolting.
creative_canberran 2:10 am 27 Aug 11

2604 said :

If the union has its way, by the end of the new EBA first year teachers will be getting paid $65,000 per year to teach 10.8 classroom hours per week. That salary is around $15,000 more than graduate lawyers get paid and would work out to $150.46 for every hour the first year teachers would spend in front of a class.

Using the phrase “graduate lawyer” just proves one doesn’t know Jack Scheiße.
Clerk, solicitor, paralegal? What the heck is a graduate lawyer?

In any case, that $15,000 figure has no basis.

And even if it did, trying to distil the work teachers do into a single sum of classroom hours is as useless as trying to gauge the academic performance of a university student based on how many ours they’re in lectures.

Grail 1:38 am 27 Aug 11

2604 said :

If the union has its way, by the end of the new EBA first year teachers will be getting paid $65,000 per year to teach 10.8 classroom hours per week. That salary is around $15,000 more than graduate lawyers get paid and would work out to $150.46 for every hour the first year teachers would spend in front of a class.

Seriously? You’re expecting to only pay teachers for hours they spend in the classroom with students?

Would you also expect to only pay your lawyer for the time they spend in the courtroom with you? Would you also expect your surgeon to be paid based on the hours they have a patient on the table? Should we also only pay police for the time they spend arresting felons or directing traffic?

In what version of reality does it make any form of sense to divide yearly salary by hours spent doing one facet of a job?

Bizarre doesn’t begin to cover your argument.

Gerry-Built 11:13 pm 26 Aug 11

2604 said :

OK then, I’ll answer my own question and let you correct me if I’m wrong.

If the union has its way, by the end of the new EBA first year teachers will be getting paid $65,000 per year to teach 10.8 classroom hours per week. That salary is around $15,000 more than graduate lawyers get paid and would work out to $150.46 for every hour the first year teachers would spend in front of a class.

yeah, by all means use your $150.46/hr rate for the 10.8(?)hrs face-to-face. All the prep time and administrative work required undertaken in the other 27 hours+/week can be provided free of charge…

Also keep in mind that even with such generous starting pay, attracting and retaining staff is problematic.

Gerry-Built 11:07 pm 26 Aug 11

@2604: whilst you’ve over simplified my responses in that post (I think I mentioned that at the time), personally; I’d take an improvement in conditions and support over a more substantial pay rise, for sure. I’m pretty sure I made that clear in previous posts, too (although many of these conditions may be specific to my current School, judging by some responses).

Right now, even with pay at parity with NSW, I don’t see myself teaching in the public system in 5 years time if conditions continue as they are (Hell… at the moment, I’m not sure I’ll make the 2012 teaching year – and I am looking at some alternatives). I have mentioned, in other posts, that Mr Barr’s answers to dwindling student numbers are all way off the mark… and if he bothered to ACTUALLY listen to teachers and others in our school communities, he’d have a very clear indication of where more constructive measures could be found. Although he might need to start with the more basic “what are the problems driving families away from public education?”.

Don’t make the mistake of getting fixated on the face-to-face teaching hours a new teacher is presented with – there is a LOT MORE to teaching then standing in a classroom, presenting to students (it isn’t like they’d do the 11 hours and then bugger off home, or shopping, or out to sip lattes)… and most of that (even for experienced teachers) requires at least as much prep time behind the scenes. All that before you then factor in other parts of the job that don’t involve teaching lessons… New teachers (as in any career) have an awful lot of work in front of them to help them establish themselves in the career…

2604 9:48 pm 26 Aug 11

Gerry-Built said :

2604 said :

Out of interest, Gerry, how much is the union requesting that the government pay first-year teachers to teach their 0.6 load? Both at the start and the end of this proposed new EBA.

.6 reflect “teaching load” ie face-to-face class teaching time. That reduction in teaching time (not hours worked) was traditionally to allow new teachers time to develop their own classroom techniques and resources – including attending PD (training) in a formal and informal (observation etc) sense. The lack of this internship-type loading in the last 15 or so years is one reason that people leaving the profession have given (not just in ACT). It is hard for new teachers to keep their “head above the water” whilst learning the new job, with full teaching load. Keep in mind that the current retainment of new teachers averages around 5 years.

OK then, I’ll answer my own question and let you correct me if I’m wrong.

If the union has its way, by the end of the new EBA first year teachers will be getting paid $65,000 per year to teach 10.8 classroom hours per week. That salary is around $15,000 more than graduate lawyers get paid and would work out to $150.46 for every hour the first year teachers would spend in front of a class.

As for retention, as I said in response to an earlier post of yours regarding the link between higher salaries and staff retention rates:

2604 said :

Gerry, you have posted at length about how frustrating it is being a teacher in a government school because classroom teachers get no support from their executive and every bit of bad behaviour by kids gets excused and/or validated. Don’t you think that fixing such issues is a better solution than pumping up graduate salaries to whatever the ACTEU is demanding?…

Gerry-Built 9:07 pm 26 Aug 11

Watson said :

Fair enough. But why are principals mentioned separately?

Well; clearly that is all part of the conspiracy… that, or there were separate claims against the previous offer as far as Principals are concerned (which obviously have not been addressed in the latest offer)… I’ll let you judge (again, this was clearly addressed to the membership of the Union, so there is some contextual basis to the document – which is part of a series addressed to members in the last few months).

Gerry-Built 8:58 pm 26 Aug 11

alaninoz said :

Gerry-Built said :

…made their previous agreement with the impending GFC…

If I’d known there was an impending GFC I’d have made a fortune!

Would you prefer me to modify the comment to say “impending *impact* of the GFC”? It was clear by the time the previous negotiations ceased, that impact was approaching…

Gerry-Built 8:50 pm 26 Aug 11

2604 said :

Out of interest, Gerry, how much is the union requesting that the government pay first-year teachers to teach their 0.6 load? Both at the start and the end of this proposed new EBA.

.6 reflect “teaching load” ie face-to-face class teaching time. That reduction in teaching time (not hours worked) was traditionally to allow new teachers time to develop their own classroom techniques and resources – including attending PD (training) in a formal and informal (observation etc) sense. The lack of this internship-type loading in the last 15 or so years is one reason that people leaving the profession have given (not just in ACT). It is hard for new teachers to keep their “head above the water” whilst learning the new job, with full teaching load. Keep in mind that the current retainment of new teachers averages around 5 years.

alaninoz 7:47 pm 26 Aug 11

Gerry-Built said :

…made their previous agreement with the impending GFC…

If I’d known there was an impending GFC I’d have made a fortune!

2604 7:38 pm 26 Aug 11

Gerry-Built said :

First year teachers used to get a .6 loading in their first year to allow them to prepare lessons, develop student management techniques and observe lessons (etc). That was a condition removed as a trade-off in a previous EBA negotiation. The Union membership has been arguing that to help retain new teachers, this is a condition that needs to be reinstated so new teachers don’t feel like they are drowning in their first year. Obviously new starters are being offered a .9 load….

If that isn’t a blatant attempt by the union to get more teachers hired and therefore increase their own membership, revenues and influence, I don’t know what is.

Out of interest, Gerry, how much is the union requesting that the government pay first-year teachers to teach their 0.6 load? Both at the start and the end of this proposed new EBA.

milkman 7:21 pm 26 Aug 11

alaninoz said :

“Prospective “Teaching Leaders” competing not only against professional standards but against each other for up to 50 positions in the first year.”

And the problem with this is? How does it differ from the situation in most other areas or employment?

What? You mean employees actually have to compete for promotions? Anyone would think this is a normal profession and not a hotbed of lefty whingers.

Watson 7:20 pm 26 Aug 11

Gerry-Built said :

Except that teachers got a lot less than ACT public servants were offered last time around… and the Union and Government made their previous agreement with the impending GFC, agreeing that the shortfall would be made up his time around (ie a return to parity with NSW – which is the opposite of what has been offered; an increase in the gap)…

Fair enough. But why are principals mentioned separately?

Gerry-Built 7:06 pm 26 Aug 11

Yes – the trouble with circulating correspondence intended for Union members is that you have no frame of reference, nor contextual basis for which to understand it… hence the lack of “plain English”…

First year teachers used to get a .6 loading in their first year to allow them to prepare lessons, develop student management techniques and observe lessons (etc). That was a condition removed as a trade-off in a previous EBA negotiation. The Union membership has been arguing that to help retain new teachers, this is a condition that needs to be reinstated so new teachers don’t feel like they are drowning in their first year. Obviously new starters are being offered a .9 load…

Watson said :

That’s quite a bit more than what other ACT Govt employees are being offered.

Except that teachers got a lot less than ACT public servants were offered last time around… and the Union and Government made their previous agreement with the impending GFC, agreeing that the shortfall would be made up his time around (ie a return to parity with NSW – which is the opposite of what has been offered; an increase in the gap)…

Watson 6:36 pm 26 Aug 11

I didn’t get most of that either. Except for this “Nothing for our principal members except a salary increase of 3.5% – an inadequate reflection of an increasingly complex role.”

Well ladida! That’s quite a bit more than what other ACT Govt employees are being offered.

alaninoz 5:22 pm 26 Aug 11

“Prospective “Teaching Leaders” competing not only against professional standards but against each other for up to 50 positions in the first year.”

And the problem with this is? How does it differ from the situation in most other areas or employment?

“A reduction in teaching load for first year teachers that is one-quarter of what was available until the mid-1990s.”

What does this mean? A plain English reading would be that first year teachers have a teaching load that is one-quarter of what it was in the mid-1990s. That can’t be what they mean, so I’ll assume that the “one-quarter” applies to the reduction. Still doesn’t make a lot of sense.

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