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Council Report: 2 June 2018
On 2 June, Council heard reports and made decisions on a number of important matters.
Arising from the Understanding the Work in Schools survey, Council heard of the steps taken since the release of the initial findings, including correspondence received from Education Minister Rob Stokes and the commitment given to work with stakeholders to find “workable solutions” to addressing the issues raised in the survey.
Annual Conference will hear a report from the researchers and consider a recommendation of the campaign strategies.
One of the key points in the recommendation “Protecting and Enhancing School Staffing Entitlements” remains the focus on maximising permanent positions in NSW public schools.
The NSW Government and the Department of Education have a responsibility to ensure that the increased investment achieved through the NSW Gonski agreement, provides schools with additional permanent staffing that is needs-based and centrally coordinated.
Council acknowledged the challenges confronting teachers educating students with disability across a range of settings as a result of the Turnbull Government’s massive cuts to disability funding.
Federation will host a Students with Disability Symposium in term 4 this year. The other key priority of this decision is to ensure incentives that attract and retain teachers in rural and remote public schools are protected and enhanced.
The significant flaws in the Department’s approach to schools building and infrastructure was highlighted and reported in detail to Council.
Federation is aware the Department’s approach has varied across projects with regard to accommodating the professional views of teachers, considering subject-specific requirements, identifying and respecting staffing allocation issues and the general amenity needs of staff and students.
Council condemned the Department for failing to negotiate these matters with Federation and called for the Department to suspend any further implementation of its schools infrastructure program until these issues are addressed.
Since May Council, local launches of the Fair Funding Now! campaign have occurred in targeted seats across NSW attracting significant local media in these areas. Council has urged all Associations to consider ways they can engage in the Fair Funding Now! campaign to maximise community engagement with the campaign.
Complaints handling, locality allowances and the transition process to standards-based pay were raised through Motions from Associations and debated at council.
The decisions of each Council meeting are communicated to schools through TeFed, which is emailed to Federation Representatives and Workplace Committee members.
TeFed is also available through the Member’s Area of Federation’s website. These matters and others will be discussed at your local Teachers Association meeting.
Contact your local Organiser to find out when and where your next Association meeting will be held. Association meeting dates are also available online at www.nswtf.org.au/pages/association-meeting-dates.
Nicole Calnan, Deputy Secretary (Communication and Administration)