Concerns about People Matter survey

June 15, 2018

Survey data from the People Matter employee survey in 2018 will be made available to the Department of Education for individual workplaces with a minimum of 10 respondents.

After the 2016 survey, the Department encouraged school-based workshops to reflect on workplace-level reports. The Department also encouraged use of workplace-level data in School Excellence Framework activities, stating in its evidence guide that “from 2016, school-level reports are available for those schools that receive more than 10 responses to the survey”.

It is of significant concern that neither the Department nor the Public Service Commission consulted Federation on workplace-level reporting and has not made it clear to participants that the survey data collected would be disaggregated in this way.

Federation believes there should be transparency around how survey data is to be used. An over emphasis on local issues will not address the systemic problems identifiable by the aggregated data.

This year, the union sought a briefing from the Public Service Commission about transparency and confidentiality in the survey. The commission confirmed that the Department can limit access to workplace-level reports.

For reports on general questions, a sample of 10 or more respondents is needed but individuals’ answers are not reported. For reports on demographic questions, such as age and salary, a minimum sample of 50 respondents is needed.

Previous surveys have provided some useful information about teachers’ views on stress, change management and bullying.

The 2018 survey is open from 1 June to 2 July. Members should consider all relevant information before deciding whether to complete the survey.

If members have already completed the survey and wish to raise issues about the use of the data they should contact the Privacy Officer listed in the “ORC Australia Privacy Policy” and the Department.

The Public Service Commission has excluded TAFE from the survey since 2016.