2015 Trade Union Training Program — Semester 1

This program contains information about Trade Union Training courses offered by Federation. Paid leave is available for union members attending these courses. Dates and details of the course are set out below (see Background Information for more details).

The application form is available from Federation's website.

Course content

Beginning Teachers Course

A one-day course open to all beginning teachers employed as permanent or temporary or casual teachers in the schools sector by the Department of Education and Communities in the first year of teaching.

Participants will gain an understanding of the process in reaching Proficient level with the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) and completing their probationary year, if appropriate. Teachers will also be given practical assistance in planning and programming/unit development in the primary or secondary school. Service conditions and teachers’ rights are dealt with and the role and operations of Federation explained. The session on survival skills for beginning teachers is most useful. This course is registered with BOSTES for specific hours. Refer to BOSTES or Federation websites for hours and standards.

Beginning Teachers Conference

These single-day and one-and-a-half-day conferences on Saturday and Sunday morning are open to all new (beginning) teachers employed by the Department of Education and Communities in the schools sector and located within a reasonable travelling distance of the conference. Conferences in 2015 will be held in Bundanoon, Broken Hill, Newcastle, Central Coast, Coonabarabran and Corowa. The conference covers:

  • insight into the diversity of the teaching experience
  • network building
  • assistance with teaching diverse learners
  • assistance with planning and programming
  • ideas for participating in the school
  • teachers’ conditions and entitlements
  • campaigns and issues affecting early career teachers.

These conferences are registered with BOSTES for specific hours at proficient level. Refer to BOSTES or Federation websites for hours and standards.

Fundamentals for Fed Reps and Women’s Contacts

This two-day course is aimed at developing fundamental knowledge and skills for teachers elected by their colleagues to the honorary positions of school-based Federation Representative or Women’s Contact. Members considering nominating for such roles in the future are welcome should space be available.

The course is registered with BOSTES for specific hours. Refer to BOSTES or Federation websites for hours and standards.

Women’s Fundamentals

A two-day course for women only, aimed at developing fundamental knowledge and skills for teachers elected by their colleagues to the honorary positions of Federation Representative or Women’s Contact. Members considering nominating for such roles in the future are welcome should space be
available.

This course is registered with BOSTES for specific hours. Refer to BOSTES or Federation websites for hours and standards.

TAFE and Corrective Services Fundamentals for Fed Reps and Women’s Contacts.

This course is open to all TAFE and Corrective Services members statewide. Where the number of applications received exceeds available places, priority for placement on the course is given to members who are currently in the role of Fed Rep or Women’s Contact. The course content is basically the same as the Fundamentals for Fed Reps and Women’s Contacts course but as it would apply to TAFE.

Communicating and Negotiating Skills for Fed Reps and Women’s Contacts

This three-day course is aimed at developing communication skills for elected Federation Representatives and Women’s Contacts. It emphasises skills relevant to their workplace roles including:

  • public speaking
  • defining issues and negotiating solutions
  • communicating assertively and managing conflict
  • using web-based and media technologies for research and communication

Special requirements for participation: successful completion of Fundamentals for Fed Reps and Women’s Contacts or Women’s Fundamentals course.

This course is registered with BOSTES for specific hours. Refer to BOSTES or Federation websites for hours and standards.

Skills for Federation Councillors and Skills for Aboriginal Councillors

A two-day course that aims to explain the operation of the Federation’s State Council and develop fundamental knowledge and skills for Association Representatives who are elected as Councillors/Proxies. Priority will be given to Councillors elected to the position for the first time. The course covers:

  • public speaking
  • advocacy
  • strategic planning
  • participation in democratic forums
  • effective reporting and liaison
  • effective communication
  • standing Orders

Attendance at the Federation Council meeting immediately prior to the course dates is essential, either as a Federation Councillor, Proxy Councillor or as an authorised Observer.

The Aboriginal Skills for Councillors course is the same course for Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander members, with a priority for those members who are Councillors or Proxies.

This course is registered with BOSTES for specific hours. Refer to BOSTES or Federation websites for hours and standards.

Association Treasurers Course

A one-day course for Association Treasurers to brief them on their role and their responsibilities for Association funds. The course also looks at the requirements for auditing and book-keeping and the problems Treasurers might experience in this regard.

Association Presidents and Secretaries Course

This two-day course is aimed at developing fundamental knowledge and skills for teachers elected by their colleagues to the honorary positions of President and Secretary of their local Association. The course covers:

  • the roles of the Secretary and President
  • current campaigns
  • media skills, writing and public speaking
  • developing and promoting a campaign
  • union structure and process
  • meeting procedure
  • legal responsibilities of the roles
  • problem-solving
  • administrative procedures
  • using the Federation’s website.

This course is registered with BOSTES for specific hours. Refer to BOSTES or Federation websites for hours and standards.

Campaigns courses

A campaigns course is generally designed to target a specific group of members or to address a specific issue. These courses usually have a maximum of 20 participants and generally run for one or two days.

Background information


1. Is paid leave provided?

Yes. Each financial member of the Federation nominated by the union who is a permanent or temporary employee is entitled to a total of 12 days of Special Leave/Trade Union Training in any period of two years. Leave may also include travelling time during working hours, if necessary.

Since 2001, conditions for casual school teachers have changed. Temporary school teachers are entitled to pro rata Special Leave/Trade Union Training. Casual school teachers are not entitled to Special Leave/Trade Union Training.

All Officers within the education portfolio are covered. The TAFE Commission has currently continued the leave available to full-time TAFE teachers but leave is not available for part-time TAFE teachers. Part-time TAFE teachers should seek further advice from the Federation if they wish to attend a course.

Casual school teachers not entitled to paid leave, who would have been employed on the day/s of the course, may apply to have their pay made up by Federation. Casual teachers should be aware that attendance at a Trade Union Training course may cause a break in service that could result in loss of service benefits.

2. Is casual relief provided?

Yes. Federation pays the cost of relief to cover the classes of teachers attending Trade Union Training courses, provided that the casual teacher engaged is used to cover the classes of the teacher attending the course. The schools sector of the Department of Education and Communities makes no contribution to relief costs. The TAFE Commission provides 50 per cent of relief costs.

The principal should employ casual relief for you and inform the Department in the usual way. Federation reimburses the appropriate sectors of the Department of Education and Communities at a later date. There is no effect on your school’s budget. The relief must be used to cover the classes of the teacher on the course and is not transferable to any other date or teacher.

3. Is any financial assistance provided?

Yes. Full details are provided at the course. In summary:

(i) Travel: Members attending Federation courses are able to claim reimbursement towards the cost of travel. Air travel and accommodation must be arranged through Federation’s Travel Coordinator.

(ii) Meal allowances: Where participants need to stay overnight, meal allowances are paid. The allowance rate is determined by Council each year.

(iii) Accommodation: Accommodation is sometimes on a shared basis and Federation will make booking arrangements wherever possible through the Travel Coordinator.

(iv) Childcare: Childcare for non-school age children can be arranged by Federation, if required, but booking prior to the course is essential.

4. Who will be selected to attend?

Trade Union Training aims for a maximum of 20-22 participants for each Federation course. In selecting participants preference is given to current Federation Representatives, Women’s Contacts and Association Officers. Every effort is made to achieve a balance between infants/primary and secondary, city and country members, and to provide access to courses to members in TAFE and other membership groups. Federation also aims to provide 50 per cent of places to women members. We reserve the right to give priority to applicants able to contribute to the union and who have shown a commitment to supporting Federation policies and campaigns.

5. How do you apply?

Fill out the application form in this journal and forward it to Federation or submit an application form via Federation’s website or membership app.

Advise your principal that you have applied and indicate that casual relief will be paid for if you are accepted onto the course. Successful applicants will receive an authority for relief and casual replacement prior to the course via email. Those who do not receive a place on a course will receive an email and their application will be held over to the next suitable course in the current year.

6. Where can I get more information?

The 2015 Trade Union Training program for Semester 1 will be available here.

If you require further information, or have other inquiries, please contact Mel Smith, Trade Union Training Officer on 1300 654 369, 02 9217 2100 or email. For women-only course please contact the Women’s Coordinator on the numbers listed above or on email.