Restrictions on movement and gatherings along with changes to normal routines in society and our schools are reminders that we are still in the midst of a pandemic, but this has not stopped the work of the union. The first edition of Education in 2020 outlined the union’s priorities for the year, particularly the commissioning of “Valuing the teaching profession – an independent inquiry”. Throughout the year members, schools, academics and industry experts have been making submissions to the inquiry panel. The profession will no doubt keep a watchful eye on the hearings set to commence shortly after this edition goes to print.
Many members will recall the Vinson inquiry undertaken in 2001 by the late Emeritus Professor Tony Vinson. We acknowledge this landmark inquiry in our “Reflections” column and revisit the policies from this report that shaped the politics of education in NSW.
Much has happened since the beginning of the school year. From the frontline of the pandemic, teachers — despite their incredible commitment and professionalism — have been subjected to threats of a wage freeze by the NSW Government. The teaching profession has also been a point of conversation in the media, demonstrated in the handing down of the recent curriculum review.
Collectivism is at the heart of the union. This was personified when a group of more than 50 retired principals heeded the call to action in response to credible threats of precarious employment being placed onto their colleagues.
While many face-to-face meetings are not possible, this has not stopped the union prioritising its call for increased staffing provision and a curriculum guarantee for all students. Members have been meeting — by whatever means possible — to show their support for Federation’s staffing campaign. Students deserve access to a full curriculum with appropriately trained and accredited permanent teachers and the issue of staffing goes to the core of this principle.
A lot has been said publicly about how the nation can recover from COVID-19. In this edition, we examine the vital role TAFE must play in the nation’s recovery and celebrate the recent National TAFE Day. Have a close look at our back page coverage of the event, you might spot a familiar face!
We also examine some other effects of the pandemic that might not immediately come to mind. Under the axiom “never let a good crisis go to waste”, we take a look at the role the burgeoning ed-tech industry has played during the pandemic as part of its creeping presence in education.
On the lighter and brighter side, we feature the magnificent exhibits in Artexpress — which has been re-imagined online after its regional tour was cancelled under health restrictions — and celebrate the work of public school students and their dedicated teachers.
Crucial cases in play for pay risesAugust 30, 2020
Federation has lodged a bargaining dispute with the Fair Work Commission regarding TAFE NSW’s refusal to honour the agreement reached with Federation about pay increases for teachers and related employees.
Panel prepares to hear evidence for inquiryAugust 30, 2020
Amid the stress and restrictions of the global pandemic, Federation members have addressed the changing nature of their work across almost two decades to inform an independent inquiry into the value of teachers’ work.
In this crisis, Federation has you coveredAugust 13, 2020
Much of the business of Federation in 2020 has centred on the issues and concerns raised by the COVID-19 pandemic, largely unravelling the conflicting and confusing decisions and advice emanating from the state and federal governments at the height of the crisis.
Vision for new curriculum hinges on teachers’ inputAugust 30, 2020
The NSW Curriculum Review was released on 23 June this year to much political and media fanfare. Despite slogans of “back to basics” and the “end of puppetry” Federation is now focused on the Government’s response to the 24 recommendations and the design, development and implementation of the curriculum for our schools, teachers and students.
Staffing campaign: what your school can getSeptember 01, 2020
Phone calls to parents or checking on a student’s head space, planning a lesson or reflecting on how it went, marking or contacting other professionals about a child’s welfare, speaking with colleagues to meet students’ needs or catching up on professional learning.
Win as IECs to be put in hibernationSeptember 06, 2020
With the closure of the world’s borders and a halt to Australia’s immigration and humanitarian intake programs, intensive English centres (IECs) face uncertainty over enrolment numbers and the resulting reduction in specialist staffing.
Calculate how much a wage freeze will hurt your pocketAugust 01, 2020
In the face of an assault on the wages of public sector workers, Unions NSW has launched an online calculator set to raise awareness of the financial damage the Berejiklian Government’s policy will do to workers in NSW.
There's nothing casual about teaching: Employment catagoriesAugust 31, 2020
Federation encourages all members to familiarise themselves with the different employment categories and how the classifications apply to casual and temporary teachers, to ensure all teachers are employed correctly.
On principle: Old guard forms rear guardAugust 20, 2020
A group of retired principals who have seen previous NSW governments’ attempts to introduce contracts for principals have rallied to prevent the same agenda in the modern era.
Council reportAugust 31, 2020
It is not surprising that in these challenging times Federation membership has increased, as teachers realise the value of being a union member.
Why teachers have ordered an independent inquiry into the value of their workSeptember 04, 2020
If there is a silver lining in the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be the lessons we learn. Many of them will be about ourselves — our ability to adapt, endure and make sacrifices for the common good.
Your work: highlights from surveyAugust 31, 2019
A compelling majority of Federation members believe their work is more challenging and complex than ever but their pay does not reflect such a change, a Federation survey has revealed.
Department rejects catch-up program for public HSC studentsAugust 29, 2020
Public school HSC students have been left at a disadvantage after the Department of Education refused to pay for extra face-to-face learning hours as “catch-up” lessons.
Workplace contactsAugust 28, 2020
Bianca Hewes, Northern Beaches Secondary College
Students with disabilities left behindJuly 31, 2020
As new reports highlight the growing funding gap between public and private students, research during the pandemic reveals that parents of students with a disability felt their children had been “left behind by Australia’s education system” during the crisis.
Department advice on disability data collection during COVIDAugust 11, 2020
The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) provides information about the number of students with disability in schools and the adjustments they receive.
Unions unite to shape post-pandemic worldJuly 11, 2020
Union leaders and progressive thinkers, including US civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton, joined an international online democracy conference at the end of June where trade unions from around the world shared ideas for an improved post-pandemic world.
Steadfast support for closing the gapSeptember 01, 2020
In Australia, one person is born every one minute and 44 seconds — and based on current trends, two-thirds of those will attend public schools.
Survey reveals sorry state of sectorSeptember 02, 2020
TAFE urgently requires investment from all levels of government to ensure it can deliver high-quality vocational education and be at the forefront of Australia’s post COVID-19 recovery.
TAFE’s $92bn benefit to economyAugust 27, 2019
TAFE has provided a $92.5 billion benefit to the Australian economy, according to a new report that recommends a further $2.5 billion investment in wage subsidies for apprentices to help stem the collapse in new positions.
Union helps members collect backpay owedSeptember 03, 2020
Federation has supported TAFE members to gain backpay in excess of $200,000 in 2019 and 2020, with some individual claims exceeding $50,000.
Education at the core of jobs-led virus recoveryJuly 25, 2020
More than a million secure jobs would flow into the Australian workplace under a comprehensive five-point economic reconstruction plan developed by the ACTU to steer the nation through a COVID-10 recovery.
Edtech and COVID-19July 28, 2020
Almost as insidious as the disease itself, multinational corporations, international coalitions and education technology businesses have seized the opportunity of the COVID-19 disruption to extend their tentacles into public education systems.
Experts discuss crisis recoveryJuly 27, 2020
The requirement for remote, or online, learning during the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the public education system in Australia to opportunistic edtech companies that have been waiting in the wings.
Indigenous COVID-19 resourceAugust 06, 2020
As the COVID-19 pandemic increased concerns about the disruption to Aboriginal students’ studies, Indigenous educators developed an online resource for teachers to help re-engage Aboriginal students with school.
Investment needed to avoid Closing the Gap failuresAugust 09, 2020
Education is at the centre of three of the 16 new targets for the National Agreement for Closing the Gap, announced by the Morrison Government.
Black lives and what really mattersJune 10, 2020
“We shouldn’t be importing the things that are happening overseas to Australia.” Such was Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s response to a question about a Black Lives Matter protest march in Sydney on 2 June.
From the Heart: What you can doAugust 22, 2020
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is a profound call from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples for constitutional change and structural reform in their relationship with Australia
Association spotlight: Batemans Bay Teachers' AssociationAugust 04, 2020
The immediate area of Batemans Bay, which is part of the Eurobodalla Shire with an overall population estimated in excess of 37,000, only has approximately 1500 residents.
ARTEXPRESS reimagined due to COVID-19August 10, 2020
The show must go on, as they say, and despite COVID closures, Artexpress has followed the rest of the creative world online.
Art teachers draw inspiration in crisisAugust 29, 2020
As classes shifted online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, visual arts teachers faced additional challenges in the pursuit of curriculum continuity for their students.
New name for super fund raises awarenessAugust 09, 2020
With an announcement of its renewed commitment to the environment, First State Super has also revealed a new name, Aware Super.
Young People from Refugee and Migrant Backgrounds with DisabilitiesAugust 20, 2020
What are the main issues and concerns raised by young CALD people living with a disability?
Effects of pandemic hit refugee students mostAugust 25, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost every country around the world.
Program helps schools SOAR above racismAugust 27, 2020
The results of a pilot program to mitigate racism in schools found it gave students the confidence and knowledge to intervene to address racist behaviour.
Report reveals funding crisis for public schoolsAugust 16, 2020
New analysis of ACARA data shows the funding gap between public and private schools has widened under the Morrison Government’s funding legislation and special deals for private schools.
Action gave way to actionAugust 22, 2020
The findings of the Vinson Inquiry handed down in 2002 had far-reaching effects for NSW teachers.
Public education: Building great Australian livesJuly 24, 2020
Becoming an actor was an unlikely career path for a young Deborah Mailman growing up in the north-western Queensland mining town of Mt Isa.
Online safetyAugust 12, 2020
International research has identified that women and girls are subjected to very high levels of online abuse simply because they are women.
Unite to advance professionAugust 27, 2019
Reach deep into your school and TAFE communities to build new relationships with the female colleagues in your workplace and strengthen those relationships that you already have, Federation Senior Vice President Amber Flohm told members participating in the union’s virtual Women’s Conference on 22 August.
Passionate allies connect to make a difference in the worldAugust 14, 2020
Federation colleagues with an interest in unity, climate, habitat and global affairs can join with members who have similar concerns via the union’s Peace, Environment and International Issues Special Interest Group.
New SIG to provide supportive network about sports educationAugust 07, 2020
Despite mandated hours for physical activity in public schools and a strong research base highlighting the importance of student involvement in physical activity, sport in schools is largely being left up to individual teachers to ensure its effective implementation.
Your say: Learn from our First PeoplesAugust 26, 2020
This is an appeal to good Australians; people with good hearts and open minds who want a better future for our children and grandchildren.
Vale Allan TerryMay 15, 2020
Allan Terry was a proud Life Member of Federation. He died unexpectedly on 3rd May after a long illness.
Global education industry capitalises on pandemic crisisAugust 07, 2020
Education International has launched ground-breaking new research that maps the extent of private actors’ influence in education since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Philippines: State’s terror campaign against teachers must stopAugust 01, 2020
Philippines’ Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) has denounced the harassment of regional secretary of the union and public elementary school teacher Maria Cristy Borbe by military personnel.
Ukraine: Anti-worker legislation delayed following protestsJuly 11, 2020
In a series of warning protests on 30 June, trade unions from all sectors, including education, mobilised against proposed changes in labour law violating freedom of association, the right to organise, and the right to collective bargaining.
Webinar programJuly 31, 2020
Federation developed a program of free professional development courses specifically for casual and temporary members, which the union had planned to deliver face-to-face during 2020.
Film reviewsAugust 16, 2020
23 Walks, Hope Gap, The King of Staten Island, Le Mystere Henri Pick, La Belle Epoque and Nous finirons ensemble
Book reviewsAugust 14, 2020
The Hollow Tree, Booms, Busts & Bushfires and Who’s Minding the Farm
Theatre reviewsAugust 13, 2020
When the pandemic began, I knew I would miss my regular trips to Sydney to catch the theatre and occasional movies on the big screen and meals with friends.
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