Created on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 11:50 Written by David Kelly
UPDATE ON WAIRC
The parties returned to the WAIRC on Monday 5 October 1009 to report back to Commissioner Harrison.
Harrison was very clear about the need for the parties to have established clear ‘terms of reference’ for the DET-SSTU IPS Reference Group arising out of the WAIRC application by the Union.
Harrison has set down a respond date for the ‘terms of reference’ to be tabled to the WAIRC and a scheduled for further report backs. She has invited the parties to return earlier should matters require her intervention.
UNION COMMUNICATION TO BRANCHES
The SSTUWA will continue to be engaged in two levels of on-going consultation with regard to the Independent Public Schools implemenation. This includes:
This group is chaired by the Director General. It includes representatives from the LMHU, CPSU, SSTUWA, WACSSO, WADHSAA, WAESPAA, WAPPA, WASSEA, various DET Executive Directors and the Deputy Director General, Finance and Administration. Its brief is to raise issues and provide advice to the Director General on matters associated with the implementation of the Independent Public Schools Policy.
A DET-SSTUWA group to enable the SSTU to bring directly to DET’s attention issues impacting on members. Regular report backs to the WAIRC will occur from the work of this group.
It is evident that the Barnett Government has the intention to expand the IPS program. The IPS program reflects an ideology driven by “choice”. Just in the name one reads inferences which play to the insecurities of a community which does not have strong messaging from government that public provision of education is valued and valuable, that it will fully and appropriately resource education delivery in government schools.
The Union makes it clear that it will continue to take a position opposing the introduction and expansion of the IPS program. At the same time Union commits to supporting and working with members in the nominated schools, those staying on and those seeking to move out of the schools.
The Union’s positioning against the creation of a “system within a system” is not a knee jerk response. It is a well thought out and principled position. It is a position based on a view that the Western Australia community must continue to have provided a quality public education system. It is based on the clear evidence from international experience and research that the splitting off of schools from within the system, commonly known as Charter Schools, does not at the end of the day benefit students and community objectives.
Broadly, the Union has concerns about the IPS program on two fronts:
The Union continues to bring to the attention of the community and government that there is an element of ‘smoke & mirrors’ in how the program is being promoted. The notion that schools can cater to the needs of students and the local context – What do we do now? The notions that schools can select their own staff – That’s funny, I thought we had the option of local selection? The notion that we can shed unnecessary bureaucratic burdens – Well, we’ll all have some of that! And it goes on.
As well as keeping a direct line of communication open with the IPS, it is the intention of the Union to keep the Independent Public Schools Communication brochure going. It is also the intention of the Union to monitor closely activities ‘on the ground’ and to respond as appropriate. For this to occur to its greatest effect, we will be depending on the members in the IPS.
Key issues which have been identified to date include:
Many other queries have been raised by members ... thank you for your feedback.