This Campaign is explicitly directed at halting practices in schools which are encouraging and / or directing members to erode conditions in their Agreement and Award and increase workload, in particular:
The SSTUWA Executive at its meeting of 3rd August endorsed a “SAY NO” campaign which is specifically aimed at three areas in which the Department is aggressively pursuing an unwarranted hard line.
These areas are in relation to:
The way that this is being done is by attempting to redefine the school day, say from 8.15 until 4.30. Labour Relations then says that any usable block of time during those hours can be assigned as DOTT. This in turn means that DOTT which may currently be scheduled during student instruction hours can be used for other matters such as student supervision or meeting attendance without the teacher being able to claim loss of DOTT or internal relief - as teachers will have adequate time provided after students have gone home!
The SSTUWA Executive totally rejects any interpretation of either the General Agreement or the Award which purports to justify the position outlined above. The Department’s interpretation is exactly that – an interpretation. There has been no finding or decision from the WAIRC which supports this view. Union members are urged to reject it outright.
The position being peddled by DoE is, in our view, effectively a new claim. At no time during the negotiations did the Department put forward a claim in relation to 38 hours per week on site; nor did it claim that DOTT should be done outside student instruction time. It cannot now, after negotiations have concluded, invent a new set of demands to foist upon teachers.
We know full well that if DoE pushes forward with this hard line approach it will further erode goodwill in the system and in individual schools.
The SAY NO campaign is saying no to these attempts to destroy goodwill by treating teachers as operatives rather than professionals. The SAY NO campaign is a campaign for common sense and the rejection of a mindset of compliance. It is unanimously supported by Executive, including those members of the Executive who are also school principals.
We seek your support, and the support of every member, in this critical campaign.
Many of us remember the level of goodwill that existed in our system and schools before the hard line that occurred in 1995. Goodwill is what keeps our schools moving forward – a degree of give and take that gets us through the unplanned bumps of daily practice; goodwill which was severely damaged by the hardline approach of the Department in ‘95.
We are about to get another dose of this – what we know is, where hardline positions are put by the employer, teachers will hold their line and the potential is that schools will lose out.
Labour Relations in the Department is pushing a new hard line on work hours on site, with a view that says that teachers should be on site for 38 hours per week. This is an interpretation from Labour Relations only – it is not a finding or ruling of the WAIRC; nor is it a requirement of the Award or General Agreement.
Labour Relations is also saying that DOTT can be done after school finishes and children have gone home; as well as that, schools are being told that the five hours of meetings in Clause 9 is in addition to the two hours of Staff Meetings, which was in the previous agreement!
This, at a time when the government is promoting flexibility, independence and ‘one size does not fit all’ is hypocritical in the extreme. The idea of teachers all staying on site to a specified time makes no sense; it is simply dysfunctional. Professional people should be treated as professionals – if they aren’t, they will react and they will withdraw their goodwill.
School Programs and the outcomes of children’s development are the measures of progress in the system – NOT that all teachers stay onsite until 4 or 4.30pm. Teachers have footy teams to coach, network meetings to attend, elderly parents to shop for, kids to pick up; some start early, some work at home late – after their kids have gone to bed and some stay late at school.
As DoE pushes forward with its hard line approach to the use of teacher time it will further erode goodwill in the system and in individual schools.
The SAY NO campaign is saying no to further attempts to destroy goodwill by treating teachers as operatives rather than professionals. The SAY NO campaign is a campaign for common sense and the rejection of a mindset of compliance. It is unanimously supported by Executive, including those members of the Executive who are also school principals.
We seek your support in this campaign.