Each year, elected women delegates from around the country attend the AEU Federal Women’s Conference. This is a fantastic opportunity for women members to hear from a range of guest speakers, become more aware of professional and industrial matters and to build a network within the education community across Australia.
This year, the conference is being held in Canberra in early September. The SSTUWA will be sending a delegation of active women to participate in this event. Women from every sector of our membership are encouraged to apply.
Previous delegates have greatly valued the experience of attending. SSTUWA member Ashleigh Webb said: “I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to attend this event as a representative of the SSTUWA. The two-day program was full of inspiring women speaking about social justice and power to a room packed with unionist women ready to tackle the change.”
Fellow union member and conference attendee Joey Stuart said: “Thank you to the SSTUWA for an amazing, eye-opening opportunity. What a place to be in, so many passionate strong women working together from unions across Australia for us!”
Expressions of interest on becoming a conference delegate are now open, and you can find additional information via future eNews updates or by visiting sstuwa.org.au/womens-focus
Late last year the state government announced the Education Support Initiative, which was designed to attract and retain teachers and administrators at selected education support centres and schools.
Under the initiative, a once-off payment of $5,000 will be made to new and current staff teaching in those schools during 2023.
A quarter of the payment was to be made at the start of employment, with the other 75 per cent to come if staff remained at their education support centre or school until the end of the 2023 school year.
While this attraction and retention initiative was a welcome addition for those teaching in almost 60 education support centres or schools from regional and metropolitan areas, those working in endorsed program schools were not eligible to receive this incentive.
For our members who are working with eligible students in endorsed program schools, I completely understand your anger and disappointment about the apparent unfairness of the decision.
I want to assure those of you who are working in endorsed program schools that we have heard your concerns and have been advocating on your behalf to extend the $5,000 Attraction and Retention Incentive payment to teachers working with eligible students in endorsed program schools.
The SSTUWA has raised this issue with the Department of Education (DoE) throughout Term 1 in a range of formal and informal forums, including the joint Quarterly Education Support Working Group meeting and during Employee Relations Executive Committees.
There has been limited success to date as this initiative is over and above the conditions in the 2021 Schools General Agreement. But we want members to know that we will continue to advocate on their behalf.
Discussions with the DoE and other stakeholders are ongoing with this issue.
By Natalie Blewitt
Senior Vice President