Prioritising you on World Teachers' Day

28/10/2021
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This World Teachers’ Day - Friday 29 October - the SSTUWA will be promoting public educator well-being amongst its members.

The most recent SSTUWA State of our Schools survey revealed that four out of five teacher respondents had considered leaving the profession in the past four years, citing factors such as workload and concerns for their health and well-being.

Tackling workload issues is a key focus in the 2021 General Agreement negotiations. Please watch out for campaign materials and actions coming through including the following:

Actions on World Teachers’ Day, Friday 29 October

Attend the staffroom during lunchtime

We are asking all members to attend the staffroom and to encourage their colleagues to do the same this World Teachers’ Day, 29 October. Reclaim the staffroom for teacher use to take a breather and connect with your colleagues as we put the spotlight on teacher well-being and the need for a proper break on World Teachers’ Day and beyond.

Bring in food to share

Your branch has access to capitation funds that you can use to cater for activities such as these. Your rep can access these funds by contacting the SSTUWA. They should get in touch by 13 October so the funds arrive in time.

Take photos of members enjoying their staffrooms and taking a break on World Teachers’ Day. Post them on social media with #SSTUWA and email them to us at editor@sstuwa.org.au These will be used in our workload reduction campaign.

Decorate your staffroom with our workload reduction posters

We have workload reduction posters accompanying this issue of Western Teacher that you can put up around your staffrooms and office areas to promote awareness of how damaging excessive workload can be and what can be done to help achieve educator well-being.

Connect with colleagues

Being busy all the time will lead to burnout and reduced productivity. Research has shown that taking breaks, both physical and mental, can be a boost. Move away from your desk or work area and get some fresh air on the walk over to the staffroom. Connect with your colleagues and have a chat. You can talk to them about our EBA, as well as the Give the Cap the Boot campaign, or encourage them to be part of the union.

Teacher well-being

We encourage members to continue taking their breaks together when possible and not to work during their lunch breaks beyond 29 October. In larger schools where accessing the staffroom is not possible every single day, members are encouraged to at least move away from their desks and eat together at the staff table in kitchenettes.

Where possible, do what you can to limit the amount of work that you take home. Resist the urge to check work emails out of hours and if necessary, have work emails removed from your phone.

Choose a decent time to leave work each day and try not to arrive at work too early.

We know that public educators are dedicated to their students and work and it may be hard to do the above. But if you are able to reduce workload where you can, it will boost your well-being long-term.

It is okay to take regular breaks and to say no to extra work. Bring up workload at union branch meetings. Access the Employee Assistance Program where you see fit.