Schools Major wins for ES members in new VGSA
Re-writing the Dimensions of Work to accurately describe the invaluable contribution of our ES members – and ensure that those duties identified fall within the correct ranges for salary progression – was a major focus for the AEU when negotiating the new Victorian Government Schools Agreement.
The new agreement, currently before the Fair Work Commission, does exactly that. It contains many changes to the Dimensions of Work that will improve conditions for ES members. Given this major overhaul, the implementation process will require each member to work closely with their sub-branch to navigate the new conditions and to ensure that they are receiving all the benefits that come with having their work correctly classified.
We will be supporting all ES members to review their position descriptions, reaffirm what their day-to-day duties actually are, and make sure this information is captured in the new Dimensions of Work. Sub-branches can undertake this task with all of their ES members – though some schools may decide to form a Consultative Committee sub-committee to undertake this review.
To support this important work, we will be developing tools such as the Work Value Assessment, some handy sample positions to check against, and guidance on how those positions align to the new Dimensions.
All ES members have the opportunity to seek a range review if they believe their role and duties equate to a higher salary range.
Your local AEU organiser is available to assist your sub-branch or school Consultative Committee with this work, and individual members can also reach out to our Member Support Centre officers, who will be able to take members through the benefits associated with these changes.
All ES members have the opportunity to seek a range review if they believe their role and duties equate to a higher salary range. There are many nuanced changes in the new agreement that could lead to a necessary range review, but the process for seeking a review has not altered.
If any ES member feels their duties should sit at a higher level, they should assess them against the Dimensions of Work. They are then entitled to write to their principal seeking a range review. The principal must respond in writing within 28 days. If the range review is not approved, the AEU can assess whether there is a case for pursuing the matter further.
Our Member Support Centre officers can assist members through every step of the range review process.
In the lead up to negotiating the new VGSA, ES members pushed hard for the agreement to reference qualifications, and to make sure there is sufficient recognition for members who obtain further skills and training.
The new agreement refers to the Australian Qualifications Framework for the first time. This allows qualifications to be recognised when determining classification levels and commencement salaries, which is a considerable win.
Including qualifications in the Dimensions of Work is an important first step in recognising the skills and training of ES members. We will continue to work with members to ensure they are classified correctly this year and into the future, guaranteeing that qualifications play a fair role in determining salary progression.