Your help is needed to make sure the next Schools Agreement builds positive working conditions for casual relief teachers (CRTs). Although our salaries are not directly covered by the Victorian Government Schools Agreement (VGSA), CRTs are affected by the outcomes. When working casually for a school council, your pay is linked to a pay level in the agreement. Even the number of CRT days a school may need is influenced by the conditions teachers in schools work under.
For example, in the last agreement, the introduction of Professional Practice Days for teachers saw a significant increase in the amount of work available for CRTs. As part of negotiations, the AEU also secured a commitment from the department (DET) to review policies related to the timing and duration of lunch breaks; the scheduled duties of CRTs engaged continuously for more than one week; access to professional development and the Employee Assistance Program; and the provision of relevant equipment and resources for CRTs to undertake their duties.
Negotiations between the government and the AEU over the official set of conditions for school staff begins this year. Before this process starts, members need to decide what they would like it to achieve.
Consider coordinating a meeting of local casual relief teachers so your AEU region can consider the needs of CRTs along with local school-based members.
The AEU is a democratic organisation. Our structures will be the driver for this process. Members’ votes will be used to create the final list of claims, which the AEU will submit to the employer (the Department of Education) in the lead up to bargaining for a new Schools Agreement. This list is called a ‘log of claims’ and gets presented to the department, signalling the start of bargaining.
Over the coming months, the AEU will gather members’ ideas on what would improve a future agreement. These ideas get voted on through regional meetings and passed up to the AEU’s elected state council, which will vote on the final list.
Put forward your ideas and help build the voice of CRTs in this process. Or consider coordinating a meeting of local casual relief teachers so your AEU region can consider the needs of CRTs along with local school-based members.
Please contact me at [email protected] if you would be interested in helping CRTs have a say in the log of claims. I can work with you to contact local members, find a venue and run a meeting. Working together, we can build the best agreement for everyone.