Schools ES consultation is essential

  • By Kathryn Lewis
  • This article was published more than 3 years ago.
  • 15 Sep 2020

The fast-changing nature of the COVID-19 crisis makes good consultation essential for ES staff.

Consultation

The fast-changing nature of the COVID-19 crisis makes good consultation essential. We have been encouraged to hear many sub-branches and consultative committees are meeting online weekly or more when required. 

The most effective sub-branches meet online before the consultation committee so that the AEU reps can relay ideas and concerns for consultation. I am thankful we have been encouraging sub-branches to have ES reps, as their role has been vital during this crisis, ensuring ES staff are consulted and their entitlements considered.

Each year prior to 1 September, schools review their consultative arrangements. So, if you have been concerned about the effectiveness of your consultation, now is the time to consider how it can be improved. ES staff must be part of the review so they have confidence in their representation on the consultative committee. 

Many schools have ES representation on the consultative committee (CC) and the sub-branch. The CC ES rep speaks on behalf of ES staff; the sub-branch ES rep focuses on ensuring ES are afforded their entitlements under the VGSA 2017. Sometimes the sub-branch and CC rep are the same person, sometimes not; what’s crucial is having ES representation at all CC and sub-branch meetings.

Consultative committees will currently be planning for 2021, outlining the ES workforce plan, regulating workload, ensuring ES are provided with time to participate in the PDP, and putting TIL procedures in place. Keep an eye out for the AEU online consultation webinars and training.

The spin-off from the ESP Day campaign has been many positive changes and improvements to ES working life, even during a pandemic.

ESP Day

Our ESP Day campaign for 2020 was one of our most successful to date, with more members than ever taking part in our series of online meetings focused on ES entitlements. The spin-off from the campaign has been many positive changes and improvements to ES working life, even during a pandemic. Thank you to all the members involved. It was a worthwhile campaign, with many new union activists emerging.

Dimensions of work

The department and the AEU working party has continued to meet and work productively throughout Term 2 and 3. If anything, the dramatic changes to how schools are operating during COVID have provided opportunities to highlight the varied and vital roles played by ES staff. If you would like to be involved or know more about our work on ES dimensions of work, email me at [email protected].

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