Schools ES network: Making the VGSA work for you

  • By Kate Aitken
  • This article was published more than 1 year ago.
  • 3 Apr 2023

This term has been all about embedding the Victorian Government Schools Agreement (VGSA) 2022 and making sure that the Long Term Planning Documents developed in Term 4 of last year are operational and that ES are seeing the benefits for the VGSA in their everyday working lives. 

Now, more than ever, it is important for ES to be actively involved in their sub-branches and to ensure they are informed and can actively contribute to discussions about their working conditions and make the most out of what is the best Schools Agreement for ES to date! 

To be well informed and ensure you understand the VGSA 2022, it’s important to regularly meet and work with other AEU members at your school. It’s also beneficial to attend your regular AEU regional meetings. These are a great place to chat with like-minded colleagues who share the same values around public education and wanting the best outcomes for their students and school communities. Find the details of your AEU regional meeting at aeuvic.asn.au/regional. 

Each workplace agreement builds on the last, and much depends on what you – the members – put into your ‘log of claims’ (the document that sets out what you want to see in your next VGSA). As you work together to implement the current agreement, ideas emerge about what you want in the next one. 

Negotiating and implementing agreements is constant and ongoing work. As union members, we are constantly looking for ways to make our workplaces better. It’s much easier to do this collectively as a sub-branch. 

Re-focus on ESP Day 2023

The main purpose of Education Support Personnel (ESP) Day is for AEU sub-branches (teachers, ES and principal class members) to run ESP Day events in schools, focused on recruiting, empowering and activating ES at the local level.

ES members’ role is to get behind the events and encourage their non-member colleagues to attend and to join the AEU. ESP Day is more than a morning tea once a year – it is about ensuring ES have access to their entitlements all year round. We can have our cake and our entitlements too! 

On 16 May, we will be holding a webinar between 3.15pm and 5pm – that’s on ESP Day. So, pop that date in your calendar now. 

On 15 and 17 May, we will be running two face-to-face training days titled ‘Union ES get it done’, directed at new and emerging ES AEU reps. This is for members who want to understand the VGSA better, and how to help themselves and their ES colleagues access their full entitlements. 

If you have already done some training with the AEU and would like to do more, we have something for you also – a special invitation-only training session titled ‘Make the most of your ESP Day’ will be held at the AEU on 30 March. This is for experienced and/or trained ES reps who want to get on the front foot and support their AEU sub-branches (i.e. teachers, ES and principal members) to run ESP Day events. We’d love to see you there! 

Together, we can empower ES members to get the recognition they so deserve.

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