Schools Valuing the work of Education Support staff

  • By Kathryn Lewis
  • This article was published more than 2 years ago.
  • 6 Apr 2022

It was an early start to the school year for some ES, due to the longer than usual December/January term break. Hopefully this will be the last time we face this issue, after achieving a common start date for teachers and ES in the proposed VGSA 2022.

This is just one of the many positive changes for education support staff in the proposed VGSA. The agreement also delivers salary increases and beneficial adjustments to the ES classification structure; revised Dimensions of Work; important changes to time in lieu and allowances; training for managing challenging and complex behaviours; and the provision of laptops. See for more.

ESP Day on 16 May

This year, Education Support Personnel (ESP) Day 2022 is Monday 16 May. ESP Day is a chance to showcase the essential work of ES in schools across the world – and highlight the need for improved working conditions. Traditionally, ES roles have been treated as ‘women’s work’ or ‘caring work’ and have been embarrassingly underpaid.

The in-principle VGSA goes a long way towards addressing this, with significant salary increases for our lowest paid ES members. We will continue to press the case for better recognition for the complex work undertaken by support staff in our schools.

Once again, in the lead up to ESP Day, we will be running a series of informative webinars to shine a spotlight on ES entitlements. This year’s focus will be the ES Dimensions of Work. We are working with members to ensure their work is correctly classified and their salaries reflect that work’s value.

ESP Day is more than a morning tea – but morning teas and other forms of recognition are also super important. Now is the time for sub-branches to think about how you will recognise ESP Day and the extraordinary contribution ES staff make to your schools and the union. Make sure ESP Day is on your school’s calendar!

ES reps in sub-branch

Having an ES rep in your sub-branch helps make sure your ES members receive their entitlements under the VGSA. If you already have an ES rep, make sure you give them your support and encouragement.

If you don’t have an ES rep, discuss this with your existing sub-branch reps and consider introducing this important role. If you would like more advice, email me at [email protected]. 

If you are an ES rep, we appreciate your contributions, both big and small, towards ensuring your colleagues have a strong voice in the workplace.

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