Schools VGSA 2022: Your guide to the ratification process
We have an in-principle Victorian Government Schools Agreement (VGSA). That means it’s time for members to take a close look at the deal, attend their school’s sub-branch meeting, and be ready for the sub-branch to case its vote on the in-principle VGSA at a ratification meeting.
How did we get there?
After 18 months of campaigning, extensive negotiations and strong industrial action by members, AEU Victoria has reached an in-principle agreement with the state government for a new VGSA. The Joint Primary and Secondary Sector Council considered the in-principle agreement on 4 February and voted unanimously to endorse it.
What’s the VGSA again?
The VGSA determines the pay and conditions for principals, assistant principals, teachers, education support staff and paraprofessionals employed in schools by the Department of Education. You can read more about the ‘ABCs of an industrial agreement’ here.
Where do I find out more about new deal?
Email updates and a printed newsletter have been sent out to AEU members in schools. Members can also find out more about the in-principle Agreement on the AEU Victoria website.
Is there anything I should do?
Most importantly, make sure you are a financial member of the AEU and that your details are up to date. That way, you will receive all the information you need to take part in the sub-branch ratification process.
What is the ‘ratification’ process?
Once an ‘in-principle’ agreement is reached – and approved by Joint Primary and Secondary Sector Council. The council also endorses a ratification to enable members to have their say. Every sub-branch can send a representative number of delegates to a ratification meeting to hear a report on the in-principle agreement and to cast a vote based on the decision of their sub-branch. More here.
How many delegates do we get?
The delegate entitlement for voting will be one delegate for every 20 financial members (or part thereof) in the sub-branch – this will be confirmed via email. One delegate will be appointed by each sub-branch to cast their sub-branch vote(s) at one ratification meeting only. The requisite number of voting cards for each sub-branch will be provided to delegates at their ratification meeting.
When will this happen?
The AEU will be holding ratification meetings across the state over three weeks, starting 28 February. Members and sub-branches will be provided with further information about the process, including the meeting timetable. You can find the meeting timetable here.
What happens at the end of the ratification process?
The votes are tallied. If a majority is in favour, the employer (the Department of Education) will conduct a ballot of all employees covered by the agreement; if against, the process starts again. The VGSA will be finalised when a majority vote in favour.
When will the new agreement come into effect?
If a majority of employees vote in support of the proposed agreement, it proceeds to the Fair Work Commission for final approval. The VGSA 2022 will come into effect seven days after approval, with the improvements to pay and working conditions then flowing to members.