The Victorian TAFE Teaching Staff Agreement (commonly known as the MEA) nominally expires in October 2022, with all standalone TAFE institutes committed to commence negotiations for a replacement agreement no later than 11 April 2022.
AEU members achieved a lot through the current agreement, including a 23.7% pay increase over four years, an ongoing limit of 30 hours a week and 42 weeks per year of required attendance, improvements for many through structured workplans, and conversion for hundreds of members from insecure casual employment to more permanent employment.
However, there is much still to improve. We need to address the way ‘in class’ assessment is allocated in workplans, deliver more permanent employment for members, manage work intensification and excessive workloads, not to mention win salary increases that reflect the value of TAFE teachers.
From the start of 2022 we will be working with members to develop our log of claims, which will build on the current agreement and propose new clauses to address our key issues. Every member will have an opportunity to be involved and have their say.
Developing a log of claims is just the start of our campaign by members to get actively involved in addressing the issues that affect them. When every member who is individually affected by a common issue works collectively with other members, then together we have the power to improve our working lives.
A new TAFE agreement that addresses members’ issues will only be achieved through a similarly active and coordinated union campaign
We are currently campaigning for a new agreement for members in public schools. A key component has been supporting active members to work together in local campaign hubs to involve as many members as possible across the state in putting pressure on the state government.
Tens of thousands of members in schools have participated in campaign activities aimed at highlighting the problems that need to be addressed in their agreement, and the consequences of not doing so.
Through the hubs, active members have banded together at the local level – participating in activist training, lobbying MPs, writing letters to local politicians and the Education Minister, and recruitment activities – resulting in many hundreds of new AEU members.
A new TAFE agreement that addresses members’ issues will only be achieved through a similarly active and coordinated union campaign. Together, we need to take up the fight.