As next year approaches, the AEU has been turning its attention to our organisational planning goals. We are currently working on a three-year plan that will win better lives for members, grow the union’s power and negotiate agreements to improve conditions across all our sectors.
We’ll be focusing on winning better lives for members through extending organising rights to include better rights around enforcement, extending rights for paid time for delegate work and raising our professional voice, ensuring that our members are rightly respected as experts in education.
To do this, we need to grow AEU power. We want to have 55,000 members in the next three years. That means we need to recruit graduate teachers coming in to the system each year. We also need to activate and train existing reps and members in all workplaces in order to recruit at the local level.
In the schools sector, we will be focused on the log of claims and beginning negotiations for a new agreement, with a continued focus on workload and conditions. We’ll be fighting to improve job security, to increase principal and teacher salaries, and to increase the ES standard of living by boosting their wages. We’ll also be seeking clauses that provide paid time for delegate work.
We’ll be continuing our campaign for Fair Funding Now! in the face of a federal government whose focus remains on the private and Catholic sectors.
We’ll be continuing our campaign for Fair Funding Now! in the face of a federal government whose focus remains on the private and Catholic sectors. We aim to grow our membership in the schools sector over the next three years and develop those members to be leaders and activists to drive AEU campaigns and actions at the local, regional, state and national level.
In the TAFE sector, workload will also be a prime focus. We are seeing increased pressure on teachers’ workloads due to staff shortages, shaving of hours, Free TAFE and removal of selection processes. Teachers are expected to increase their teaching hours and reduce their planning and preparation time. They are also expected to provide support to students out of working hours.
This is adding to the challenge of attracting new teachers to TAFE. We need to build our power to ensure that all TAFEs implement the new agreement appropriately. All this will require us to cultivate new member leaders and organisers.
For disability, we’ll be utilising HSRs within the disability sector to build power and solidarity. In doing this we can develop networks and communities of practice to support each other and build awareness and action on workplace violence.
In early childhood, we want to achieve 100% pay parity with teacher members under the VECTEA/EEEA compared with teachers on the VGSA2017, at each point of the classification structure. We want to reduce the pay gap between educators and education support staff in schools by a minimum of 5% per annum. We also want to achieve clauses that address workload, including time for educational leaders, nominated supervisors, mentoring (for graduates and mentors), professional development and professional practice days for educators, and general workload relief for all teachers.
We will be looking to secure rights for paid time for delegate work and ensuring that wins from benchmark agreements flow on to negotiations for separate EBAs in local governments and other workplaces.
And, of course, we’ll win the Preschool Funding Now campaign to ensure ongoing federal funding for four-year-old preschool.
Broadly, we hope to:
- empower member leaders and build member agency by giving members the education, support and authority to organise and exercise collective power around local issues
- resource and support the development of local member leaders and worksite strength to enforce rights locally that have been won collectively
- build solidarity between leaders across sectors and regions by networking with member leaders to organise public support to pressure political targets in support of bargaining demands
- use bargaining in our key sectors to win outcomes, as well as build solidarity through collective action
- leverage strategic alliances and positive political relationships
- provide professional and industrial support for individual members whose issues cannot be solved collectively
If the AEU can do this, we can win clauses and agreements that improve members workplaces and lives, and maintain and improve a strong, well-resourced public education system.