This is a big year for TAFE members, with negotiations for a new Victorian TAFE Teaching Staff Agreement now well underway. Union representatives are participating in weekly four-hour meetings with the Victorian TAFE Association (which formally represents the TAFE institutes) to discuss the key issues identified by members through the AEU log of claims.
These include measures to address excessive workload, conversion to ongoing employment, salary increases, arrangements for assessment and teaching, leave and attendance, classifications and qualifications, excess teaching duty hours, and trade union rights, among many other matters.
It is critical that our campaign puts pressure on the Andrews government to provide the funding needed to address excessive workloads and to lift salaries across our TAFE sector. At this stage, the government has no solutions to address workloads and its current wage offer is limited to 1.5% under the public sector wages policy.
Now is the time for TAFE members to turn up the heat on the Andrews state government.
The pressure that members were able to exercise on the government ahead of the state election delivered the interim 2% salary increase late last year. This allowed us to continue negotiating for a better longer-term agreement. Chronic staff shortages mean existing employees are now carrying an extra load on top of already excessive workloads.
Now is the time for members to get active in the campaign for a new agreement by turning up the heat on the Andrews state government. Achieving the improvements that our TAFE members need means standing together, acting in unison with as many colleagues as possible. Strength in numbers in every TAFE institute, and across Victoria, is key to building the power to make the positive changes you need in your workplace.
AEU organisers and leadership will be holding meetings on campuses around the state to report on the negotiations and to talk about how you and your colleagues can get active in the campaign.
As we build our campaign, it is not good enough for non-members to get a free ride on the back of your efforts towards a better deal for all. Ask a colleague to join today. Explain what’s at stake, and why it’s only as a unified force that we can win better pay and conditions for TAFE teachers. When you invite colleagues to join the AEU, you help build agency and power in your workplace.