When the move to remote learning was first raised in early March, the impact on casual relief teachers and casual ES – and how the Department of Education and Training might support them – was a significant part of the conversation.
The AEU advocated for a system that would recognise the importance of casual workers by maintaining their earnings and their connection with schools. In our view, the buttressing of members’ wellbeing by maintaining those positive relationships and providing work opportunities is just as important as the monetary support.
The arrangement we have reached ensures that eligible casuals are able to earn wages that are comparable to what they earned this time last year. Our discussions with DET have encompassed the impact on school budgets of covering this cost along with other system-wide COVID-19 responses. However, the clear message that this arrangement sends is that our CRTs and casual ES members are integral to the smooth running of our schools.
We need to ensure they are continually engaged in Victoria’s public education system, so that when schools return to on-site learning they are ready and able to continue their role in delivering a full educational program.