TAFE & Adult Provision TAFE agreement negotiations underway

TAFE members have launched their campaign for a better workplace agreement.

Negotiations for a new TAFE teacher agreement have begun, after a delay by TAFEs and the Andrews government meant that meetings only commenced in mid-June – two months late.

Following member meetings at TAFEs around the state in February and March, the AEU TAFE and Adult Provision Council (made up of elected TAFE teacher members) endorsed the union’s log of claims that was served on the Victorian TAFE Association (VTA) in early April. The VTA is acting as a bargaining representative for the TAFE institutes.

The log outlines members’ claims to improve the agreement, including excessive workload, conversion to ongoing employment, salary increases, assessment and teaching arrangements, leave and attendance, classifications and qualifications, excess teaching duty hours, and trade union rights.

Teachers were provided a Notice of Employee Representational Rights (NERR) in early June. The NERR is required by the Fair Work Act, and provides information about bargaining. Members do not need to respond; the AEU is their representative.

The AEU negotiation team is led by Elaine Gillespie and myself. TAFEs are represented by the VTA, including an industrial advocate; DET are also present.

Given the excessive workload and teacher shortage issues, the agreement is an opportunity for the Andrews government to invest in teachers.

TAFE agreement campaign

Given the excessive workload and teacher shortage issues, the agreement is an opportunity for the Andrews government to invest in teachers.

But the early signs are not good. The government’s public sector wages policy sets the standard salary increase at 1.5% per year, with teacher shortages not appearing on the government’s horizon.

Campaign action

By talking to your colleagues about the campaign and by taking the petition to your TAFE CEO, you can directly contribute. Please see AEU emails about the actions. You can influence the negotiations by ensuring members in your department sign the petition. Better still, you can build union power by talking to potential members and asking them to sign the petition and join our union.

We need strength in numbers to build momentum, and put pressure on TAFE management and Premier Andrews to win a new agreement that ‘saves TAFE’.

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