TAFE & Adult Provision The heat is on in TAFE

  • By Justin Mullaly
  • This article was published more than 1 year ago.
  • 22 Mar 2023

Every union member needs to get active in the campaign for a new agreement by turning up the heat on the Andrews state government. Having all members participating will create the collective power needed to get the improvements you and your colleagues want.

Turning up the heat means working together at your campus, across your TAFE, and in unison with your colleagues around the state. Increasing your power means not thinking someone else is going to take action for you but standing together to create change.

Turning up the heat means asking potential members to join the union. The reasons you are a member – collective power and protection – are the reasons why your colleagues must join too. As we build our campaign, it is not good enough for non-members to get a free ride on the back of your efforts and commitment 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.

Agreement negotiations

Negotiations for a new Victorian TAFE Teaching Staff Agreement have continued since January, with weekly four-hour meetings with the Victorian TAFE Association (which formally represents the TAFE Institutes).

The key issues identified by members through the AEU log of claims are central to our negotiations. 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 others.

Salaries, workload and teacher shortages

It is critical that our campaign puts pressure on the Andrews government to provide the funding needed to address excessive workload and to lift salaries across our TAFEs. The government’s current wage offer, under the Public Sector Wages Policy, is limited to 1.5%, which is completely unacceptable. 

At this stage, the government has no solutions to address excessive workloads. Workloads have been exacerbated by the chronic shortage of teachers, resulting in existing employees carrying an extra load on top of what was already too much.

The pressure that members were able to exercise on the government ahead of the Victorian state election delivered the interim 2% salary increase late last year. This increase was important, allowing us to continue negotiating for a better longer term agreement.

Campaigning on your campus and in your community 

AEU organisers and leadership will be on campuses holding meetings to report on the negotiations and to talk about how you and your colleagues can get active in the campaign. We will discuss what those actions will involve, and ways to put pressure on your local state government Labor MP.

Building union membership is the essential ingredient to winning better salaries and conditions. Ask your non-member colleagues to join the union so that they can stand with you and campaign for a better working life. 

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