TAFE & Adult Provision Union win at Box Hill

Teachers employed to deliver AMEP programs in Victorian TAFEs have had an ongoing issue with their TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) qualifications not being recognised as meeting the requirements of an approved qualification under Schedule 4 of the Victorian TAFE Teaching Staff Agreement 2018. This has largely been due to a dodgy decision made by the Victorian TAFE Association (VTA) Qualification Committee during a review of adult education qualifications.

This decision has meant that most TAFEs that deliver AMEP programs have only recognised a TAE Certificate IV as an approved qualification for the purpose of salary classification for AMEP teachers and have placed these teachers at level 1, despite having higher qualifications. 

While most AMEP teachers are being paid an above-agreement payment to bring them up to a higher salary, this practice has limited a teacher’s ability to move through the salary progression increments and to access any increases, such as the 2% administrative adjustment that the AEU negotiated for all teachers last year.

This decision is a big win for AMEP teachers at Box Hill.

The Box Hill Institute AEU sub-branch has raised these issues with the HR department through the MEA Implementation Group, highlighting how this decision disadvantaged AMEP teachers not only financially but also professionally when compared to vocational teachers in other areas.

After several meetings, Box Hill Institute has agreed to recognise qualifications required to teach the EAL curriculum as satisfying the requirements of Schedule 4 for teachers in non-vocational education.

This means AMEP teachers at Box Hill Institute will now have their commencement classification updated, with most teachers being placed at level 3, with the adjustment applied from the start of their employment. Any progression through the levels 3.1 to 3.4 pay scale that a teacher may be entitled to will also be backdated, and any future progression increments will be paid on the anniversary of the teacher’s employment start date.

This decision is a big win for AMEP teachers at Box Hill. They are now being paid at the same level as their fellow teachers in other vocational areas, with the same AQF level qualifications and the ability to access future pay increases. Just one example of why it pays to be in the union!

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