TAFE & Adult Provision TAFE teachers need a Single Interest Agreement for better salary, workload and conditions

  • By Meredith Peace
  • This article was published more than 9 months ago.
  • 21 Jul 2023

A few weeks ago, we sent all members working in standalone TAFEs a letter outlining the process to secure a better deal by pursuing a Single Interest Employer Agreement.

The current TAFE agreement limits your ability to take action – and, given the slow pace of negotiations, it seems TAFE employers and the Victorian government are in no hurry to change this!

After 12 months of meetings since negotiations started in June last year, TAFE employers have failed to address key issues of salaries and conditions, let alone the increased challenges faced as a result of workforce shortages. Now, we need to push them to act.

Well done to the huge number of members who have already signed the majority support petition. But we need more!

Prior to commencing negotiations last year, the AEU sought agreement to bargain for a Single Interest Agreement, but the employers refused. The good news is that new federal workplace laws introduced last year provide the powers to change this. These laws mean that, if enough employees want one, they can now force their employers to negotiate this type of agreement.

Well done to the huge number of members who have already signed the majority support petition. But we need more! To get this through, we need a majority of all employees covered by the agreement to sign, including non-members. So please share this petition with all your TAFE teacher colleagues.

This type of agreement can cover all teachers, senior educators and educational managers across all Victorian standalone TAFE institutes.

Members have made it clear that there are a number of key issues that need to be addressed in the next agreement:

Excessive workloads – a reduction of teaching hours, increased preparation time, addressing shaved hours, and in-class assessment to be acknowledged as teaching.

Secure employment – more ongoing full and part-time positions, and improved arrangements for casuals.

Qualifications – recognition for your skills, knowledge and experience, and proper acknowledgment of education and vocational qualifications.

Pay rises – professional respect via improved salaries.

Negotiating a Single Interest Employer Agreement means that members can act collectively to achieve a deal that addresses your key workplace issues and gives you the respect you deserve.

Make sure you sign the petition and encourage others to sign too.

Dual-sector TAFEs

The AEU has or is about to commence bargaining with members at dual-sector universities (Federation University, RMIT, Victoria University, Swinburne University).

Wear red Wednesdays

As part of our agreement campaign, we are urging members in standalone TAFEs to wear red every Wednesday until we get a deal that values your work. Wear red to increase your visibility and show that you are working together to win improvements to your pay and conditions.

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