Important schools update: Your feedback required

Posted on October 26, 2016

It's been a busy start to Term 4 for our union in schools. With big changes coming in 2017 we wanted to update you and ask for your feedback on several key matters.

Therapists in DET

We have commenced a process of asking for better attraction and retention for therapy staff. This is particularly important in the context of the National Disability Insurance Scheme roll-out and current bargaining for Health Practitioners in Queensland Health.

You can see our letter to the Director General here.

The Department are seeking external legal advice about these issues currently. We have received a response outlining this from the Director General just yesterday. Here is the letter.

Administration Officers in Schools

The Together AO2 Network have been working hard and putting forward suggested changes to the AO2/AAEP Position Description that has been recently re-issued. You can see our comments here.

At a meeting on Thursday 20 October the Department agreed with our feedback – which is great news. We have also committed to provide further feedback to the Department about the sorts of duties at the AO2 level and then other duties that are at the AO3 and AO4 level. Please send us your further feedback to schools@together.org.au before the end of the month. 

Many thanks to our delegates Val from Holland Park SS, Rhonda from Western Suburbs Special School, Meghan  from Calamvale Community College, Suzanne, Silvana and Julie from Atherton SHS who have attended these meetings and provided great advocacy.

We are now looking at the PDs for BSMs which include the AO3 BSM role which is the old AO2 in small schools. More on that below.

BSM PD Review - feedback required!

We have received draft Position Descriptions from the Department for BSMs to reflect the change in the staffing model for 2017.

The PDs are here:

Please look at your level and all PDs if you have capacity and send your comments to schools@together.org.au.

The Department intend to finalise these PDs by the end of the year. They are aiming to have a meeting in November and want our feedback prior.

Are you a homestay or International Student Coordinator?

Recently a couple of Home-stay and International Student Co-ordinators have contacted us about their entitlements. Officers are being asked to be on-call 24/7 and their leave is being interrupted to attend to work tasks. 

If you work in this role do you currently receive an on-all allowance? Or other overtime payments for your work outside of hours?

Are you currently paid as an AO3, AO4 or AO2?

 Please let us know at schools@together.org.au as we would like to raise the issue of non-payment of appropriate on-call allowances centrally with the Department.

Science Operations Officers

Members have identified that the "red-circle" payment has not kept pace with current wage rates. Are you receiving a "red-circle" payment? Have you raised issues about the discrepancy?

Would you support us raising this issue at a central level? Please talk to your delegates and email us at schools@together.org.au so that we can progress this issue with the Department.

Did you read the email we sent out last week seeking your input via a questionnaire to fill out and send in?  We've received a number of questionnaires in already which is great.

If you haven't yet done so you can find the email and questionnaire here.

School Officers

We will soon receive the new OO3 Schools officer PDs. We are yet to receive them and as soon as we do we will send them out to members for feedback.

TAFE have committed to offer a Certificate III course for Schools officers and  we have met with the Department about this to ask that they incorporate as much recognition of prior learning as possible. We have asked that they map across the "test and tag" and licenses the members already hold.

Remember if you are doing your certificate III in 2017 your pay-rise to OO3 will be backdated to January 23 2017 once you receive your qualification.

Agricultural Assistants

We have had some information that all CARA documents are currently under review, and once they are approved and ready for release, communication will be sent out to Schools.

We had raised ongoing concerns about student supervision and the need for there to clarity on this issue.  The department have committed to provide this information at the next Agency Consultative Committee meeting which is in November.

FYI – see this DET document on 'Tractor Driving'

IT Officers

The Deputy Director-General has written back to confirm that the new suite of IT PDs is part of the RoSAS outcome. He also outlined however that the new PDs may not be released prior to 2017!

We would like to see action before then so we are going to continue to collect PDs from members and put together our own ideas about what work should be done in each level like we are doing in the administrative areas so that the PDs are drafted correctly in the first instance.

Do you have a position description for a school based tech role?  If so email it through to schools@together.org.au so that we can start collating a suite of PDs to use in our discussions with the department.

Supervision of students

Members have contacted the union office with concerns around being asked to undertake playground duty and supervision of students.

Supervision is not a role that school support staff, other than Teacher Aides, should be undertaking or be required to perform.

This duty is outside of the position descriptions of administration staff, BSMs, schools officers, IT officers and science operation officers, ag assistants  - all staff who identify as public servants - and is not part of your duties or responsibilities.

If you've been asked to undertake playground duty or supervision of students please let us know at schools@together.org.au  and we will look to raise this with the department centrally.

Accumulated days off (ADO)

We have had a number of members contact us about the ability to access their ADO and on what to do with surplus hours they may have at the end of this year. 

We have also been contacted by members who have been advised to amend their current ADO agreement to reduce hours accrued.

You can read more on this entitlement here.

Contact us at 1800 177 244 if you require further assistance with this issue.

Thank you for all you are doing in schools. We'll be in touch again soon!

Connect today
1800 177 244
members@together.org.au
Connect today 1800 177 244 members@together.org.au