Great news from Minister Jones for Schools members
Yesterday Together delegates Len Falknau, Rikki Strachan (IT Officers) and Nikki Bradford, Sandra Lewis, Megan Seymour, Wendy Shearer (Science Operations Officers) met with Minister Kate Jones along with Together Vice President Sharon Abbott, Secretary Alex Scott and myself.
This meeting was really positive. Minister Jones has been the biggest supporter of Together members roles in our state schools in decades and has delivered the biggest boost in funding.
Len and Rikki raised the issues about needing to make sure the $140 million IT funding announcement goes toward employing IT staff in schools not contractors or other things. We asked the Minister to consider changing the staffing model.
Today we have received these stronger negotiated Frequently Asked Questions and Answers from the department. The FAQs focus on how schools will be audited to make sure this funding is spent correctly and provides important advice about making existing staff permanent in their roles.
Our fantastic SOO representatives told the stories of the complicated and specialist work you are doing to design, deliver and engage students in practical science and experiments. Your delegates talked about how you make an enormous difference to students and their education.
Delegates talked about how these roles are drastically underpaid and under-resourced and how they need to be designated as a separate curriculum resource. We know that this has already been costed during the RoSAS process.
As part of Together's key election commitments, we asked that the Minister to make an election commitment to resource STEM properly.
The Minister was very persuaded by the delegates and said she was supportive. This commitment from Minister Jones is very important and a significant milestone but Minister Jones cannot make this decision alone. We need to secure her the support to keep raising this with her colleagues by going to see other Labor MPs and candidates to ask for their support.
- Would you go and see your local ALP MP or key decision maker to lobby them about STEM staffing and job security? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll organise resources for you.
- Ask your colleagues who are not yet members to join you as a Together member.
- If you are temporary and have been temporary for more than 2 years fill in our survey here.
We have a very important opportunity in the next 6 months to secure real change and a better future for your essential roles in schools.