Schools News - November 18th

Posted on November 18, 2016

Your Together delegates have been working very hard this Term trying to make the additional funding injection for school support staff next year happen in a sensible way.

Unfortunately we know that there is some bad advice circulating and we need to correct the record. It is an absolutely important time for you to get in touch and to clarify advice in writing so we can escalate things with regional office and central office. 

In 2017 there will be an additional funding injection for school support staff and we need it to flow through to you all. 

Read on for the next steps and updates for some membership groups where meetings have been held in the last month. More coming out soon for our other areas.

It is absolutely time to talk to your Principal and get them to confirm your local arrangements and remind them that they need an appropriate staffing structure.

Remember as well for 2017 you will be starting discussions about ADO agreements and other issues to make sure you plan your conversations.

Administrative Officers

We have been getting the new PDs for higher level administrative jobs ready with the Department. We need to in doing this clarify what is AO2 work and then what work should be paid at a higher level of AO3, AO4 or above.

The draft AO2 PD produced was very wrong. However, it's great news that the Department have accepted all our feedback to date and we are now waiting for new PDs to be drafted. That work is happening now but we haven't seen a new document yet.

We have also put forwardthe  duties we believe are higher level - AO3, AO4 duties. Remember to look at that list here and add your comments. 

It is likely that we will be continuing to get these new PDs organsied during the school holidays. 

If you are talking to your BSM and Principal now about a higher level role you may need to do a JEMS this Term or use the existing AO3 or AO4 position descriptions available on the system. We have attached here some of the PDs we have seen at these levels that have TRIM numbers. 

AO3 Finance MER219084_16 Role Description (2)

AO3 Markteting and Administration Officer 14 Feb 2016

AO4 Industry Liaison Officer Various Locations State Schools Division 14573

 AO4 Marketing Officer JOB MER10294_13 Role Description

It is important to have a conversation early with your BSM and Principal about the new position descriptions coming out and that the duties each member of the team is performing should match the role and classification level. AO2 officers cannot be asked to do HR work or manage finance by themselves. This is higher level work and should be paid accordingly.

Schools Officers

2017 gives every schools officer the opportunity to progress to OO3.

If you have an existing qualification at a Certificate III or above then you must register them now. Send them to payroll and send them to the union office if you need help - schools@together.org.au

TAFE have now developed the Certificate III course that all OO2 officers, who don't currently have a qualification, can complete in 2017. By completing this course in 2017 you will then be back-paid (from 23 January 2017) at OO3(1), once you get your qualification. 

The TAFE course has been designed so it can be easily completed and a lot can be done on recognition of prior learning (RPL) by you. That is, you shouldn't have to do too much extra course work to get your qualification. 

Job Security issues: please note - if your school is looking like they will lose enrolments and you may be facing a loss of position in 2017 - please speak up now. The Department have agreed that your position will be held for 2017 and you will be secure in your job next year regardless of Day 8 enrolment numbers. Call us for support 1800 177 244 or email us on schools@together.org.au

Business Services Managers and AO2s going to BSM status in small schools

Based on our last meeting with the Department (Tuesday 15 November) we believe that the Department will issue a form for you to sign with your Principal confirming that you are going up to your new level in 2017.

At the meeting on Tuesday, the Department informed us that while you will be entitled to the higher pay level from 23 January 2017, payroll make take some time to catch up and might not pay you at the right level (and pay your backpay) until March. We expressed concern about this of course!

Confirming your level with the Principal is important however. Yes - you can go up two levels and no - you don't need to re-apply for your role under this process.

Some members have received incorrect advice from Regional office so do please check in with us.

The BSM PDs are not ready yet. We gave extensive feedback - thank you everyone! See HERE for our feedback. 

The Department indicated that our feedback was well received by them and they agreed with it.

We will have the new PDs by January, but we don't know at this stage when we will see the next drafts unfortunately. 

Science Operations Officers

Thank you to all the members who have completed our SOOs' questionnaire and also attended our teleconference this week. We are focusing on the issues for members around progression from the OO3 to OO4 or appointment to OO4.

It was evident that there were many instances were members have been provided incorrect advice and responses for the reasons why their submissions were unsuccessful - we want to challenge these and will continue to do so.

Delegates will be raising several issues at the next Agency Consultative Committee to be held at the end of this month. This is a meeting with union delegates and head office under the EB.

Together has provided resources that include suggestions for writing a Business Case to assist members with the OO3 to OO4 process.

Get in touch at schools@together.org.au and if you are putting in a Business Case be sure to let us know how this goes.

Therapists

We are still waiting for a formal response to our letter to the DG about your conditions and pay parity with Queensland Health. Queensland Health therapists are currently taking industrial action in pursuit of a better agreement and their agreement is not currently settled. 

I have had an indication from the Department that they may have advice from senior counsel that switching agreements may not be possible at the moment. As soon as we hear anything concrete we will report back to members. Not switching agreement doesn't mean the Department couldn't act on the attraction and retention and pay parity issues. These things must be addressed now. 

There is a clause in our current agreement that would facilitate the Department looking at it now even if they deny the right to switch agreements. 

I don't want to get too far down the alternative track however before we see formal correspondence. I will follow up on this again this week. If you want to get more involved right now contact me at kate.flanders@together.org.au and we can escalate things to your local MP.

International Student and Homestay Coordinators

We have written to the DG about the systemic underpayment of these officers. See our correspondence here. We are awaiting a response. If one doesn't come soon we will be lodging a dispute.

We know it's a busy time for everyone in schools and you are all hopefully looking forward to a break over the Christmas holidays. 

We will be working through the holidays on these issues so do contact us on 1800 177 244 or at schools@together.org.au with your questions or queries.

We hope from 2017 to launch an additional website for Together members to access resources and information. We'll be in touch about that soon.

Thank you for all you do keeping our schools running and our union strong.

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