Education Bargaining Update - 25 July
They said No.
Today these amazing women, your colleagues - Megan, Sandra, Sharon, Elisabeth, Nikki, Sandra and Sharon - represented you and your fellow members in negotiations with the Department.
Every Wednesday from now on we will be fighting for a fair pay rise, job security and appropriate classification levels and resourcing.
This week the Department of Education made it clear that no matter how convincing our arguments they have "instructions" to say no.
Today Sandra, Megan, Sharon and Nikki spoke eloquently and passionately about the need to recognise the technical roles and skills of laboratory technicians and managers in state schools.
Across our state, teaching science, technology, engineering and maths is supposed to be the key to jobs of the future for our kids and a better world for all of us. But today the Education Department representatives said that they were not considering our claim and that this was "outside the bargaining authority and wages policy." Essentially they said no to recognising Science Operations Officers for their technical work and moving them on to the technical stream.
Not only is this deeply unfair and wrong; it is backing away from commitments made to these delegates prior to the last state election. From next week we will now be considering industrial action across the state in support of these claims. Be ready SOOs!
Elisabeth and Sandra then stepped up and told their stories, and the stories of thousands of women who are AO2s in state schools. They were fierce advocates in support of their colleagues talking about their complex roles and the injustice of doing the same work, or more complex work as people in other government departments or even schools who get paid more. The classification level of your pay should not be dependent on the local decisions of the Principal. The job evaluation system and government policy says that the same work should attract the same pay.
Elisabeth and Sandra talked about their work – the finance, HR, student support, facilities and coordination work they do. While some of the Departmental representatives nodded along they consistently said that they reject the idea that every AO2 should go to AO3. They said they needed "to do some more work" and "look into it" and we will await a more formal response, however we should be ready to rally and show just how much we care about this issue.
The Department also said that even though schools are allocated an AO8 Business Manager and then only AO2 and AAEP roles that "the allocative model is not intended to be a structure itself" - Principals are supposed to "work with this" and have "flexibility". We spoke about the long promised School Endorsement Form and the lies that have been told by a succession of Departmental officers about where this is up to and the inconsistent advice schools are given even when they want to upgrade staff.
It's time for you to be recognised and paid appropriately.
We talked about the stark injustice of Homestay Coordinators being paid differently depending on what school you work at. Workforce Relations have committed to action this.
We also talked about the important claim of putting the IT jobs in the Allocative Model. We talked about the essential work IT does and that it needs to be recognised and not outsourced to for profit companies.
We were in there for over 3 hours. It was a long meeting and a lot was said.
Your Together delegates represented you well and did a great job of putting the case but it is very clear we need to make more noise.
Next week we will be posting out "School Support Staff Recognition Week" kits to every school in Queensland. It's essential that union members display the posters, wear the stickers and talk proudly about your work and why you need a pay rise this school support staff recognition week.
Next week we will be getting some responses about hours of work, therapist pay parity and employment security.
Stay tuned members! It's going to be a busy month in the lead up to the expiry of the agreement.
Never a more important time to be a union member.
If your colleagues didn't get this email make sure they join you as a member.