Education Update – Wages, Leave and More

Posted on September 18, 2020

2 Pupil Free Days - Leave at the end of Term 4

Yesterday afternoon, we received this letter from the Director General regarding the two additional pupil free days at the end of Term 4. This outlines who is eligible for the two days of special leave. All school-based staff (including public servants) are entitled to two days of special leave. Unfortunately, non-school based staff have not been granted this additional leave.

As you would recall we had written to the Minister with this letter expressing a view that ALL Department of Education staff should have been recognised for your extraordinary efforts, and we are sorry to see that you haven’t been.

We have also contacted the Department this morning and confirmed that, if you ARE an eligible employee (ie you work in a school) and you are required to work on those two days (for example you have contractors on site or another reason where you have to work for those days), then you should not be disadvantaged. This means you can make a local arrangement to have your two days at another time – the key principle being that no one should be disadvantaged for having to work on those days. It is also important to note that if you ARE taking the two days special leave that your ADO accrues AS IF YOU WORKED IT, so you do not need to accrue extra ADO to make up the time.

Please do contact us if you have other questions, we will try and assist.

Public Service Act Changes 

Parliament has passed changes to the Public Service Act last week in Parliament. Many of the changes were issues we had lobbied for. The Directives that will allow members to access the benefits of these changes are still to be published. Please stay tuned for more updates about this. We are very eager to work with members to secure your employment using these new changes as soon as we can.

Pay – Back Pay and Translation Pays – 7 October

In good news we are now only a couple of weeks away from the back-pay that is due, under the Department of Education Certified Agreement, actually being paid! For Therapists' translation to Health Practitioners, Science Technicians' translation to the TO stream and AO2(8)s who will be receiving the experienced officers allowance, this applies to you! Payroll has advised that final testing is currently being undertaken of the changes to the system, with the changes being loaded into the production payroll system this weekend. The payroll team will also make some manual changes. Whilst the majority of changes will occur for the 7 October, Payroll Services will also use the following fortnight to make any further adjustments that might be necessary. While this is hopefully minimal, there may be a few adjustments required. We will be here to assist members.

For everyone, you should also see an adjustment in your pay soon for the 1.75% increase we won in the State Wage Case this year back-paid to 1 September this year. You can read more about how the State Wage Case win will affect members in Education here.

We are still awaiting a response from government regarding any possibility of settling our Wages Arbitration. If this is not received before the end of September then we will be back in the Commission progressing with that arbitration. Stay tuned!

Human Resources Review

Next week we are having another meeting to progress the review for human resources areas across the Department – we are focussing on workload and other key concerns from HR staff (like work value). We have a great active group of Together members from across HR teams who are driving this work. The next two months are a really important time as data will be gathered. It’s an important time to be an active member in HR and have your say! To join in our broad group of HR Together reps please contact us by emailing to find out more.

Hours of Work

In the last few weeks, many union members have contacted us concerned about hours of work entitlements in the Department. We have raised these concerns directly with the Department as it is a breach of our industrial instruments if workers are being told that they cannot accrue time if working remotely or if you are being prohibited from accruing at least one day off per month. We have asked for written clarification to be provided regarding entitlements to all staff. We will continue to escalate these matters so please do send through your concerns if you have them.

ECCE Training 

We have been provided with an out of session update from the ACC saying that: The ECCE Regulatory Officers competency framework project is progressing and will be presenting to the RASQ Governance Board this week.

The update to the Board will include proposing the intent to mandate training for those who are in the role of regulatory officers for Early Childhood centres and Kindys. The attached slide shows a summary of the consultation model that has been implemented.

The training will be done in partnership with ASEQA.

Any questions or concerns please contact me by emailing

Science Technician Position Descriptions

The new Science Technician position description has been drafted and should be published soon. The final version was approved by delegates and submitted by the JEMS team. You can see it HERE.

New Health Practitioner Position Pescriptions 

The new position descriptions for Health Practitioners have also been finalised and we have published them on our website HERE.

Today marks the end of Term 3!!

You all do an amazing job every day to make education happen from early years to leaving school. Every part of the Department works together to make this happen.

We hope you are taking care of yourselves as we know the next few weeks will continue to be a busy time!

Being a Together member means you have thousands of colleagues who like you try and make your workplace better every day. Remember to tell your colleagues to join you as a member.

  • education
  • Public Sector
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