Member Bulletin Number 1 2017

In this busy industrial bargaining year, we will be communicating more often with you via email bulletins such as this one to keep you up-to-date and on occasion request that you take certain actions. Please take the time to read these short bulletins as they will provide the latest information on where we are up to with bargaining.

In this bulletin:

  • Branch Secretary election
  • Discussion paper – strategic priorities
  • Attendance at meetings
  • School hours and teacher contact time
  • Allowances and overpayments
  • Executive meeting dates for 2017

Branch Secretary election

The ballot for the election for a new Branch Secretary is currently open. All financial members should have received a ballot paper in the mail. Please vote and have your say in this election. Votes must be received by the AEC by Thursday 22 June. If you have not received a ballot paper, contact the AEC immediately via [email protected] or on 8982 8038.

Discussion paper – strategic priorities

A Discussion Paper was endorsed at our recent annual Conference detailing the main areas of focus for the AEU NT in 2017. Five priority areas were identified:

  1. Reducing workloads
  2. Enterprise Bargaining
  3. Securing needs-based school funding
  4. Increasing secure employment
  5. Promoting safety, security and wellbeing at work

The Discussion Paper is available for download. Members are encouraged to read this paper and call a meeting of your sub-branch to discuss it, and provide feedback to Branch Executive (see details below).

Attendance at meetings

Following on from some recent enquiries regarding workloads, we reissue this reminder of AEU NT policy as agreed by DoE.

Members are required to only attend meetings comprising a maximum of one hour’s length during the course of a week. Such meetings may include (but are not limited to) morning briefings, whole staff meetings, faculty meetings and special purpose meetings.

The union recognises that from time to time the quota of meetings may exceed the one-hour allotment. In such cases DoE managers will need to negotiate with staff beforehand. Any attempt to mandate additional or longer meetings should be reported to the AEU.

School hours and teacher contact time

We often have enquiries about the length of the school day, which varies across NT schools.

According to the Teacher Responsibilities guide (an agreed document between the AEU NT and DoE), Instruction Time equates to a minimum of 5 hours and 20 minutes per day in NT public schools (26 hours and 40 minutes per week). This does not include break times such as recess and lunch (but does include timetabled supervised eating). Any changes to the commencing or finishing times of a school would be expected to be ratified by the School Council or Board.

However, preschool and primary classroom teachers have a maximum instruction or contact time of 23 hours and 40 minutes per week, and for secondary teachers it is 21 hours and 20 minutes per week.

Managers and principals are required to ensure that school timetables do not result in teachers working more than the maximum instruction time allocated.

If you believe your contact hours are being exceeded, consult the Teacher Responsibilities guide and seek a meeting with your principal or manager. Your sub-branch rep or AEU office can help you prepare if requested.

Allowances and overpayments

There are many different allowances that are paid to NTPS Teachers and Educators. Some are quite simple to access, some outstandingly bureaucratic.

Like all payments through Payroll, members should regularly check MyHR pay slips to ensure you are not being overpaid, and that you are receiving your legitimate entitlements.

Note that school budget constraints are NEVER a discretionary factor in these payments. Please report to the AEU NT any instances where nonpayment of an allowance has been cited ‘due to the Global Budget’.

Executive meeting dates for 2017

The Branch Executive is the union’s main-decision making body outside our annual Conference. It consists entirely of elected AEU members – a full list of members including your regional representatives is available here. Sub-branches and regional councils may submit motions and other matters to Executive for discussion and consideration.

Executive is scheduled to meet on the following dates for 2017: Friday 16 June, Friday 18 August, Friday 22 September and Friday 17 November.