Member Bulletin Number 4 2019

In this bulletin:

  • Federal Budget bad for NT public schools
  • Branch Conference set to be big
  • Quality Educator Award – get your nominations in
  • May Day awards – AEU rep of the year
  • TRB remote nominees – nominations closing soon
  • Teacher Wellbeing survey

Federal Budget bad for NT public schools
Yesterday’s federal Budget continued the Liberal National Government’s practice over the past six years of putting public education last. The Budget papers show clearly that this federal Government intends to cut funding over the next four years for the most disadvantaged and vulnerable students in Australia. For the NT some of the worst aspects of the education budget are:

  • Direct federal funding for NT public schools will grow by less than 4% over the next four years (from $193m to $200m) – representing a cut in real terms (i.e. when allowing for inflation).
  • Over the same period, funding for private schools will grow by 20% (from $161m to $192m).
  • By 2023 the federal government will be spending almost as much directly funding NT private schools as it does public schools – despite private schools enrolling just a quarter of Territory children.
  • NT Remote Aboriginal Investment (NTRAI) education funding, which funds vital remote school programs such as Families as First Teachers, will be slashed by more than a fifth, from $37m to $29m, and is not funded after 2022. In a sign of federal government priorities, nationally it will spend more than twice as much on the wasteful School Chaplaincy program ($61m) as a targeted investment program for some of Australia’s most needy children.
  • Universal access to preschool education for 4-year-olds is not funded beyond next year.

Yesterday the AEU held a pre-Budget event on the lawns of Parliament House featuring an installation depicting every one of Australia’s 7000 public schools and how much money each is are missing out on because The Turnbull/Morrison Government ripped up the previous Gonski funding model and slashed $14 billion from public schools.

This was the launch of the AEU’s federal election campaign, which will see Fair Funding Now supporters campaigning across the country to remove the government. We’ve launched ads drawing attention to Scott Morrison’s record on school funding. The campaign kicks off with this “Fair Go?” TV advert, which will air in key marginal electorates.

In contrast to Scott Morrison’s cuts to public schools, Bill Shorten and Labor have pledged to increase funding to public education. This would mean an additional $41m for Territory public schools over the next three years. Our Branch President explains why the outcome of this election really matters for teachers, educators and students.

The federal election is likely to be formally announced in the next few days. There are three simple steps you can take to support the campaign for fair funding for public schools:

1.Ensure you are enrolled to vote with your details up to date

2.Sign up as a Fair Funding Now! supporter

3.Watch and share our Fair Go ad via either YouTube or Facebook

Branch Conference set to be big
We are looking forward to another big Branch Conference in Katherine over the May Day weekend, with 110 registered delegates from 80 sub-branches. Flights, travel and accommodation are almost finalised and delegates should expect to hear from the office in the next few days regarding your itinerary. An agenda will be circulated before the end of the week. Education minister Selena Uibo, federal president Correna Haythorpe and Gerry Georgatos of the National Indigenous Critical Response Project are confirmed as guest speakers.

Quality Educator Award – get your nominations in
A highlight of the Branch Conference is presentation of the Quality Educator Award. There is still time to nominate an AEU colleague for this prize but we need entries by Friday – see our website for details.

May Day awards – AEU rep of the year
Another award to be announced at our Conference is the May Day award for AEU rep of the year. This person can be nominated by another member or a sub-branch. The recipient will be a member who has demonstrated outstanding practice in their role as a union representative, with a focus on the following:

  • Recruitment of new members
  • Advocacy on behalf of members
  • Support for public education and union campaigns

Nominations are welcome from members and sub-branches and must be submitted to [email protected] by Wednesday 10 April.

TRB remote nominees – nominations closing soon
We have extended the deadline for expressions of interest from a member in a remote school wishing to be an AEU nominee on the Teacher Registration Board. More information is available on request – please contact [email protected] ASAP. EOIs must be received by our office by Monday 8 April.

Teacher Wellbeing survey
The Department of Education has approached the AEU seeking our support for establishing a teacher wellbeing strategy. The AEU has agreed to participate in the development of this strategy, the first stage of which is a survey open to all school-based teachers employed by DoE. We encourage members to participate in this survey, which is conducted independently of the NT DoE by the Australian Catholic University’s Institute of Positive Psychology and Education (IPPE). It is completely confidential.

The NT Teachers’ Health and Wellbeing Survey was launched on Monday 18 March and will remain open until Friday 12 April, 2019. If you have not participated already, there is still time to do so. If you require more information please email [email protected].

Further information
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