Member Bulletin Number 5 2021

In this bulletin:

  • Term 1 wrap up – a great start to 2021
  • Every School, Every Child – AEU launches new school funding campaign
  • AEU Quality Educator Award – nominations now open
  • Rosemary Richards scholarship
  • Teacher wellbeing webinars exclusively for AEU members
  • Outcome of principal classification review

Term 1 wrap up – a great start to 2021
Well done to all members on making it to the end of Term 1. Thankfully, things look very different from a year ago, when the whole country was in lockdown and remote members were effectively locked in communities to biosecurity restrictions.

This has been a busy term as we would expect. The AEU office team has focused on visiting as many workplaces as possible, supporting sub-branches to get up and running and maximising member turnout at our Branch Conference.

We have welcomed 180 new and returning members in 2021, the majority recruited through visits by our officers to 52 workplaces. For our upcoming conference, 108 members have registered from 59 sub-branches.

These are the sorts of numbers that give our union a strong foundation for a challenging round of enterprise bargaining. Numbers represent power in the workplace and it is vital that every non-member is asked to join the AEU to give us more power in contesting the government’s pay freeze. Signing up is easy and takes just five minutes.

Every School, Every Child – AEU launches new school funding campaign
AEU members and supporters converged in Canberra on 23 March to launch the next stage of our school funding campaign: Every School. Every Child.

Many politicians have walked away from the promise of properly funding our schools on an equitable basis, but the AEU will not abandon this aim because it is fundamental to ensuring that every student in every school in Australia gets the best start in life.

Every school should be provided the resources needed to ensure every child gets the best education, regardless of their background or circumstances. Public schools are making a significant difference in the lives of Australian children, helping to level the playing field, overcome disadvantage and achieve excellence for all. This is despite politicians at the federal level refusing to fund public schools fairly.

Research by economist Adam Rorris shows that public schools will experience a $19 billion funding shortfall over the next four years. In addition, his report found that the cumulative Capital Investment Gap between private and public sectors was $21.5 billion between 2013-2018.

Imagine the positive difference if every school was provided with the full funding needed for every child to succeed. Imagine new high-quality classrooms and improved school facilities and equipment. Imagine every school with more teachers, and support staff, smaller class sizes, and additional learning programmes.

What can you do to support this dream? We are asking every AEU NT member to visit the new Every School Every Child website to sign up as a supporter of the campaign. You can show your support for this important cause and you will get updates on the campaign over the coming months as the federal election approaches.

AEU Quality Educator Award – nominations now open
Nominations are now open for the AEU NT’s 2021 Quality Educator Award, an annual award presented at our Branch Conference to recognise one member’s outstanding contribution to NT public education.

The winner will receive a prize valued at $1000, generously donated by Fleet Network. If you have a colleague who is doing exceptional work, please consider nominating them for this prize.

Please forward all nominations to [email protected] by Thursday 22 April 2021. More information and a nomination form are available here.

Rosemary Richards scholarship
Do you have an idea about how to build capacity for women as activists and leaders in the NT? AEU women members are encouraged to consider applying for the 2021 Rosemary Richards Scholarship. It is awarded to a female AEU member annually in honour of prominent AEU feminist Rosemary Richards and is worth up to $10,000. Visit the AEU Federal website for more info on how to apply. The deadline is Friday 7 May.

Teacher wellbeing webinars exclusively for AEU members
The AEU NT is excited to partner with teacher and educational wellness coach Wendy Kenbeek in Term 2 to provide a three-part webinar series for members on managing workload and wellbeing. These online webinars will commence on Wednesday 28 April and provide an opportunity for you to access PD that gives you practical and immediate strategies to better support yourself and your colleagues. Attendance is free for AEU members, but registration is essential – contact the office to register.

Outcome of principal classification review
The AEU has been involved over the past year in a comprehensive review of the Department of Education’s principal classification structure as a member of the Principal Employment Advisory Group (PEAG). This has been a collaborative process involving the AEU, the NT Principals’ Association (NTPA), DoE and the Office of the Commissioner for Public Employment. The review was a result of sustained pressure over many years from the AEU to comprehensively examine principal employment and classification arrangements, with our efforts intensifying following the Gunner Government’s 2019 decision to subject all executive contract principals to a four-year pay freeze.

PEAG has made numerous recommendations to the NT Government and these now await consideration by cabinet. As PEAG operates within a “without prejudice” framework much like what occurs during enterprise bargaining, the union has not been able to provide detailed updates to members on the progress of negotiations. However, we believe that if the PEAG recommendations are endorsed, the outcome will be a simpler, fairer, more transparent employment framework for all principals, whether ongoing or contract.

Once the proposals have been considered and endorsed by cabinet, we look forward to being able to discuss the new framework in detail, and to provide support and advice to individual principal members as requested.

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