Member Bulletin Number 6 2018

In this bulletin:

  • Message from the President
  • Funding deal leaves Territory public schools further behind
  • Office opening hours during the holiday period
  • Changes to membership fees

Message from the President
As the school year comes to an end, I’d like to thank all members for your continuing support of the AEU NT. For those members who are retiring or leaving the Territory for other opportunities, thank you for your service and all the best for your future.

A strong union is vital for all educators – teachers, principals, support staff, trainers and lecturers – to have a voice in matters affecting you at work.

We can be proud of what we’ve achieved as a union this year. The new enterprise agreement for teachers has delivered pay increases, protection of entitlements and commitments to undertake further projects to improve working conditions.

The permanency project negotiated by the AEU with the Department and OCPE has led to 278 teachers being made permanent in the past 12 months.

We have successfully lobbied for this project to continue meaning there will be more opportunities in the new year. We expect that more opportunities will open up with the completion of projects in the first half of 2019 reinstituting a transfer framework and procedures for managing and placing staff who have been “unattached” from schools.

In the TAFE sector, a new agreement at CDU was negotiated and we aim to quickly resolve negotiations at BIITE to ensure staff receive pay increases as soon as possible.

Wherever and however you are spending your Christmas and new year, I hope it will be a relaxing time.

Jarvis Ryan

Funding deal leaves Territory public schools further behind
Last week the NT Government announced it has reached an agreement with the Federal Government on school funding for 2019 and beyond.

The AEU NT acknowledges that the NT Government felt it was necessary to sign this agreement or else be faced with the risk of receiving no funding for Territory schools in 2019. We also acknowledge that the NT Government has committed to significant funding increases over the next six years – upping its contribution to public education by nearly 5 per cent per year.

But make no mistake – this is a deeply inequitable agreement that will leave Territory students further behind the rest of the country, and widen the gap between public and private schools.

There is no additional funding from the Commonwealth for public schools in this agreement – only “maintenance of effort”. That means the NT Government is being asked to do all the heavy lifting, with no reciprocation from Canberra.

Our estimate is that by 2023, public schools will only be funded to 83 per cent of the Schooling Resourcing Standard (SRS), a nationally-agreed benchmark on the level of public funding required to ensure schools can provide for the needs of their students.

The original Gonksi agreement was to fund all schools to at least 95 per cent of the SRS. Under this deal, our public schools will fall well short – in dollar terms, by about $80 million per year.

By contrast, the NT private school sector will get to the 95 per cent SRS benchmark by 2023, because the Federal Government will fund up to 80 per cent of their SRS amount.

This is an unacceptable outcome for our students and our public schools. The AEU will continue our efforts to overturn these arrangements through the Fair Funding Now campaign. Sign up now as a supporter if you haven’t already!

Office opening hours during the holiday period
Our office will remain open until Friday 21 December. We will close from Monday 24 December and reopen on Monday 7 January 2019. During this time, we will operate an out of hours emergency service only. If you have an urgent issue during this time, phone the office on 08 8948 5399 for instructions on how to contact a Full-Time Officer for assistance.

Changes to membership fees
Branch Executive has approved some changes to the membership fee structure which will take effect from the beginning of 2019. Most members will notice a small increase in your fees as of this week as membership fees for most categories of members adjust automatically in line with salary increases.

Further information
Download this bulletin in PDF format