Member Resources

Guide: Support Staff

Estimated reading: 5 minutes

Does the AEU NT cover school support staff?

The Australian Education Union might be commonly thought of as primarily a union for teachers, but teachers comprise only a part of our membership. As our name implies, our union is here for everyone delivering public education to students. That means that the AEU is able to cover anyone working as an educator. This includes all school support staff (except for those working exclusively in the front office or   other admin roles), Assistant Teachers, SESOs, preschool assistants and any other staff assisting with the education of children in public schools.

How are support staff employed?

The working conditions of support staff in schools   varies depending on how they are employed. Essentially, there are two categories of employment: workers employed by the school (usually on a casual basis) and those employed by the Department of Education as Administrative Officers (AOs).

School council employees

Workers employed by the school council have pay and conditions based on the Educational Services (Schools) General Staff Award. The NT Education Act allows School Representative Bodies to employ persons on any terms and conditions that are approved by the Department. In order to give advice, the AEU office will need to be supplied a copy of the contracts/letters of appointment.

School-based administrative officers (AOs)

AOs employed by the Department are covered by the NTPS General Enterprise Agreement. This EA covers administrative grades across the entire NTPS.

School-based AOs can be employed on a 92%, 96% or 100% arrangement.

What is the difference between a 92%, 96% and 100% arrangement?

Within schools there are unique employment arrangements for admin officers (AO levels 2 – 4). For each arrangement, during school terms (excluding public holidays) AOs would be expected to attend for duty during their normal working hours when the school is conducting a professional development or planning day in which permission has been granted for students not to attend.

Conversions between 92%, 96% and 100% are catered for in the EA and can be initiated by either the Department or the individual but can only be implemented with the employee’s consent.

92% arrangement

If employed as an AO at 92%, employees are required to work 6 hours and 15 minutes per school day between the hours of 7.30 am and 5.30 pm, Monday to Friday. With the exception of the two working days prior to the commencement of the new academic year, an employee will not normally be required to attend for duty on any other day on which the school is not open.

96% arrangement

If employed as an AO at 96%, staff are required to work 7 hours and 21 minutes per school day. These are to be worked between the hours of 7.30 am and 5.30 pm Monday to Friday. Start and finish times are directly linked with the school start time and the length of the employee’s meal break.

100% arrangement

If employed at 100%, AOs also work 7 hours and 21 minutes a day, worked between the hours of 7.30 am and 5.30 pm Monday to Friday. These employees don’t get the 12 weeks off per year during school holidays like their 92% and 96% colleagues. However, they can work during school holidays and access recreation leave during term time.


For AOs in schools, start times are directly linked to the opening of the school and a meal break should occur within the five-hour period from                  commencement. Meal breaks are unpaid and must be at least 30 minutes long. The length of a meal break is also negotiable with the line manager.

Overtime for support staff

A major difference between the conditions of AOs and teachers is that AOs are eligible for overtime. For    example, if an AO is required to work for longer than five hours continuously, they are eligible for overtime until a meal break occurs. Similarly, AOs are entitled to overtime if they are required to work more than their maximum allocation of weekly hours, unlike teachers who routinely work much longer than their notional 36 hours and 45 minutes. If a full-time employee works more than the maximum span of ordinary hours (36 hours and 45 minutes hours per week), any time over and above this is then classified as overtime. Overtime is paid at time and a half when worked Monday to Saturday, double time on Sunday and double time and a half on a public holiday.

Leave for support staff

An employee is entitled to 6 weeks paid recreation leave per year. An employee’s entitlement to paid recreation leave accrues progressively during a year of service, according to their ordinary hours of work. The CEO delegates their authority for approving leave requests to Principals and line managers who, on    application in writing by the employee and subject to operational requirements, may grant leave for recreational purposes. Paid Personal Leave for an ongoing employee is 3 weeks paid personal leave on commencement of employment and 3 weeks paid personal leave on each anniversary of the employee’s commencement date. Fixed period employees are entitled to 2 days paid personal leave on commencement of employment, up to one week of paid personal leave for each period of 2 months service, and 3 weeks paid personal leave annually on the anniversary of the employee’s commencement date.

First Aid Allowance

In many AO position job descriptions, having a current first aid certificate is a requirement.  If this applies to you, you need to demonstrate your training/re-training, for which you will then receive a fortnightly allowance in addition to your salary. The Department has a claim form for this.

Join us a

Share this Doc

Guide: Support Staff

Or copy link