Stratified workforce perpetuates inequities

Organisers and officers from the AEU NT visited 12 public schools across Arnhem Land between 7 and 16 August 2018. National Indigenous organisers from the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) working with the First Nations Workers Alliance (FNWA) joined the AEU NT on this trip.

AEU NT organisers spoke with school principals and staff about a range of issues including working conditions, school funding, employment of Indigenous teachers and administration staff, key educational outcomes and challenges, successful education delivery models, how our union can better support the schools and staff and other organisational matters. In addition to these conversations, principals and assistant principals were asked to complete a short survey on Indigenous employment in their schools. 

The survey was distributed to all the schools visited who have Indigenous teaching staff and was sent to four additional schools which were not able to be included in the visits. The survey itself and the results of that survey are attached at the end of the report. Individual schools are not identified as the main purpose of this survey was to obtain an overview of major trends, concerns and questions across remote schools in this region.

The focus of this report is on the work conditions, rights and support provided to Indigenous employees in remote Arnhem schools. The fundamental purpose of this report is to look at ways to improve the working conditions, professional development, rights and support provided to these workers. This report also highlights concerns linked to the funding, housing, training, and access to information which affect staff and students in these communities.

Senior AEU officers will be tabling this report with the Department of Education and Minister Uibo and encouraging the adoption of its recommendations. We believe improving the conditions and status of Indigenous staff in remote staff is of fundamental important to improving outcomes in those schools.

More information
Read our report on the Three-Tier Workforce in remote Arnhem schools