THERE'S NOTHING CASUAL ABOUT TEACHING

Julie Moon

How long is the school day for a casual in a primary school?

Unless schools have applied for a variation of school hours, the hours of duty for a casual teacher are:

  • Morning: 9am to 12.30pm
  • Afternoon: 1pm to 3.30pm.

The minimum engagement for a casual teacher is two hours.

Teachers employed in a casual capacity for a day are expected to be on duty for six hours. An unpaid lunch break of half an hour is allowed. There is a reasonable expectation that the casual teacher will undertake the playground duty of the teacher being replaced.

Where a school has an approval from the Department for a variation to normal school hours that results in the school day being less than six hours the casual teacher is paid for a full day provided s/he works the same hours as the teachers employed in permanent positions at the school.

Am I entitled to primary school release from face to face (RFF) teaching?

Casual teachers employed for less than five days per week are not entitled to the release time of the teacher they are replacing. Casual teachers employed to replace a permanent teacher for five days or longer are entitled to the release time of the replaced teacher.

What if I am employed for less than a full day?

Casual teachers are sometimes engaged to fill a vacancy for less than a full day. In this case they will be paid on an hourly basis (that is, the daily salary divided by six), remembering that the minimum engagement is two hours.

Where a casual teacher is employed to teach face to face for two hours and this teaching crosses recess, they are paid an additional quarter of an hour for the recess.

Where casual teachers are employed for less than a full day but the period of vacancy falls over the lunch break, the salary paid to the casual teacher is the total time at the school less half an hour (as the half hour lunch break is unpaid).

What happens if I am late to work because of short notice from the school?

If a school does not give adequate notice to the casual teacher on the first day of a vacancy, the casual teacher is entitled to a full day's pay if s/he reports within 30 minutes after the normal commencement time for that school.

What happens if I report to a school only to find that when I arrive my services are no longer required?

Where a casual school teacher reports to a school for duty on any day on the basis of a request by an authorised officer and is then advised that her/his services are not required, the casual school teacher will be entitled to receive payment for one half of one day’s pay at the appropriate rate.

It is important that before leaving the school following advice that you are not required to work by the authorised officer, the casual teacher should immediately ask to sign on to indicate a half-day.

Julie Moon is the Officer responsible for casual and temporary teachers. The NSW Teachers Federation’s Casual and Temporary Handbook is currently under review.

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