2016 Year in Review

Issue No. 1,

February 29

- Federation negotiates a new, strengthened staffing agreement across NSW public schools until 2020.

- Labor decides to back the full Gonski funding package and Federation President Maurie Mulheron calls this a game-changer in an election year.

- The Centre for Professional Learning (CPL) expands its course offerings and will hold them at more regional centres.

- Federation condemns reported plan to sell 27 TAFE sites in NSW.

Issue No. 2,
March 28

- National Gonski Doorknock Day on March 20 is a huge success with members and supporters going out into 10 electorates to take the Gonski
message from door to door.

- Early reports that gaol teaching will be privatised are causing concern.

- Federation learns TAFE will have to compete with private providers to provide $200 million worth of school EVET courses.

- Federation lodges a dispute over plans to appoint “school psychologists” to be interchangeable with school teacher-counsellors, and the matter heads to the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC).

- The union calls on NSW Premier Mike Baird to follow Victoria and the ACT and fund Safe Schools.

Issue No. 3,
May 30

- The federal election has been called for July 2 and President Maurie Mulheron says the result will be critical for education since the Coalition refuses to fund the full Gonski schools funding package.

- TAFE NSW is forced back to the negotiating table as TAFE teachers give a resounding 91 per cent “No” vote to an Award that would see them working 100 hours more each year among other threats to status and conditions.

- Federation mourns the death of an inspiring leader in public education, Dr Paul Brock. In an article in Education (September 2015) he urged teachers to be "points of light".

- The Beginning Teachers Conference is held in Lightning Ridge.

Issue No. 4,
June 20

- In school and after school, teachers join the Gonski campaign as the July 2 polls date approaches. Members make thousands of calls asking colleagues to use their vote to secure needs-based schools funding.

- Federation commences dispute proceedings in the IRC against Corrective Services NSW over plans to employ teachers with lessser qualifications.

- The union says it will take legal action over moves to deny school teachers incremental credit for previous teaching experience.

- The Department begins talks with Federation to review the complaints handling procedure.

- President Mulheron meets the new Secretary of the Department, Mark Scott.

Issue No. 5,
August 22

- The July 2 election was a cliffhanger for a while as public concern over threatened cuts to Gonski funding brought the Coalition to the brink of defeat – a testament to campaigning.

- Federation meets NSW Premier Mike Baird and Skills Minister John Barilaro over TAFE’s future.

- Teachers want clarity in HSC changes regarding minimum literacy and numeracy standards.

- Annual Conference reinforces first-time delegate Kerrie Walters’ conviction that Federation gives teachers a voice in complex educational and political contexts.

- Federation’s inaugural Champion of Public Education Award is posthumously given to former Greens MP John Kaye, “one of the strongest advocates for public schools and TAFE we’ve ever known”, as General Secretary John Dixon said.

Issue No. 6,
September 19

- Prison teachers strike against decision to sack most of them and outsource gaol teaching.

- Council endorses school Leave Simplification changes after negotiations block measures that would have harmed members.

- Federation’s new membership card for 2017 will include big shopping discounts through Ambassador Card.

Issue No. 7,
November 7

- TAFE NSW and Federation finally agree on a new Enterprise Agreement that includes 2.5 per cent pay increases and maintenance of existing conditions – a vindication of the TAFE teachers strong stand against a deleterious TAFE offer earlier in the year.

- The union tables a claim for a new Schools and Salaries Award to operate from 2017.

- State parliament debates the Corrective Services teachers’ 14,000-signature petition to keep public education in gaols, with MPs paying tribute to the teachers watching from the gallery and attacking the government’s proposal to outsource teaching.

- BOSTES is to be replaced by the NSW Education Standards Authority, with Federation on the new 12-member board. The new body says it will be “consultative”.

Issue No. 8,

December 12

- School and TAFE teachers voted overwhelmingly for separate awards successfully negotiated by Federation that carry annual 2.5 per cent pay rises up to 2019 with existing conditions and entitlements protected.

- With only some 20 of 152 experienced public education gaols teachers set to keep their jobs next year under the privatisation moves the government now flags more cuts to jobs and prison education.