Steady progress made for permanent employment

Gary Zadkovich
Deputy President

The NSW Department of Education is making positive progress in complying with the Terms of Settlement achieved through the Federation’s pursuit of permanent employment for members in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC).

At a report back in the IRC on 13 November 2017, the Department tabled correspondence to confirm that 1056 vacancies are in the process of being filled permanently, in addition to 606 new positions that have been established as a result of student enrolment growth.

The Department also reaffirmed its commitment to filling all positions in all schools in accord with the Staffing Agreement, which will mean many more positions will be filled permanently in the coming months.

This progress is a significant gain for Federation members across the state. Permanent employment has very real benefits for teachers and public education generally. It provides economic security with regard to fundamentals such as applying for a loan to buy a home and providing for one’s family, and strengthens the likelihood of a long-term career in NSW public schools.

For students and schools, permanency provides stability and continuity in educational delivery.

Respect for teachers in temporary appointments

As previously acknowledged by Federation, casual and temporary teachers perform a vitally important role in NSW public schools.

They replace teachers on short-term and long-term leave and may be temporarily appointed for other reasons as listed in Clause 2.1 of the Staffing Agreement.

Federation has insisted in proceedings before the IRC that compliance action by the Department with regard to filling permanent vacancies must apply to all positions in all schools.

Out of respect for the work of casual and temporary teachers and an understanding of the consequences for their future employment arising from the IRC case, Federation has requested that the Department provide clear advice to principals about temporary appointments for the 2018 school year.

The Department reaffirmed its commitment to filling all positions in all schools

In a letter to the Department that was tabled in the IRC, Federation stated that it would be problematic and disadvantageous for teachers to be appointed on a temporary basis for 12 months in 2018, only to later learn that those appointments were to be terminated on four weeks' notice because the school was belatedly required to comply with the Staffing Agreement.

Federation was informed that the Department has sent such advice to principals. Hopefully this will avoid causing financial hardship and disadvantage to teachers whose temporary appointments may be terminated earlier than previously advised.

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