Online markers earn hour's pay for frustration

Greg Butler
Indsutrial Officer

Markers of on-screen courses unable to connect.

Due to Federation intervention, the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) has undertaken to make a payment to markers of 14 on-screen externally marked courses in recognition of time lost by technical difficulties during the 2014 Higher School Certificate marking operation.

This payment will be made in the absence of an award entitlement and in addition to the per-script payment already earned.

During the 2014 marking operation, members marking through Markers Online reported connectivity and downloading difficulties and their concerns about earnings.

Under the markers’ award, on-screen markers in external mode are limited to payment of an IT allowance and to a payment per script marked. Although they are expected by the employer to log on every weeknight and Saturday until marking concludes, external markers prevented from working when the employer’s system of work fails have no award entitlement to a minimum payment for time lost. Payments of this kind would be above-award.

As a result of discussions initiated by Federation, BOSTES initially guaranteed an additional hour’s pay for external markers working on November 1. After Federation pressed for further recognition of time lost, the BOSTES President Tom Alegounarias issued a statement on November 7 assuring markers that they would not be “unfairly disadvantaged for the time lost for the life of the 2014 marking operation”.

At the conclusion of marking, BOSTES managers confirmed to Federation and Independent Education Union officers that the Board would allow an additional hour’s pay to markers whose courses were marked externally for each session worked on October 28 and 29 and on November 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6. BOSTES asserted that the system faults were remedied by November 7 and that union approval of the proposed additional amount was not being sought.

BOSTES advised that an initial payment to external markers of their pay earned at the per-script rate will be followed by the additional payment before the vacation shut down.

Members with specific questions about their additional payment for external marking are advised to contact the Finance Branch at BOSTES on (02) 9367 8197.