Annual Conference endorsed Federation’s longstanding position to campaign vigorously to defend the statewide staffing system that ensures protection, stability and security for NSW public school students and teachers (see box below).
Threat of devolution
In response to the threat of devolutionary policies such as Local Schools, Local Decisions and Empowering Local Schools, Conference endorsed a call on the Department to provide data to Federation Representatives so that Workplace Committees can monitor the maintenance of the school’s staffing entitlements and the filling of permanent vacancies with permanent appointments.
The Department was also called on to provide clearer information and processes for schools to implement the Principles for Determining the Mix of Staff in Schools policy, which facilitates the use of Gonski funding to create new, additional permanent positions to better support teaching and learning.
Casual and temporary teachers
Conference supported the development of a new deal for casual and temporary teachers to address issues such as: access to professional learning; regulated employment mechanisms; temporary engagements for the length of the vacancy; conversion to permanency; and access to beginning teacher release time and mentoring.
Negotiating the next staffing agreement
In light of state election commitments from the Greens, Labor and the Liberals/Nationals, and the comprehensive policy platform determined by Council and Annual Conference, Federation is well placed to commence negotiations in term 4 for a new staffing agreement to replace the current one that expires at the end of term 1, 2016.
Continuing protection of class sizes, permanency and the transfer system are key priorities.
Federation will also be seeking:
- protection of school staffing entitlements by their inclusion in the agreement
- development of a new promotions system based on the union’s long-held policy of on-the-job assessment to determine an applicant’s merit
- allocation of primary executive release time on the same basis as secondary schools.
Should it be necessary, Annual Conference authorised Federation Executive and Council to call appropriate political, industrial and legal action in pursuit of the
union’s campaign objectives.