Win for temporary teachers is welcome

Brett Bertalli
Country Organiser

Federation welcomes the Minister’s decision to create a pathway to permanency for temporary teachers working in 6 and 8-point incentive schools.

Since 2009 Federation has pursued a program to provide the appropriate incentive, recognition and reward for temporary teachers who have taught in 6 and 8-point incentive schools.

These teachers accept temporary appointments to difficult to staff more isolated schools on the expectation that their service will be recognised and rewarded by the Department of Education and Communities (DEC). Unfortunately, their experience is that despite their effective performance, other teachers who may not have given such service are appointed instead.

To provide appropriate incentive, recognition and reward for teachers who accept temporary appointment to incentive schools, Federation proposed that the DEC implement a process whereby temporary teachers who have served two or more years in incentive transfer schools be given priority for appointment to permanent positions in these schools.

Federation wrote to the DEC in 2009 seeking such a scheme and then met with Departmental officers in 2010 to highlight the need to attract and retain temporary teachers in rural schools. At that time the DEC failed to see the need for such a program.

Continued activism by country members to achieve the pathway to permanency for temporary teachers working in 6 and 8-point incentive schools is to be acknowledged and congratulated.

In 2011 Wilcannia Teachers Association carried a motion to Council requesting that Federation continue to pursue the matter. The union developed its Priority Temporary Teacher Scheme and stepped up its campaign to pursue its proposed scheme with the DEC and new Education Minister Adrian Piccoli. Several country associations sent letters to MPs and the Minister.

Last year the Minister released the Rural and Remote Education — A blueprint for action. One of the new incentives within the blueprint is:

“In rural and remote six-point and eight-point incentive schools, principals will have the option of having a suitable temporary teacher, who has worked continuously for at least two years in the school directly appointed into a permanent vacant position in their school.

“In eight-point incentive schools, principals will also have the option of permanently appointing those teachers above establishment, if there is no vacant position at the school.”

On May 28, Staffing Director Mark Anderson emailed all principals of 6 and 8-point incentive schools to enact the policy.

All temporary teachers working in 6 and 8-point incentive schools are encouraged to discuss this policy with their principal. Principals are encouraged to implement the procedure in conjunction with the Department’s Principles for determining the mix of staff in schools’ policy.

Congratulations to all members who have campaigned tirelessly for improved incentives to attract and retain temporary teachers to our hardest to staff schools.