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FEDERAL ELECTION 2007. Industrial Relations Issues for Teachers and Allied Staff. First, a word from the Minister…. Federal Minister Bishop says she’s been ‘signposting performance pay for quite some time. If people wanted to join the dots it’s all there’ (SMH 11/5/07) Which dots?.

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federal election 2007


Industrial Relations Issues for Teachers and Allied Staff

first a word from the minister
First, a word from the Minister…
  • Federal Minister Bishop says she’s been ‘signposting performance pay for quite some time. If people wanted to join the dots it’s all there’ (SMH 11/5/07)
  • Which dots?
coercive federalism
Coercive federalism
  • The Prime Minister in his “Australia Rising” speech said performance pay for teachers is “an idea whose time has come” but that the Commonwealth wouldn’t wait for the states to agree…it would be a condition of funding in future.
the schools assistance act 2004 7 required of the states
The Schools Assistance Act 2004-7 required of the states:
  • Consistency in schooling between systems
  • Performance targets and measures
  • Student reports
  • School outcomes
  • Student outcomes
  • Australian values and drug use
  • National curriculum standards
  • Common national testing
  • Information on PD expenditure
  • More autonomy for principals over appointments
  • Safer schools and Phys Ed
  • National information for students moving
the saw act 2005
The SAW Act 2005
  • Requires TAFE colleges to comply with Skilling Australia’s Workforce requirements to get 2005-8 funding by offering AWAs or other individual contracts
  • In Higher Ed, with HEWRR requirements, Bishop promises after the election to make these work conceding that the unis won the ‘first round’
federal budget 2007 announced new funding requirements for schools
Federal budget 2007 announced new funding requirements for schools
  • National teacher training & registration
  • Core standards for curricula & Y12 external assessment
  • Principals to hire and fire teachers & staff
  • Performance pay for teachers
  • Reporting school and student performance against national benchmarks
julie bishop says teachers should perform to get paid like other people
Julie Bishop says teachers should perform to get paid like other people…
  • Like Macquarie Bank CEO Allan Moss who was paid $33.5 million in 2006, up 58%? ….equal to 550 teacher’ salaries!
  • MacBank’s top 13 execs got $207 million, up 51% p.a.
ACOSS said the bonuses were “excessive and unjustified”
  • John Howard regretted them but said“that’s capitalism”
  • The Financial Review said it was right that shareholders should get the best and pay the market rate for them
the coalition says
The Coalition says…
  • Performance pay for teachers should be based on student or school results.
  • But ACER research commissioned by DEST found: ‘In summary, many pay for performance schemes have been tried over 150 years and most have failed.’ (Full report on ACER site)
acer findings
ACER findings
  • Schemes failed “because they have not gained the support of the stakeholders…most notably teachers and school administrators”
  • Standards-based schemes are now possible which provide incentives and recognition to teachers to move to high standards of professional performance that improve student outcomes.
so how should teachers be paid
So how should teachers be paid?
  • ‘So how should we reward teachers? We shouldn’t. They are not pets. They should be paid well, freed from misguided directions, treated with respect and provided with the support they need to help their students become increasingly proficient and enthusiastic learners.’ US educator and author Alfie Kohn
The AEU supports professional salaries for the performance of professional roles and responsibilities at a level competitive with other professions
  • Supports a new category of Accomplished Teachers, established above the incremental maximum, for teachers who demonstrate professional standards in an independent peer-based process
how is this possible
How is this possible?
  • Reform of career structures, supported by recurrent additional funding, to increase salaries and control workload and stress
  • Incorporation in collectively bargained union agreements to secure gains
  • An industrial relations system where union and employee rights are enforceable
  • The Act that dare not speak its name
  • Removes century-long rights to collective bargaining and union representation
  • Lowers the safety net and reduces the power of the independent umpire
  • Leaves the most vulnerable open to exploitation via AWAs
  • Allows unfair dismissal
  • 75% cut shift work loadings
  • 68% exclude penalty rates
  • 57% cut monetary allowances
  • 52% exclude holiday pay
but won t this all be fixed by the fairness test
But won’t this all be fixed by the ‘fairness test’?
  • The test only applies to ‘protected allowable award conditions’ traded off by employees earning less than $75,000
  • The test includes considering whether there are ‘family-friendly benefits’ which justified trading-off…like ‘I have no alternative’…
  • Also includes “the industry, location or economic circumstances of the employer and employees” …like I can’t get another job!
our rights at work
Our rights at work
  • The ‘fairness test’ is a spectacular measure of the Coalition’s desperation in the face of widespread rejection of its IR policies and unfair individual employment contracts (AWAs) in particular
  • The ALP policy, “Forward with Fairness” is a real alternative to WorkChoices which addresses many of the demands in ACTU policy.
so what s the answer
So what’s the answer?
  • The YRAW campaign has made Industrial Relations a major factor in the coming federal election
history lesson what happened to stanley bruce
History lesson: What happened to Stanley Bruce?
  • In 1929 the conservative Bruce government was defeated in the House and went to an election calling for the abolition of the federal industrial relations Commission
  • In the subsequent elections Scullin (ALP) campaigned in defence of industrial arbitration and won a landslide victory
  • The ALP needs a 5% swing which has only once before been achieved since WWII…and even then the incumbent Menzies government was returned, in 1969.
  • Despite encouraging polls, defeat of the Howard Government is by no means assured, and then there is…
the senate
The Senate
  • The Senate outcome is vital in determining the repeal of the Work Choices provisions
  • The Senate cannot change until mid-2008 when either the government will retain control, (on present polling unlikely), or the ALP will gain it, (possible but unlikely) or either party will have to rely on minor parties and independents
alp policy
ALP policy
  • The ALP policy will maintain an independent umpire by creating Fair Work Australia which will regulate agreement-making and create awards in a national industrial relations system
  • AWAs will be abolished
  • Rights for union reps and collective bargaining
the balance of power
The balance of power
  • If the ALP forms government but neither it nor the Coalition achieve a majority in their own right, the policies of the Greens and independents such as Family First will be critical in removing ‘Workchoices’
  • Public educators need to ensure that our employment issues are understood by all senators in a new system
the greens
The Greens
  • Likely to be the most significant minor party, Greens policy is for:
  • An IR system under an independent tribunal with full powers of conciliation and arbitration
  • The restoration and maintenance of strong state and national industrial relations systems in which workplace and union-led bargaining is the primary means for obtaining industrial outcomes.
the final push
The final push
  • Community-based ‘Your Rights at Work’ campaigns in marginal seats
  • AEU consulting members who are unsure of their vote
  • AEU reps and activists assist with YRAW activities, discuss issues with members about employment rights for educators