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3 years ago

Australian Education Union, Victorian Branch

Australian Education Union, Victorian Branch

campaign David Adamson,

campaign David Adamson, principal at Essendon Keilor College and secondary convenor of AEU Principals Teachers at my school are really angry about the TAFE cuts. About 45% of our kids go on to TAFE and the availability of courses has been slashed. Victoria University has taken a 30% hit in its funding — they’re cutting courses and they’ll also be bumping up the price to cover their costs. Our kids, who already struggle to pay their fees, will have to pay more. Kids who need it the most will have to pay the most. Kids choose their courses next term and my teachers don’t know what to tell them. The 2.5% (pay offer) they just see as insulting, and the idea that they’ll pay the top 10% a bit extra when they all work in teams, they just think that’s really divisive. Principals hate it even more. How do we make these decisions? What about the 11th per cent or the 12th per cent? How do we draw the line? It’s going to set principals against teachers. It’s not how you improve performance. If you haven’t got the skills, you’re not going to magically develop them — you need support to raise your skills base. Chris Taylor, Ashwood Special School Art teacher Chris Taylor doesn’t like the many cuts that the State Government has made to public education, or its performance pay plan. “In special education you work together and in teams — how on earth are you going to single out some teachers for performance pay? “I really oppose all the money that’s being put into private education, too. It’s pathetic and disgraceful. The state education system deals with more kids with higher needs. Extra money should be going to it. “The EMA cuts will affect us a lot, too, because we work with a lot of single-parent families (who receive the EMA). Marriages often break down when there are kids with disabilities.” Diana Santaera (right) with Joanne Elliott, Bentleigh West PS AEU rep Diana Santaera says she wants “a fair go for our ES staff. This government is making it impossible for them to live and work. A lot of them aren’t members (of the AEU) ... simply because they can’t afford it, their pay is so low.” Workload is her other big issue: “We don’t get out until 5.30pm every day — we’re doing at least 40 hour weeks. Sundays are preparation days, not to mention report writing at the moment which pretty much has to be done in our own time. And it’s all at the expense of the kids.” 16 aeu news | june 2012

campaign PHOTOS: MEREDITH O’SHEA Jaclynn Jones, recently retired from Sunbury Heights PS (I’m here) for better working conditions for teachers and better outcomes for the students. Baillieu has been very dishonest. He’s treated teachers very shabbily. Education should be a priority not treated the way it is by the Government. It’s a disgrace. Rosie Tyers, Sunbury Heights Primary School I don’t agree with contract teaching. I think Baillieu needs to be pulled into line. I want young kids to have the opportunity to be great teachers. Edi Candotti, Copperfield College Edi Candotti (with sons Sam, 12, and Noah, 9) says teachers need better pay and job security and more respect. The Government’s pay offer amounts to “throwing a few peanuts on the ground at us”. “I see the profession disintegrating,” he says. There’s no job stability and people are focusing on maintaining a job rather than being a better teacher. The contract system is resulting in a serious loss of consistency in teaching and learning — there’s no continuity. “I don’t want to keep losing good young men and women to other jobs or the private schools. I want my boys to have quality teachers whose bosses nurture them and spend money on PD.” Mr Candotti, a teacher for 22 years, says the Baillieu Government’s handling of public education reminds him of former premier Jeff Kennett’s reign in the 1990s. “He tore the system apart and a lot of good people left. “It’s now Jeff by stealth. Baillieu doesn’t say anything. The Government doesn’t consider or understand what teachers are doing — delivering varied programs to kids working at different levels or teaching the kids that the private schools won’t or wouldn’t accept.” www.aeuvic.asn.au 17

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