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Australian Education Union, Victorian Branch

Australian Education Union, Victorian Branch

letters Letters from

letters Letters from members are welcome. Send to: AEU News, PO Box 363, Abbotsford, 3067, fax (03) 9415 8975 or email aeunews@aeuvic.asn.au. Letters should be no more than 250 words and must include name, workplace and contact details of the writer. Letters may be edited for space and clarity. Next deadline: July 25, 2012. Betrayed by my party HAVE been a member of the AEU for 10 years. I Until last month I was also a member of the Liberal party. Before you judge me for that, please read on. I have decided not to renew my Liberal party membership. I was asked why I had made this decision. What follows is the reply I gave the party. I was a party member for about 12 years. I worked the whole time to get a Liberal Government elected. I was in the audience at State Council when Ted Baillieu talked about making Victorian teachers the best paid in the country. I feel humiliated and betrayed by the approach that the Government’s representatives have taken towards the negotiations, and see the Government’s offer as nothing short of an insulting attack on my working conditions and career prospects. To me it is now shamefully obvious that the Liberals generally hold public education in contempt and consider the kids of parents who make the “choice” to send their kids to government schools as second-class Victorians who are not worthy of the best facilities. It’s as if they think they are not pulling their weight by relying on the Government to provide them with their kid’s education. As for the teachers in these schools, it would appear we are thought of as under-performing slacker bolshie radicals who need to be held responsible for an apparently under-performing state school sector. Never mind that our results are often as good or better than other states’, despite being proportionally under-funded, and that we are continually asked to do more with less. Oh, and never mind that one of the first things done was to withdraw $450 million from the system then a few months later put a similar amount towards a new prison. I find that insulting as well. I have an obvious interest in public education, but it is only one area where I find this Government disappointing. We used to talk about Bracks as the “do-nothing Premier”. Compared to Ted he was an over-achiever. — Jeremy Leeson Doncaster SC Don’t forget the teachers in the middle IN THE last schools agreement it was claimed that those at the top and the bottom of the pay scales were the biggest winners. If this is the case, why does the AEU continue to compare these teachers with those interstate? Shouldn’t we be comparing those teachers who are climbing the scale? I started teaching in 2004 and since then haven’t taken any leave other than sick leave and have passed all of my incremental reviews. Despite this, I started 2012 on $67,451: the pay of a six-year-out Victorian teacher despite being in my ninth year. A nine-year-out teacher is at the top of the scale in most states. This means I started the year being paid between $10,000 and $25,000 below every other state. Our top-of-thescale teachers might be 8.85% below Western Australia, which is disgraceful, but a nine-year-out teacher in my situation is 36% below WA. I even started the year 15% below Queensland, which has the second lowest level of pay. Mine isn’t an isolated story as most teachers climbing the incremental scale are either the lowest or close to the lowest paid in Australia. There are a significant number of those teachers like me who are getting paid more than $10,000 less than in any other state or territory. Shouldn’t our campaign be directed towards pay justice for these teachers? — Steven Adams Hallam Senior College Fund us to do our jobs I AM A late-to-teaching person in my fourth year, age 38. I work at Korumburra Secondary in careers, VCAL, MIPS, VET, alternative programs, work experience and whatever else is going on. I am extremely stressed in my job and had started to wonder why I actually wanted to be a teacher. I found June 7 extremely empowering and for the first time this year I did not feel powerless in my situation. However, a couple of parents at my son’s school did whinge about how good teachers have it, why do they want more pay, etc etc. On June 7 I was not striking for money. I was striking for the funding and resourcing at our schools and how pathetic it is in Victoria. I did my first year of teaching at Katherine High School in the Northern Territory, teaching its VCAL equivalent program. Every teacher at Katherine had an average of nine hours planning time each week, contrasting greatly with the three or four hours we get if we are lucky. If Baillieu wants productivity, then fund me and my school so I can do my job properly. Like the nurses, we need to take this away from being about wages to being about resourcing our schools properly so Victorian kids get the best education possible. Thanks for June 7. — Jodie Matthews Korumburra Secondary College Seeking promotion or a classroom teaching position? ONLINE PACKAGES FOR CRITERIA WRITING AND INTERVIEW • Promotions Positions - $135 • Classroom Teaching Positions - $99 These detailed packages are specific to the Victorian criteria. They will help you develop a dynamic application and prepare for a powerful interview performance! Available for immediate download at www.teachers-resumes.com.au ♦ WE ALSO PROVIDE INDIVIDUAL ASSISTANCE ♦ Tel 0411245415 ♦ Email teachers-resumes@bigpond.com Teachers’ Professional Résumés – ABN 40 833 718 673 Serving Australia’s teachers since 1990 4 aeu news | june 2012

news Pollies BANNED Dixon, Hall and colleagues unwelcome in state schools. Nic Barnard AEU News COALITION politicians are “banned” from visiting public schools as the AEU steps up its EBA dispute with the Baillieu Government following the June 7 strike. Members have already staged protests at a number of visits by Schools Minister Martin Dixon following the rally. The Minister got noisy receptions at Sandringham, Gisborne and Castlemaine secondary colleges with members greeting him with placards. “We gave him a pretty colourful welcome,” organiser Meaghan Flack said after the Gisborne protest. AEU branch president Mary Bluett said: “As we’ve heard consistently in messages to the union and in calls to talkback radio, the community has a strong expectation that politicians should keep their word. “In that context, it’s totally inappropriate for Coalition politicians to expect to use government schools for photo opportunities and good news stories. They’ll find our members greeting them whenever they try to do so.” The June 7 rally overwhelmingly supported a program of bans, limitations and further strikes. After the record turnout at Hisense Arena on June 7, the union has pledged to rally in even greater numbers next term at Rod Laver Arena if the Government does not drop its stance on performance pay and productivity and produce better offers on pay and contract teaching. As AEU News went to press, branch council was due to debate the next steps in the campaign. Details will be posted at www.aeuvic.asn.au/ eba2012. Banner bugs Baillieu Ted Baillieu may have contrived to be in Gippsland for the June 7 rally, but he still got the message to keep his promises. Enterprising member Kirsten Norman, living opposite the Premier’s East Hawthorn mansion, strung up a banner on her balcony with the message: “Honour your word Ted, invest in teachers.” Baillieu arrived home from his morning swim as the sign went up. Kirsten (pictured above at left with colleague Naomi Maes) says he stood on his doorstep staring at it before going inside. The message was too much for Taking our message to the Premier’s front door — literally one sensitive soul — surely not the Premier — who called police complaining of “offensive language”. Detectives had a chuckle when they arrived at Kirsten’s house, and told her they were “right behind you”. Kirsten moved out two days after the rally, taking her banner with her. It’s now safe for Ted to leave his house … though he may wish to avoid Lygon Street (see page 6). ◆ Rally special: pages 12–17. The rear of Sandringham’s banner has the signatures of members who have stopped work over the years Members put on a colourful display at Castlemaine SC Assisting AEU Members for over 30 years Adviceline e Injury Lawyers can assist you – no win, no charge – with: • Work injury compensation – physical and psychological injury • Road and transport accident injury compensation www.advicelineinjurylawyers.com.au Adviceline Injury Lawyers is a division of Holding Redlich • Medical negligence • Asbestos injuries Contact us directly on 9321 9988 or contact your AEU organiser for a referral. Melbourne Ground Floor, 555 Bourke Street Melbourne VIC 3000 T +61 (0)3 9321 9988 or 1300 MY INJURY F +61 (0)3 9321 9900 Springvale 369 Springvale Road Springvale VIC 3171 T +61 (0)3 9321 9886 www.aeuvic.asn.au 5

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