Managing workload in TAFE18-01-2011
During arbitration of the TAFE Award, the AEU successfully argued, based on some excellent witness statements from members, that lecturers were experiencing significantly increased workloads. Clause 5.4 of the TAFE SA Education Staff Arbitrated Enterprise Bargaining Award, "Individual Workload Scheduling" sets out a clearer definition of "teaching and assessment' along with a process for dealing with excessive workloads...
Clause 5.4.1 states: "The allocation of Instruction and Assessment hours to an individual lecturer (the scheduled hours) will be done in consultation between the Educational Manager and the Lecturer concerned."
Duties that constitute Instruction and Assessment (the scheduled hours) are outlined in Clause 5.1.1 and include:
- “Online activities,
- Project work (which may be TAFE SA, worksite or independent learning),
- Class delivery,
- On job training,
- Distance Delivery,
- Video Conferencing,
- Recognition of Current Competencies (RCC), and/or
- Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)”
Further to this, Clause 5.4.2 states: "In order to avoid the allocation of excessive workload, the amount of work to be undertaken by the Lecturer in addition to the scheduled hours, including curriculum development work, the development of course materials, course coordination duties and participation in Quality Assurance Groups will be assessed and reflected in the allocation of scheduled hours............. (and) ....... work of uncertain duration which may include workplace assessments and communications with students in e-learning courses."
Where a member believes that some of the above are not being taken into account in the overall workload allocation, they have access to a grievance procedure and should contact the AEU for advice.
While the Award is clear on employees entitlements and rights, it is up to each individual to ensure that these entitlements are not being denied or abused.
Consultation, in Clause 3.3 is described as: "the sharing of relevant information before a decision is made" and further, "TAFE Institutes will consult in good faith, not simply advise what has been done".
Furthermore, under the sub-heading "Local Consultation" is the following:-
3.3.4 "A Managing Director of a TAFE Institute (or their delegate) must consult with Lecturers, Lecturer's Assistants and Educational Managers and their representatives (Union) on matters affecting them and their working conditions."
3.3.5 "Within a reasonable time after this Award comes into force, workplace/work unit consultative groups must be established within each TAFE Institute for the purpose of facilitating consultation at a local level."
This means that it is simply not good enough for lecturers to be told that they now have to teach 24 hours a week if it has been the practice in that program for sound educational reasons to only teach 20 or 22 hours per week. There are reasons for having a range of 18 to 24 hours Instruction and Assessment. Clause 5.3 deals with "Annualised Benchmark Hours of Instruction and Assessment". In particular, Clause 5.3.1 states: "Annualised benchmark hours of Instruction and Assessment (benchmark hours) will be established across all educational programs by use of a consultative process involving staff and managers from the relevant work group."
The AEU is aware that many workgroups are being told that their AHC Target hours have been increased. "Bean Counters" in DFEEST do this as a cost cutting exercise without consultation with work teams. Dividing the AHC target per lecturer into the total number of hours to be delivered in a program is a crude way of determining the number of staff required to deliver. Increasing the divisor results in less staff being required and hence a potential increase in workload.
The AEU believes that the new clauses referred to above give staff the mechanism to negotiate manageable workloads and challenge non-negotiated increases in hours.