TRTs, contract teachers and Step 9
With DECS refusing to consider Step 9 applications lodged by TRTs, the AEU has initiated proceedings to clarify this matter.
The AEU lodged a formal grievance from a TRT who meets the conversion criteria i.e teachers who have completed 207 duty days at Step 8 and who wish to participate in the process. This led to a conference with DECS representatives including the Manager of the Teacher Quality Unit who is responsible for Step 9 implementation.
At this meeting DECS advised that their interpretation of the Award was different to the AEU's and that relief teachers couldn't meet the Outcomes in the PDP – particularly the Professional Development section as relates to outcomes in the classroom and the mentoring of less experienced teachers.
DECS discussed their 'concerns' that TRTs did not participate in programming or assessment or school community (training and development, meetings, open day etc). DECS cited that TRTs were not 'employed' by DECS in an ongoing fashion and thus couldn't commit to outcomes. We disagree.
The AEU knows that many TRTs work regularly at sites, attend professional development, implement their skills to the benefit of many classes and can be called upon to help with school programs or new educators or those who are new to the year level/subject. A number of TRTs were previously Advanced Skills Teachers or School Leaders and are now relief teachers. We know this because you are telling us.
The next step for our AEU relief teacher members is for the AEU to obtain legal advice and seek clarification on the matter in the Industrial Relations Commission.
Please encourage other relief teachers to join the AEU and support the work of their colleagues in challenging DECS on this matter.
Contract teachers are reminded that approval for Step 9 is not automatic (unless you already held the classification of AST1) and must be applied for using the process and application form found via this link to the DECS website.
Applications for Step 9 will be assessed only against Attachment 1 to Schedule 3 of the South Australian Education Staff (Government Preschools and Schools) Arbitrated Enterprise Bargaining Award 2010.
The Award does not require any material not specifically identified in the Award to be provided by a teacher in connection with Step 9. However, this does not preclude teachers from choosing to provide additional material to support their application to Step 9.
The above information is intended to assist with the application process but does not impose requirements which must be adhered to in order to apply for and achieve Step 9.