Time for Respect

AEU SA Branch media release: 20 November 2018

The Australian Education Union (SA Branch) is calling for respect for public education and the teaching profession in South Australia.

Discussions with the Marshall Government as part of the Enterprise Bargaining process have stalled when plans were revealed to wipe out hard won conditions and funding protections.

“The Marshall Government boldly states that funding for education is at record levels. The amounts they are referring to are linked to large infrastructure spends, building three new schools and the costs associated with transitioning Year 7 students to high school,” said Australian Education Union (AEU) Branch President Howard Spreadbury.

“We need to protect our current arrangements so that funds are not siphoned off elsewhere.”

Schools and preschools are unique workplaces as they are also the learning environments for children and young people. The conditions, levels of resources and funding are the basis of educational programs for students.

“The sheer dedication of all teaching staff at schools and preschools is well known. Our members are standing up for the best conditions and funding for every school and every student,” said Mr Spreadbury.

“This proposed action is not taken lightly. The section of the current Enterprise Agreement which is under threat is ironically called ‘The Commitment’. This outlines a number of funding agreements and conditions which schools and preschools rely upon.”

“The Marshall Government is planning to remove ‘The Commitment’ entirely, suggesting that we just trust them that funding levels will remain the same.”

“Our members, who work within schools and preschools have let us know that funding, resources and conditions are inadequate and our students need more, not less.”

“I think the community would believe, trust and respect what their teachers say. They are there everyday and know what their students need,” said Mr Spreadbury.

The AEU is calling for an improved learning environment for all South Australian students including more funding and support for every student, better classroom arrangements to meet the needs of students, letting leaders focus on leading and attracting and retaining educators to country schools and preschools.

The results of a ballot for a proposed Stop Work action will be determined on Monday 26 November 2018.