Cover of April 2022 Journal  AEU SA Journal: April 2022: Contents

Give more than thanks

Jan MurphyA world-class education system in 2022 is one that acknowledges the extraordinary contributions of education staff in these unprecedented times, argues Jan Murphy, AEU Branch Vice President.

Staff have and continue to go above and beyond to ensure the best possible outcomes for children and students and their families, and the broader community. We are all aware that while many of these outcomes relate to student achievement, others have been to provide supervision of children and students in support of families and communities to ensure that other workers can attend to their essential roles.

Teachers, leaders and support staff have put the needs of their colleagues, young people and families they work with before their own, and in some cases, before those of their own families. Many are exhausted and there is likely more to come.

We have heard political, education department and community leaders acknowledge, praise and thank educators for their extraordinary efforts and the abundance of professionalism and goodwill they have shown since the start of 2020.

We are calling on political and department leadership to give more than thanks.

Rather than ‘business as usual’ it’s time to focus on the necessary and the immediate. We are asking that education workers are shown due respect as professionals. We are seeking actions that demonstrate acknowledgement of their tireless efforts. Actions that will make
a tangible difference to their workload and wellbeing and support them to continue to do all they can for their children, students and communities in these exhausting and unpredictable times.

The department stopped the requirement for staff to complete a number of tasks for the first few weeks of the year and while that was welcome, most have now been put back on the ‘to do’ list. AEU officers will be calling for reductions in the number of administrative, bureaucratic and compliance tasks that educators endure every year and to trust you, the professionals, to do what’s needed in your school and preschool communities.