The Australian Education Union Victorian Branch has today lodged an application in the Fair Work Commission for a single interest employer authorisation on behalf of Victorian TAFE teachers. The application is made with the majority support of TAFE teachers across Victoria.
Teachers are being forced to spend hundreds of dollars of their own money each year to ensure that students do not miss out on vital education activities due to the underfunding of public schools by governments.
National polling of principals, teachers and support staff shows 85% of public school teachers are spending their own money with the average amount being just over $885 a year. NSW, WA and NT teachers are spending, on average, over $1,000 each a year.
Based on the national average, the total spending by teachers is $159.5 million a year.
The latest Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)’s ‘Education at a Glance’ report shows that Australia significantly underperforms against most OECD countries when it comes to investing in public schools.
The report, released today, also finds that Australian teachers on average have much higher workloads, higher than average class sizes and confirms that the salaries of Australia’s teachers plateau much earlier than they do in most OECD countries.
The Australian Education Union Victorian Branch has welcomed the announcement made by the Victorian government today to introduce scholarships for secondary teaching students with accompanying payments for those who work in public schools for two years after they graduate, and extra preparation time, mentoring and support for graduate teachers and targeted incentives to attract teachers to harder to staff schools.
AEU Victorian Branch Deputy President Justin Mullaly said the announcements are an important and positive step in the right direction.
A month ago, I first wrote to you and your state Labor MP colleagues about the teacher shortage crisis in our schools.
In that time, the situation has escalated significantly with advertised vacancies in our schools climbing as high as 2600 this week.
A new report published by The Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work reveals the economic payoff of fully funding public schools would be two to four times the annual cost.
Released today, the report says that funding public schools to 100 per cent of the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) requires an additional $6.6 billion per year but would deliver long term economic and fiscal benefits of between $17.8 billion and $24.7 billion a year.
The release today of the 2023 NAPLAN results, showing significant numbers of students across Australia require additional support in literacy and numeracy, reinforces the need for full funding of public schools.
“NAPLAN is just one measure of student achievement, and its importance should not be overrated, but the overall pattern of these results add to the evidence about the unacceptable achievement gaps between students from different backgrounds and locations,” said Australian Education Union Federal President Correna Haythorpe.
The Australian Education Union Victorian Branch has welcomed the announcement that the Andrews Government will not cut visiting teacher positions.
Education Minister Hutchins has listened to the calls of AEU members, parents/carers, and schools, with the decision ensuring that public school students with significant additional needs will continue to receive the critical education and support provided by visiting teachers.
In an open letter published in the Herald Sun and The Age this morning, the Australian Education Victorian Branch has called on Premier Daniel Andrews to act now to urgently fix the teacher shortage crisis being experienced in Victoria’s public schools.
This letter comes as teacher and staff vacancies for public schools in Victoria hit record numbers yesterday, with 2,255 positions advertised on the Education Department’s vacancies website.
The Australian Education Union Victorian Branch has condemned the City of Knox for walking away from the provision of essential kinder services, despite the overwhelming wishes of the local community.
Branch President Meredith Peace expressed profound disappointment over the decision, which will leave 120 employees with no job security and impact the early learning of approximately 1,100 three and four-year-olds.