Proposed VGSA 2022 Frequently Asked Questions

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General information

Salaries

Workload

ES work

CRT work

Principal class work

    Voting on the proposed agreement

    General information

    What is the duration of the proposed agreement?

    The agreement is for 4 years with a nominal expiry date of 31 December 2025.

    Why is there a list of commitments in addition to the agreement?

    It is usual for a list of commitments to accompany a new agreement.  The commitments often relate to how the AEU and Department will implement particular entitlements in the agreement, as well as matters which cannot be lawfully included in the agreement itself.

    The Department has made a range of commitments in addition to the proposed agreement which can be found here.

    Salaries

    What are the salary increases for Education Support (ES) staff?

    For ES currently in Range 1, (except for those employed on a traineeship) the salary increases are delivered through:

    • a 2% per year increase (1% increase paid in January and another 1% paid in July in each year of the agreement)
    • a structural salary adjustment at the beginning of the agreement (between 0.30% and 9.60% depending on your current sub-division)
    • translation to the new Range 2 which will enable extra increases through additional annual incremental progressions (worth between 3.09% - 4.25% each year) which have not been previously available.

    For example, the salary of an ES at the top of the current Range 1 (1-5) will increase from $55,375 to $70,289 a jump of $14,914 or 26.93%.

    For ES currently in Range 2, the salary increases are delivered through:

    • a 2% per year increase (1% increase paid in January and another 1% paid in July in each year of the agreement)
    • a structural salary adjustment at the beginning of the agreement (between 1.27% and 1.39% depending on your current sub-division)
    • translation to the new Range 2 which enables increases through annual incremental progression
    • a top of the sub-divisional scale (2-8) position allowance of 1% of salary paid in every year of the agreement.

    For ES currently in Range 3, the salary increases are delivered through:

    • a 2% per year increase (1% increase paid in January and another 1% paid in July in each year of the agreement)
    • a structural salary adjustment at the beginning of the agreement (0.30%, with 0.98% at 3-1)
    • the creation of a new salary sub-division at the top (worth 4.6%) which has not been previously available
    • increases through annual incremental progression
    • a position allowance of 1% of salary paid in every year of the agreement.

    For ES currently in Range 4,  the salary increases are delivered through

    • a 2% per year increase (1% increase paid in January and another 1% paid in July in each year of the agreement)
    • a structural salary adjustment at the beginning of the agreement (0.30%)
    • increases through annual incremental progression
    • a position allowance of 1% of salary paid in every year of the agreement.

    For ES currently in Range 5, the salary increases are delivered through:

    • a 2% per year increase (1% increase paid in January and another 1% paid in July in each year of the agreement)
    • a structural salary adjustment at the beginning of the agreement (0.30%)
    • the creation of a new salary sub-division at the top (worth 3.31%) which has not been previously available
    • increases through annual incremental progression
    • a position allowance of 1% of salary paid in every year of the agreement.

    For ES currently in Range 6, the salary increases are delivered through:

    • a 2% per year increase (1% increase paid in January and another 1% paid in July in each year of the agreement)
    • a structural salary adjustment at the beginning of the agreement (0.30%)
    • increases through annual incremental progression
    • a position allowance of 1% of salary paid in every year of the agreement.

    What are the salary increases for teachers?

    For teachers, the salary increases are delivered through:

    • a 2% per year increase (1% increase paid in January and another 1% paid in July in each year of the agreement)
    • a structural salary adjustment at the beginning of the agreement (2% for graduate teachers, 0.95% for all other classroom teachers, and between 0.85% and 1.24% for LT/LSs)
    • a position allowance of 1% of salary paid in every year of the agreement.

    For example, in 2022 a classroom teacher at the top of the scale (2-6) will receive an increase of 2.98% in the first six months of the agreement when comparing the current salary of $108,003 and the salary of $111,221 in July 2022.  There is a further payment of $1112 (1% of salary through the position allowance) in December 2022. In all following years they will receive payments of 1% in January and 1% in July, plus an allowance of 1% of their salary in December of each year.

    What are the salary increases for Casual Relief Teachers (CRTs)?

    CRT salaries will increase by $14.02 per day (an increase of 3.66%) from 1 January 2022 taking the daily rate from $383.13 to $397.15.  This includes an ongoing increase to the casual loading from 20% to 22%.

    The CRT rate will continue to be linked to Range 1 sub-division 5 of the teacher classification scale, so the daily amount will increase by 1% in January and 1% in July of each year through to the end of the agreement.

    The reintroduction of professional practice days (PPDs) will continue to be a source of work for CRTs.  The first decrease in face-to-face teaching hours for teachers in more than three decades will result in an additional 2000 teachers in the system, who will also be assigned PPDs, and whose PD and personal leave will need to be covered by CRTs. 

    A late cancellation fee will be payable to CRTs who have their employment cancelled on short notice.

    What are the salary increases for assistant principals?

    For assistant principals, the salary increases are delivered through:

    • a structural salary adjustment at the beginning of the agreement (2.43%),
    • a 1% increase paid in January and another 1% paid in July in each year of the agreement
    • increases through annual incremental progression
    • a position allowance of 1% of salary paid in every year of the agreement.

    What are the salary increases for principals?

    For principals, the salary increases are delivered through:

    • a structural salary adjustment at the beginning of the agreement (7.55%)
    • a 1% increase paid in January and another 1% paid in July in each year of the agreement
    • increases through annual incremental progression.

    Will principals continue to receive their salary as a Total Remuneration Package (TRP)?

    We have achieved a long-held claim to move away from the Total Remuneration Package model to a salary plus super model for principal class members in accumulation superannuation funds.  The salaries in Schedule 1 of the proposed agreement are salaries only, with the superannuation guarantee paid separately on top of this, as is the case for teachers and ES.

    Principal class members in a defined benefits scheme will receive the salary increases outlined above with salary and superannuation continuing to be provided as a Total Remuneration Package according to the formula in clause 15(1)(d), as is currently the case.

    When will the salary increases apply?

    If the proposed agreement is approved by the Fair Work Commission, the structural adjustment increases will apply from 24 December 2021, with the first 1% salary increase to apply from 1 January 2022.  The increases will be calculated from the first pay period on or after the above dates.

    CRT daily rates will increase from 1 January 2022.

    Workload

    What are the reductions to face-to-face teaching?

    For the first time in more than 30 years, the proposed agreement provides for a reduction in the maximum face-to-face teaching for primary, secondary, and specialist school teachers.

    In 2023 the maximum face-to-face teaching hours will be reduced by 1 hour:

    • Primary and Specialist - 21.5 hours face-to-face per week
    • Secondary - 19 hours face-to-face per week.

    From 2024 and ongoing the face-to-face teaching hours will be reduced by a further 30 minutes (1.5 hour reduction):

    • Primary and Specialist - 21 hours face-to-face per week
    • Secondary - 18.5 hours face-to-face per week.

    Why is the reduction in face-to-face teaching provided for in a deed?

    To agree to the face-to-face reduction, the state government required that it be included in a deed that is referenced directly in the proposed agreement.  This format meets the way in which they wish to account for the cost of the 2000 extra teachers required for the reduction in the state budget.

    The deed provides for the reduced face-to-face teaching maximums to continue for two years after the agreement’s nominal expiry date, which is December 2025.  This provides greater security of those reductions, beyond the requirements of the Fair Work Act, as we negotiate for a replacement agreement after 2025.

    The deed requires that the reduced face-to-face teaching hours are the Department’s starting point for negotiations for a replacement agreement after 2025.

    In recent years, other public sector unions including the Victorian branches of the United Firefighters Union and the Australian Nurses and Midwives Federation have used deeds to secure the conditions of their members.

    The deed is a legal document that is enforceable in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

    How has the 30+8 model for the allocation of teacher work changed to give teachers more time?

    The AEU Log of Claims sought to achieve more time for members within their paid hours to undertake work they are required to do in relation to the classes they teach, and for this time to be self-directed.

    We have achieved the ‘quarantining’ of teachers’ time. The in-principal agreement provides for the time between the maximum face-to-face hours and the 30 hours outlined in the 30 + 8 model to be only used for planning, collaboration and assessment, with the duties undertaken in that time to be determined by the teacher. With the reduction in face-to-face teaching, an additional 1.5 hours each week is provided for this work.

    What are the new time in lieu arrangements?

    The proposed Agreement significantly expands time in lieu (TIL) for teachers beyond parent–teacher reporting.

    For any structured school activity (such as parent–teacher meetings, camps, excursion, concerts, parent information sessions or after-hours sport) where staff are required to attend, they must be provided with time in lieu for any hours in excess of 38 hours for a full-time teacher (pro-rata for part-time).

    Any staff required to attend school camp will be provided with time in lieu for the hours outside their ordinary hours at a rate of 100% (hour for hour) when performing duties, e.g. participating in activities with students, and at 50% when not performing duties involving students e.g. sleeping. While this has resourcing implications for schools, the union has negotiated this entitlement on the basis that is no longer OK for members to work for free.

    This new entitlement TIL on camps will apply from commencement of the agreement for ES and from 1 January 2023 for teachers.

    Are there professional practice days (PPDs)?

    Professional Practice Days were not an ongoing feature in the VGSA 2017 and we have succeeded in having PPDs reintroduced in the proposed agreement. PPDs will be allocated in the following way:

    •  3 PPDs in 2022 (one in Term 2, one in Term 3 and one in Term 4)
    •  2 PPDs in 2023 (one in Semester 1 and one in Semester 2)
    •  1 PPD in 2024 and ongoing.

    ES work

    What are the changes to the work of Education Support (ES) staff?

    The Dimensions of Work have been extensively revised: they more accurately describe the work required at different ranges, recognise qualifications in determining classification levels and commencement salaries, and more clearly define supervision requirements.

    Roles that require qualifications or coordination, specialised student/teacher support tasks (e.g. medical intervention), or technical tasks must commence at Range 2 sub-division 4 as outlined in clause 18(4)(c).

    Are there changes to student supervision arrangements for ES?

    The revised Dimensions of Work limit the number of students who can be supervised by an ES to 4, in controlled circumstances and where the responsibility for students remains clearly with a teacher.  An ES staff member can be required to supervise more than 4 students only where that supervision is integral to the role.  Where this is the case the ES must be employed at Range 3 or above.

    I understand that laptops will be provided to ES.  What will be the arrangements?

    ES will be provided with laptops in a similar way as teachers and principals.  We would expect laptops to be provided as soon as possible after the commencement of the agreement if it is ratified by members.

    What are the changes to arrangements for the unpaid ES lunch break?

    The proposed agreement contains a new clause which makes it clearer that ES must be provided with 30 minutes free of duties for lunch where they work for longer than 5 hours. In exceptional circumstances where an ES is required to undertake work during this time, they are to be provided with an alternate break on that day (within 5 hours of the commencement of work).

    Are there any changes to ES time in lieu arrangements?

    There are now clearer requirements that any work required of ES outside of their normal hours of work must be recorded and will attract time in lieu, including for school camps.

    I’m an ongoing ES funded through the Student Support Program (SSP). What changes are there for me if my contract ends before 7 years?

    If an ES, whose employment is specifically linked to Student Support Funding as part of the Student Support Program (SSP) has their employment ended in the first 7 years, the proposed agreement ensures they receive a severance payment of between 4 and 11 weeks salary depending on their years of service.

    CRT work

    What other changes have been achieved for CRTs?

    Other improvements achieved through the negotiations include:

    • a fourfold funding increase to $1m from the Department to provide additional CRT PD
    • broadening the approved PD topics from curriculum and other professional matters to include employment requirements, e.g. anaphylaxis training
    • the Department exploring the introduction of a CRT booking software (by 30 June 2022)
    • the development of a CRT handbook to be published by 30 June 2022 which would include information for schools in relation to how CRTs can access email, employment, and pay information, as well as other key CRT conditions outlined in the Ministerial Order
    • an updated Department policy which encourages principals to support graduate teachers who are working as a CRT in their applications to full VIT registration
    • a requirement for schools to avoid grade splitting where possible.

    Principal class work

    Are there other improvements for principals?

    Principals (and the AEU) now have clear right to be consulted about proposed Departmental changes that may impact the workload of principals.

    An additional $11.988m funding is to be provided to support principal class members to complete mandatory OHS, essential safety measures, and emergency management requirements, and the engagement of external investigators to conduct complaints investigations.  This will help to reduce principal class administration and compliance workloads.

    In addition, the Department have committed to review and modernise Schedule B of principal class contracts in consultation with the AEU.

    Ratifying the agreement

    How did the AEU voting process work for the proposed agreement?

    Teachers, ES, and principal representatives on the AEU Joint Primary and Secondary Council have endorsed the proposed Schools Agreement and the ratification process for AEU members.

    Between 28 February - 17 March, 29 meetings were held around the state.  In these meetings, delegates voted on the proposed agreement on behalf of their sub-branch.  The voting entitlement is one vote for every 20 financial members (or part thereof) in the sub-branch. 

    A clear majority of votes were cast in favour of the proposed VGSA 2022. The final tally of votes cast at meetings was Yes 61% (1272) and No 39% (823). A total of 2,095 votes were cast.

    The employer (DET) is required to conduct a ballot of all employees covered by the VGSA 2022.

    If a majority of employees vote in support of the proposed agreement, it proceeds to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) for final approval. The agreement comes into effect seven days after approval by the FWC, with the negotiated improvements in pay and working conditions then flowing to members, including back paid salary increases.

    If a majority of employees do not support the agreement, none of the salary increases and improvements to conditions will apply and the DET will withdraw their offer, with negotiations going back to square one.

    When can the proposed agreement come into effect?

    The proposed agreement needs to be ratified by AEU members and, following an employee ballot, must be approved by the Fair Work Commission (FWC).  Once approved the VGSA 2022 would come into effect seven (7) days from the date of approval by the FWC.

    How do I find out more?

    The full proposed agreement, deed, list of other commitments by the Department, and a special agreement newsletter can be found on the VGSA landing page. You will need your member login details to view.

    You can also contact the Member Support Centre if you need further information, or contact your AEU organiser.