We at the NSW/ACT branch of the Independent Education Union will remember 2017 as… the year the Federal Education Minister re-opened a bitter State Aid debate by announcing School Funding policies with serious impacts on schools without consultation with stakeholders. Having ignored recommendations from the original Gonski panel regarding the need to review the SES as the major determinant of funding for six years he and the Federal Government continue to rely on this flawed mechanism to the detriment of many schools and their students.
Our proudest achievements this year has been… our ongoing support for members who are unfairly and unconscionably treated by hypocritical employers who have no respect for the concept of the presumption of innocence. Coupled with a campaign particularly in Catholic schools to reverse the ever intensifying workload on teachers and support staff 2017 has been a year of extremes.
The biggest issues for our members in 2018 will be… securing an enforceable industrial instrument to address salaries and conditions in the Catholic sector & progressing an equal pay case for our early childhood teacher members. We believe that teachers are teachers wherever they work however a teacher of four-year-olds can earn $30,000 pa less than a teacher of five-year-olds attending school.
The NSW/ACT IEU looks forward to 2018 as a year when… education will become a defining policy issue at a federal election and where government intervention in the practice of teaching and the work of teachers will diminish. Our hope for 2018 is that teachers will be allowed to do what they do best and teach.