2014 is an important year for teacher aides as we mark their 40th anniversary.
We also celebrate decades of improvements to employment conditions, ensuring that teacher aides are respected as professionals and are able to earn a living wage. However, in the year of this important milestone, teacher aides also have to fight for the very things they thought were secure.
Late last year, the LNP pushed through legislation that threatens many teacher aides’ employment conditions. Some of these things like job security and union encouragement rights have already been stripped away from their Certified Agreement.
Others will be banned as soon as the Agreement is renewed. These include rights to minimum staffing levels, a say in reasonable workloads, maximisation of hours to get a living wage.
The rights of long term casual or temporary employees to convert their employment status to permanent will also be banned, as will the right for teacher aides to be consulted on workplace initiatives before they are implemented. For more information on what rights the government has ripped away, click here.
The new laws prevent bargaining for a new Agreement earlier than 53 days before the expiry of an Agreement. However, a new Agreement cannot commence until a so called Modern Award is in place. As this has not occurred by the expiry date of the Teacher Aide Agreement (which was 31 August), the existing Certified Agreement will continue in place for up to another twelve months. In the meantime United Voice teacher aide members deserve a pay increase to recognise their efforts and to ensure they can meet increasing costs.
Union organisers are out speaking with teacher aides about the battle we need to have to get fair pay increases but importantly, to ensure the government doesn’t get its way by ripping off hard won and fair employment conditions. Are you ready to fight?
Will you take part in a delegation to politicians? Click here.