Thursday, 23 March 2017

Aparthied in Richmond?

Poor students living in public housing will be locked out of the prestigious Melbourne Girls College, according to a peak tenants group. In a move described as "education apartheid", large parts of north Richmond, including public housing estates, will not be included in the school's zone from 2020. An informal agreement previously meant that the school provided automatic entry to all Richmond girls.  Facing a fierce backlash from residents in the marginal seat of Richmond, Education Minister James Merlino hinted on Wednesday that he was reconsidering the controversial changes.
 The Victorian Public Tenants Association has written to Mr Merlino raising concerns about the changes, which were made in response to the opening of a new co-ed Richmond High School in 2018. It is demanding that the zone include public housing students. The association spokesman Raoul Wainwright said the single-sex school should reflect the diversity of the Richmond community. "We see this as an important issue of social justice," he said.Yarra councillor Stephen Jolly said the changes were "classist" and excluded the poorest students in Richmond. "Education apartheid has no place in the 21st century and that is what this is," he said.In an unusual intervention last year, Mr Merlino forced Melbourne Girls' College to enrol 12 students it had initially rejected, including residents of the nearby North Richmond public housing estate.
It is not just public housing tenants who are concerned about the zone changes. Many families who have moved into the area to access the school are concerned that they are no longer in the enrolment boundary. They are particularly upset that families living in some parts of Kew, Hawthorn and Toorak will still be included in the zone.
The AEU and DET have agreed to a new EBA
This was sent to Principal class members yesterday:

We are pleased to let you know that after extensive and very robust negotiations we have reached settlement with the government for a new Victorian Government Schools Agreement.
Earlier today, your Joint Primary and Secondary Sector Council voted overwhelmingly to endorse the proposed agreement and recommend it to members.
The in-principle agreement delivers workload relief, more secure employment and salaries above the government’s original offer.
The Joint Council also determined to withdraw from the protected industrial action ballot in light of reaching an in-principle agreement for members to consider.
The key improvements for principal class members we have achieved include:


Headline salary increases (not inclusive of increments)

1 April 2017       4.00%

1 April 2018       2.00%

1 October 2018  2.00%

1 April 2019       2.00%

1 October 2019  2.00%

1 April 2020       2.00%

1 October 2020  2.00%

Total increase of 17.1%

In addition, principals will only be employed at Range 2 and above effective from 1 May 2017. All principals in range 1 will be translated to Range 2 at this time. This is an important change which recognises from a salary perspective, particularly in smaller schools, the significant role the principal is required to do by the employer.
The remuneration thresholds which determine which range principals are employed at will be reduced, which enables approximately 328 principals to move into the next remuneration range on account of their work value, as determined by the size of their school’s budget.
The headline salary increases above include an additional 0.5% increase to account for the missing superannuation guarantee increase which was not passed on by the former government and also to provide additional recognition of workload. 


  • Recognition of workload through higher salary increases than teachers and ES.
  • Provision of a $10,000 per annum payment to Network Chairs to recognise their leadership and the sharing of excellent educational practice.
  • New principal consultation clause in the agreement, requiring DET to consult about significant changes to your work prior to the decision to implement the change.
  • The AEU will continue to work with the government in the lead up to this year’s state budget in May, regarding additional support for principals to provide them with more time to manage their work at their school and at the system level.
  • A working party to be established in 2017 (and a commitment to complete this work within 12 months of its establishment) to identify improvements in existing support and any areas where effective support is not provided, and to make recommendations for addressing those areas including identification of any budget implications to feed into DET's budget processes.
  • Fixed-term vacancies of up to one school term may be filled without advertisement in order to replace employees who are absent on long service leave – this change was made in direct response to our principal class members' concerns regarding the workload of selection processes particularly for short-term vacancies.

  • Changes to contract processes will see thousands of teachers and ES automatically translated to ongoing employment. This is a significant win and will provide many of our members with the secure employment they have been seeking for many years.
  • All ES staff employed in positions linked to Student Support Funding will be employed ongoing. If this funding reduces or ceases within the first seven years of an individual’s employment, the employment can be ended and the employee will be provided with 12 weeks’ notice and opportunity for redeployment. Anyone employed on an SSP contract who has been employed for more than seven years on the date the agreement comes into effect can only have their employment ended through the normal excess procedures applicable to all staff.
  • A new annual central translation process for all eligible contract teachers and ES (whose employment is not linked to SSP funding) will take effect from September 1 this year. All eligible contract employees will be identified and principals will be provided with an opportunity to advise DET if they consider that translation should not occur, which must be consistent with the reasons for fixed term in the agreement. If it is not consistent, DET will automatically translate individuals to ongoing employment.
Workload - teachers and ES

  • Each teacher will receive four days per year (one day per term) commencing in 2018, to focus on work directly related to their classroom (pro rata for part timers).
  • In addition, the 38 hour week will be restructured to ensure that a teacher’s time during the working week is focused on activities directly related to the teaching and learning program of their class(es).
  • DET have committed to review the ES ‘Dimensions of Work’ with recommendations to make changes to better reflect ES work, for inclusion in a subsequent agreement.


ES, teachers, paraprofessional and executive class

1 April 2017        3.25%

1 April 2018        1.50%

1 October 2018  1.75%

1 April 2019        1.50%

1 October 2019  1.75%

1 April 2020        1.51%

October 2020     1.75%

Total increase of 13.7%

Education Support

In addition to the salary increases outlined above, the classification structure for ES Range 1 and 2 will be altered. This involves the removal of the bottom subdivision in each of these ranges and an additional subdivision at the top of each range. It provides existing 1-5s and 2-5s with a further increment to deliver higher salary outcomes in the first twelve months of the agreement. For current 1-5s, the total increase in the first twelve months will be 6.71%. For current 2-5s, it will be 6.46%. In addition, on translation to the new scale, the current 1-1 and 2-1 employees will translate to the new 1-1 and 2-1 and receive an additional salary increase to the headline rate. 


Initial increase of $54.51 (18.59%) from 1 July 2017 to take the daily rate from $293.30 to $347.81.  By the end of the agreement, CRT members will receive $383.13 for each day worked.

Learning specialists

A new classification of ‘learning specialist’ will also be created. From 2018 funding will be provided for 3000 of these promotion positions which will be paid at the same level as leading teachers.  Teachers promoted to these classroom-based roles will be recognised for their outstanding classroom practice and the support that they provide to other teachers.


The agreement also provides for a range of other improvements including:

  • a ban on quotas on the number of staff who can progress up the salary scale
  • a ban on lump sum performance pay for all staff
  • paid family violence leave, in addition to personal leave
  • release for AEU rep on consultative committee (in default), to allow release for consultation with the sub-branch
  • trade union training leave for all members

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