TAFE issues update

a message to all TAFE Fed Reps

The latest TAFE Federation Representatives 'TAFE issues update' has been faxed to all colleges. Federation Representatives are asked to distribute to all members.

1. New EC Forms and Underpayments

The Department will soon be issuing new EC Forms. These contain several improvements including rectification of a misleading reference to time credit. The Department has formally agreed that "time credit applies to direct teaching ... regardless whether those hours form part of a teacher's normal program as per clause 50 or excess hours as provided for in sub clause 51.4 of the award". As many of our members have been underpaid as a result of incorrect advice about this, institutes have been advised to rectify underpayments as soon as possible. Members should follow this up.

2. Student Administration Charges and Fees

Members are reminded of the long-standing Federation policy that they should not have any involvement in the collection or verification of student administration charges and fees. This is considered to be a function of administration and clerical staff.

3. 2001 Award

Important advice about the award is contained in the Members Only area of the Federation website www.nswtf.org.au. Duties related to teaching as documented in the award shows the range of duties that can be undertaken, but nothing in the award suggests that teachers will perform all of these duties. Furthermore, award subclause 42.5 states "teachers shall continue, in consultation with their immediate manager, to determine duties that shall be conducted during related duties time".

The dispute about award subclause 41.3 is still before the Industrial Relations Commission. No member should be doing work that traditionally attracted release (eg OH&S or Consultative Committee work) without being fully compensated for it.

Members are still directed not to teach classes with more students than the traditional/normal maximum student:teacher ratio agreed to by Federation.

Head teachers are urged to grant part time casual teachers, who are teaching a minimum of 18 hours per week in their institute, payment of an average of 1.5 hours per week for related duties in accordance with award subclause 60.10.

4. Member Recruitment

All members, especially head teachers are urged to make a special effort to strongly encourage all teachers, particularly part time casuals to join the Federation. If you have insufficient numbers of membership forms or kits, please contact the Federation ASAP.

5. Permanency Campaign

The Federation is acutely aware of the Department's increasing use of part time casuals and excess teaching as a cost cutting measure. This is causing a significant increase in workload for members and accordingly Federation will continue to pursue increased permanency as one of its main campaigns. Members can assist greatly in this campaign by refusing to do additional work which is unpaid, by refusing to do excess teaching on a regular basis and by insisting that their immediate managers create and fill permanent positions. Members are reminded that subclause 51.6 of the award states that "the parties agree that the use of excess teaching hours shall be discouraged."

6. CLAMS

Members are advised that they should only participate in CLAMS (or other computer based management systems), if satisfactory time, training, resources and support are provided. Part time casual teachers should only enter data on CLAMS, if they are paid for any additional work, which this causes.

7. Risk Assessments and Workplacements

Although there is now a new OH&S requirement for risk assessments to be conducted at all workplaces, this is inappropriate unless the Department has trained and compensated members to do so. Members are advised not to undertake any risk assessment until appropriate arrangements have been agreed. This is a particularly vexatious issue for teachers with students at multiple workplaces. There have been attempts to impose a requirement on teachers to provide their home phone, email and/or mobile details to enable contact by students at any time. This is not a reasonable requirement and should not be complied with.

8. Student Discipline

At least one institute has appointed head teachers as "designated officers". under the TAFE Student Discipline Policy. The Federation directs head teachers not to undertake this additional work.

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