Public Education Day -- 22 May

Advice to TAFE members

The focus of Public Education Day is the valuing of teachers and students in our public schools, TAFE colleges and other public education worksites, as well as the Vinson achievements to-date.

Federation Representatives are reminded to hold a meeting on the day (or as soon as possible thereafter) to discuss the recommendation already forwarded and to fax the final resolution to Bob Carr (02) 9228 3935, Andrew Refshauge (02) 9228 4400, John Brogden (02) 9999 0922 and to the Federation on (02) 9217 2488. Members should also be reminded at the meeting how easy it is to senda Salaries protest e-mail to politicians by using the Federation Campaign engine.

Members are reminded that new child protection legislation relates to all students under the age of 18. It is difficult to tell whether a student is under 18 or not. The Education journal of 12 May 2003 contains a special section "Protecting teachers as well as children" and includes an article "TAFE and AMES teachers - this means you too!". It is recommended that all teachers read this and remember the general advice: "Never touch a student unless absolutely necessary and even then be incredibly careful. Do not be alone with a student." Advice is also available on the Federation website, where there is also a facility to send a protest letter to politicians.

  • Assessment Validation

Members are advised that discussions are occurring with TAFE around assessment validation and that in the meanwhile they should not undertake any additional validation work unless provided with adequate release/compensation to do this.

  • Training Plans and Workplace Assessment/Profiling/Evidence Collection

Trade implementation workshops are continuing to be held around the state, but in the meanwhile additional associated work is to be refused unless the Institute has provided adequate extra hours, support and resources.

  • VET Emergency Contact and DET's Workplace Learning Handbook

Federation advice on volunteering to be an emergency contact for students on workplacements both within and outside programmed hours of duty is still - do not do it! Federation has received legal advice that providing your details as emergency contact could extend your duty of care to incorporate any time that a student is on a workplacement.

The requirement to provide an emergency contact is included in the Department's Workplace Learning Handbook, about which the Federation was not even consulted. The Federation rejects a lot of information in the Handbook, especially the unreasonable statements about teacher responsibilities, including the attempt to abrogate risk assessment and other OH&S responsibilities from the employer to the employee. If you have already agreed to your details being included on any Emergency Procedure Cards, you should advise your head teacher and immediate manager in writing, that on advice from the Federation, you now insist that your details be removed from the cards.

Barry Johnson

General Secretary

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