Council Report: 17 March 2018

Federation’s March Council was briefed about the Fair Funding Now campaign launched in Canberra on 27 March to turn back the Turnbull Government’s cuts to schools when it tore up the national funding agreement with the states.

The 296 elected Federation members – teachers and principals from schools and TAFE across the state – also debated critical education issues such as the national Change the Rules campaign, employing casual staff, working conditions, teacher supply, protecting and enhancing school staffing entitlements, NAPLAN and TAFE.

Council received a report on the next phase of the schools funding campaign.

Campaign resources are being updated and rebranded, and merchandise and support material has been designed to be made available as the campaign rolls out. Over the coming weeks, members will receive information about the campaign and we encourage all members to sign up to the website.

An outline of the Change the Rules campaign was provided by Deputy President Joan Lemaire, including the advertising campaign launched on 11 March that highlights the consequences of low pay, cuts to penalty rates and job insecurity for workers and their families.

Council acknowledged the importance of exposing the failure of current policies and legislation to provide fair pay, decent working conditions and job security.

As a social justice union, Federation has a significant role to play in the ACTU’s Change The Rules campaign as it is not only aimed at bringing about change for our members but also providing a better Australia for our students, their families and the wider community.

Through motions from Associations, Council heard reports from around the state about the difficulties some schools face when seeking to engage casual teachers.

As a result of the debate, Federation called on the Department to clarify, as a matter of urgency, the question of schools’ capacity to employ casual teachers within new budget processes. The Department must ensure all schools have adequate resources to employ casual teachers when needed and provide schools with casual relief funding as a separate line item.

Federation Workplace Committees should contact their Federation Organiser to consider appropriate action in relation to the matter.

The decisions of each Council meeting are communicated to schools through TeFED, which is emailed to Federation Representatives and Workplace Committee members. TeFED is also available through the Member’s area of Federation’s website.

Any Federation member is able to attend Council as an observer. However, Federation does provide opportunities through its New Activists, Country and Women’s Observer programs to attend Federation Council in Sydney to develop members’ understanding of the union’s decision-making structures.

Details are available on the website at Other opportunities may arise through discussions held at your local Teachers Associations meetings.