Huge win for Victoria’s TAFE teachers

This month’s Victorian Budget announcement will increase public sector wages 11.2 per cent by 30 June next year.

TAFE teachers will receive, by means of a new pay deal, an overall salary increase of 23.7 per cent over four years.

The Enterprise Agreement (EA) deal with the Australian Education Union (AEU) Victoria Branch, announced during the state’s 1 May Budget announcement, is linked to the Government’s allocation of $172 million to make 30 TAFE and 18 pre-apprenticeship courses free.

Under the TAFE deal, teachers will receive an upfront 5.4 per cent wage increase, followed by a further 2.7 per cent every six months until 2021. In addition, a significant number of casuals will become eligible for conversion to permanent full-time roles.

“This agreement is a massive win for Victoria’s TAFEs and the communities that rely on them,” AEU Victorian Branch President Meredith Peace said. “Casualisation of teaching staff is one of the biggest problems facing TAFEs.

“This agreement stops that trend and delivers guarantees that thousands of casual and fixed-term employees will be offered more secure employment.”

Ms Peace said Victorian TAFE teachers “will go from being the lowest paid, to the highest paid in the country as a result of this deal”.

In summary the AEU Victoria TAFE EA delivers:

  • 5.4 per cent salary increase for all classifications in the first year with further increases of 2.7 per cent in May and November in 2019, 2020, and 2021 (a total of 23.7 per cent over four years)
  • a new conversion clause introducing an annual review of casual and fixed-term staff, “which will result in significant numbers of casual and fixed-term employees being converted to more secure employment”
  • span of work hours from 6am to 10pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 5pm Saturday, with teachers compensated with a reduction off their annual teaching hours for working unsociable hours;
  • annual teaching of 800 hours per year with a further 400 hours to undertake planning, preparation, curriculum development, and assessment
  • overtime for any work outside the maximum hours
  • 20 days family violence leave.

“Privatising vocational education has failed,” Ms Peace said. “Public TAFEs need to be the centre of our vocational education system providing high quality training to young people and the broader community.”

She went on to say that “now that we have certainty for teaching staff we must make sure at least two thirds of public funding for vocational education goes to TAFEs”.