While Federation has pursued the health and safety, industrial, employment and professional rights of teachers during this pandemic, the union has also secured a new 2020/21 Staffing Agreement that will commence day one, term 2.
The protection of permanency and class sizes were among the significant achievements gained by Federation.
The settlement also established the means for Federation to pursue a range of staffing entitlement enhancements to address teacher workload and ensure a curriculum guarantee for all students.
Deputy President Henry Rajendra said the protections were especially significant in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.
“This is a significant achievement for our union on behalf of our members, as well as for students and public school communities,” he said. “The protection of permanency, class sizes and a statewide transfer system are maintained in this agreement.”
The new Staffing Agreement will continue to:
- protect permanent teacher employment in the NSW public school system
- maintain a statewide teacher transfer system including nominated transfers
- protect class sizes
- monitor and enforce compliance action for permanent teacher employment
- provide the means for permanent positions to be created by schools with additional needs-based funding.
Some of the key priorities of the union in 2020, as determined by members, were to campaign for increased permanent staffing levels, delivered as a staffing entitlement, including additional release time for teachers.
“The ratification also marks the moment we bring greater focus to our broader school staffing policy objectives such as increase in release time and a curriculum guarantee for all students with the employment of additional permanent teachers,” Mr Rajendra said.
“This gain confirms that the working conditions of our members and the learning outcomes of students remain our core business.”
The extension of the agreement with the Department acknowledges that further matters being pursued by Federation – such as release time and a curriculum guarantee for all students – will be the subject of discussions between the parties.
“In line with a determination by members, Federation is demanding at least two additional hours of release from face-to-face teaching per week for all school teachers across all mainstream and specialist settings, to be facilitated by the employment of additional permanent teachers delivered via staffing entitlements” Mr Rajendra said.
“As stated, this is the least we are demanding recognising that more complex settings require greater release time for teachers.”