In this crisis, Federation has you covered

Much of the business of Federation in 2020 has centred on the issues and concerns raised by the COVID-19 pandemic, largely unravelling the conflicting and confusing decisions and advice emanating from the state and federal governments at the height of the crisis.

The pandemic has been an extraordinary event that will continue to have social, economic and industrial ramifications for the foreseeable future.

As the crisis unfolded, Federation sought and commenced discussions with the Department, raising concerns for the security of the short- and long-term jobs of casual teacher members. Negotiations resulted in a package that guaranteed employment for more than 6000 casual teachers per day, when the cancellation rate for casuals in the last weeks of term 1 was 500 per day.

This was closely followed by intense, daily negotiations with the Department and others to transition public schools to an emergency mode of operation that placed members’ health, safety and industrial and professional rights at the centre of all we did, with the welfare of students and school communities also prime considerations.

Throughout the early stages, the Department did not come to Federation seeking an understanding of the concerns of our members. Rather, it was Federation’s constant and direct representations to the Department’s senior officials, NSW Education Minister and the Premier that demanded matters our members were consistently raising during the crisis were addressed and rectified at a systemic level. In negotiations and discussions with the Department, there has been no section of our membership that has not been represented, from the smallest school communities and specialist settings, to our largest high schools. From every individual case, to all categories of employment, Federation has put members’ needs across health, safety and professional and industrial rights first.