A Casual Word: Education Quarterly, Issue 7 2023
Federation encourages all teachers to familiarise themselves with the different employment categories and how the classifications apply to casual and temporary teachers. Each year, Federation provides advice to a number of casual and temporary teachers who have either knowingly or inadvertently been employed in the incorrect employment category.
It’s not a choice
A teacher cannot choose how they would like to be employed nor can a principal.
The Crown Employees (Teachers in Schools and Related Employees) Salaries and Conditions Award 2022, clearly defines the employment categories that determine how teachers are engaged as a casual teacher or temporary teacher. Temporary employment is for a period of four weeks or more on a full-time basis, or two terms or more on a part-time basis. Furthermore, variations to the Award cannot be made by the school as the Award over-rides any decisions at the local level.
Can a school put a teacher through a trial period employed as a casual before off ering a temporary engagement?
No. A teacher must be engaged in the temporary position for the length of the known vacancy from the first day of their employment against that vacancy. This is a requirement of the NSW Department of Education and Federation, as parties to the Award covering all public school teachers. The school cannot vary employment provisions.
Can a teacher be engaged for a term when there is a vacancy for the entire year?
No. The teacher must be engaged in a temporary position for the known length of the vacancy. If it is known that there is a vacancy for the full year then the vacancy can’t be offered term by term.
How much notice is required to cease a temporary engagement?
As much notice as possible without disadvantaging the teacher. Sometimes a temporary engagement is ceased before the end of the engagement, initiated either by the teacher or the school. In the case of teacher-initiated cessation, there is no notice period that needs to be given, although as much notice as possible will help the school organise a replacement.
How much notice must a school give?
When a school initiates the cessation of a temporary teacher’s engagement on operational grounds, four weeks’ notice has to be given unless the engagement has less than four weeks to run.
What happens when there are performance concerns?
Where there are concerns about a teacher’s performance against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, there is a process of monitoring and support that must be followed before an engagement can be terminated.
If a temporary teacher is told their engagement is to be terminated for any reason they should seek advice from Federation, immediately.