Implementation of the 2012 Enterprise Agreement
The 2012 Enterprise Agreement came into operation when it was approved by the Industrial Relations Commission of SA (IRCSA) on 18 January 2013. At this time plans (including staffing and school budget allocations) for the 2013 school year were finalised in most schools.
A conciliation process between the AEU and DECD in mid-2012 resulted in the clarification of a number of issues related to teacher workload conditions. These new definitions also became operational at the same time as the 2012 Enterprise Agreement.
Some schools (such as ours) face significant changes to fully implement the requirements of the Enterprise Agreement and conciliation process. The changes, in some cases, can have implications for staffing and/or school budgets.
In particular, a large number of primary schools including CLG, are faced with the need to consider restructuring their school day. This is caused by:
· The inclusion of in class supervised lunchtime eating for primary/junior primary as part of Face to Face teaching.
· The inclusion of the 8.45 to 8.50 time after our first warning bell as part of Face to Face teaching.
This means that at CLG we are currently 75 minutes per week over the maximum Face to Face teaching time. The reason for the delay in suggesting solving this problem by altering the school day is that staff were exploring all the possible options to solving the problem to assess if there were other feasible options. For example, one solution would be to employ extra teachers to provide each teacher with an additional 75 minutes per week in non Face to Face time (which we call NIT). In a school the size of CLG this would cost the school over $145,000. This is money we are not funded for, so it would come from our current budget and effect the provision of materials and programs for students. Staff did not believe that was a feasible option.
In the end, after looking at the possible solutions, staff have finally recommended that the best solutions were:
1) no longer have the 8.45 warning bell. Continue to open classrooms at 8.40 and start instruction time at 8.50.
2) either finish each day at 3.10pm or finish one day at 2.30pm.
The recommendation of staff to Governing Council is that we finish early on one day. The reasons for this recommendation we outlined in the letter. Local high schools finish early on Wednesdays. Kindergarten have advised us that parents would find it difficult to pick up kindergarten children at 3.00pm and then get to the school to pick up at 3.10pm. Staff meeting would be changed to the early finish day, giving staff longer and better quality learning time.
The process required to change school day/week is:
· Principal and Governing Council manage the process.
· ALL parents should be given the chance to provide comment.
· The change needs to be agreed to by the Governing Council (after comment from parents is considered).
· The Regional Director then approves the change.
The process to come up with solutions and options has been undertaken by staff at the school in conversation with DECD and has been ongoing over the last two terms, with progress reported to Governing Council. The Council is now seeking comment on the solution presented. We have already received useful comment from parents about OSHC provisions and aligning any early finish with high schools.