Primary teachers in Lismore Diocese take action to protect their RFF

The IEU is seeking a clause in the Lismore Catholic Diocese Work Practice Agreement to guarantee that RFF time supports the individual teacher in their work, within certain professional parameters:

IEU clause: The use of a teacher’s release time will be as determined by the teacher and is to be used by teachers to undertake professional duties related to their classroom responsibilities. RFF may be utilised for activities such as; individual and cooperative planning, including programing, teacher professional meetings, administrative duties, lesson preparation, data analysis, individual student progress and professional reading. In most circumstances this will take place on the school premises, unless there is agreement with the principal for the teacher to be off site.

The Lismore CSO Director wrote to primary school teachers saying the Union position was that RFF “was at the sole discretion of the teacher, to be used as they see fit without full consideration of school needs”. CSO requested staff to complete a survey, which required them to state their name and school.

The Union wrote to members correcting the record, providing the actual proposed clause, and inviting members who were concerned about privacy and confidentiality to email their local organiser to demonstrate their support for the IEU clause.

The CSO received 42 responses to their survey out of a possible 622, and claimed in a staff circular that this affirmed their position.

IEU received 205 emails, several of which criticised the CSO for their statistically unreliable claim.

IEU organisers de-identified the emails received at the Union office, ensuring confidentiality, and met with the CSO to deliver the large bundle of responses.

The action of members has demonstrated overwhelming support for the Union proposal.

Sandra White IEU Organiser

Sandra White
IEU Organiser