In recent weeks the Broken Bay Diocese has introduced a complex, cascading series of steps to be fulfilled before a casual can be employed. In essence, schools were issued notifications insisting they develop a “casuals plan” consistent with diocesan directives.
The Staff Absence Management Plan (SAMP) has led to various developments that are impacting on teaching and learning.
First, members of the school leadership team are required to replace absent staff by using their own administrative and organisational time (resulting in increased workloads). Secondly, Broken Bay office-based teachers are to be called upon to fill teacher gaps. Finally, and only with the agreement of the area consultant, may a casual teacher be employed.
Schools are frenetically busy workplaces and staffing them is a complex task. This new model is unsustainable and predicated upon IEU members being almost gymnastic in their capacity to manage schools effectively.
The Enterprise Agreement and Work Practices Agreement make it abundantly clear that release time for executive roles, teacher RFF, early career teachers’ release, caps on extras and large class support are not tradeable commodities.
The union was advised that the Broken Bay leadership "endorses the legitimate use of personal/carer’s leave and, in these COVID-19 sensitive times, appreciates the importance of making the wellbeing and safety of staff and students a high priority.
"A decision not to employ a casual should not result in an unreasonable impost on any staff member, nor a significant disruption to the learning for students, nor the smooth operations of the school."