More support for overnight excursions

The demands that overnight school excursions place on staff was among issues raised at a recent North West Sub Branch meeting.

Of particular concern was adequate compensation (time and remuneration) for both teachers and education assistants.

Sub Branch carried the following resolution:

“Sub Branch expresses its concern over the lack of recognition in regard to additional pressure, time and workload caused for teachers attending external events, such as excursions. Teachers should be provided with time in lieu in compensation, and an overnight allowance.

“Further, the sub branch requests that the Armidale CSO ensure that all principals are aware of the provisions of the EA relating to payment of support staff, including on excursions.”

Other issues discussed included the new curse of students vaping at school (harder to detect than old-fashioned smoking). On the positive side, member activism at one school saw the principal reverse a decision not to pay emergency leave when staff were cut off from their place of work by flooding in March.

The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) was again a matter of discussion. IEU Professional Officer Veronica Yewdall, Sub Branch Deputy President Raelene Maxworthy and IEU Organiser David Towson met with Diocesan Director Chris Smyth and CSO staff on 28 May. Yewdall presented the IEU’s report. Maxworthy provided practical examples of how the diocese could streamline their processes to reduce workloads.

Following the meeting, the diocese confirmed their support for the recommendations and their interest in working collaboratively with the IEU. We have agreed to have a follow-up meeting after discussions have taken place with the Department of Education Skills and Employment (DESE) and Catholic Schools NSW. We are optimistic that positive changes will be forthcoming.

The IEU Women and Equity Committee has organised a forum to be held on 3 September at the Tamworth Hotel. The guest speaker will be Armidale Deputy Mayor Debra O’Brien. Save the date.

Our next sub branch meeting is on Friday 30 July which will follow a Reps Training Day at the Armidale Bowling Club (as the lockdown progresses, please check our website for updates).