New salary benchmark for PMSA school officers

A new benchmark salary has been set for school officers thanks to the collective efforts of Queensland Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association (PMSA) members.

The level 7 school officer classification will pay a benchmark salary of $99,157 which reflects the increasingly complex role of school officers. The win is one of several in the new collective agreement.

Other key member wins include a 2.5% wage increase per year over the life of the agreement for teachers and school officers, a $500 one-off payment to most employees as well as a new top classification level for school officers.

In addition to an enhanced middle leader structure, PMSA schools will begin a phased transition to the nationally accredited Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher (HALT) classifications with significant salary enhancements.

Considerable workload provisions won in the agreement include: an extra 30 minutes to the minimum preparation and correction time for primary teachers, extra consultations and resourcing for changes to curriculum, assessment and/or reporting, updated PD provisions to include an extra two days of employee-directed PD and provisions for consultation and compensation regarding employer-directed mentoring.

The employers have also committed to providing a minimum 10 days paid domestic violence leave to be accessed automatically rather than at a principal’s discretion.

Nothern Territory

Enhanced professional provisions focus of member bargaining

Enhanced provisions to address key professional issues are at the heart of collective bargaining negotiations for members in the Catholic and Lutheran sectors.

In the Catholic sector, provisions related to scheduled supervisions, staff meetings including subject/faculty meetings, planned meetings, year group and committee meetings have been put forward in the employee log of claims.

IEU members are also seeking professional provisions for teachers to be included in the collective agreement instead of the current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

A matter of particular concern raised by Catholic sector members relates to the Laptop Program for Teachers in Non-Remote Schools, where employees are currently being charged $10 per fortnight by their employer to hire a laptop which is essential for performing their role.

In the Lutheran sector, a key issue for teacher members relates to how professional duties are defined.

The IEU has put forward a redrafted hours of work provision for Northern Territory Lutheran teachers.

The redrafted provision has three components, including but not limited to: curricular activities; co-curricular activities; and extra-curricular activities.

For the latest information on these collective bargaining campaigns visit


IEU Learning Hub delivers quality professional support

In addition to union rep training and Health and Safety rep training, IEU Victoria Tasmania runs a free, comprehensive suite of professional development activities focusing on broad areas of interest and specialised training for different cohorts of our membership. Last year the IEU Vic Tas developed the IEU Online Learning Hub as an expanded source of high quality online professional development on a range of topics.

Working with our training organisation, the Teacher Learning Network (TLN), the IEU has run 50 professional development webinars in 2020 which were free to IEU members. In addition, members had access to the TLN extensive early childhood webinar program, and the growing suite of video-on-demand webinars. The union’s casual relief teacher members also had access to a number of free professional development conferences and seminars delivered by TLN.

The program for 2021 is extensive with over 40 webinars. It continues to provide high-quality practical PD for all membership groups and builds on last year’s program, which members can revisit on demand. The year’s program is available at


Review removes teacher input

In the previous edition of IE we reported that the Tasmanian Government had initiated a review of the bodies that regulate Tasmanian education. This review focused on the Teachers Registration Board (TRB) the Office of Tasmanian Assessment, Standards and Certification (TASC), and the Register, Education and the Non-government Schools Registration Board (NGSRB) which deals with aspects of registration of non-government schools. IEU Victoria Tasmania made a comprehensive submission to the review panel.

The minister advised stakeholders in January of the removal of the representative composition of the TRB and NGSRB. IEU VicTas and the AEU Tasmanian Branch have for many years nominated skilled, experienced teachers to the minister for appointment. The IEU has also been a nominating body to the NGSRB.

The review recommended that TRB, TASC and NGSRB boards be ‘skilled based’, appointed by the minister without nominations from stakeholders. The panel recommended that the school education sectors’ ‘voice’ be provided by a newly established Advisory Council to the minister which consists of the education sector authority heads. Will we see a teacher representative anywhere?

IEU VicTas is seeking a meeting with the minister to express concern and seek improvement to teacher involvement on these important education bodies.

New South Wales

PD review politically motivated

A politically motivated restriction of professional development (PD) courses for maintenance of teacher accreditation is a major concern. Following a review by the NSW Government of NESA-recognised courses, changes to NESA’s Maintenance of Accreditation Policy took effect from February 2021, limiting both the range of PD providers and the variety of courses.

While the IEU will continue to provide PD courses in the government-approved priority areas, in the words of a member, “this heavy-handed decision, which is political in nature, will only serve to disempower teachers and ‘deprofessionalise’ teaching”.


Changes to the Working with Vulnerable People Act

The ACT Working with Vulnerable People (WWVP) Act was replaced on 1 February by the Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Act 2021. This change was designed to better protect the safety and welfare of vulnerable people in the ACT and also implement National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) worker screening.

The most significant change is that the length of the registration period will change from three years to five years. If members are captured by this change, they will be contacted directly by Access Canberra.

In addition, disqualifying offences will be applied to all existing registrations and new applicants.

Class A disqualifying offences include, but are not limited to, murder, culpable driving causing death and sexual offences against vulnerable people. A list of disqualifying offences can be found at A person with a conviction or finding of guilt for a Class A offence will have their registration cancelled.

Class B disqualifying offences include, but are not limited to, child neglect, serious assault, drug, fraud, and theft offences. A person with a charge, conviction or finding of guilt for a Class B offence, or a charge for a Class A offence will not be able to work or volunteer in a regulated activity involving children or an NDIS activity unless exceptional circumstances apply.

Renewal arrangements have changed due to COVID-19. Any member whose registration expired on, or after, 16 March 2020 has had their registration automatically extended. As a result, they will receive a new renewal notice after the COVID-19 public health emergency has formally ended, which might be some months away.

More information about the WWVP scheme (including NDIS worker screening) is available on the Access Canberra website. or contact the WWVP team on 13 22 81.

South Australia

Vaccination – who, what, when, where and why?

While Australian states manage COVID-19 spot fires, the game changer worldwide is the rollout of vaccination. The IEU(SA) has lobbied Premier Steven Marshall for school staff to be included in phase 1B (critical high-risk workers) rather than phase 2A (other critical and high-risk workers).

While young people are low in the priority ranking, staff in schools tend to be in the older demographic. Teachers working in schools at close quarters with a large group of unvaccinated students may be at increased risk of virus transmission.

The economic and social ripples of school shutdowns spread through the community. Parents and caregivers need to miss work and daily activity. There is also the obvious problem of disruption to student learning and wellbeing.

The IEU(SA) is taking a strong pro-vaccination stance, recognising the value of high vaccination rates in herd immunity. At the same time, the union recognises that some people may have valid medical reasons for not being vaccinated. Hopefully the vast majority of people will recognise their responsibilities and not unreasonably decline vaccination. We see no need for any compulsion in the vaccine roll out in employment situations.