IEUA Speaks

Public handwringing won’t solve teacher shortages: we must reduce workloads

IEU members across the country are fighting back against unsustainable workloads and incessant growth of administrative tasks and compliance paperwork that is undermining our time to teach.

The causes of teacher overwork are many and complex. Long-term solutions will require improved conditions won by IEU members in local campaigns and collective bargaining. But it will also need a national intervention from governments, peak employers and education authorities.

While it’s acknowledged across the education sector that workload and teacher burnout are the core drivers behind teacher shortages, the response from school employers remains limited to public handwringing about a problem they themselves can rectify.

The Federal Government has initiated important reviews and reforms focused on teacher retention. Our union is deeply engaged in this work, as well as other aspects of our national plan to compel all parties to play their part in relieving workload pressures.

A two-pronged strategy is needed to force real change – IEU members winning workload concessions from employers through school level campaigns, combined with national advocacy to stem the avalanche of process driven tasks and red tape being imposed on teachers.

Our work has started with education authorities and policy makers to end the unnecessary overlay and duplication of compliance work. Once reasonable expectations are confirmed, we need employers to stick to what is required and stop adding more demands.

National School Reform Agreements

The IEU is prosecuting innovative changes that would see school funding and resources linked to tangible workload reductions.

National Teacher Workforce Action Plan

The IEU is working with the Federal Government and authorities on the implementation of key actions that can help address workload. This opportunity for reform can’t be missed.

Parliamentary Inquiry into AI in Education

In addition to legal, ethical and educational concerns, we are fighting new academic integrity policies designed to police AI, but also force even more administrative work on to teachers and school leaders.

Support for early career teachers

The IEU is providing detailed input into best practice induction guidelines for new teachers and lobbying for greater early career support programs, including dedicated work time for professional mentoring.

Early Years Strategy and ACECQA Workforce Plan

Early childhood education teachers are drowning under the burden of operational and administrative tasks imposed on small community centres. Our teachers and directors are struggling with limited resources and support.

IEU Speaks is the voice of the Federal IEU, representing 75,000 teachers, principals and support staff across Australia.