Top marks for Union in HSC test

The Union has secured payment of half as much again for some On-Screen HSC markers after initiating court proceedings on their behalf.

HSC markers of English (Standard) and English (Advanced) Paper 1, Drama, ESL Papers 1 and 3, Music 1 and 2, Society and Culture, CCAFL Languages, Modern Hebrew and Vietnamese stand to receive a higher rate of pay.

Not all On-Screen markers were affected, only certain papers as outlined above.

Since 2009 the HSC Markers Award has provided for the payment of marking conducted On-Screen. On-Screen markers are paid a piece rate for each question or part of a paper marked.

Members last year raised concerns with the Union about the rate of $4.056 that was being paid by BOSTES for each question marked On-Screen in the English (Standard) and English (Advanced) Paper 1. The Union formed the view that the proper application of the HSC Markers Award requires the payment of $6.01 per question in 2015; almost 50% more than what was actually paid.

For this reason a dispute was notified to the NSW Industrial Relations Commission.

“While the Union notified a dispute about the matter in November, BOSTES refused to accept that it erred in its calculations. That’s why the Union decided to have the matter ‘judicially decided’,” IEU Secretary John Quessy said.

“During the dispute it became clear that BOSTES had simply erred in its application of the Award provision,” he said.

As the matter was not resolved through dispute proceedings, the Union commenced action in the Industrial Court of NSW. A week later BOSTES conceded the Union’s view, and markers should receive back pay by the end of this term.

As marking is increasingly likely to be conducted onscreen in the external mode, it is vital members are being paid correctly, and are able to confirm that fact.

Back payments for affected On-Screen marking done before 2015 should also arrive before the end of this term.

The Union will take steps to confirm that all necessary back payments are correctly paid.
“HSC marking is crucial but very demanding work. We are glad we were able to resolve this with a positive outcome for our members,” Quessy said.

BOSTES has agreed to publish the rates per question in this and future years, to minimise the likelihood of any such problems occurring again.

“As marking is increasingly likely to be conducted On-Screen in the external mode, it is vital members are being paid correctly, and are able to confirm that fact.

“This significant outcome would not have been possible without the vigilance of individual members.

“But equally it would have been hard for a marker acting individually to pursue the matter, as the costs would have substantially outweighed the value of the underpayment.”

If you have any questions about HSC marking, contact your IEU organiser.