Labour bites

Female journos harassed

Nearly half of Australia’s female journalists have experienced intimidation, abuse or sexual harassment in the workplace, a survey conducted by the Women In Media initiative suggests.

According to data revealed in the Mates Over Merit report, 48% of the women covered by the survey said they’d had such experiences, and 41% said they had been harassed, bullied or trolled on social media while engaging with their audiences.

Other data released in the report included the finding that only 11% of those surveyed believed that employer anti discrimination policies were effective. And only 16% knew what their employer’s strategy to deal with social media threats actually was.

Women In Media‘s National Convener Tracey Spicer said in a statement: “While there are more women than ever before working in the industry, they still dominate the lower paid, less powerful positions. The media is often called a mirror of society. But it is failing to reflect our diversity.”

The research has been supported by journalists’ union the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance. (Source: mUmBRELLA)

What’s good for the goose

Tasmania’s public sector union supports an Industrial Commission ruling giving politicians a 10% pay rise, but warns the Government must now accept all other rulings from the authority.

Last year, the Government asked the commission to determine the future salaries of parliamentarians and the commission has determined to increase the basic salary for a backbencher to $133,560, a 10.5% increase.

The Public Sector Union’s Tom Lynch supports accepting the umpire’s decision, but says the Government now needs to accept all other commission rulings, effectively ending the wage cap policy.

“They oppose these same sorts of decisions for ambulance officers and doctors and for everyone else, if they accept this for themselves then they are saying work value is what’s important here,” he said.

The Legislative Council’s President Jim Wilkinson said the umpire’s decision should be accepted. (Source: ABC News)

Teachers call for flexible work

Schools in England should embrace flexible working to tackle a teacher supply crisis, argues a think tank ahead of a head teachers’ conference. Flexible working could bring thousands of teachers back into the profession, argues the policy exchange paper.

Schools face a dual threat posed by funding cuts and severe teacher shortages the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) annual conference will hear.

“These problems are so acute that there is a serious danger we will not be able to maintain current standards, let alone raise them further,” union president Alan Foulds will warn in a speech.

The report explores teacher recruitment and supply in a series of essays and points out that a quarter of the teachers of working age who left the profession between 2008 and 2012 were women aged 30 to 39 – some 6000 a year.

“The most obvious conclusion to be drawn here is that this is maternity related,” says the union and claims the answer, both to attracting mothers back into classrooms and to the issue of burnout for both male and female teachers, could be flexible working in the form of part time work or managing timetables to fit in with caring responsibilities.

“Schools and the government both need to recognise the need for flexibility, and that flexible working means more than just working part time,” he said.

“In particular, we know that younger graduates tend to want portfolio careers which enable them to come in and out of professions, and teaching is no different.

“We need to see real and significant changes to teachers’ working lives, both in terms of pay and conditions as well as reducing the punishing accountability system that is overburdening the profession and blighting children and young people’s education,” National Union of Teachers Deputy General Secretary Kevin Courtney said.

Flexible working could also boost the numbers of women teachers reaching leadership roles – currently 62% of secondary teachers are female, but only 36% of heads, said a spokeswoman. (Source: BBC News)

Standards? What standards?

In an effort to address a shortage of more than 1000 teachers, the US State of Nevada has simplified teacher licensing but opened the door to those who don’t meet basic expectations.

An emergency regulation allows the state to immediately license teachers who’ve never taught in a classroom or tested competent in their subject matters, both of which Nevada usually requires to be a licensed teacher.

The regulation lets Nevada ignore up to a dozen of its own requirements per teacher, including that applicants show mastery of “principles and methods of teaching” and basic reading, writing and math skills. (Source: Reno Gazette-Journal)