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DOE gives with one hand, takes with the other

FOR ten months your union team has worked with the department as part of the School Administration Working Group to review admin workloads and explore remedies.

This week Mark Watson, Director of IR, presented your union team with a proposal from the DOE Executive Group.

The good news

•  $500,000 over two years will be made available to fund system improvements 

•  A contact directory for Corporate & Business Services will be produced every 6 months

•  A yearly training day will be funded for all admin staff in systems and associated processes    

•  The department will fund two school business managers to work offline for 6 months to progress these outcomes

The not so good news

•  DOE has committed to reviewing the staffing formula but it’s said any new formula would be ‘resource neutral’ meaning one school’s extra resources will come at a cost to another school  

 Mark Watson, Director of IR, was also very clear that while they suggest principals should use SRP to boost admin resources they won’t direct them to do that, so there’s no guarantee additional resources will be provided even if a need is identified •  Admin staff are expected to manage workload by lodging a work overload claim despite having been in negotiations with the department on this issue for nearly a year •  DOE will remind principals that 40-week staff can increase to 42 weeks but where an individual chooses not to do so DOE has refused to allow schools to hire additional staff for two weeks  At every meeting we’ve shared your stories about the impact of work overload on your school and on your health. 

We made it very clear in this June 17 letter to Mark Watson that the current situation is unsustainable and any genuine solution must include: •  Additional resources to address the overall increase in administrative workload since 2008

•  A staffing model that’s able to respond to changes in a school’s circumstances

•  Dedicated admin funding for new programs or initiatives that require additional admin time, including capital works programs

•  Flexibility, on a school by school basis, to allocate admin funds in a manner that best suits each school

Jenny Gale, Secretary DOE and the Executive Group, presented an implantation plan but failed to acknowledge the problem and provide the resources required to ensure you have the time you need to deliver for our kids.  Our schools and colleges rely on your work to keep them running and it’s time the department showed respect for admin staff by providing dedicated resources rather than expecting you to make do or find the extra resources yourselves.  

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