Stand Down in Schools: Where it Stands

Right now public sector workers across the state are considering a fresh offer from the Rockliff Government that the Government hopes will lock in the wages and conditions of public sector workers for the next three years. But the current offer on the table includes just a small selection of the 100 Claims for a Better State Service – including, importantly, School Support Staff’s claim to bring an end to the outdated practice of stand down. 

In fact, every single one of our claims under the pillar of Jobs You Can Count On has been rejected by the Government after little consideration. What the Government is hoping workers will accept instead a 3-year agreement consisting of a 3.25% pay rise in the first year of the agreement and 3.0% per annum in the years to follow, alongside: 

  • $500 flat rate increase to salary for Band 3 and below 
  • $1,500 one-off payment for Band 1-6 (pro rata) or $1,000 one-off payment for Band 7 and above (pro-rata), and 
  • A further $1,000 one-off for Band 3 and below. 

While a definite improvement on the initial offer, School Support Staff are all too well acquainted with the failure of the pro rata system – in reality, these one-off payments would be halved or quartered for most Teacher Assistants and School Administration workers who only work a portion of full time hours. In reality a one-off payment of $1,000 comes down to more like $400 after tax. There are few Tasmanian public sector workers who have been more affected by cost of living than School Support Staff. You deserve better.  

An outdated and unacceptable holdout of the gender pay gap in our state, Stand Down has only reinforced the trends of underemployment that disproportionately affect women. School Support Staff have been subjected to a nearly endless list of excuses over the years as to why ending stand down is ‘impossible’: workers appreciate the flexibility, there simply isn’t enough work to be spread around over the school holidays…  

CPSU members have campaigned hard to put the lie to each of these excuses. Just last week at the statewide Teachers strike, teaching staff spoke out about the crippling administrative workloads that have exploded in their schools in recent years, denying them critical opportunities for planning classes between terms. Not enough work to go around?   

The CPSU will continue to campaign for an agreement that delivers jobs public sector workers can count on. Ending the outdated and unacceptable practice of stand down is front and centre of that. But we need your help to build community awareness, support, and evidence for our claim. 

Share your experience of being forcibly stood down without pay 12-14 weeks every single year, and how it affects you: https://bit.ly/3BNaaxy  

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