Thanks to union action, all School Support Staff in Tasmanian public schools will now receive payment in recognition of the 3 grace days between Christmas and New Year secured by CPSU members in the Public Sector Unions Wages Agreement (PSUWA).
The grace days were intended to apply to all Tasmanian public sector workers whose Head of Agency determines to close between Christmas and New Year. School Support Staff initially missed out on a technicality, because unlike other workers they are subject to an outdated and unfair process (dating back to the 60’s) of being stood down without pay during school holidays.
All permanent non 52-week staff, as well as Fixed Term employees in schools who were stood down at the end of term but who have continued to work into 2023 will receive payment on 5 July 2023 in recognition of the three grace days other workers have received. Payment will be made according to your usual work pattern.
If you don’t see it in your payslip, contact the CPSU to ensure you don’t miss out. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
These days were always intended to include School Support Staff, to increase the number of weeks you are paid and help close the pay gap for workers who are stood down. Excluding them was especially unfair given the job and income insecurity affecting School Support Staff caused by stand down. Insecurely employed workers have so many hidden costs to deal with, including missing out on the ability to access wins and entitlements permanent, full-time staff benefit from.
It’s a win well worth celebrating for our Teacher Assistants, School Admin and Business Managers. It follows the CPSU securing the extension of the one-off low-income payment (LIPO) to School Support Staff earlier this year. School Support Staff also initially missed out on this critical pay relief, a cornerstone of your public sector wages agreement, due to stand down commencing just days before the registration of your Agreement.
Together, paid recognition of Christmas Grace Days and extension of one-off low-income payments helps to recognise the unique position of School Support Staff. In this Agreement we secured an additional week’s paid leave, and we’ll continue to campaign to close the gap until secure hours and secure pay become the default.