Teacher aides fear for jobs, says United Voice

UNCERTAIN FUTURE: Education workers attended a meeting in Ipswich to discuss how to fight back against proposed LNP cuts to the sector.
UNCERTAIN FUTURE: Education workers attended a meeting in Ipswich to discuss how to fight back against proposed LNP cuts to the sector. Contributed

TEACHER aides who work in Ipswich fear a return to casual employment conditions due to the LNP State Government's plans for the sector.

That is the word from United Voice education co-ordinator Michael Clifford, who said changes to enterprise agreements would have dire consequences for teacher aides.

But Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek said teacher aides were being misled by a deceptive campaign of misinformation by the union.

Mr Clifford said the State Government had "banned any clauses that allow teacher aides to convert from casual or temporary employment to permanent employment".

"Teacher aides fear they will see a return to casual employment, which sees high turnover of staff and that effects educational outcomes as well," he said.

"People who work 12 months or three years as casuals with regular hours, traditionally they have been able to convert to permanent so they can get more job security.

"But the government are saying that people don't have the right to have a permanent job."

Mr Clifford said another concern of teacher aides was "in the legislation it says you can't have anything in an enterprise agreement or award about maximising permanent employment".

"You might have a teacher aide that works 20 hours. If another teacher aide retires or the allocation of kids in a school goes up they get the first dibs at being able to increase their hours.

"Prior to 1989 most of the teacher aides were casual and had very short shifts.

"We've negotiated that teacher aides can increase the number of permanent hours so they can earn a liveable wage.

"The provisions to get additional hours are now no longer available to them. They have no right to maximise."

Mr Langbroek said the number of teacher aide hours allocated to a school was "determined by the number of student enrolments and student needs - not by industrial relations matters".

"This government is investing $54 million over four-years for more prep teacher aides, so next year there will be an extra 2,250 prep teacher aide hours per week in Queensland state schools.

"We are absolutely committed to strengthening frontline services and providing the best possible education for our children and we know that teacher aides play a very important role. It is disappointing that United Voice continues to incite fear and uncertainty among its members."

Topics:  enterprise agreement united voice union

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