||Issue No. 193||29 August 2003|
Smells Like Community Spirit
Interview: The New Deal
Unions: In the Line of Hire
Culture: Too Cool for the Collective?
International: The Domino Effect
Industrial: A Spanner in the Works
National Focus: Gathering of the Tribes
History: The Welcome Nazi Tourist
Bad Boss: Domm, Domm Turn Around
Poetry: Just Move On.
Review: Reality Bites
The Locker Room
Tomís History Of The World
Tony Is A Tool
Teachers Fight Casual Attitude
Key Carr Government Minister, John Della Bosca, has announced his intention to intervene in a landmark Teachers Federation case that could deliver casual and part-time TAFE Teachers equality with their permanent colleagues.
Many TAFE casual part time teachers work full time hours but their employment status presents obstacles to buying a home and meeting health care needs.
The case, which will be heard in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission from September 1, could have repercussions for all casual workers.
"For most PTCs there are 16 non-teaching weeks of enforced annual unemployment. There is no security, no leave loadings, no compensation and little grounds for claims of unfair dismissal for this disposable workforce," says Northern Sydney TAFE teacher Dianne Sykes.
"It allows no capacity to plan futures; it's difficult, if not impossible, to create a decent life for oneself and one's family," says Sykes who is employed as a Part Time Casual teacher.
Sykes points out that she, along with some 15,446 PTC teachers in NSW TAFE, have no access to family, carer's, or bereavement leave and in many cases there is no sick leave. Their mode of employment perpetuates the culture of intimidation and exploitation which ensures they perform many hours of unpaid work in an effort to retain their paid work, subsidising public education to an extraordinary degree. They may be dismissed, no explanation required, on just two hours notice.
75% of teachers are Part Time Casuals, many of whom are living marginally above the poverty line.
"You're forced to take anything that you can merely to survive. No matter how worn out you are you can't take a holiday at the end of the year because there may not be a job for next year. I've watched people become haggard because of being caught in this bind," says Dianne Mullin a PTC at Randwick TAFE.
The Department of Education, at the direction of the government, has lodged its opposition to the TAFE PTC Pro Rata Award variation on the grounds that they do not perform all of the duties of permanent teachers, and even if they did, the State cannot afford to pay them.
A disturbing development has been an intervention into the case from the NSW Minister for Commerce, Mr John Della-Bosca is opposing the PTC teacher's case on economic grounds, arguing that the NSW Government does not have the capacity to pay the teachers permanent salaries.
"I don't know what role the Minister for Commerce has in intervening in this role," NSW Labor Council Secretary John Robertson told the NSW Labor Council meeting on the 28th of August.
"This case sets a framework for the basic justice of equal pay and conditions for equal work," says NSW Teachers Federation Assistant General Secretary Phil Bradley.
Bradley pointed out that under current arrangements PTC teachers could not get a mortgage or have any employment security. PTC TAFE teachers working the same hours as full-time teachers received only 60% of the salary.
The teachers will mark the first day of spring by rallying outside the NSW Industrial relations Commission where their plea for justice will finally be heard.
"Supporters will be wearing/leaving flowers and foliage outside the IRC to symbolise the first day of Spring - the season of stunning change and new growth," says Dianne Sykes
The action to support TAFE PTC Teachers will be held on Monday the 1st Sep at 9:15am at the NSW IRC, 815-825 George Street Sydney.
The case is scheduled to continue until September 30.
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