Universities refuse to discuss practicum payments
Queensland universities are refusing to negotiate on practicum payments to supervising teachers, which have not increased for more than 25 years.
Currently, teachers receive just $12.45 per day under an agreement signed in 1992.
Our union and the Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU) had jointly sought a meeting with Queensland universities to negotiate an enhancement to the woefully inadequate practicum payment.
Replying through their peak body, the Australian Higher Education Industrial Association (AHEIA), the universities advised “they decline [our] invitation to meet and negotiate these payments”.
IEUA-QNT Senior Industrial Officer John Spriggs said the universities’ response was disrespectful to all supervising teachers whose goodwill is a critical component in teacher education programs.
“The fact is practicum payments to supervising teachers have not been increased since 1992 and they fail to provide any acknowledgement of the work supervising teachers undertake to support practicum students – in addition to their existing workload,” Mr Spriggs said.
“The complexity of work involved in supervising practicum students has also intensified over time due to evolving reporting requirements.”
Mr Spriggs said while payments to supervising teachers hadn’t increased, federal funding to universities specifically for the purpose of teaching practicum had.
“Universities currently receive $912 per student in recognition of the cost of teaching practicum – a rate that is indexed annually by approximately 2%.
“It is deeply disappointing that universities have been accepting these indexed payments for many years without passing them on to the hardworking teachers who provide quality professional experiences to practicum students.”
Mr Spriggs said recognition from universities on this matter is long overdue.
“Our union is continuing to pursue Queensland universities, alongside the QTU, on the matter of practicum payments,” Mr Spriggs said.
“We are considering all available options available to secure an enhancement to these rates.
“Universities must acknowledge and remunerate the contribution teachers make to students’ education by enhancing practicum payment to an appropriate and contemporary rate.”
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