Member faces 11th year on fixed-term contract
In a prime example of the insecure work crisis impacting our schools, one member is facing their 11th year on a fixed-term contract in 2019.
The member, a school officer performing learning support work in the classroom, recently wrote to their principal and asked to be appointed to a continuing position.
The request was made with the assistance of our union and highlighted the member’s many years of loyalty and service to the school.
The principal advised that due to fluctuations in special needs funding, the school could not provide a continuing position.
Additionally, the principal advised that any future continuing positions would be open to all staff for application regardless of the fact some staff may have previously sought continuing positions.
After receiving the initial denial of a continuing position, the member proposed that a portion of hours might be guaranteed as continuing, with additional hours subject to change to accommodate concerns such as fluctuating funding.
This proposal was also rejected.
As a result, the member now faces the prospect of an 11th year on a fixed-term contract but even this is uncertain as they are still not yet aware if a contract will be offered to them for 2019.
School officers deserve Careers You Can Count On
IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said this member’s case would be sadly familiar to many school officers working in our sector.
“School officers play a critical role in the delivery of quality education in our school, yet we know so many are impacted by insecure work,” Mr Burke said.
“Many school officers are either on fixed-term contracts or term-time continuing employment and have their hours varied every year with no guarantee of how many hours they will receive the following year.
“We need to address the crisis of insecure work in our schools by providing job security and certainty for school officers – this is critical both for their professional and personal lives.”
Mr Burke said our union’s Careers You Can Count On campaign had been launched ahead of the upcoming Queensland Catholic sector negotiations next year to plot a clear path toward more secure jobs in Catholic schools.
“A key component of the Log of Claims endorsed by members in Queensland Catholic schools is about improving job security, as well as professional development opportunities, for school officers,” Mr Burke said.
“Through this campaign and within the upcoming negotiations members will seek guaranteed entitlement to quality professional development; enhanced career recognition; appropriate criteria to ensure only genuine fixed-term appointments are made; certainty of hours for part-time employees; and an audit to investigate fixed-term contracts and conversion to continuing positions.
“It’s time Queensland Catholic School employers showed the same level of commitment as school officers show each and every day in our schools.”
Read more about the Careers You Can Count On campaign at www.careersyoucancounton.com