Teacher prac payment stuck in the past
When the payment rate was set for Queensland teachers supervising practicum students, Paul Keating was Prime Minister, Microsoft was releasing Windows 3.1 and the Cold War had only recently ended.
Yet in today’s classrooms, teachers still receive the same $12.45 per day to support and mentor the next generation of teachers that they were first paid in 1992.
Only those in Queensland Catholic primary schools fare slightly better, being paid marginally more under a deal struck in 1996.
Across the board, Queensland rates lag behind those paid to supervising teachers in New South Wales who receive $31.50 per day, with increases to the payment scheduled in 2020 and 2021.
Despite this unacceptable situation, universities are refusing to meet with our union and the Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU) to negotiate a new payment rate.
After receiving a meeting invitation last year, universities replied through their peak body, the Australian Higher Education Industrial Association (AHEIA) to decline.
IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said the refusal of universities to meet was particularly objectionable given they receive federal funding specifically for the purpose of remunerating supervising teachers.
“Universities currently receive $930 per annum per student in recognition of the cost of teaching practicum – a rate that is indexed annually by approximately 2%,” Mr Burke said.
Mr Burke said the practicum teacher supervision arrangements in schools fundamentally rely on the good will of teaching staff.
“No member takes on the role of supervisor for the money itself,” he said.
“It is offensive and disrespectful for universities not only to refuse to increase the amounts to levels they can well afford but to refuse to meet at all.”
Mr Burke said IEUA-QNT members were now meeting to consider the implications of the continued freeze on the members and their schools.
“As a union we will make another approach to the universities to commence negotiations,” he said.
“However, if the universities continue to refuse to negotiate then members will have little choice but to question their continued involvement in supervision of the practicum.
Mr Burke said IEUA-QNT Chapters in schools are considering practical action in response to this issue ahead of the next significant period of practicum in their schools.
“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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