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Home > News > 2019 > March > Universities refuse to talk prac payments despite 27 year freeze

Universities refuse to talk prac payments despite 27 year freeze

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Practicum payments to supervising teachers have not been increased in over twenty years and the current rates fail to provide any acknowledgement of the work supervising teachers undertake to support practicum students – in addition to their existing workload. 

Our union is calling upon universities to enter into immediate negotiations to establish a market comparable rate for practicum payments in Queensland schools. 

What you need to know

  • Practicum payments to supervising teachers have not increased in twenty years.
  • The current daily rate is less than half of levels agreed to by universities interstate.
  • Universities have received significant increases in funding for this purpose (currently $930 per annum). 
  • Universities have refused to meet with our union to negotiate improved rates. 

Rate frozen for 27 years

The payments have been frozen at the same base rate of $12.45 per day for the last 27 years. 

Despite this, universities responsible for payments refuse to meet with our union to negotiate long overdue increases to the payments. 

Queensland supervising teachers are currently getting a daily rate that is less than half of levels agreed to by interstate universities. 

As of this year, supervising teachers in NSW will be entitled to payment of $31.50 per day rising to $33.50 per day in 2020 and $34.00 per day in 2021. 

Prac-payments in Queensland Catholic primary schools are marginally higher than the current Queensland rate but have still been frozen since 1996. 

Universities fail to pass on funding 

The payment levels to supervising teachers haven’t increased; however, federal funding to universities specifically for the purpose of teacher practicum have increased. 

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%. 

Our union and the Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU) last year sought a meeting with Queensland universities to negotiate an enhancement to the current inadequate prac payment. 

Replying through their peak body, the Australian Higher Education Industrial Association (AHEIA), the universities declined our invitation to meet and negotiate these payments.  

IEU-QNT Secretary Terry 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,” Mr Burke said. 

“It is offensive and disrespectful from universities not only to refuse to increase the amounts to levels they can well afford but even more offensively to refuse to meet at all.” 

IEUA-QNT members taking action 

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.”