Planned ban sees universities reconsider prac payments
Queensland universities have backed away from their refusal to bargain on practicum payment rates following members’ planned suspension of supervisions.
Our union has been seeking to negotiate a significant increase to the $21.84 daily payment rate which was last adjusted in 1996 in Queensland Catholic Primary Schools.
Despite several attempts from our union to establish a meeting, the Australian Higher Education Industrial Association (AHEIA) on behalf of Queensland Universities had, until now, refused to meet.
AHEIA’s changed position comes after IEUA-QNT Chapters passed a resolution to decline practicum supervisions until negotiations for new payment rates commenced.
The fact that NSW universities – some of which also have campuses in Queensland – had recently established improved practicum payment rates particularly added to members’ frustration with the universities’ position.
The rate paid to NSW teachers performing the same work is $31.50 per student, per day with yearly increases set to 2021.
The universities that place pre-service teachers in Queensland schools receive $930 per student per year for the specific purpose of organising and running the practicum.
This amount has been indexed at a rate of 2% per annum, yet the rate of payment to supervising teachers has remained unchanged for 23 years.
Member action breaks stalemate
Strong action from IEUA-QNT Chapters was a critical factor in AHEIA finally agreeing to commence negotiations.
Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU) members also planned to withdraw from supervisions from Term 4, increasing the pressure on universities to negotiate.
IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said member action would be placed on hold while these negotiations take place.
“Universities must recognise that practicum programs in schools fundamentally rely on both the expertise and good will of teaching staff.
“Practicum programs cannot exist without the dedicated and experienced teachers who supervise students.
“Teachers who undertake these supervisions are performing a critical role in inducting aspiring teachers into the profession.
“The current rate of payment to supervising teachers is untenable and must be increased.”
Mr Burke said if universities failed to meet members’ reasonable claim for improved payment rates, members would be forced to reconsider a ban on practicum supervisions.