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Home > News > 2020 > March > Stand downs of school support staff must be stopped

Stand downs of school support staff must be stopped

Topics : COVID-19

school_support_staff_stand_downs.pngThe IEUA-QNT has been advised that a small number of independent schools are considering standing down support staff without pay in Term 2 because of issues arising from COVID-19. 

IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said our union is calling for an immediate stop to any such action by independent schools. 

“Schools delivering online education are not shut and as such we are calling for an immediate halt to any threatened stand downs in our schools,” Mr Burke said.

“Our union is seeking for all staff in schools and early childhood education centres to remain fully employed, even while schools and centres are operating with reduced numbers of students."

No reason for stand downs

Employers will continue to receive federal and state funding and while it is not likely that non-government schools would receive JobKeeper funding, staff must not be stood down while other support is still being pursued. 

“From teacher aides, school office administration staff, laboratory and audio-visual technicians, our school support staff have roles essential to the functioning of our schools and to the quality of education provided to our students,” Mr Burke said. 

“Staff must not be stood down while these plans are still evolving."

School support staff remain essential to education 

Mr Burke said there is no shortage of work to be done - schools need to creatively explore ways to ensure school sites remain safe for the staff and small numbers of students who attend and to enhance the online learning provided to students off-site. 

“Our school support staff are already playing a valuable role in assisting teachers to provide online learning and maintaining contact with students and their families,” Mr Burke said. 

“Schools cannot be expected to deliver a new hybrid model of education without teachers and support staff working together.” 

Mr Burke said all current awards and collective agreements covering teachers and support staff in non-government schools require employers to consult with employees and the IEUA-QNT as their union about any potential stand downs. 

Members who have received notice about a stand down should contact our union immediately on FREECALL 1800 177 937 (QLD) or 1800 351 996 (NT) or email industrial@qieu.asn.au 

Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.