Territory Stories

The Northern voice : the newsletter for NT-IEU members



The Northern voice : the newsletter for NT-IEU members


Independent Education of Australia - Queensland and Northern Territory Branch


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Teachers' unions; Northern Territory; Periodicals; Education Australia

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IEU-Q (Independent Education Union-Queensland)

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The Northern voice


vol. 9 no. 3

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IEU-Q (Independent Education Union-Queensland)



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longer than men, live five years longer and retire nine years earlier but will have approximately $117,000 less when it comes to their superannuation balance. The report noted that the continued gender pay gap (women typically earn $13,000 a year less than men) as well as time out of the workforce (due to family responsibilities) were key factors behind the difference. Without the recognition of this issue and the implementation of provisions in collective agreements to address the gender gap, women will continue to face an inequitable retirement future. Providing retirement security for all workers is essential it is time the major employers in our sector show leadership when it comes to providing this to their women workers given their significant contribution to our schools, Mr Burke said. The Northern Voice The Northern Voice The Northern Voice The Northern Voice The Northern Voice The Northern Voice The Northern Voice The Northern Voice The Northern Page 3 Major employing authorities in the non-government education sector are continuing to ignore evidence highlighting the need to address the gender gap when it comes to superannuation for women workers. A provision to pay the superannuation guarantee rate for those on approved parental leave (for up to one year) was rejected by Queensland Anglican employers in their last round of collective bargaining and is currently being rejected by Queensland Catholic employers. IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said this was a critical claim for members and a significant equity issue for women who spend time out of the workforce due to child rearing responsibilities and who are therefore adversely impacted when it comes to retirement savings. Women continue to be placed at significant financial disadvantage when it comes to their superannuation and this situation needs to be addressed by employers and government, Mr Burke said. A report in The Catholic Leader (5 April 2015) noted that on average Australian working women will be in retirement for 14 years SECTOR FAILING TO ADDRESS SUPER GENDER GAP Northern Territory Education Act under review Our union has been involved in vital stakeholder consultation to address much needed reform of the outdated Northern Territory Education Act. With the exception of some minor amendments in 2009 and 2011, the Act has remained largely unchanged since its inception in 1979. Our union welcomes the Draft Education Bill 2015 as a significant piece of contemporary legislation that aims to address the increasingly complex roles and responsibilities of education professionals. One of the more concerning elements of the Draft Bill, however, is that proposed changes to the governance and function of the Northern Territory Board of Studies (NTBOS) will limit involvement of education professionals in key bodies. Despite stakeholder consultation revealing strong support for maintenance of NTBOS role as an advisory group to the Minister for Education, the governing body will be reduced to a smaller group of seven expert members, with one nominee from each of the Association of Independent Schools of the Northern Territory and the Northern Territory Catholic Education Office. Ultimately, any decisions made by the Board of Studies will be enacted by, and impact most acutely on, practitioners. Relying on employer groups alone is not the most appropriate or effective way to engage the support of practitioners. In a more general sense, although it is proposed that the regulations accompanying the new Act will require NTBOS members to have expertise in education, the absence of any specification that they have teaching experience is also problematic. Our union is concerned that governance by those unfamiliar with the day-to-day operational challenges of implementing curriculum and assessment will do nothing to enhance the quality of education delivered in schools. A second provision of relevance to non-government schools is the specification that individual students receive a base entitlement of 26 semesters (13 years) of government education. The Draft Bill indicates that students who require longer than 13 years to complete school will be required to apply to the Chief Executive of the Department of Education for an extension. This would place an extraordinary burden on students and their parents who would be forced to prepare a formal application in order to repeat a year level. A third area of interest for IEUA-QNT members concerns the establishment of a separate regulatory authority for non-government schools. While it is appropriate for the new legislation to specify minimum requirements for provision of quality education programs in government and non-government schools, it is also important that the legislation retains a degree of flexibility in terms of nongovernment schools approach to implementation of the national curriculum and extracurricular programs as this is a key factor in parental choice. At present, functions relating to the regulation and administration of non-government schools have been performed by the Department of Education. The Draft Bill transfers power from the Chief Executive of the Department to a Registrar of Non-Government Schools appointed by, and reporting directly to, the Minister for Education. For more on the proposed changes go to: http://www.education.nt.gov.au/about-us/legislation/reform-ofthe-education-act

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