Supporting the independent education community

Plenty of funds but Aspect staff getting short changed

 

The National Director of Aspect Education, Maryanne Gosling, has written to Aspect staff in response to the union’s correspondence to members encouraging immediate chapter action.

 

The Union has called for members to meet in their union chapters to vote on a motion, calling on Aspect to: immediately improve the pay offer for 2021 for all staff, guarantee release from face-to face teaching for teachers of a minimum of two hours per week, and to support improved long service leave and personal/carer’s leave for support staff.

 

In the union’s communications to members, we identified Aspect’s “sound financial position with reserves”, and noted that there does not appear to have been any reduction in enrolments to Aspect schools. The union also observed that in recent years Aspect schools have received significant increases in government funding (some schools have received increases per child of over 20% since 2017).

 

Given this, staff in Aspect schools have fairly questioned why Aspect has not matched the 2021 pay rises in many other independent schools.

 

Aspect’s response to staff is below:

 

 Dear Aspect Education Staff,

We are aware that the Independent Education Union (IEU) have recently sent communications to Aspect IEU members advising them of meetings to be held at schools regarding the salary increases in 2021.

We fully support the IEU meeting with their members, however I want to take the opportunity to reiterate the reasons behind Aspect’s decision to apply the one-off payments in 2020, in lieu of a remuneration increase for 2021:

  • Aspect values the dedication of our staff, particularly during the unprecedent challenges faced by our schools in 2020, and wanted to recognise staff accordingly with a one-off payment of 1.75% (to be paid in two instalments).

  • It was clear in late 2020 that the new Multi-Enterprise Agreements (MEA) would not be settled until late 2021.

We were advised by the Association of Independent Schools (AIS) that independent schools were considering a variety of responses to address remuneration for 2021, given there was no obligation to make any adjustment, and that a number of independent schools had elected not to apply any increase at all. Aspect is confident that our salaries remain competitive.

 

I also note the IEU references Aspect’s financial position in its communications. Aspect acknowledges that we are fortunate to be in a sound financial position, and this surplus is enabling us to reinvest in our schools through an extensive Capital Works Program. This program will see vast improvements to our education facilities and resources, for the benefit of all our students and staff.

 

The IEU letter also raises a number of other issues relating to staff pay and conditions which form part of the current MEA negotiations and are a matter for our bargaining representative, the AIS.

 

Finally, I would like to encourage any staff who have questions or concerns to speak with their Principal or email your questions directly to me so that I can address any ongoing concerns.

 

On behalf of Aspect and myself, I thank you again for your hard work and continued commitment to our schools.

 

IEU members in Aspect schools are reminded to please attend a chapter meeting at your school to vote on the motion no later than Wednesday 31 March 2021.