IEU Speaks: National Teacher Workforce Action Plan - Consultation begins today
3 November 2022
TIME FOR TEACHERS TO HAVE OUR SAY
The IEU has been actively engaged in the federal government’s Teacher Workforce Working Group established in August 2022 in response to widespread teacher shortages.
The IEU welcomed these collaborative discussions and the government’s commitment to work with teaching practitioners on these long-standing problems.
The federal government has now released a draft Action Plan for public consultation.
This next step in the process is crucial. Members will assess the proposals against the reality they live every day in their classrooms, and the meaningful changes needed across our schools.
Draft Action Plan: Important inclusions and priority areas
The draft plan is based on six priority areas:
- Elevating the profession
- Improving teacher supply
- Strengthening initial teacher education
- Maximising the time to teach
- Better understanding future workforce needs
- Better career pathways and support for teachers
Teachers will be looking to the plan to promote tangible outcomes within each of the priority areas.
More work to be done - final outcomes must deliver real change in our classrooms
The IEU believes that the six draft priority areas warrant inclusion. Our union has also reiterated to the Working Group that the final plan must be about more than simply trying to attract new teachers.
More work will be needed to deliver a final plan that tackles the underlying causes of staff shortages.
The long-term success of any plan must include consideration and action on unsustainable workloads, teacher burnout, stagnating pay and insecure short-term contracts.
The federal government does not employ any teachers and the draft Action Plan is not an industrial instrument that regulates wages or conditions.
However, the plan should provide a framework and a stronger commitment by employers to increase their investment in wages and workload relief. Our union will now work through the 28 proposed actions to ensure this becomes a reality.
Your stories and classroom experiences must continue to be heard
The public consultation process will be open until Thursday, 1 December 2022.
Our union, along with state and territory IEU Branches, will be undertaking a range of member consultation measures as well as direct feedback forums with the Department of Education.
This is a once in a decade opportunity for government and employers to drive the widespread reforms needed in our schools and early childhood communities – staff and students have waited long enough.