Some students across South Australia will have brought home end-of-term report cards without any written teacher comments about their progress and ability, attitude or areas for improvement, following a ‘silly’ Australian Education Union directive designed to disadvantage students and parents.
Union bosses from the AEU have recommended their members not provide parents and children any insightful, informative commentary on student reports beyond a subject’s grade, as part of the union’s industrial action in response to the Government’s Enterprise Agreement Offer.
It is one of several union actions being introduced in schools and preschools – including limiting staff meetings, refusing to take additional relief lessons, and answering emails in worktime only – following Monday’s state-wide strike.
Treasurer Rob Lucas urged the union not to unfairly disadvantage students and families because of a disagreement with the Government.
Mr Lucas said, while the Government had put forward an exceptionally fair and reasonable offer including pay rises of 2.35 per cent per annum for teachers and 3.35 per cent per annum for Principals and Preschool Directors, union bosses seemed intent on causing maximum disruption for families.
“We now have a ridiculous situation where some students are heading home on school holidays with report cards that will be completely devoid of any helpful, informative commentary about their individual progress,” said Treasurer Lucas.
“Parents will be rightly disappointed and frustrated that they and their children seem to have become collateral damage in the union bosses’ rush to industrial action.
“In fact, this has got to be one of the silliest examples of union bosses’ industrial action I’ve seen by refusing to provide any meaningful information about how their child is progressing at school. Ultimately, it’s the children who are going to suffer.
“In one particular school in Adelaide’s north, a mother had a child bring home a report card without any commentary, while the other – whose class teacher is not a member of the union – had the usual descriptive report card.”
Among the other AEU actions:
- Teaching to prescribed contact time.
- Ensuring that everyone receives their prescribed Non-Instruction Time (NIT) by not taking any reliefs that decreases NIT.
- Attendance at one, one-hour staff meeting per week only.
- Blocking any new Education Department or Partnership initiatives.
- Not completing annual site report.
- Answer emails during work hours only.
Mr Lucas said the Government has already resumed sensible negotiations with the union.