Know your TAFE working conditions: programming
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 127 No 1, 11 February 2022, page no.21
In this article, the second of our “Know Your TAFE Working Conditions” (KYTWC) series, we focus on programming.
Ordinary hours of duty for an educator are 36.25, not counting your meal break, and the maximum number of hours for which you can be programmed to work in a week is 32. So you have 4.5 hours per week discretionary time – you are not required to account for it, but it has to be reasonably exercised.
Under clause 15.1(b) of the TAFE Queensland Award – State 2016, your 32 hours will consist of contact time and non-contact time.
|Maximum prescribed ordinary programmed hours of work per week||Maximum prescribed ordinary programmed hours of work per week|
|Teachers and leading vocational teachers|
On any day, an educator is entitled to meal breaks and rest pauses. If they work more than four hours on any day, they will be entitled to an unpaid meal break of not less than 45 minutes. This is not part of your programmed 32 hours and is unpaid. You cannot be directed to work during this time, and you do not need to remain at the workplace. A rest pause is a paid break. An educator programmed to work between three and six hours on any day is entitled to a ten-minute rest pause, while one working more than six hours will be entitled to a total of 20 minutes.
Educators, excluding casual employees, are entitled to five weeks’ non-attendance time (NAT) for each completed calendar year of service. In most cases this does not accrue. You can use your discretion to determine how you will use your NAT, while the timing of it will be at the discretion of your general manager.
Under the award, an educator has access to leave types including annual leave, personal leave (e.g. sick leave), paid parental leave, long service leave, domestic and family violence leave, and special leave. Full-time educators, excluding casual employees, will accrue 20 days of annual leave per year.
All teaching teams should develop a yearly plan, in accordance with clause 27.1(a) of the TAFE Educators’ Certified Agreement 2019. This should allocate programmed time to: annual leave, long service leave, public holidays, non-attendance time, professional development and release to industry, moderation and validation, staff meetings, time off in lieu (where applicable), student orientations, project work, and other incidental activities.
Your delivery timetable will be developed through negotiation with your team, but remember your hours of duty and entitlement to meal breaks as you negotiate. It is also worthwhile noting that clause 27.3(d) of the certified agreement states: “An educator may request that their delivery timetable be developed, taking their personal circumstances, but not merely their personal convenience, into account.”
Expectations relevant to educators’ preparation are set out in clause 31 of the certified agreement, including reviewing, updating, and/or developing course related information, uploading all relevant learning and assessment resources, and undertaking all other requirements for the learning management system.
Professional development and industry currency was the subject of the first KYTWC. Your PD should appear in your team’s yearly plan.
In addition to the award and certified agreement, a team of TAFE educators may enter into agreement with management and form a team-based working arrangement (TBWA). Clause 28(c) of the certified agreement limits the variation on your working conditions to: ordinary hours of duty, spread of hours, payment for working ordinary hours, meal breaks, rest pauses, overtime, NAT, and class sizes. Any team negotiating a TBWA should seek the assistance of the QTU.
Further information will be available at www.qtu.asn.au/tafe