“While the Government is happy to give the option for parents to keep their children at home to protect them from the threat of coronavirus, it has given no consideration to the welfare of teachers and classroom support staff who may not be comfortable with having a classroom full of up to 27 students in complete disregard of social distancing guidelines.
“The AEU NT cannot and will not support such a decision, and nor will we continue to co-operate with a Government that fails to consult with key stakeholders before making decisions.”
He said allowing each Territory school to decide how it delivers education in Term 2 would put pressure on already struggling teachers.
“The union will be seeking legal advice as to whether it breaches the major change consultation and workload provisions of the teacher enterprise agreement and on that basis, considering lodging a dispute with the Fair Work Commission,” he said.
“The AEU NT will be insisting to the Department that there will be one program of teaching and learning prepared by teachers for each group of students they teach, whether those students are at school or at home.”
As of early this afternoon, Mr Ryan said the union had not been contacted by the Department of Education.
The AEU NT was set to join other stakeholders, including the NT Council Of Government School Organisations, in a consultation meeting with the Department of Education today but the union chose to boycott the meeting.
“As the decision on Term 2 arrangements has been made unilaterally by the Minister, we see little point in further participation at this time,” Mr Ryan said.
“We will turn our energies to advising our members on how to manage their workload and protect their health and safety.”
In a letter sent to teachers last night, Ms Uibo said all decisions were based on local and federal recommendations.
“All Northern Territory students are expected to attend school from day one, Term 2, in line with the current advice of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPCC) to the National Cabinet that schools are safe to remain open,” she wrote.
“The Department of Education will continue to act on advice from Australian and Northern Territory health experts, which is currently that schools and early childhood education and care services are safe to attend.
“To my fellow educators, I am aware of the many challenges you are facing on a day to
day basis and I take this opportunity to affirm my respect and extend thanks for the resilience and commitment you demonstrate in these unprecedented times.”
Toys should be out the stroller for NT DoE’s COVID19 Lies:
More NT Dept of unEducation lies in Nhulunbuy. Cleaning not happening as told to parents. page 1 paragraph 7 “professional cleaning across the school throughout the day” is a blatant lie. Read letter here: NHS Letter to Parents
Professional cleaning NT Style. Looking after your kids. NOT.