Six Pathways for Collectively Addressing Workplace Issues The purpose of our union is to use collective action to make

our schools and campuses better places for educators to work and students to learn. There’s a range of approaches sub-branches can use to address collective grievances. If an issue is not resolved, the enterprise agreement outlines a dispute settlement procedure (discussed below).

Pathway # 1 Process:

Sub-Branch Executive Action The Sub-Branch Executive consists of the Sub-Branch President, the Deputy Sub-Branch President and the Sub-Branch Secretary. The Sub-Branch Executive has the power to act on behalf of the members of the Sub-Branch subject always to the necessity of its conforming to such directions as may be imposed upon it from time to time by the Sub-Branch and subject always to the authority of the Sub-Branch to amend or reverse a decision of the Executive. The Sub-Branch Executive is obliged to make a report to the SubBranch at the regular Sub-Branch meetings of all its executive acts since the previous Sub-Branch meeting. It can be quicker and easier for the three members of the sub-branch executive to make a decision and take action. It may be more appropriate when the matter involves personal sensitivities that it wouldn’t be helpful to raise in the more public setting of a sub-branch meeting. An informal conversation between one or members of the subbranch executive and the principal may resolve the situation without putting the principal on the defensive. By acting together as a united sub-branch executive, one person isn’t left to tackle the problem by themselves.

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Strengths:

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Pathway # 2 Process

Sub-Branch motion requesting action from school principal - Meeting of sub-branch with at least 30% of sub-branch in attendance votes in favour of a motion. The motion requests principal to take action to address an issue. - Sub-branch executive sends the motion to the principal and, potentially, arranges a meeting to discuss the issue.

Strengths

- In seeking action from the principal, the sub-branch executive are bolstered by the formal support of the sub-branch. - Demonstrates the strength of feeling of the membership

Pathway # 3 Process

Sub-Branch motion requesting Branch Executive to take action - Meeting of sub-branch with at least 30% of sub-branch in attendance votes in favour of a motion. The motion requests ACT Branch Executive to take action to address an issue. - Executive receives a motion and responds as it sees fit, eg. directing AEU staff to take action or putting the matter on the agenda of Branch Council. - Executive advises the sub-branch of its response

Strengths

- A formal motion indicates the considered view of the sub-branch as a whole thus carrying extra weight. - Useful if the sub-branch is experiencing a problem that can’t, by its nature, be solved at the school or campus level. - Allows Branch Executive to investigate whether problem is being experienced elsewhere in the branch. - Executive is smaller than Council and meets more often.

Pathway # 4

Council: Sub-Branch motion presented to Branch Council/ Subbranch councillor asks a question with or without notice at a meeting of Council - Meeting of sub-branch with at least 30% of sub-branch in attendance votes in favour of a motion. The motion requests ACT Branch Council to take action or make a decision on an issue. - A sub-branch may put an issue to Council if there isn’t time to put it to Branch Executive first OR because it relates to an area of AEU Branch policy that they want debated at Council. - Asking a question on notice (ie. emailing AEU staff in advance of Council or submitting a question via the website) allows AEU staff to formulate the most comprehensive answer possible.

Process

Strengths

- Council is our supreme decision-making body so it’s the best place to debate AEU policy. - With representatives from all sub-branches, council can be used to build solidarity. - Face-to-face discussion may be the easiest way to resolve a query

Pathway # 5 Process

Workload Committee - Our enterprise agreement requires workload committees to operate in all schools - The enterprise agreement also requires a representative of the AEU subbranch to sit on the workload committee - The sub-branch or sub-branch executive can flag workload issues for the representative to raise with management

Strengths

- It’s a forum which exists for the specific purpose of monitoring workload and negotiating satisfactory outcomes.

Pathway # 6 Process

Workplace Safety Representative - The Workplace Safety Representative may or may not be an AEU member (and they are not a representative of the AEU sub-branch) - Sub-branch or sub-branch executive can consult with the Workplace Safety representative to address health and safety issues. - Health and safety issues can relate to physical conditions but also to psychological ones like stress and bullying. The Workplace Safety Representative works with school executive to deliver a remedy. The Workplace Safety Representative has independent power enshrined in the Health & Safety Act (2011). The Workplace Safety Representative can bring in WorkSafe ACT if they do not believe the school executive has addressed a health and safety issue.

Strengths

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