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Education, employment issues, Teacher contracts, Teacher Health & Wellbeing, workload

Primary Teachers: At what point do our hours and workload stop being reasonable?

The Primary Teachers’ Collective Agreement is full of interesting and bemusing information. Take clause 2.10 1, for example…

“2.10 1   The normal hours of work hours of work for employees should as far as practicable not exceed 40 hours per week Monday to Friday”

40 hours“?
Monday to Friday“?
That would be lovely, but – oh my sides – it’s just not happening. No teacher is working 40 hours a week – unless they are employed part time.
Which all begs the question, how much effort goes into ensuring these requirements are kept to “as far  as practicable”?  And what can we do if they aren’t?
You might think that anyone regularly doing way over 40 hours per week could argue that their employer is in breach of the contract.  However, the clause goes on…

“Employees shall work such hours as may be reasonably required of them… whether or not such hours exceed 40 hours per week.” 

Oh.

Thanks.

Full-time primary school teachers generally have 25 hours a week contact time in the classroom,  plus lunch and break duties, staff meetings, professional development meetings, planning and preparation to do.  For most, that’s feasible within 40 or so hours… but what about the rest?

What about planning? Marking? Making resources? Meetings with support staff? Parent/teacher conferences?  Report writing? Planning trips?

What about meeting with RTLBs, speech therapists, Child and Adolescent Mental Health teams, or other specialists?

Or attending overnight camp? Running extra-curricular clubs? Setting up and running exhibitions of students’ work Production evenings?

Putting up and taking down displays? Fundraising events? Compliance stuff for the Education Council?

So which bit of clause 2:10 1 takes precedent? The “40 hours” bit or the such hours as may be reasonably required of them” bit?

At what point does the workload stop being reasonable?

~ Dianne

 

For the Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement 2015-2018, see here.

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