Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 12 May 2015) . . Page.. 1614 ..
In a letter, Mr Fowler of the AEU said that during your time as minister there had been “a record depreciation in staff morale, as educators continually question the competence of the minister in administering her portfolio”. Minister, why have we seen a record depreciation in staff morale as educators continually question your competence in administering your portfolio?
MS BURCH: I am glad you read that letter. I read it with a level of disappointment, because, through the directorate and this government, I have offered teachers a 12 per cent pay rise. I think that, in the current environment broadly with respect to pay negotiations, that is a sound and reasonable offer. I am also on the public record as valuing and respecting the teachers in our schools.
With respect to the notion that there has been depreciation in the level of satisfaction among teachers, if you looked at ETD’s staff satisfaction surveys they would put forward a different picture. Indeed, if you were to go back and refer to Glenn Fowler or the AEU, they would say that in the ACT teachers are happy and confident about working in our system.
As the Chief Minister has alluded to, we are at some point in a very robust discussion around enterprise agreements. I hope that this will not go on for too much longer, because I am on record also as saying that teachers do great work. They deserve to be regarded and respected, to earn a rise of 12 per cent over the life of this agreement, to continue working with the directorate to reduce red tape and non-core duty functions, and to continue to be supported in professional development. That is the offer on the table, and I hope that the leadership of AEU will take that out to its membership and seek their thinking on it.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.
MR DOSZPOT: Minister, how will you be able to regain the confidence of ACT teachers after this historic vote of no confidence in you as minister?
MS BURCH: As I move around the schools I actually get quite a warm welcome, and this issue is not reflected in the conversations that I have with teachers. Even this week there are arrangements being made for me to talk to teachers at schools, to be welcomed, because I have such a high regard and respect for teachers here in the ACT.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.
MR WALL: Minister, why have we seen weeks of inaction on the urgent request by staff in special schools to have nurses returned to the schools to help deal with the complex medical needs of students?
MS BURCH: You are referring to the HAAS program at Black Mountain School, I am assuming, Mr Wall. I have had conversations with Minister Corbell. The HAAS program is predominantly managed and administered through Health. ETD clearly has a key role to play because it concerns students in our schools.
The principles of HAAS are absolutely sound—that is, a health-led delegation of care. The level of care provided is in response to the complexity of their needs. That is a