IEU members across the country are fighting back against unsustainable workloads and incessant growth of administrative tasks and compliance paperwork that is undermining our time to teach.
The causes of teacher workload are many and complex. Long-term solutions will require improved conditions won by IEU members in local campaigns and collective bargaining. But it will also need a national intervention from governments, peak employers & education authorities.
While it’s acknowledged across the education sector that workload and teacher burnout are the core drivers behind teacher shortages, the response from school employers remains limited to public handwringing about a problem they themselves have the greatest ability to rectify.
The federal government has initiated important reviews and reforms focused on teacher retention. Our union is deeply engaged in this work, as well as other aspects of our national plan to compel all parties to play their part in relieving workload pressures.
Federal IEU priorities to tackle teacher workload
- IEU campaign to streamline compliance & end task duplication: Our work has started with
education authorities & policy makers to end the unnecessary overlay and duplication of
compliance work. Once reasonable expectations are confirmed, we need employers to stick to
what is actually required and stop adding more demands.
- National School Reform Agreement (NSRA): The IEU is prosecuting innovative changes that
would see school funding and resources linked to tangible workload reductions.
- National Teacher Workforce Action Plan (NTWAP): The IEU is working with the federal
government and authorities on the implementation of key NTWAP Actions that can help address
workload. This opportunity for major reform can’t be missed.
- Workload Impact Assessments: Our union has called for all new education policies and
initiatives to first be subjected to workload impact tests to break the cycle of add-on duties.
- Parliamentary Inquiry into AI in Education: In addition to legal, ethical & educational concerns,
we are fighting workload pressures caused by new academic integrity policies designed to police
AI, but also force even more admin work onto teachers & school leaders.
- Initial Teacher Education & Support for Early Career Teachers: The IEU is providing detailed
input into best practice induction guidelines for new teachers and lobbying for greater early
career support programs including dedicated work time for professional mentoring.
- Early Years Strategy & ACECQA Workforce Plan: Early childhood education staff are drowning
under the burden of operational and admin tasks imposed on small community centres. Our
teacher-directors are struggling with limited resources & support.
A two-pronged strategy is needed to force real change – IEU members winning workload concessions from employers through school level campaigns, combined with national advocacy to stem the avalanche of process driven tasks and red-tape being imposed on teachers.