Understanding your rights and privileges as an educator is crucial. This article explores various scenarios where Victorian teachers are entitled to be released from duty, such as attending interviews, union activities, lactation breaks, and cultural responsibilities.
Release for Interviews
Teachers are entitled to be released from duty to attend interviews for advertised positions in Victorian government schools. Both the principal and the teacher should take steps to schedule interviews in a way that minimizes disruption to regular school activities. Such releases are considered authorized duty and could warrant expense reimbursement. Notably, teachers can opt for alternative interview methods, like video conferencing.
Release for Union Activities
Active members of the Australian Education Union serving as state councillors can receive up to two days per term of release time to attend union council meetings or equivalent events. This helps ensure that teachers can actively participate in union activities without it affecting their regular duties.
Release for Lactation Breaks
Teachers returning from parental leave who wish to continue breastfeeding or expressing breastmilk are entitled to reasonable paid time not exceeding one hour per day, in addition to their lunch break. They should provide details about the expected frequency, duration, and timing of these breaks, causing minimal disruption to the school program where possible. Suitable facilities should be provided, and teachers may return home or go to another location during these breaks. Employers are expected to consider these requests reasonably.
For Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander teachers who agree to undertake work requiring cultural responsibilities, the impact of these duties should be considered. After consultation, this could result in time release and/or special payment. The principal, as the employer’s representative, is responsible for determining these terms.
Understanding these rights and provisions ensures you can fully exercise your privileges and make informed decisions about your professional life. Always consult your agreement or discuss with your principal or employer to clarify any uncertainties.