In September this year the PSA ran elections for a SAO Science Vocational Advisory Group.
The PSA wishes to congratulate the following members who have been elected to represent you as your delegates:
- Nicole Johnson (Chair)
- Rosemary Godbehere (Secretary)
- Petra Horwood (Vice-Chair)
- Rachel Troth (Vice-Chair)
- Robert Holmes (Vice-Secretary)
- Goran Terzic
- Karen Klein
- Maree Hampstead
- Debra Voller
- Judith Ferris
- Fiona Cullen
- Darren Williams
- Sharon Francis
- Gillian Dewar
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PSA SAO Science Delegates Meeting
On 19 November your SAO Science delegates met at PSA House for the Vocational Advisory Group. The group discussed many topics currently impacting SAO Science members across the state.
The PSA represents your interests at meetings with management called Joint Consultative Committees (JCC). The purpose of a JCC is to establish a regular forum for issues and concerns to be raised with management and addressed collaboratively.
Your delegates workshopped a number of issues affecting members at the meeting and this will inform our discussions with the Department of Education at the JCC meetings. A report back on these issues is below.
Work Health & Safety
Work Health and Safety (WHS) is an extremely important topic for SAOs working in science. It is paramount that members are protected while at work, this is one of the key parts of the PSA’s Worth 100% Campaign. One of the areas delegates have identified as problematic is the out of date documentation in relation to Chemical Safety in Schools.
Following these discussions, the PSA raised this with DoE at the JCC. As a result, the PSA, your delegates and the Department will soon enter into consultation around updated documentation, including the Chemical Safety in Schools booklet. Work Health and Safety structures will also be refreshed providing an avenue for matters to be raised and resolved on an ongoing basis.
Training in Science
Another very important topic of discussion was the provision and quality of training to School Administrative Officers when they first take on the SAO Science role, as well as regular development and refresher training.
Training will continue to be a key focus of the SAO Science Vocational Advisory Group and the PSA.
Stocktakes and Audits
A number of members have raised undertaking stocktakes and audits with the PSA, including whether a stocktake of all individual pieces of equipment in science is required by the Department of Education.
The PSA advises that there is no official requirement to stocktake all the equipment in science. The exceptions are the equipment items recorded on your school’s equipment register in SAP.
Members should consult section nine (9) of the Finance in Schools Handbook when undertaking stocktakes and audits. You can find the handbook HERE
Note: The chemical register falls under “Health and Safety” directorate. Refer to Fact Sheet titled: “Specialised guidelines for REQUIRED CHEMICAL SYSTEMS & REGISTERS”. You can find the fact sheet HERE
New SAO Statement of Duties
SAO members working in science are reminded that although your new statement of duties includes items such as:
“provide guidance to students in the use of laboratory equipment”
“Testing of experiments and demonstrating experiments under the guidance and supervision of a teacher”
This does not involve being responsible for student behaviour or supervision. Teachers remain responsible for the supervision of students.
Remember that Teachers have a minimum of four years of training before they have responsibility for a class of students. Recognition of this responsibility is reflected in their rate of pay.
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Having your union and its collective strength behind you in the workplace is the only way to make sure you get fair outcomes.