SAS Staff bulletin – LMBR update

SAS Staff Bulletin – LMBR update – 8 May 2017 (pdf version)

LMBR feedback received from members

Feedback from members on LMBR issues is vital to the PSA and provided to the Department at regular meetings. These are attended by the Department’s Executive Director LMBR, Director LMBR Support, Director LMBR Deployment and their staff.

The PSA understands workload is a problem. Consequently, your union is reviewing the method of LMBR feedback from members. If you sent an email to EDConnect or LMBR Support seeking assistance, the LMBR issue can be copied and pasted from that email to the Issue box on the LMBR feedback form. Alternatively, SAS Staff members can send a short email to
schools@psa.asn.au about their LMBR issue and we will complete the Feedback form with that information. We will contact you for further information if needed. Some members have provided feedback in minutes of Collegial SAMs meetings and we provide those to the department.

Current LMBR issues

  • Instability of EBS4
    Many members have advised using EBS4 to record late arrivals and early leavers is a problem because EBS4 does not work properly. These members are also aware that recording attendance is not a SAS Staff responsibility in primary schools.
    Primary schools are not adequately staffed to record late arrivals and early leavers. Prior to LMBR, this was the teacher’s responsibility and recorded manually in the class roll. The PSA advises SAS Staff in primary schools to not record attendance, including partial absences. See the ban HERE
  • Training post LMBR implementation
    The Department has advised it will provide no further face-to-face training after the 15-day LMBR deployment training. The DoE seems to believe Adobe Connect (in small groups or 1:1), QRG on-line training and LMBR support materials, and department bulletins are adequate. Training is to be developed with plans for delivery by the BAU team and SRGs. No information on additional funding for SRGs has been provided.

LMBR Support has advised a Collegial SAM network it will provide training one day a month on a LMBR subject. However, SAMs will be required to access a computer room, identify training needs and content, and organise the training. The lack of training venues is a major problem as primary schools do not have computer rooms and SAMs having to organise training is a further workload issue. LMBR Support advises it has delivered training to SAMs from two school districts and to small groups via SRG networks. Again, that was organised by SAMs.

A further concern is the deployment training to high schools only being made available to a SAM and SAO. The SAM will be expected to train other SAOs at their school. This has also been the case in primary schools with the expectation that the SAM will provide training to SAOs who have been unable to participate in training.

The PSA will write to the Department requesting a commitment to provide: realistic funding for training post-LMBR implementation; a designated position in District Offices to organise post LMBR implementation training; and opportunity for all SAOs to participate in deployment training.

  • Parts of LMBR not working
    The difficulty of completing a specific LMBR task, due to the system’s glitches, has been demonstrated by the frustration and stress of SAS Staff members. Members have found after contacting EDConnect that the glitch is a state-wide problem. Members have requested a message be displayed on SAMs/SAOs computer screens alerting users of the problem.

The Department has advised this cannot be done as it may be a local problem. PSA will be seeking from the Department that EDConnect provide notification and detail of state-wide glitches to all users.

  • Increased workload of SAS Staff
    Many SAM/SAO members are exhausted by their excessive workload and the broad and technical nature of their work under LMBR. The PSA raises workload as an ongoing agenda item at meetings. It appears many SAMs are performing duties that should be done by principals. Cash flow budgeting is not the responsibility of the SAM. There has been a ban in place since the 1990s on cash flow budgeting and that ban remains today.

The Department followed the PSA’s advice to inform SAS Staff in School Biz about obtaining approval from the principal to work overtime or convert overtime to time-in-lieu to complete their work. SAS Staff should do this in future rather than working voluntarily for the Department. The Department advised it will regularly include an article in School Biz on overtime/time-in-lieu. The Department has also advised by letter to the PSA that members raise workload concerns with their principal first.

But if this is not possible or practical, they are to follow the Dispute procedure in clause 15 of the SAS Award, and if workload is affecting one’s health to contact the Department’s Employee Assistance Program. The PSA does not consider the second option to be feasible.

The PSA will write to the Department requesting a breakdown of the specific LMBR duties of SAMs and principals. Your union encourages SAS Staff who are stressed by their LMBR workload to contact the Department’s Employee Assistance Program on 1300 360 364. The provider DTC provides confidential counselling, but also provides reports to the Department on employees’ roles and reason they are contacting EAPS, for example SAS Staff with excessive workload due to LMBR. If many members contact the Department, excessive workload will be identified as an issue.

SAMs and SAOs not being replaced during LMBR deployment training, or training post-LMBR implementation either face-to-face or online is an ongoing concern. The PSA negotiated an increase in resources for continued deployment of LMBR. However, some principals are either not aware, or are using those resources elsewhere.

The Executive Director LMBR has advised in many meetings that the Department expects principals to approve replacement of SAS Staff who attend training. SAS Staff who have sought approval from their principal to be replaced to attend LMBR training with the request being denied are requested to contact PSA prior to the training. The PSA will contact the Executive Director LMBR who will contact the principal.

Next LMBR update

The next LMBR meeting is scheduled for 15 May with an update of that meeting to be sent to members shortly after. A letter to Mark Scott, Secretary, Department of Education will be sent covering the issues above. When the Department responds we will provide a further update.

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