School Learning Support Officers (SLSO) bulletin - Public Service Association

School Learning Support Officers (SLSO) bulletin

School Learning Support Officers (SLSO) bulletin – May 2018 (PDF version)

The members of the Special Education Working Group met on Wednesday 23 May to discuss issues of significance to School Learning Support Officers (SLSOs). The Special Education Working Group reminds members of their rights at work. This bulletin summarises some of the key topics discussed.

What is the pay/leave simplification proposal?

Currently, long term temporary (LTT) School Learning Support Officers (SLSOs) leave calculations for stand-down pay over school vacation periods requires the staff member to work both school terms either side of the vacation. For this, LTT SLSO receive half pay during school vacations. Due to the complexity of the calculations involved, sometimes errors occur, which result in over- or underpayments.

Pay/leave simplification means a small amount of the LTT SLSO hourly pay will be reserved to cover payment of your normal pay during school holidays.

This means LTT SLSO fortnightly pays during school term will be adjusted to the permanent rate. Your hourly rate will be the same as that paid to permanent staff. You will then receive a constant rate of pay for 26 equal fortnightly pays each year.

For example, if your normal pay as a LTT SLSO is two days per week, a small amount of your fortnightly pay will be reserved by the Department. This reserved amount is then paid to the LTT SLSO during school holidays.

In this example, the LTT will receive 26 equal pays of two days per week – including during the school holidays.

The DoE converted permanent SLSO to this leave accrual system in 1987.

Permanent SLSO have commented favourably to the change once it was implemented and found it easier to budget with 26 equalised pays in a year.

New Payroll/HR system

Members are reminded that as the Department progressively moves schools onto the new payroll/HR system they should take screenshots of their current accumulated leave balances and entitlements.

While the Department has advised it is taking all reasonable measures to migrate data from the old system to the new, glitches may occur. If members have a screenshot of their leave balances from ESS if issues arise once your school moves onto the new system, a screenshot will assist in making sure you receive your entitlements.

The new system is unable to import your previous leave history. Members can generate their own leave history to save for future reference. It is recommended that when you take a screen shot of your current leave balance, you also generate and save your leave history report. This will ensure that if there are discrepancies with future leave entitlements (particularly if you have taken leave without pay during your employment) you will have your own leave history report for reference.

Schools Staffing Procedures

When schools are allocated additional permanent hours based on an increase in student numbers, for formula positions, the following steps are used to offer these hours to staff:

  • The permanent part-time SLSO with the longest employment in the Department is offered these hours first.
  • If they do not accept the hours, the offer is made to the next longest serving permanent part-time SLSO.
  • This continues until the hours are fully allocated to permanent part-time SLSOs.

When vacant formula positions arise then the following process should occur

  • Match for priority transfer
  • If no priority transfers any EOI is assessed for eligibility
  • If there is no successful EOI the position is offered to Service and Resumption of Duty transfers in order of seniority.
  • If transfers are exhausted the position is advertised on iworkforNSW

Why should SLSOs join the PSA?

Established in 1899, the PSA has a long and proud history of acting on behalf of its members in all aspects of their working lives, providing support, expert advice and individual as well as collective representation.

SLSOs work closely with students and in the event of an issue or allegation being made, who would you turn to? The PSA has staff whose experience and knowledge can assist you if there is a difficulty at work.

Have you seen your statement of duties? Do you understand the industrial instruments, policies, procedures and legislation which apply to schools and students with complex health care needs?

Were you inducted by the Department when you started employment so you understood your roles and responsibilities?

The PSA is the Union which negotiates your pay rises and all your entitlements that make up your rights at work.

Here are some of the many benefits PSA members are entitled to;

  • Fees are 100% tax deductable
  • Industrial coverage e.g. member support and WH&S assistance.
  • Journey Insurance – To and from work if you are injured. This was removed in 2012 by the NSW Government and the union has set up coverage for its members.
  • Free will or one free legal consultation with our lawyers
  • Provident fund – $3500 on death of members
  • Group Accident Insurance – up to $30k for accidental death and $60k permanent disability
  • Union Shopper – discounted movie tickets, 5% discounted gift cards (eg Woolworths for your grocery shopping) and a lot of other great services

United we bargain – divided we beg!

The PSA invites you to join HERE.

Special Education Working Group Committee

Member Area Email
Tanya Pople Riverina
Tanya Mcalister Metro – North west
Michele Preston Metro – North west
Ruth Capps Central West/West
Rhonda Chandler Metro – North west
Jeffrey French North Coast/Hunter
Sara-Jayne King Metro – West
Karenza Morison Metro – North
Sallyann Sullivan Central West/West
Donna-Lea Boyd-Osmond Metro – North

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