Truce reached

State Government moves to introduce stricter pay rise criteria for teachers, feared to have prevented up to 40 per cent of staff from upgrading next May, has been quashed in the Federal Court.

According to the Australian Education Union, the government had sought to implement ‘guiding range’ measures in the 2013/14 period, by which successful performance assessments would only be awarded to 60 to 80 per cent of teachers and support staff and 65 to 75 per cent of principals.

However in a settlement reached in court on Wednesday, the Department of Education assured it would not pursue the guiding range in the 2013/14 period, while the AEU agreed to drop further court proceedings.

“Performance assessment in schools will not be determined by an arbitrary ‘guiding range’ or quota, but by the existing performance and development process,” AEU Victorian president Meredith Peace said.

Last fortnight The Express reported ongoing confusion surrounding the government’s intentions to introduce stricter performance measures was causing anxiety among Latrobe Valley teachers.

Minister responsible for the Teaching Profession Peter Hall said the government and AEU union now agreed performance assessments would be undertaken in a more serious and diligent manner in future.

“I am pleased the agreement acknowledges that teachers’ and principals’ performance assessments will have regard to school outcomes, a critical link in ensuring continuous improvement in schools across Victoria,” Mr Hall said.

The government has been keen to shift away from current pay progression processes, in which 99.8 per cent of the 24,000 eligible teachers across the state last year successfully achieved pay upgrades.

It remains unclear what measures government will seek to implement in the 2014/15 performance period.