Members Speak Out – Workloads


Geoff Westmore is an electrical teacher at Bendigo Kangan Institute, VIC

My number one work issue is expectation - expectation that you will teach between 28 and 38 hours a week because of your loyalty to your students.

Expectation that you don’t need time to plan or prepare for classes.

Expectation that you will come in and result your students when you are not required on campus.

And the expectation that you will teach well above the hours in the agreement and not complain.

To deal with it, initially you do put your students and workload ahead of your own health and wellbeing and own progression, then you get smart and you work with your colleagues and the union to push back, to work within the conditions of the agreement and fight for fairness.


Elizabeth Ingram, HT Early Childhood Education & Care Tamworth TAFE, NSW

My biggest workflow issue relates to the introduction of the new Electronic Business System (EBS), particularly having to do things over and over again as the processes keep changing. This is made more frustrating by the ongoing issues in e-checklist.

The burden of these escalating admin tasks is enormous and whilst I am lucky to have an Education Administrative Support I am still feeling over-whelmed. It is hard to know what to focus on as the goals posts are constantly changing.

Admin tasks take away from RD time when I should be focusing on quality teaching for students, mentoring and ensuring the quality teaching of staff. They come on top of having to travel across locations and teach 10 or 14 hours a week.

I would invite anyone to ‘spend a day in my shoes’ or sit with me to see that this system is broken. Until then I’ll continue to be the ‘squeaky wheel’!


Ben Wright. Teacher of Construction & Allied Trades, TasTAFE

For the teachers in the construction area in Tassie the biggest issue with work load is working in mixed mode, and the increase in administration duties and the paperwork to remain compliant.

We are finding now that when we complete our daily face to face delivery that the time we used to have in our DOTT to catch up with apprentices who may be struggling, to touch up resources, to research and find new information is becoming swallowed up by Managing a portfolio of apprentices who are assessed on the job.

There is no new data on how long and what it takes to fully assess a unit on the job, which usually means that the portfolio is too big.

This means that teachers are relying on other forms of evidence to determine competency such as Myproofing and Supervisor testimonials to sign off on rather than observations by the teacher on the job.

This article was originally published in ‘The Australian TAFE Teacher’, Spring 2019.