Human Resources & Workforce Planning

The Human Resources and Workforce Planning (HRWP) Team provided professional consultancy and specialist human resources advice to school leaders, business managers, bursars, teachers and support staff.

Employment and Enterprise Agreement matters remained a predominant area from which school and office staff benefitted from the team’s expertise. The unexpected COVID-19 pandemic required the HRWP Team to act swiftly and decisively with industrial and employee relations advice.  The unprecedented situation continually changed, at times on an hourly basis; however, with the strong and sound industrial relations position provided, along with a central point of communication, consistent messaging and approach, there was minimal industrial disruption.  The expectations of staff and all interested parties were managed with the best interest of our students in mind.

In addition to the advice provided to schools, where eligibility of the Job Keeper Scheme was approved, the government timeframes were promptly managed.  The scheme’s intended purpose acted as an economic initiative and was pivotal to CESA in continuing to provide the highest quality educational environment for our students and their families throughout a trying time.

The 2020 Enterprise Agreement (EA) negotiations were postponed due to the impacts of COVID-19.  All bargaining members from Catholic Schools Employers (CSE) and IEU participated in a Fair Work Commission (FWC) facilitated ‘Interest-based Bargaining’ workshop.  Led by FWC Deputy President Booth, it involved participants discussing a series of case studies designed to differentiate between interests and positions and to consider a problem-solving approach to workplace matters.

While it is premature to speculate on where these discussions will land and what options may ultimately be considered, both parties are bargaining in a considered and respectful manner with genuine openness to hearing each other’s perspectives.

From the CSE perspective, we are seeking to agree a revised EA which appropriately recognises and rewards our staff while also enhancing outcomes for our children and young people.

Another key area of work for 2020 was the communication to staff of the revised CESA Code of Conduct which strengthened some sections and introduced new content applicable to workplaces. It now includes child safeguarding, conflict of interest, intellectual property and public comment, fitness for work, alcohol, drugs and tobacco and use of work resources.  All new staff members are provided with the Code of Conduct as part of their onboarding process.

Recruitment featured heavily with the re-alignment of the CEO to ensure an appropriate structure to achieve the Corporate Plan 2020-2024.  Over 75 vacant positions were advertised attracting a significant number of applications from both within and outside the Catholic Education system. This is indicative of the positive brand of CESA.

In Term 4, the CEO conducted an online Staff Satisfaction and Engagement Survey followed by focus group sessions. 76% of staff participated in the survey, indicating generous staff engagement.  The full results will be analysed to determine appropriate actions where we can celebrate our strengths and enhance areas identified for development.

Country Incentive Program

This program provides school assistance for difficult-to-fill teaching positions and incentives for teachers relocating to country schools including:

  • removal expenses
  • establishment grant
  • rental holding assistance
  • remote schools’ allowance
  • non-contact time of 0.1FTE professional development allowance for graduating teachers
  • professional support through the Beginning Teachers Program
  • priority for the Study Incentive Program.

In 2020, the above measures supported over 100 teachers.

Educational Support Officers

Training and professional development opportunities continued to be offered to Education Support Officers (ESOs) and CEO staff based on the approval of Study Incentive Program funding for each participant and in addition to any government funding openings available.

Certificate and Diploma Programs

The focus for 2020 during COVID was to continue with the existing external professional development programs in an online learning environment to educate and up-skill the ESO and CEO Administration staff in order to provide new opportunities and pathways.  The Human Resources team continued to promote the group study model, incorporating and utilising the breadth and depth of experience of both CEO and ESO staff across CESA by offering post-secondary certificate / diploma programs.

The following programs commenced in 2019 and were completed in 2020:

  • Certificate IV Education Support (TAFESA)
  • Advanced Diploma Leadership & Management (TAFESA)

The following programs commenced in 2020:

  • Certificate IV Leadership & Management (TAFESA)
  • Certificate IV Business Administration (TAFESA)

The certificate / diploma programs will be reviewed based on participant interest and system funding during 2021.

Short courses

During the course of the year a suite of specific short technical courses was offered in an open delivery forum and taken up by school and CEO staff, including:

  • Customised MS Word
  • Customised MS Excel (Micro and Macro)
  • MS Excel Charts Pivots
  • MS Access
  • MS Project
  • MS InDesign and Publisher.

Return to Work

CESA in partnership with Catholic Church Insurance (CCI) continues to support workers who suffered injuries at work providing early intervention in respect of work injury claims to ensure that action is taken to support workers to:

  • realise the health benefits of work
  • recover from injury
  • remain at, or return to work, following an injury (including retraining, if required).

CESA and CCI continue to focus on provision of a personalised, face-to-face service. RTW Site Contact Persons are appointed at all CESA sites to assist the injured worker with all aspects of lodging their claim. The CESA RTW Coordinator follows up with the injured worker as soon as possible to ensure they are taken care of at the worksite and medical restrictions are followed.  CCI processes all CESA RTW claims and engages external rehabilitation consultants where required, to support the injured worker in accessing appropriate medical experts to aid in their recovery process.

CESA promotes the importance of an injured worker remaining connected to their workplace after an injury, to improve recovery, help avoid mental health issues and promote an overall sense of wellbeing.