Earlier this year the Swim Instructors Association through the AWU, attended the Fair Work Commission to represent the rights and interests of all swimming instructors. there was some deliberation and discussion with the main points to be determined: a) where a new swimming teacher sits in the Award Level Classifications and b) the requirements a teacher faced in order to progress through the level system.
There was discussion and negotiation held between three key interest groups: The Swim Instructors Association(SIA), Australian Swim Schools Association (ASSA) and Australian Swim Coaches and Teachers Association (ASCTA). The SIA was the only one of the three who exclusively represented swimming teachers. There were some disagreement with the other parties in the beginning as to how the wording differentiating between Levels 1 and 2 should be worded. it was our fear that the current wording encouraged swim school owners to employee unqualified teachers and only pay them at Level 1.
It is with great pleasure that we can say that the SIA has managed to provide clarity in the Award so that now, any employee required to teach swimming lessons must be paid as a Level 2 or above teacher, thus eliminating underpayment and the incentive for swim school owners to employ unqualified and underpaid teachers.
Furthermore, submissions were made by ASSA that would result in the teaching hours required to become a Level 4 teacher increasing by 350 hours (50%). The SIA negotiated for a change to the wording that ASSA proposed so that it preserved the current requirements on swimming teachers.
Thanks to the representatives who attended the Commission and the ever growing network of swimming teachers who have joined the SIA Community and demonstrate the power of sticking together.