Department of Education Media Release
22 Aug 2012
This response can be attributed to Education Department Deputy Secretary Andrew Finch.
14 August 2012
Q: Why has the number of staff in Education increased by 153 FTEs since March 2012? You says it's "seasonal", what does that mean? Surely relief teachers and aides not counted over Christmas would have been back at school and included in the March numbers?
A: Direct comparisons from pay to pay, month to month or during non-uniform periods (i.e. March to June) as a measure of staffing change is problematic within the Department of Education due to the seasonal nature and volatility of staffing within the department.
The best measure of staffing change is from one point in one year to the same point in the next year (i.e. June to June) although the employment of casuals, temporaries and relief staff, which varies based on specific initiatives and amounts of illness for example, does still impact on the department’s employment numbers at any given time.
Education numbers have increased from the March Report and this reflects the seasonal variation across the school year which is affected by casual, temporary and fixed term employment on a school term basis. This potential for seasonal variation for Education has been disclosed in all of the Budget Savings Reports the Government has published to date and the Minister for Finance referred to this yesterday and it was referred to in his media release.
The figures referred to from the State Service Structural Reforms table (table 2.2) can’t be directly compared to the movement in employment numbers reflected in table 2.1 and they are not intended to. Table 2.2 reports figures against each of the four categories in the table. In regard to the Workforce Renewal Incentive Program numbers they are not primarily intended to reduce staff.
WRIPs are described in the report(p5) as a strategy to renew and reprofile an aging state service workforce by offering older employees an incentive to take early retirement. In a number of cases these people would be replaced by younger employees. On that basis you can’t really make the assumption that the movement in the number of WRIPs can be directly reconciled to the movement in Education FTEs.