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Thread: Teachers-when to take leave???

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Default Teachers-when to take leave???

    Hello there lovely ladies!!!
    I know there are alot of us in the education "industry" out there so I was hoping for some advice. I am a high school teacher in an old school that has plenty of stairs. I don't tend to sit at my desk alot but I know I will need to train myself to do this more-- harder to see what the little darlings are really up to though!!!
    I was thinking that I would work up to 4 weeks b/f my due date but some women at work have said they needed to leave earlier due to the nature of the job. As this is my first bub I have no idea what I'll be like closer to the time and because I have a couple of senior classes I feel obliged to give as much warning as possible so my department can find the best person to take my kidlets through their HSC's.
    Any advice appreciated. Thanks in advance,
    Hope xo


  2. #2

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    Apr 2006
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    Hi Hope

    I'm a primary school teacher and due to give birth in July. I also wasn't sure how long to work for as this is my first. I teach year two so that involves lots of walking around and leaning over to talk to them (they have such little desks!) I've decided to leave 6 weeks before the due date. I have a good class this year so it won't be so bad working until then.

  3. #3

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    I am a primary school teacher and had year 2 when pregnant with my first. I stopped working 6 weeks before the due date and I think that was about perfect. I was very big and uncomfortable though.

  4. #4

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    Sorry Fletch. We posted at the same time but I do think the same as you. I think the department prefers that you start leave at 34 weeks. I remember I worked until I had to stop.

  5. #5

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    Mar 2006
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    Getting to know Brisbane all over again
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    I am a primary teacher and was planning to work up until the end of the term before I was due (term 4 2006) however I ended up having to take leave without pay at 16wks due to heart probs and worked casually until a few weeks before the end of the year. I had one friend who worked up until the week before she was due, she was exhausted and also there was the issue that if she had the baby early who would cover her class??? I think finishing up around 34-36wks is pretty normal

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    NSW
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    Thanks guys,
    That's been most informative. I rang Teacher's Fed today and under the new award if you have a certificate of fitness from your doc. you can keep working up to 36 weeks. Still undecided at this stage as I have no idea how ginormous I could be by then! The new award also has provisions for 14 weeks paid mat leave and access to long service on a pro-rata basis after 7 years of service-- STOKED!!! I'll be taking it at half-pay so those benefits will certainly make life easier financially.
    Thanks again girlies,
    Hope xo

  7. #7
    Reelily Guest

    Default High School Teacher maternity leave NSW

    I discovered all this when I was pregnant.


    You can work up until your due date. the federation encourages you to take maternity leave from six weeks before your due date and the government four weeks before your due date. But you can give birth at school ... basically you do not have to take maternity leave early.

    I am a high school teacher in NSW and we NOW get 14 weeeks maternity leave. I have an (almost) one year old. And am planning on getting pregnant again this year. I will be pushing my benefits to the limit.

    And to all those people that think teachers have it easy ... tell them to walk into a room with 30 fifteen year olds and tell them to do unnatural things like sit and pay attention.

    I'm not bitter ... I'm just playing ... I love my job ... but it is really not easy. If you ever have probs with your teens. talk to their friends

  8. #8

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    I too am a teacher, I am planning on working up until 2 weeks before my EDD if I can (which is the last week of term 3). That way, my 14 weeks will take me up until the end of term 4, and I will be able to get holiday pay and return to work at the beginning of term 1, 2008. I phoned the employee service centre and they said all paid leave counts as service pro rate for holiday pay purposes. I have a year 12 class too, and if I go 2 weeks before the end of term 3 I can get them (mostly) ready for their HSC.

  9. #9
    Cath78 Guest

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    I am a high school teacher too. I have a 13 month old. I finished up at 33 weeks as thats when the Christmas hols started (timed it really well!!! got 5 1/2 weeks of christmas hols then my 14 weeks paid kicked in in Jan making it really almost 20 weeks paid leave so if you can time it well thats something to think about.

    If the holidays weren't coming I don't think i could have lasted much longer. One of the main factors was the heat plus being on swollen feet.

    I had another prob too - forgetfulness!!! I'd be talking to to class and stop mid sentence - that is a big prob! Baby brain.

  10. #10

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    I'm a High school PDHPE teacher in NSW. I am currently on part time mat leave and about to return to full time leave after a term of 3 days per week, to take advantage of the second year of extended leave and casual teach close to home. (I've found a 2 yo and 10 month old, getting to childcare by 7am and an hour drive to school to start by 8 all too much for all of us!)

    I will explain what I know about NSW award. I have just been through weeks of phone calls and frustration to find out what our rights are under this new award. (they are still calling it new even thought it's now been in for over a year and expires in less than a year - then we will need to strike again!!) - Yes, after being passed around for weeks and not getting answers I am cynical and ****ed off! Call both Federation and the Department to get answers. If you call Newcastle for leave advice, a good person to talk to is Kathleen (not sure of her last name). She seems to know stuff.

    You now can work up to your due date, prior to Jan last year it was 34 weeks. I worked to 34-35 weeks with both of mine and felt I could have worked longer, but my leave coincided nicely with terms so did it that way even with the new award. It really depends on how you are feeling. If you put in your leave for close to EDD and couldn't make it you could take sick leave or maybe change your mat leave if time. (After learning stuff - I would take sick leave, we have a pretty generous amount.)

    We now get 14 weeks full pay (used to be 6 weeks full to cover the 6 weeks they made you take prior and 6 weeks half pay after the birth). You can take this as a lump sum, full pay for 14 weeks or (I think) half pay for 28 weeks. You need to state this on your mat leave form though. You can have 12 months mat leave and, with approval, extend this for another 12 months if you wish, with right of return to your current school. When you go back you can do part time with your Principal's approval up until your child is of school age. (have a good casual organised, that is happy to job share and does a good job - it makes it hard for your Principal to say no. It also helps if you are not timetabled to teach seniors - this is a common argument for not allowing it.)

    My advice - talk to other new mums at school if there are any (our school must have fertility drugs in the water - 10 babies in the last year!), ask Federation for the fact sheets they have on Mat leave and email Teacher's Leave your questions and they will respond back via email - you then have answers in writing. I have found this the best as the answer you get depends on who you talk to and then next time nobody knows anything about it - if you have an email you have proof (and there is a policy that they must respond within 24 hours, so you get a quick answer). I emailed and finally got a (DRAFT) copy of the award provisions, so I can make informed decisions.

    Good luck. If you need any help I can tell you as much as I know if you contact me. I'm not sure how you can contact me without me posting my email address - it's do-able I think. Otherwise, post asking me to contact you and I will try and find a way.
    I am so cranky about the struggle to find info I'm writing letters complaining to both Federation and DET.

    By the way - to get around the not sitting at your desk thing - sit on it. You can still see them and have an intimidation factor, but get a bit of rest too. My little ferals would have swung off the fans if I sat down (and they were nicer to me when I was pregnant than normally).

    Best wishes.

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Sydney
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    Hi Sim,

    Do you still have that email address?

  12. #12

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    Sure do .....
    [email protected]

    Good Luck

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    I think in some cases its a very personal thing, of course im not pregnant yet but from colleagues and friends each has been very different.
    One woman worked right up to the birth and I mean right up to it. We had the school on the Thursday. A whole school conference on the Fri-Sat. She went on the friday and then had the baby on the saturday!!
    Some very lucky ones have been able to work until Decemeber and then officially start their maternity leave at the end of Jan/ Feb. I knwo the down side of it being hot but they still got paid during the holidays and had time off to rest.
    Depending on your $ situation as well. One girl finished her class at the end, but came back for the first 2 weeks every day to complete another role she did in the school so she didnt miss out on her money for that role. I think that one was very dependant on the leadership at your site.

  14. #14

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    So holidays don't count as part of your mat leave? That's excellent - I might go a couple of weeks earlier - was factoring the Sept/Oct break as part of mat leave.

    A friend who took the 28 weeks at half pay option says it's not so bad, she pays less tax so ends up with more than she'd thought.

  15. #15

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    Im a primary teacher in vic, and am working up to the end of the term (3 weeks and counting !!!!) and will get my two weeks holiday pay and then my 14 weeks mat leave will kick in - Sounds like in nsw you can take your mat leave at half pay?? Thats great we cant do that in Vic..... also as im working up to 5 weeks prior i just have to show the department a letter from the doctor to say Im fit and healthy to work past the 6 week requirement.

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    NSW girls, take the 14 weeks as half pay if you can afford it cause then you get FULL pay for the holidays when they come. I did this last year when I had Riley. I finished day 1 or term 2 (but didn't work it) then got half pay up until mid november and full pay in July and sept. holidays. The lady at leave section told me about this I don't think they publicise it. I took her name and made her double check with her supervisor too LOL. I then used some of my LSL for the last 4 weeks of the year and because i had been paid for the year I got the whole Christmas holidays at full pay too.
    On finishing work- I had DD#1 in the old days of 6 weeks off beforehand and I was glad of it, I was exhausted. With DD#2 I was in NT and they let you work as long as you like, I lasted until 36 weeks, it was so hot and I was getting really tired so that was as long as I could go. With this last pg I broke my foot at 28 weeks so was off on sick leave beforehand so didn't get to decide how llong to work.

  17. #17

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    In NSW School holidays are counted as part of mat leave. Eg If mat leave commenced next week and bub wasn't due for 6 weeks. Mat leave is 6 weeks, not 4 weeks mat leave and 2 weeks of the Easter hols. This is why under the new award you may be better starting your mat leave close to EDD depending on where hols fall. I know first hand, this was my exact situation last year with my second bub. With my first I had to start mat leave during the Christmas hols and this counted in the mat leave entitlement NOT holidays first and then mat leave starting as term started. (my first was under the old award where you had to start mat leave at the 34 week mark). You do get the 4 weeks leave loading (or a percentage depending on amount worked), which is normally paid around November.

    You will then realise that those 14 weeks pay are really only ever 12 weeks at best, and 10 weeks in most circumstances of actually being paid whilst not at school. Not that I'm complaining it's much better now than it was and is certainly better than some other occupations.
    Last edited by Sim; March 10th, 2007 at 09:00 PM. Reason: to add NSW

  18. #18

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    Yes but under the new system if you take leave at half pay you still get full pay in the holidays. This is what I did last year.

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