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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. [Volume 39, Issue 8. April 1976]

Employee Obligations

Employee Obligations

Teacher's college students have always received a much higher level of allowances than students at universities and technical institutes. In return for signing a bond obligation to repay each year of training with a year's service to the state, student teachers receive annual allowances ranging from about $2500 to $5500.

In legal terms, these allowances are a peculiarity. They have always been negotiated between the Education Department and the teachers' organisations in the same way as teachers' salaries. The allowances have attracted regular cost of living increases paid to state servants and have been taxed. But the allowances are not a 'wage' or a 'salary'.

However student teachers have an "employee-employer" relationship with their bosses, the Education Boards and the Teachers' Colleges. They undergo a directed programme of training which combines professional preparation with liberal arts courses. And teachers' college students undertaking the three year courses spend over one fifth of their time in the classroom 'on section".

During their classroom training, student teachers must act, for all intents and purposes, like a junior teacher rather than a student. In this respect their course of training is more analogous to that of a policeman who goes through a police training school than to that of a university student.