Strategy and policy: The 'professionalisation' of teaching and the work of an Australian teachers' union
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- Contemporary Issues in Work and Organisations: Actors and Institutions, 2020, pp. 110-127
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This chapter examines a strategic union approach in both responding to, and actively shaping, the professional landscape of one of the largest employment sectors in Australia – education. Taking the case of a teachers’ union in Australia, the NSW Teachers’ Federation (NSWTF), the chapter investigates the union’s contemporary strategic involvement across both state and federal education policy to understand union efforts to protect and advance teachers’ industrial and professional position in an era of significant reform. We explore how the union has pursued a ‘professionalisation’ agenda and worked strategically in support of the government’s recent accreditation reforms and examine the response of teachers to these reform initiatives. We investigate the impact of the NSWTF’s professionalisation agenda in the context of control and monitoring of teachers’ work under neoliberal government policies and consider, within a broad setting of work intensification and heightened workloads, what the implications of such a dynamic might be for the teaching profession overall.
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