1 November 2017     No. 10-17
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Ready! Set! WWAM!

Today marks the start of the QTU’s inaugural Workload and Wellbeing Awareness Month, a chance for members to take a look around them at how their school operates and identify ways of making it a better place to work.

Most teachers and school leaders can divide their work into two types: their core responsibilities and those things that they are just “expected” to do. WWAM is an opportunity to look at what you do beyond your key responsibilities and ask why you do it. If you stopped doing it, would there be little or no impact on students or your effectiveness as a teacher or school leader? Would it reduce your workload? 

So, this November why not carry out a workload and wellbeing “health check” at your school? This could include:

  • dedicating a staff meeting to a discussion about workload and wellbeing (a sample agenda for this meeting can be found at www.qtu.asn.au/wwam
  • holding a staff social event with a WWAM theme, to give people a chance to talk about workload and wellbeing
  • sharing some of the content the QTU will be providing throughout the month
  • utilising a regular school catch-up or event to talk about workload and wellbeing
  • school leaders considering the systemic or regional impositions that add workload with little benefit (the QTU will be seeking your feedback on this soon)
  • committing to participating in the QTU climate control survey (this involves collecting data in the week commencing 7 November and the final week of the school year) 
  • taking the time to check out your financial fitness using the QSuper Finfit modules
  • participating in the We Won’t Wait campaign day on 30 November, raising awareness of the need for every worker to have access to 10 days of domestic and family violence leave (already an entitlement for Queensland teachers following its recent introduction by the Palaszczuk government)
  • taking time to think about your own wellbeing by accessing the articles and videos by the health and productivity writer Thea O’Connor on the Staying Well/WWAM page of the QTU website.

Schools have also shared their stories about the actions that they are taking to address workload and staff wellbeing issues. Schools such as Bunker’s Hill State School, which has a “Wicked Wednesday” giving members a chance to share a chat and morning tea three times a term, and a fitness “Boot camp” open to staff and community members in their school hall once a week. Then there’s Pacific Pines State High School, where they have organised for a masseuse to visit so staff can sign up to receive a massage at school for the low cost of $10 for 10 minutes. This initiative was very popular and will become a regular event. For more examples follow this link.

The QTU would love to hear from other workplaces about the strategies they have employed to address the issues of workload and wellbeing. Email your story to qtu@qtu.asn.au

At the very least, the QTU encourages members to find some time this month to discuss workload and wellbeing – because we should never be too busy to talk about workload and wellbeing.