30 October 2017 | No. 09-17 | Download as PDF

To: QTU members

State election: A clear difference in records

The outcomes of state elections are always important to QTU members:  they are effectively voting for their employer, a decision which has a direct impact on their working conditions and job security, as well as school resources and funding.

The Saturday 25 November state election called yesterday by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will offer a clear choice for members, based on the recent records of the two major parties.

LNP 2012 - 15

The contrast between the Newman/Nicholls government elected in 2012 and the minority Palaszczuk government elected in 2015 could not be starker. The LNP under Newman/Nicholls was responsible for 14,000 government employees losing their jobs and the cutting of more than 500 teaching positions through a change to the way school staffing was allocated.  Showing a complete lack of respect for the teaching profession and with no consultation, the LNP introduced the flawed Great Teachers = Great Results policy, which proposed teacher rankings, performance-based pay, short-term contracts for principals and deputies, and more difficult access to the experienced senior teacher classification.

In TAFE, the Newman/Nicholls government cut course subsidies, offered mass teacher voluntary early retirements, sold TAFE assets and made TAFE compete with private providers to access its own physical facilities through the Queensland Training Assets Management Authority (QTAMA).  On available figures, TAFE market share rapidly declined to just 30 per cent in 2015, as acceleration of marketisation under the LNP reduced Queensland’s vocational education and training system to the most privatised in Australia.  This decline in market share was accompanied by a massive decline in student enrolments in TAFE, which reached their lowest ebb in almost four decades.

ALP 2015 - 17

The Palaszczuk government's record could not be more different. Delivering on promises made in the 2015 election campaign, the Labor government has demonstrated its willingness to consult key stakeholders on major policy issues, added 875 additional teachers and 45 guidance officers above growth, and committed to introducing the highly accomplished and lead teacher classifications and undertaking the Promotional Positions Classification Review, fundamentally changing the career structure of classroom teachers and school leaders. In this year's Budget, it also committed to finally funding full-time teacher-aide positions in prep. 

The ALP abolished QTAMA and returned TAFE assets to TAFE control, increased investment in high quality training by TAFE as the public provider, and reinstated the Training Ombudsman that had been cut by the Newman/Nicholls government.

QTU involvement in the election

QTU election claims

After months of consultation through its democratic structures, the QTU has developed a set of election asks that has been provided to all leaders of the parties contesting this election. 

The key elements of the claim are: 

  • commitment to negotiate any conditions associated with future federal schools funding prior to Commonwealth/state agreement
  • 1,000 additional head of curriculum/learning positions in primary and special schools
  • four days (20 hours) per year teacher release for cooperative planning and moderation, teacher performance reviews and other collaborative exercises
  • TAFE funding guaranteed at 70 per cent of the state's training budget
  • workload review to address and eliminate causes of work intensification, excessive workload and unproductive work
  • principal workload issues identified by the Australian Principals Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey 2016 to be addressed
  • fully funded climate control for schools.

You can view our full list of claims here.

Policy comparisons

The QTU will publish further information on the major parties’ records in power, as well as policy announcements, on the QTU website.

Across this election period, the QTU will also be making contact with members directly by email and phone, outlining the key issues at stake in this election and seeking members’ views on policy issues as they are announced. 

This campaign activity is informed by the 2017 QTU Biennial Conference Statement:

"The impact of politics and governments at both state and federal level on public education, training and teaching is so profound that it simply cannot be ignored. Consequently, while the QTU is not affiliated with any political party, the Union is involved in election campaigns. QTU campaigns will seek to help elect governments and candidates who support teachers, school leaders, TAFE, public schools and workers' rights".

Any member who would like to get involved in our campaign to ensure that our election claim is delivered by a future government should contact their Regional Organiser. 

Members can also opt out of this contact by emailing qtu@qtu.asn.au indicating that they don’t want any political contact. 

Are you enrolled correctly?

Voters in Queensland have until 5.00pm on 3 November to enrol to vote or update their details on the electoral roll.

Click here to access the website of the Australian Electoral Commission, which manages this process for all elections, including this Queensland state election.

We also encourage members who are already enrolled to check whether they are in a new or renamed seat.  

 Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union