How much room should we have in our staffroom?

The Code of Practice for Managing Work Environment and Facilities states that the layout of work areas should allow clear space between furniture, fixtures and fittings, so that employees can move about freely without strain or injury and be able to evacuate quickly when required.

The code, however, no longer specifies a designated work floor area per employee. Often staff rooms may not comply with the general requirements included in the code, e.g. clear space between furniture to allow employees to move about freely without risk of injury. Members should discuss possible alternatives with administration to maximise available space around the school.

If the risk is not appropriately managed, it should be reported to the workplace health and safety representative and recorded on MyHR.

Staff may also wish to undertake a risk assessment to determine the level of risk of injury, which could be discussed at the WH&S committee.

I work a 0.6 PPT fraction and would like to know how much time I need to make up for the Easter allocated student free days?

Queensland state school students will get an extra day of holiday on 16 April this year following the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. For this year only, the usual three flexible teacher professional development days in the Autumn vacation will become four days.

All permanent teachers (including part-time teachers) are required to either attend these four days or make up the equivalent 20 hours of professional development in twilight sessions, even if they are not rostered on to work on those days. They will receive extra pay for the additional hours.

Teachers are paid for the flexible student free days in the relevant pay period as identified on the official department calendar.

Teachers who are unable to attend flexibly arranged SFDs due to personal commitments, e.g. family responsibilities or part-time arrangements, can make up the hours at another time. The authority to approve alternative arrangements rests with the school principal and should allow for negotiation.

How many playground duties do I have to undertake each week?

There is no agreed minimum or maximum amount of playground duties set out in the award or certified agreement.

The PGD roster should be the subject of consultation at the LCC. Teachers should not be unreasonably deployed to undertake playground duties and should ensure that they receive their meal breaks and rest pause breaks according to their industrial entitlements.

Meal breaks must be a minimum of 30 minutes uninterrupted per day, with full-time teachers accessing a total of 225 minutes per week of unpaid meal breaks. The daily 10-minute rest/pause should be taken in the alternate break and is part of a teacher’s rostered duty time.

I have been asked to supervise students before school – do I have to agree to do this?

For legal reasons, the Union strongly recommends against before or after school playground duty supervision.

Parents should be advised in the school newsletter that there is no formal roster of before school or after school supervision of students. Any supervision of students in a classroom before school would count towards a teacher’s rostered duty time.

Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 123 No 1, 9 February 2018, p28