11 October 2017 | View as PDF

To: QTU principal members and Union Reps

In this issue: Job Evaluation Management System evaluation of principal sample | individual submissions re PPCR | PPCR on the QTU website | student disciplinary absences (SDAs) | Principal Health and Wellbeing survey | legal issues affecting principals

JEMS evaluation of principal sample

The next stage of the Promotional Positions Classification Review (PPCR) is commencing with a Job Evaluation Management System (JEMS) evaluation of a sample of promotional positions. The evaluations will be conducted by Mercer, whose intellectual property underpins JEMS and was the basis of the 1989 to 1990 changes to the evaluation of principal positions.

This step is important as it will gather information to be used for developing changes to the classification structure. The most significant questions will address the system’s capacity to:

  1. reflect changes in work value over a period of over 25 years
  2. establish valid evaluations and relativities for a range of positions that have emerged, eg heads of school in P-12, heads of curriculum
  3. better assess relativities and work value, given developments in the work evaluation methodology.

Schools have been selected on the basis of a stratified sample, accommodating as many variables as possible (eg type, location, size etc) within a workable sample. Further evaluations are possible if gaps emerge.

The QTU has had detailed discussions with both Mercer and the department about the use of the JEMS methodology.

Individual submissions re PPCR

Following the initial submissions from stakeholder organisations, an opportunity has now been provided for individual submissions to the review through the OneSchool website. These submissions close on Friday 27 October. Alternatively, you can take part in the individual submission survey via https://websurvey.eq.edu.au/efm/se.ashx?s=0B87A62B5B8E812C

PPCR on the QTU website

The QTU has a dedicated space for information about PPCR on its website, at www.qtu.asn.au/ppcr

Student disciplinary absences (SDAs)

There has been a number of disputes recently between the QTU and the Department of Education and Training (DET) about overturned suspensions and exclusions. The issue was high on the agenda of the recent meeting between Senior Officers of the QTU and DET.

The Director-General, whose comments at a recent conference have been cited, reaffirmed that the issue with SDAs is not the absolute number, but the accompanying explanation or narrative, eg a crack-down required or unusual circumstances.

He also said it is vital to get the process and the accompanying documentation right. The process and standards adopted by the school have to be followed.

The QTU has long-standing procedures in place to support teachers and principals when recommendations for suspension or exclusion are overturned. Our overriding concern is the safety of staff and other students. Please contact the QTU if assistance is required.

The discussion also covered a range of associated issues:

  • a potential review of behaviour management policy and support
  • introduction of policy on occupational violence similar to that in the Australian Capital Territory
  • education provision for disengaged students.

Look out for more information in these areas in future. Any comments or suggestions are welcome and should be sent to qtu@qtu.asn.au

Principal Health and Wellbeing survey

The 2017 Principal Health and Wellbeing survey has now closed. Thank you to those who participated - the results are likely to be increasingly important as we continue addressing health and wellbeing issues.

QTU Conference in June this year adopted the recommendations of the 2016 report as the basis of ongoing campaigning. Addressing the issues identified by the report has also been endorsed by the QTU Council as one of our major claims of political parties in the lead-up to the next state election.

Legal issues affecting principals

The QTU is currently representing a number of principal members in department investigations. A QTU letter to DET summarising a number of issues with suspension, investigation procedures and delay is awaiting response. Holding Redlich, which is the firm representing QTU members, urges care around two particular issues that, rightly or wrongly, are common subjects of investigation. They are:

  • mandatory reporting of abuse of students
  • use of corporate credit cards.

On mandatory reporting, the advice is to err on the side of reporting – a debate in your own mind about reporting suggests that you should. The QTU is aware of “push-back” about over-reporting from other government agencies. The QTU raised the prospect of over-reporting when legislation was changed. Our strong advice is to report rather than taking on risk to your career or employment.

The QTU is planning to publish a new guide entitled “Principals and the Law” covering these and other issues in the new year.

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