Issue No.13 -  July 2017

In this issue: Term three timelines for conversion to permanency process | Supply teachers working conditionsWhat is casual work?Salaries | Supply day or a contract?Conditions of employment | other conditions of employment | Credit for LSL | access to paid parental leave | continuity of service | supply teacher reciprocal membership | CPD | QTEC | PD opportunity | Learning place | myQTU | further information | no longer teaching


Term three timelines for conversion to permanency process

If you are a temporary teacher whose pattern of service makes you eligible to receive an offer to participate in the process in term three, you should receive an emailed invitation on or around 31 July to the email address you provided to the Teacher Applicant Centre. The response to the invitation is due by 21 August. You must be in a temporary engagement at the time DET is identifying the employees to send the offer to.

If you are seeking permanency, it is very important that you ensure that you have provided your most recent information, including contact email and updated geographic locations. DET has informed the QTU that the way to do update your details is to email the Teacher Applicant Centre with your full name, date of birth, employee number and the changes that need to be made to your application.

Supply teacher working conditions

As flagged in the term one Communique, this issue focuses on the nature of casual (supply teaching) work with DET (as opposed to temporary engagements).

Working as a supply (casual, relief or replacement) teacher, you provide an invaluable service to school communities by replacing teachers who are absent or engaged in other tasks. As you know, working as a supply teacher has its challenges. It demands a degree of flexibility, as you may have to work across year levels, subject areas, and in different school contexts. Occasionally, it may even require you to attend a school excursion or travel for sporting fixtures. It would be reasonable to expect that you would be informed if your engagement entailed these types of activities, as there could be implications in relation to your own personal commitments or the location you may need to attend to work.

As a supply teacher, you may teach a prepared program or find that you need to shape a program for the day. You will quickly need to become familiar with school policies, such as the behaviour policy, and with the school, so that you can find key facilities and be aware of the playground duty areas.

The Teaching in State Education Award – State 2016 describes a supply teacher as:

“one who is employed from time to time to replace a teacher who is absent for a period of at least 2 hours or for no more than 5 continuous days in one vacancy or to fill incidental teacher vacancies as they arise at a school.”

What is casual work?

In the Industrial Relations Court of Australia in 1996, Justice Moore said:

“A characteristic of engagement on a casual basis is … that the employer can elect to offer employment on a particular day or days and when offered, the employee can elect to work. Another characteristic is that there is no certainty about the period over which the employment of this type will be offered. It is the informality, uncertainty and irregularity of the engagement that gives it the characteristic of being casual.”

As a casual, you have no guarantee of ongoing employment and no entitlement to payment for school vacations, public holidays, holiday loading or paid sick leave. In recognition of the lack of certainty in casual work and the lack of access to entitlements, supply teachers are paid a higher hourly rate, through the application of casual leave loading of 23 per cent.

Salaries

As a supply teacher, you are paid at Band 3 Step 1 of the classroom teacher salary scale, plus casual loading of 23 per cent. Check the QTU website for the current hourly and daily rate for a supply teacher. The salary is paid on the basis of a fixed rate, and DET does not recognise supply teaching for classification purposes

Supply day or a contract?

DET describes supply (casual) work as “short term relief . . . provided for classroom teachers only who are absent on sick/special/emergent leave for less than five consecutive days.”

The QTU is aware of a practice, that occurs from time to time in some schools, of “converting” a supply teacher’s TRS days into a contract, even though the school may have initially employed the teacher for one or two days (TRS). Such a practice may occur, for example, where the teacher being replaced, who had indicated an initial two days leave, later decides to extend that leave. At times, a school may move to change the supply teacher’s engagement from two supply days to a contract for the full five days (or more), starting from the first day of engagement. Such a course of action is a breach of 2016 certified agreement and therefore a breach of industrial law. Also, this practice contravenes DET policy and procedures and the standard of practice.

The Department of Education and Training State School Teachers’ Certified Agreement 2016 is very clear on this matter:

8.1.2. Where a supply teacher is engaged at the commencement of a five day period that then results in a need for a temporary teacher they must be paid at the supply teacher rate for the days on which they were engaged in a supply teaching capacity.

It is important that if you find yourself in this situation and are unable to resolve the matter with the school (or attempts to raise it at the school are met unfavourably), you should seek prompt QTU assistance.

Conditions of employment

Clause 8.3 “Casual employment” in the Teaching in State Education Award – State 2016 documents some key working conditions.

(c) The minimum period of engagement of a supply teacher will be 2 hours on any one day.

(d) Where an engagement of less than a full day includes the mid-morning break the supply teacher will receive payment for this time.

(e) A supply teacher will not be required to attend to after school bus duty.

(f) Where a supply teacher is engaged across the lunch break and is used for lunchtime playground duty, provision will be made to ensure that the teacher has access to a reasonable break during the lunch period.

(g) If a supply teacher is engaged for less than a school day they are not required to attend to lunchtime playground duty following the end of the period of a morning engagement or prior to their commencement of duty for an afternoon engagement.

With reference to (c), it is important to note that if you have been engaged for supply work and arrive at work to be told you are no longer required, you are entitled to be paid the minimum two hours. As a supply teacher engaged for a full day, you are entitled to both a reasonable meal break and a paid 10 minute rest pause, at a break other than the meal break.

Other conditions of employment

Credit for long service leave (LSL)

Periods of supply teaching are recognised for long service leave purposes, provided that there is no break in service of 12 or more months. LSL may be accessed once you are permanent or if you have a temporary engagement (contract) of some length and have been able to have a request for long service leave approved. Long service leave can also be paid out. The QTU’s Long service leave brochure provides more information

Access to paid parental leave

For teachers who regularly work as supply teachers, it is useful to have an understanding of what defines a long-term casual employee, as long-term casuals in the Queensland public service are eligible for paid parental leave if they meet the qualifying period of at least 12 months’ continuous service at least once.

If you believe you meet the eligibility criteria to access paid parental leave and you have a regular and systematic employment pattern of at least one year immediately before seeking access to the entitlement, you should submit an application for the paid leave (you do not need to be permanent or undertaking contract work to receive paid parental leave as a long-term casual employee). The QTU’s Parental leave brochure provides detailed information.

Maintaining continuity of service

It is very worth noting that undertaking supply work negates a break in employment with DET. So if an employee resigns from the department or another government agency but undertakes supply work within the same 12 month period, the employment pattern is maintained, so entitlements such as accrued sick leave remain. Even one day’s supply work within the 12 month period is enough to negate a break in service.

Supply teacher reciprocal union membership

Supply teachers may find that they undertake supply work in both state and private schools. Recognising that this can be a pattern of employment for teachers essentially working supply, the QTU and the Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland and Northern Territory Branch (IEU-QNT) have negotiated reciprocal supply teacher membership rights. If, as a teacher, you are working predominantly in state schooling but undertake some supply (casual) work in the private school sector, then reciprocal membership rights would mean that you would be able to seek assistance from the IEU- QNT on the basis of your QTU membership. If you are working predominantly in the private sector, it is recommended that you become a member of IEU-QNT.

IEU-QNT can be contacted on (07) 3839 7020 or free call 1800 177938 (please note that if you are undertaking temporary engagements (contracts) in both sectors, you would need to be a member of both unions).

Professional development and training opportunities for temporary (contract) and supply (casual) teachers

Continuing professional development (CPD)

Continuing professional development (CPD) is an annual requirement to maintain teacher registration with the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT). A supply or temporary teacher who undertakes 20 days of teaching or more must complete the minimum amount of CPD, which is 20 hours. If you have undertaken fewer than 20 days of teaching, you do not need to complete the CPD requirements. The QTU’s Continuing professional development advice brochure can provide more information. 

Queensland Teachers’ Education Centre (QTEC)

The Queensland Teachers' Education Centre (QTEC) is responsible for the coordination, planning and delivery of the Union's member education and training program. QTEC can be a valuable resource for supply and temporary teachers seeking professional development and to meet the CPD requirements of the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT)

QTEC coordinates a professional development program on behaviour management and other current educational issues for all members in metropolitan and country areas. A calendar of training and professional development being delivered through QTEC can be found on the QTU website at www.qtu.asn.au

Professional development opportunity

BETA’s Thinking on Your Feet Conference 

Date: Saturday 26 August 2017
Venue: Stretton State College
Registration is now open.

Every August, the Beginning and Establish Teachers Association (BETA) offers a professional development opportunity specifically for supply and temporary teachers. The workshops are presented by experienced teachers/school leaders, and offer practical strategies which can be employed while on contracts or on supply days or can be incorporated during practicum/internships.

Learning Place

All supply teachers registered with the DET have access to resources, collaborative tools and secure eSpaces in the Learning Place while working in Queensland state schools. If you are a registered supply teacher, you can call the Learning Place support team on 1800 680 445 to obtain your Learning Place logon details.

myQTU

Maintaining your ongoing relationship with your Union is easy, thanks to the QTU's member portal "myQTU".

The portal - which can be accessed from www.qtu.asn.au by pressing the “myQTU” button on the top right of the screen, or by going to www.qtu.asn.au/myQTU - has an easy to navigate layout:

myQTU-samplegraphic.jpg

On logging into myQTU, you'll be presented with an easily updateable summary of your personal, work and address details, as well as details of the Union Reps at your school, the branch you belong to and your QTU Organiser.

The payment of dues is simple as well, with the different payment methods offered including credit card, Bpay, direct debit or an invoice request.

It is vital that you keep in touch with your Union. If you haven’t already done so, go and check out myQTU now (your login is your member or payroll number) and make sure your personal and work information are up to date.

Don’t forget, you also have the option to choose your own password.

Need further information?

 You can get quick, confidential information from the Queensland Teachers’ Assist Desk on (QTAD) 1300 11 7823 or qtad@qtu.asn.au

It is also important to keep the QTU up to date with your correct details. You can manage your QTU membership details online at www.qtu.asn.au/myQTU. Please let us know if you move, change contact details or employment status.

If you are no longer teaching, or for some reason you need to cancel your membership, you must do so in writing to the General Secretary through qtu@qtu.asn.au


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