Issue 2, 17 July 2012: In this issue - EB7 update | Teacher Suitability Rankings | Gonski Campaign
EB7 – Don’t be fooled by the government’s rhetoric, this is not the time to accept a dud deal!
QTU members recently voted overwhelmingly to reject the initial offer made by the State Government to state school teachers.
The offer only provides for a 2.7% pay increase while seeking to remove the protection of many working conditions that QTU members have fought hard to attain and protect. The government believes that these matters would be best placed under ‘policy’ as they contribute to the ‘red tape’ that hinders ‘managerial prerogative’. These include:
- class sizes.
- beginning teacher issues.
- temporary teacher issues.
- protections for Independent Public Schools and school-based management.
- teacher transfer and relocations.
- RAIS (Remote Area Incentive Scheme)
Alarmingly, the conversion to permanency process for temporary teachers is one of the items the government wishes to become ‘policy’, rather than an industrially enforceable item in our Certified Agreement. Under the Government’s current offer, the process would be considered a policy which could be altered without recourse at the whim of the minister, or the Director General.
The current conversion process has seen more than 310 temporary teachers in Queensland have received a letter confirming their eligibility for permanency during the first semester this year alone.
The government’s EB offer also includes a pay freeze for beginning teachers that would see these teachers stay on the initial pay scale for 3 years. This alone will cost beginning teachers more than $6,000 over the life of the agreement and more when you consider the extended time it will take to get to the top of the scale - $64,278 over 15 years, which equates to a pay cut of $4,285 per year (based on on-going 2.7% increases).
Under this offer, the annual incremental pay scale would only be accessible to teachers once a principal certifies a teacher’s satisfactory ‘conduct, diligence and efficiency’. To date, no detail about how ‘conduct, diligence and efficiency’ could or would be assessed, has been provided.
Campaigning – what you CAN do
It is crucial that temporary teachers contribute to the QTU’s EB7 campaign and make their voice heard.
Over the coming weeks, members will be asked to intensify the campaign to ensure the government and our communities understand that our teaching and learning conditions are not for sale and that we will fight to protect them.
You and other members across Queensland can share your concerns directly with your state MP. Phone or email them at their electorate office to tell them why the offer is unacceptable. It is important that you use your private email address and identify yourself as a QTU member when campaigning.
MP contact details can be found on the Queensland parliamentary website at: www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/Members/mailingLists/MEMLIST.pdf
Rallies will be held outside the offices of Members of Parliament, in a number of electorates and a second rally will be held outside Parliament House on Tuesday 31 July. Further details of the rallies will be available on the QTU website or from your local Organiser.
Teacher Suitability Rankings
Our information and assist desk (QTAD 1300 117 823) receives numerous enquiries about teacher suitability rankings. If you are seeking permanent employment with DETE (outside the temporary to permanent conversion process) your employment prospects are directly influenced by your ‘S rating’.
I encourage temporary teachers to download from our website the QTU information brochure entitled Teacher employment processes and suitability rankings. This information brochure is also available through QTAD.
If you receive a suitability ranking that is unfavourable, you can seek to improve it through the reassessment process. If you have performed approximately 100 days of temporary or supply work, you can request a reassessment. If you have worked in another sector e.g. TAFE, childcare, or have completed recent study, you may also request a reassessment without the need to complete the full 100 days, on the basis that your skill set has been enhanced. DET may also initiate a reassessment.
Be aware that there is no guarantee that your ranking will increase, in fact, it may drop. If the ranking is to be reduced, you will be officially advised in writing and given 14 days to show cause as to why the ranking should not be reduced.
Some regions are advertising panels for suitability interviews through the Learning Place.
Give a Gonski!
The Schools Funding Review was the most comprehensive investigation of the way schools are funded in Australia in almost 40 years. It was an expert panel, headed by senior businessman David Gonski. The final report was released in February 2012.
Gonski found that Australia is investing far too little in education and, in particular, in public schools. Too many students are missing out on the resources they need and there are growing gaps in the achievements of students from different backgrounds. Gonski recommended a $5 billion a year injection of funding into public and private schools and an overhaul of the way the money is distributed, to ensure it is going where it is most needed.
The extra money would be invested in ways that we know help our kids learn:
- Smaller class sizes;
- Extra specialist teachers in areas such as literacy and numeracy;
- Greater support for students with higher needs;
- Additional training and classroom support for our kids teachers.
So far the politicians in Canberra are refusing to commit the extra funding or to make Gonski law in 2012. You can send them a message to implement Gonski now.
Please send queries, feedback, ideas and/or suggestions for this communiqué to the QTU marked attention to Penny Spalding, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union, 21 Graham St, Milton Q 4064 | 07 3512 9000 | email@example.com
You are receiving this email as part of your QTU membership and are on our records as being either a temporary or casual teacher. If your circumstances have changed or these details are incorrect, please update your details at the member portal at www.qtu.asn.au or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Condolences to US community
Tragic news continues to come from Moore, Oklahoma, where young children have died at Plaza Towers Elementary School, which was in the direct path of a tornado. As President Barack Obama has said, these children lost their lives in one of the safest places they knew – their school. The thoughts of 44,000 QTU members are with the devastated community.
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