Guidance Matters No.2 June 2021
In this edition: Senior guidance officer award coverage | Guidance officers in precarious employment campaign | Mandatory requirement for full teacher registration and grandparenting arrangements for GOs on provisional registration | Moving from provisional teacher registration as a GO to full registration
Senior guidance officer award coverage
On Monday 7 June, each senior guidance officer member was emailed a detailed update on the progress of negotiations of award coverage for senior guidance officers. What follows generally reiterates that information, providing information for the broader guidance community.
Negotiations were progressing in Term One. The 21 May meeting of the Certified Agreement Implementation Committee (CAIC) resolved to progress award matters to the next stage. On 2 June, a good faith meeting took place between the department, the QTU Industrial Advocate, Thalia Edmonds and the QTU Assistant Secretary – Services, Kevina O’Neill. The meeting explored core considerations and mechanisms for the transitioning of SGOs from one set of working conditions to another. The goal of this and future discussions is to secure award coverage and working conditions coverage at the same time.
The 1990s structure was complex, placing SGOs under the teachers award for the purpose of salary only while working conditions were captured in the public sector award. Unravelling that structure will be complicated and cannot happen in isolation. Any mechanisms used will need to be carefully quarantined solely to the purpose of award changes for SGOs, regional school support officers (RSSOs) and community education counsellors (who are seeking to return to the public sector award).
The meeting on 2 June placed all cards on the table. The QTU position around translation of working conditions will now need to be worked through by the department. For example, what happens to accumulated time off (ATO) and/or time off in lieu (TOIL) accruals; and where do recreation leave accruals sit in an award under which teachers do not accrue recreation leave? The list of what needs to be considered and how time accrued will be translated into a different context goes on.
As has previously been reported, once there is in-principal agreement on how the transitioning could operate, the QTU has requested joint departmental/QTU meetings with SGOs for the purposes of consideration and feedback.
Guidance officers in precarious employment campaign
Securing permanency under the Public Service Act and the directives
GOs who are not permanently employed in their current role have two possible avenues to permanency under the Public Service Act. New Public Service directives introduced late last year and are designed to maximise permanent employment in the Queensland public service.
For those of you who hold permanent teaching positions (or are otherwise permanent with the Department of Education) and are relieving above level (RAL) as guidance officers, are able to apply for a review of your employment status under what is known as Directive 13. I reported on Directive 13 in the March 2021 Guidance Matters.
For guidance officers who are temporary employees on temporary engagements, you are able to apply under the Fixed Term Temporary Employment, Directive 09/20.
Under both directives, a review can be requested after one year of service. A negative decision after two years’ service is appealable to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission. Where a temporary employee has sought to be converted under Directive 13 without success, the option is open to seek appointment under Directive 9.
Requests under both directives are made to: EmploymentReview@qed.qld.gov.au
Mandatory requirement for full teacher registration and grandparenting arrangements for GOs on provisional registration
This is an opportunity to remind members of the grandparenting arrangements that have been put in place for GOs who held provisional teacher registration at the time that the mandatory requirement for full teacher registration came into effect in January 2020.
The department has indicated that provisionally registered GOs and their principals were first contacted in August 2019 about the move to full teacher registration, and those GOs received further information (including some frequently asked questions (FAQs)) in November 2019. Formal letters were distributed to those previously identified GOs with provisional registration in early March 2020.
Provisionally registered GOs have until 10 December 2021 to gain full registration. The correspondence to individual GOs noted the following.
- As a guidance officer, who currently has provisional teacher registration, this letter will allow to you to apply for temporary or permanent guidance officer positions advertised during the period from the date of this letter through to 10 December 2021
- Please retain a copy of this letter
- Please attach this letter to your application if you have provisional teacher registration and you are applying for a guidance officer position prior to 10 December 2021
From 20 January 2022, you will be required to have full teacher registration if you wish to apply for any guidance officer positions.
The correspondence noted that the arrangement would not guarantee that an applicant would secure a position (temporary or permanent) as a guidance officer, either while provisionally registered or once fully registered.
Further, it noted that the panel considering an application for an advertised guidance officer position may request information from the GO’s principal or School Reviewer confirming that the applicant is :
- making progress towards full registration
- not subject to any unsatisfactory work performance process.
Should you require assistance, outline the specific assistance you are seeking and email firstname.lastname@example.org for the attention of Kevina O’Neill.
Moving from provisional teacher registration as a GO to full registration
i. a person who undertakes duties in a school including any of the following-
- delivering an educational program
- assessing student participation in an educational program
- otherwise administering or providing consistent and substantial educational leadership to an educational program.
The role of a guidance officer can be related to the first two arms of the legislative definition, but especially to assessing student participation in an educational program.
This means that a registered teacher who is a guidance officer can use their experience to move to full registration.
A provisionally registered guidance officer will still need to meet the requirements expected of a classroom teacher, namely evidence:
- of a minimum of 200 days of teaching experience (as defined above, this can include their experience as a guidance officer) in an Australian school
- that they meet the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) at the Proficient career stage
- that they have engaged in mentoring and professional development through the process.
The evidence used by the teacher to demonstrate practice is to be aligned to the proficient career stage of the APST and related to their context as a school-based guidance officer.
The guidance officer may also be able to suggest some alternative evidence that would meet the specific descriptors and which are more role specific.
Registration processes sit with the QCT. If you do require assistance from the QCT please reference this information when contacting them. ...Back to top
Authorised by Kate Ruttiman, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street, Milton, QLD, Australia, 4064