The QTU is not affiliated with any political party, nor does it donate funds to any political parties. Under the QTU Constitution, political party affiliation could only occur after a referendum of all members.
The QTU is affiliated with the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and the Queensland Council of Unions (QCU), the peak Australian and Queensland Union bodies. Neither of the bodies is affiliated with, or donates funds to, any political party.
The QTU’s mission is: “to be the most democratic and representative voice of the teaching profession in Queensland on industrial and professional matters, and in support of public education.”
Although this is broad in its scope, the mission outlines the Union’s purpose. The QTU’s values then underpin the way we approach our mission: In its pursuit of members’ interests, the QTU is:
- member focused.
The QTU’s Strategic Objectives for 2019-2023, as endorsed by QTU State Council, inform our day to day work with members to improve their working lives and public education in general. Strategic Objective 3 states: 1. Influence over the state/federal education/training agenda.
The impact of politics and governments at both state and federal levels on public education, training and teaching is so profound that it simply cannot be ignored.
The QTU does reserve the right to support/oppose (before and during election campaigns) candidates, depending on their attitude and actions in relation to QTU policy positions - in particular public education and industrial relations. This is because decisions which affect QTU members are made by governments via the political process.
The QTU is not affiliated with any political party. The Union will lobby and publicise the views not only of governments, but individual members of parliament and candidates. QTU campaigns will seek to help elect governments and candidates who support teachers, school leaders, TAFE, public schools and workers’ rights.
Inevitably with such a large and diverse membership, not every member will agree with or support the Union’s campaigns when a state or federal election rolls around. However this work is always guided by the mission, values and strategic objectives above.
Over the years there has been plenty of commentary about the lack of diversity in our Parliaments, which had become dominated by lawyers and political staffers. Having teachers and school leaders elected to Parliament definitely adds to the diversity of views and should result in better policy outcomes.
The election of QTU members has not seen any special access for your Union, but has led to greater respect for the profession and genuine consultation across government about key issues that impact upon schools, TAFE and the work of our members. The QTU always allocates campaign resources, including employee time, to achieve the most efficient and effective result while maintaining all other core business and services to members.
The Union will assess the policies of the major parties and candidates and align any of our campaigns in the context of our mission, values and strategy above. This may include member surveys, member to member phone calls and other direct campaigning in electorates where candidates sign a pledge to support key issues the Union determines are important to supporting our members in state schools and TAFE.
Members who don’t want such contact can register for no political contact by sending an email to the General Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a state registered union for which the state government plays the dual role of employer and regulator, it is even more critical that we scrutinise the policies of current and prospective governments, particularly in areas of education, training and industrial relations