Queensland Teachers = Quality Teachers

The Queensland Government’s vision for education has been revealed through the Great Teachers = Great Results plan (GT=GR), the response to the Costello commission of audit and the state budget. This vision includes a number of key issues that do not recognise the professionalism of Queensland’s teachers, the complexity of the communities in which we teach and the roles we undertake.

The plans include the following.

  • The introduction of performance-based pay, which does nothing more than pit teacher against teacher and may actually push teachers to teach to the test, rather than differentiating the curriculum to meet the various learning needs of the students they teach.
  • The introduction of performance-based, fixed-term contracts for school leaders (principals and deputy principals) which, as experience in other states demonstrates, will result in insecurity in employment as well as creating uncertainty within the local community. Additionally, the plan fails to recognise that contracts for principals cannot be offered under the current industrial arrangements.
  • Changes to the appeals process for teacher transfers and the removal of the reasonableness test for transfers.
  • The transfer of teacher housing to the Department of Housing and Public Works.
  • The introduction of contestable funding in TAFE as well as an EB offer that significantly reduces the working conditions of TAFE educational staff and imposes a salary freeze.
  • The introduction of a performance management scheme that is yet to be explained, will contain a rating system, is likely to rely on student outcomes and does nothing to reduce red tape (a recurring mantra of this government).
  • The introduction of 300 "master teacher" positions.
  • The removal of QTU reps from principal selection panels.
  • The removal of class sizes from industrial instruments.
  • The announcement of school closures without first consulting with the community and undertaking reviews of the relevant schools’ viability.
  • The roll out of Independent Public Schools to all schools in Queensland.
  • The introduction of discipline audits.

The QTU’s “Queensland Teachers = Quality Teachers” campaign is designed to inform members of the attacks on the profession that result from the government’s plan for education.

It clearly calls on the government to meaningfully negotiate with the QTU around these issues and calls on QTU members to resist the government’s attacks and stand up for the profession.

Kate Ruttiman
Deputy General Secretary

Queensland Teachers Journal, 30 Aug 2013, Vol 118 No. 6, p9