Promotional Positions Classification Review (PPCR)

[updated 6 September 2017]

The Promotional Positions Classification Review was the last concession from government in the last EB. The total review of the classification structure is the first in 25 years. The latest completion date is 31 December, 2018. The review should result in double-digit increases in the next EB.

22 August 2017: Members have provided both written and oral feedback in relation to the Promotional Positions Classification Review (PPCR).  Organisers and Officers have attended a variety of meetings with school leaders and heads of program across the State to ensure that the views of members are heard and taken into account at the Reference Group.  Although the QTU is a party to the Reference Group, the decision was made to provide a written submission.  

The aim of the submission was to augment the upcoming commissioned research which is to be conducted by Deloittes for the Reference Group. The submission will provide both issues for the Reference Group to reflect on and recommendations which need to be addressed as a vital part of the review. 

The submission

31 August 2017: Mercer met with the QTU and DET to outline some of the process aspects taken into account in relation to a public sector classification review. In particular, issues specifically relating to school capability and instructional leadership were addressed to ensure that the professional expertise of people in promotional positions around educational and curriculum leadership were able to be captured in the process.

25 August 2017: DET and the QTU met to discuss a variety of schools to be involved in the work value assessment work to be undertaken by Mercer. The intention is to work value assess the principal positions at a broad cross section of schools, along with a selection of other promotional positions. In addition, work value assessments will be conducted with a selection of Senior Guidance Officers and other regionally based Stream 2 and 3 positions.

The schools were selected through a stratified sample to ensure a sufficient number were selected from within each school type and band, while ensuring a reasonable distribution in terms of enrolment size. The schools were reviewed in terms of socio-economic disadvantage, remoteness and region to ensure the sample was representative of all schools. The schools to be involved in the work value assessments have not yet been finalised. Once this occurs, invitations to participate will be provided to the principals of the identified schools .

18 July 2017: The principal associations met with the QTU and DET and were subsequently provided further information regarding the key stakeholder submission contents and process. It was agreed that key stakeholder submissions would be made available on the DET website. In addition, information was provided to the principal associations in relation to the scope of the research to be conducted by Deloitte and Mercer.

10 July 2017: The Queensland Teachers' Union and DET met to discuss threshold issues in relation to:

  • features which should be addressed and promoted in a future classification structure;
  • aspects of the existing classification structure which may fall into the auspices of the review; and
  • factors which may contribute to complexity.

Further discussion ensued between the parties, primarily around the scope and proposed methodology of the supporting research. The aim of the research aspect of the review is to provide supporting evidence of comparative systems, as well as the threshold issues which ought to be taken into account in relation to the structure.

Deloitte will review the Queensland State Schools classification structure prior to commencing the comparative analysis of the classification structure, economic circumstances and outlook in other jurisdictions.

In addition to the Deloitte jurisdictional comparative work, Mercer will be undertaking a review on work value assessment. This piece of work will verify the application of the current JEMS methodology for classifying promotional positions and compare positions across Streams to ensure outcomes are internally consistent.

The Mercer work will also include an analysis of the incorporation of complexity in the methodology and consider alternative methods to address complexity.

13 June 2017 : The Queensland Teachers' Union and DET met with principal associations this morning with regards to the Promotional Positions Classification Review.  At the meeting, the principal associations were provided with an overview of the review including information relating to the scope of the review, the submission process and timelines.

QTU members are already able to submit ideas or feedback to the QTU through the comment link on this page.  Further links will be provided by DET in the near future

31 May 2017 : After preliminary negotiations, the Promotional Positions Classification Review (PPCR) Working Group has been formed, terms of reference and the scope of the review agreed, a project manager appointed and a list of timelines and key activities established. 

Consistent with the provisions of the EB agreement, the review will be completed by the end of 2018. The QTU’s aim is to complete it earlier if possible, subject to a comprehensive review.

 Relevant documents will be uploaded to the QTU Website as they are released.

The process will  include extensive consultation and opportunities for groups and individuals to provide submissions and raise issues. Focus groups will also be used as part of the process to prioritise issues and options for the new classification structure.  The consultation process starts within a monthImportantly, one should remember that the parties to the Certified Agreement are the industrial organisations, therefore parties to the agreement are the QTU and DET only.

QTU consultation

In addition to the consultation processes of the review, the QTU has provided an online form as an avenue for comment and submissions on the future classification structure by members. The QTU has established this landing page within the QTU website for the review  This will allow QTU members to read up-to-date information and to provide comment by email.  QTU members will also be consulted in conjunction with QTU seminars, at meetings organised for the purpose and by organisers in conjunction with school visits.

Thank you to the many members who have supplied opinions and comments throughout this process. There will be other opportunities for input into the review. In the meantime, should members have any questions about the review, please submit them here.

The Working Group will:

  • lead a review of Stream 2: Head of Program and Stream 3: School Leaders classifications as required by clause 5.4 of the Agreement (the Review)
  • operate in accordance with the Good Faith Bargaining Guidelines executed by the parties on 14 April 2016 for the purpose of negotiating the Review in accordance with the Agreement
  • invite and coordinate submissions for the Review
  • undertake or commission analysis of work value and comparative remuneration levels
  • examine drivers and impacts on classifications subject to this Review
  • inform communications with key stakeholders about the Review
  • conduct the Review acknowledging that the outcomes of the Review will inform the basis of negotiations between the Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU and the Department of Education and Training (DET) as part of the 2019 enterprise bargaining
  • prepare a report summarising the findings of the Review for consideration by the Queensland Government.
In scope Out of Scope
  • Stream 2: Heads of Program
  • Stream 3: School Leaders
  • The impact of the evaluation methodology
  • Impact of HAT/LT classifications
  • Progression between classification levels and paypoints
  • Remuneration packaging
  • Work Value Assessments/Role Descriptions/Evaluations
  • Executive Principals
  • Stream 1: Teaching
  • Allocative methodology
  • Workload
  • Creation of new positions
  • Terms and conditions
  • Implementation of review findings
  • Stream Structure

Work value and workload 

Decisions about the salary of a position (and the classification structure for a number of positions) relate to work value. 

Work value is the value of a position and the work performed based on the nature and complexity of the work, the qualifications or skills required, the responsibilities of the position and the conditions under which the work is performed.  It is essentially about the level of work required. 

In the current Job Evaluation Management System (JEMS), this is expressed in work value points.  The work value is assessed based on the requirements of the position, not the incumbent or the incumbent’s performance.

Workload is about the volume of work and not its level, and is not relevant to the work value of and the salary paid to an employee.  If workload is excessive, the solutions generally are re-design or more resources, not higher pay.

Job evaluation and work value relates to the complexity and responsibility of tasks required, not the busyness of a position.

The Working Group will:

  • lead a review of Stream 2: Head of Program and Stream 3: School Leaders classifications as required by clause 5.4 of the Agreement (the Review)
  • operate in accordance with the Good Faith Bargaining Guidelines executed by the parties on 14 April 2016 for the purpose of negotiating the Review in accordance with the Agreement
  • invite and coordinate submissions for the Review
  • undertake or commission analysis of work value and comparative remuneration levels
  • examine drivers and impacts on classifications subject to this Review
  • inform communications with key stakeholders about the Review
  • conduct the Review acknowledging that the outcomes of the Review will inform the basis of negotiations between the Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU and the Department of Education and Training (DET) as part of the 2019 enterprise bargaining
  • prepare a report summarising the findings of the Review for consideration by the Queensland Government.
1. What will be involved in the review of the promotional classification structure?

 
In the first instance, the review will look at a new basis for classifying principal positions.  Number of students will be one factor – when the current structure was created the largest school had 1,800 students.

Complexity is also a factor.  The current structure was supposed to take account of complexity, but no longer does so adequately.  The six Gonski loading factors of socio-economic status, indigeneity, non-English speaking background, disability, remoteness and school size provide a basis for classification – the question is workability.  Alternatively, can the JEMS be modified or another job evaluation system be adopted?  NSW has developed a system of classification which is worth examining, but it may not be ideal for Queensland.

Another question to be considered is the extent to which classifications depend on the historical distribution of resources to sectors.

Once a classification system has notionally been adopted, modelling is required to firstly identify any anomalies in the system, and secondly to look at grouping and banding of positions, and the thresholds for changes. In the early 1990s, this involved at least 10 models developed before one was finally agreed and adopted.

Another similar process is likely to be required for deputy principals and those in heads of program positions.  The question of the relativity between teaching principals and those positions is just one issue that will need to be addressed in the review.

Having established classification structures, the final step is establishing salaries for each classification.  This will occur either through negotiation with the department and government, or through a process in the Industrial Relations Commission.

There will be opportunities for member input and consideration throughout the process.

2. Why can’t the review and pay increases be brought forward?

 

Last year the government was not prepared to agree to a shorter timeframe that would create an unknown additional cost during the life of the agreement. Even a date as early as 31 December 2018 to complete the review, so that it could inform negotiations for a new agreement, was a matter of debate. Significant salary increases will result from the review, but they cannot be quantified. On grounds of both cost and uncertainty, the government was not prepared to agree to an earlier completion. The government was not even prepared to agree to the known cost of an additional percentage increase for promotional positions as a down-payment on the results of the review.

The creation of the highly accomplished and lead teacher classifications was a pre-election promise of the government. The government is honouring that commitment first, in line with its overall commitment to implement its promises. The agreement to review the promotional classification structure was a new commitment.

3. What guarantee is there that the review will produce results?

 

There are two versions of this concern that have been expressed: one the possibility of a review without conclusion or result; the second related to possible outcomes of the next state election.

In relation to the first, there is a definite date for the completion of the review that the Union will insist is adhered to. The timeframe for the review is realistic and achievable, even though the creation of the current classification structure took three to four years. Members and the Union must have an expectation that the review will be completed and will produce results. The progress of the review and that expectation are important factors in ensuring that the review will not simply gather dust on a shelf.

A state election will occur before the review is completed. The QTU will seek commitments from all parties to the implementation of the outcomes of the review in the lead-up to the election. That, regrettably, is not a guarantee that implementation will occur. However, that is the expectation that must be conveyed. Failure to do so must lead, and be expected to lead, to action by QTU members.  The ALP government has committed to the review. Who else will do so remains to be seen.

4. What about the relativities between classroom teachers and promotional positions; school leaders and heads of program?

 

Anything other than an across the board percentage increase disturbs salary relativities. The increase for experienced senior teacher disturbs relativities, as will salaries for highly accomplished and lead teachers. The review of the promotion classification structure will also inevitably disturb relativities, indeed one of its motivations is the need to address the inadequacies and inaccuracies of the current structure.

There is nothing sacrosanct or permanent about a set of point-in-time relativities between positions and classifications. They have changed over time and will change again, as do the demands of teaching and the organisation of education.

There will be differing views about the relative merits of the claims of various groups of members, as there have been in the past. The past relativities will inevitably change and new relativities be established.  It is better in the end that some get $10 and some get $15, rather than everyone getting $5. The Union’s objective will be to get as much as it can, for as many as it can, in as fair a new structure as it can create. The final classification structure will not be perfect but will be an improvement.

5. Will I need to reapply for my current position upon the completion of the review?

Absolutely not. 

The positions are gained through the merit selection process and there is no question of anyone in a promotional position having to reapply upon the completion of the review. 

The QTU will vigorously oppose any proposal to “spill” positions as a consequence of the review

6. As part of the school leadership team, will I be forced into a contract as a result of the Promotional Positons Classification Review?

Absolutely not.  The QTU has continuously rejected the introduction of contracts for school leaders. 

In fact, in 2013 and again, in 2014, the QTU membership as a whole overwhelmingly voted to take industrial action when contracts were threatened for principals and deputy principals by the previous LNP government.  The positions of the QTU will not change in relation to this issue.

The most significant outcome for schools leaders and heads of program from enterprise bargaining negotiations last year was a commitment to  a review of the classification structure for promotional positions and the incorporation of outcomes of the review in future certified agreements:

The parties commit to conducting a review of the classification structure of promotional positions (taking into account school complexity and the impact of needs-based funding/staffing) to be completed no later than 31 December 2018. Outcomes of this review will inform the basis of negotiations for a future certified agreement.

Amongst other factors, the review will take account of the impact of the establishment of highly accomplished and lead teacher classification and their work value assessment.

This clause in the certified agreement was a major achievement of the final negotiations with the government. It was the government’s last concession to reach an in-principle agreement.

A review of the structure is overdue. The current structure no longer reflects the levels of complexity in schools and communities that it was intended to, or the developments in roles and education in the 25 years since it was established.

A complete review of a classification structure is a complex process and could not have been completed in the four months of negotiations around the proposed enterprise bargaining agreement. Twenty-five years ago, that process took three to four years. It has not been possible to get agreement to this sort of review in past enterprise bargaining agreements.

There is no doubt that those in promotional positions deserve significant salary increases. The best way to achieve those increases is through a review of the structure rather than through on-going tinkering and Band-Aids, as well as achieving a fairer structure. The best time for the establishment of the new structure and salaries is after the creation of the highly accomplished and lead teacher classifications.

31 July 2017: 

Thank you to the many members who have supplied written opinions and comments throughout this process. 

There will be other opportunities for input into the review. In the meantime, should you have any questions about the review, please submit them here.