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Department of Education State School Teachers' Certified Agreement 2019

On Tuesday 19 November, the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) certified the Department of Education State School Teachers' Certified Agreement 2019.

All provisions of the new agreement are now in effect and must be complied with.

Back pay

Members were advised in Newsflash No. 18-19 (5 November 2019) that the payments under the new agreement would be separated from leave loading payments. The agreement provides that the new salaries will be paid in the pay cycle most practicable after the certification of the agreement.

The arrangements for payment of increases will be: 

4 December     –    leave loading
18 December     –     temporary teacher termination payments
1 January     –     $1,250 one-off payment (for those eligible)
15 January     –     back pay and new classification increases.

The QTU appreciates that members have been waiting for some time for the salary increases, however now the agreement is certified, this is the most practical payment cycle

Student-free days 2020

The number of professional development hours (formerly referred to as flexible student-free day hours)  has been reduced from 15 to 10 hours.

Schools have already been working together to agree to the timing of these hours for 2020. 

The gazetted student-free day (SFD) in term four has also been moved to the third last Friday in term three (4 September). This move has occurred to support the implementation of the new senior secondary system. As in previous agreements, the SFD hours on this day may be used flexibly, if agreed to following consultation at the local level. When making decisions about the use of this day, schools should consider the impact on teachers involved in confirmation for the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) on this day. If using the hours flexibly, schools should recognise for confirmation processes hours undertaken on this day, in lieu of attendance at other professional development activities.

Questions have been raised about the impact of the removal of these hours from the autumn holidays on permanent part-time employees and paid leave. The intention of the agreement is not to disadvantage part-time employees nor to incorporate the hours into any paid leave. At the CAIC, the department committed to developing an implementation solution that will ensure this.

The department has also advised that it has requested the re-publication of the school calendar to reflect the new SFD arrangements


The certified agreement commits the Department of Education to providing effective work practices that support well-being, work-life balance and a safe work environment.

Until 30 June 2022, a Workload Advisory Council that includes equal representation from the Department of Education and the QTU will collect information about issues contributing to workload pressures, monitor emerging workload issues, and inform workload reduction initiatives.

The Workload Advisory Council will ensure alignment with the Principles of Good Workload Management that are contained in Schedule 6 and include the following:

  1. Understanding that all employees and managers are accountable for effective workload management.
  2. Discuss and review workload. Allocation of workloads that take into account the training, skill, knowledge, career and professional development of individual employees.
  3. Recognise that changes occur in workplaces on a daily basis and that managers are responsible for managing workloads.
  4. Success depends on a strong commitment by both employees and managers.
  5. Equitable distribution of workloads and open and transparent decision making.
  6. Support decisions that take into account the work-life balance of employees.
  7. Provide flexibility and discretion in applying workload management to ensure delivery, work requirements and the effectiveness and efficiency of the Department are met.
  8. Maintenance of safe work environments and safe work practices.
  9. Allocation of resources to ensure both the maintenance of workloads at a reasonable level and the delivery of a high quality service.
  10. Issue escalation processes are in place. The LCC is a key mechanism for managing workload issues at the workplace level.”

Temporary teachers

Temporary teachers will progress on the incremental scale for each 40 weeks they work, regardless of their employment fraction. This way, temporary teachers will not need to work 200 days to increment through the salary scale. This change, consistent with arrangements for permanent part-time teachers, takes effect from 23 January 2020. 

Where a vacancy exists, teachers should be engaged permanently in the first instance. If this is not possible, the department is encouraging schools to continue temporary engagements at least to the end of term one 2020, to ensure the ongoing employment of teachers within the system, given a pending teacher shortage

Shorter eligibility period for temp to perm conversion 

The new certified agreement reduces the amount of eligible service from three years down to two, which is a great win for early career temporary teachers. This means that more teachers are now eligible for conversion, and those not yet eligible will become so more quickly.

This does not alter the requirement that permanent appointments be made e.g. to vacate positions wherever possible. This is part of the EB agreement and government policy.

The QTU is working with DoE to determine how newly eligible teachers will be processed. We will communicate more details on this once it is confirmed with DoE, but the Union is working with the department to ensure job security for members.  

Teachers who at 19 November (the date of certification) had completed two years’ service are now eligible to receive an invitation for the temp to perm conversion process. Anyone who has this service and does not have work for next year should approach their principal in the first instance and follow up with regional HR. You should state that, under the new certified agreement, you are now eligible for conversion to permanency. 

Any interim queries should be directed to

TRS for senior secondary teachers

Schools will be provided with funding for one additional day’s TRS per senior secondary teacher in term three. The allocation will be made per senior secondary teacher FTE (not one day per teacher who may teach a senior secondary subject as well as junior secondary subject). The calculations to determine the number of senior secondary FTE in the school will be similar to the method used in previous years when determining the number of senior secondary teachers a school required to ensure a breadth of curriculum for the half cohort.

It is at schools’ discretion how the time is allocated (half-days, full-days etc), but it is quarantined for use for senior secondary, to support implementation of the new secondary assessment and tertiary entrance system.

Senior teachers and experienced senior teachers

The department has advised that senior teachers will now sign the senior teacher undertaking as part of their annual performance review (APR). To access senior teacher, teachers should use the online APR process and complete the performance and development plan (PDP) online. That will then identify that the teacher has a PDP and has signed the undertaking via a check box.  Once this is done, payroll will administer the payment from the date of entitlement.  If someone does not do so in the year before they became entitled, they can sign the undertaking at any time in the APR process and payments will commence from then.

The new process to access experienced senior teacher will be finalised before EST applications are due in term one, 2020.

Education officers– special duties (EOSD)

The new arrangement for EOSDs commence with the new agreement.  

All new EOSDs will be remunerated at level and have access to school holidays.  

Ongoing EOSDs will have the option to continue their current arrangements in a grand-parented/transition process or move to the new arrangements.  If the secondment is to be extended, they will transition to the new arrangements at the end of the current term of the secondment.

Teacher-librarians (TLs)

The conditions prescribed by the award continue for TLs. The Certification Agreement Implementation Committee [CAIC] will discuss the transition of TLs to new arrangements during 2020.

Consequently, the regular use of TLs for non-contact time (NCT) should not occur unless otherwise agreed through the collaborative development of the TLs timetable at the school leve

Specialist teachers in primary and special schools

The QTU has sought maintenance of the status quo regarding specialist teacher provision of NCT until the matter is dealt with at the CAIC.  Currently, NCT is provided in primary and special schools in the following ways:

PE     –   30 mins/class
Music   –   30 mins/class
Languages  –   60 mins/class of year five and six
NCT  –   balance of NCT requirements of the school not covered by specialist teachers

When a specialist position becomes substantively vacant, the school can review the allocation of NCT but must provide each of the specialist services to at least the minimum time allocation above. It is the non-specialist designated NCT allocation that can be provided in another form.  It is important to note that if creating a position with a similar mode of delivery to that of a PE, music or languages specialist (e.g. a dance teacher who delivers dance to prep-6 or prep-3 and then reports on each student), that position will also be subject to the specialist teacher conditions.

The full agreement Salary scales under CA2019

QTU Guides  incorporating the provisions of the new Certified Agreement  will be available in late January - so check back soon.

Additionally all QTU Union Reps and principal members will receive a printed copy of the guides once published - please remember to keep your contact details up to date at

  • Back to basics EB Guide

  • Consultation : A QTU Guide

  • Education leaders : A QTU Guide


QTU produces a number of Advice and Information Brochures to  clarify in detail the provisions of the Agreements, Awards and legislation  affecting the rights and responsibilities of teachers in Queensland. These are currrently being updated after the certification of the new agreement.  Check out the full list of  Brochures available

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