QTU members' newsflash no.16-19, 4 September 2019 |download as pdf
TAFE offer; workload; NAPLAN; instrumental music;
HAT & LT; EB9 employer ballot; climate strike
In this newsflash:
QTU TAFE Executive has provided “in principle” support for a revised EB10 offer from TAFE Queensland and referred the offer to members for a ballot.
After months of negotiations and two episodes of stop work action, TAFE Queensland has made a new offer to TAFE educators. TAFE Executive met on 2 September and has accepted the revised offer pending a ballot of members to be conducted as soon as possible.
Importantly, TAFE Executive formed the view that the revised offer from TAFE Queensland addresses the four priority issues of pay rates comparable with interstate colleagues, improvements in permanency, changes to programming to address workload and measures to address gender employment inequity.
A new agreement would have an operative date of 1 July 2019 despite the delays in reaching agreement, and the first pay rises are backdated to that date. The base salary increases of 2.5 per cent per annum are augmented by a major salary classification restructure delivering changes for tutors, teachers and leading vocational teachers. Tutors, who currently start at $51,902.03, will have a new salary horizon of $63,591.36 or $74,313.98, depending on their qualifications. Teachers, who currently start at $70,130.61, will have a new salary horizon of $101,936.04 if they have an education degree. Leading vocational teachers begin at $92,348.24 and will have a new salary horizon of $109,586.79.
In July, the QTU State Conference – 250 rank and file members from around the state – endorsed policy:
- supporting and commending students organising and conducting protests against the inaction of the federal government on climate change
- supporting the rights of Union members to participate in climate strike activities.
State Council in August reaffirmed a decision to support self-selected schools (or representatives from schools) in participating in the global climate strike on 20 September, three days before the UN Emergency Climate Summit.
Delegates to Conference and Council expressed support for the student-organised climate strike as a practical demonstration of active and informed schooling – one of the goals of education. Without usurping the organisation of the strike, they also decided that QTU members should be able to participate by striking under the auspices of the QTU.
The QTU will support members who vote to take action on 20 September.
QTU meetings and resolutions
QTU Representatives should consider holding a workplace meeting in support of the global student strike to discuss the following resolutions and actions.
- THAT QTU members at (school name) support urgent and far-reaching actions by Australian governments to address the causes and impacts of global warming and climate breakdown before it is too late.
- THAT QTU members at (school name) express their support for students participating in the global climate strike, a practical exercise of the active and informed citizenship for which students are educated.
- THAT QTU members at (school name) request that the QTU issue a directive for QTU members of (school name) to walk-off the job at 12 noon on Friday 20 September to enable participation in the global climate strike.
- THAT QTU members host a workplace morning/afternoon tea to share information about the September 20 #ClimateStrike and how the climate crisis impacts upon us.
If the second resolution is endorsed, QTU Representatives at the school should, in the first instance, discuss with the principal the school’s capacity to re-organise and release representatives of the staff. Those QTU members who stop work from 12 noon to support the global climate strike are likely to lose three hours pay and will be issued with a directive by the QTU to stop work from 12 noon until the end of the school day.
Delegates at the QTU State Council on 24 August raised concerns about privacy and workload associated with a renewed push for data walls in at least some regions. The QTU has sought advice from the department about the expectations of some regions that schools are required to have a data wall. The following advice has been received from the department.
“Data walls are a useful planning and performance tool for schools to identify areas of focus for development. Data walls should not contain personal information, and any personal information should be de-identified so a person cannot readily or easily identify an individual student from the information provided, i.e. do not use first name or last name or first name and last name initials as this can identify a student.
“If a school wants to utilise a data wall comprising of year 12 students (including names) in the staff room, there must be considerations as to the appropriateness of such information being located in a common area. These considerations may include who may have access to that area, other than authorised staff, and whether there is an increased likelihood that an unauthorised person will have access to the data wall and access to student personal information, e.g. first name, last name, class and result.
“The safety of all students is paramount to the department. Students face a variety of challenges daily in the school environment without the additional pressure of being identified as a high achiever, average achiever, or low achiever through the use of data walls containing student personal information, for the entire school community or the general public to see.”
If members require any advice on privacy matters, the department has further advised that they contact the privacy team at email@example.com
Council has called upon the department to provide direct advice to schools and school leaders.
Council also adopted a position of opposition to physical data walls based on both privacy and workload concerns.
Issues raised by delegates included:
- the time involved in creating and maintaining data walls;
- the duplication of effort with electronic records;
- new demands for data capture, e.g. Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) data.
Any changes to the school’s data plan must be made in consultation with the LCC.
“It is the expectation of DET and the QTU that workload will be assessed at each school and addressed through the school data plan. Additionally, systemic and regional initiatives will also take into consideration workload and resourcing implications for schools.” Joint Statement on the Purpose and Use of Data in Queensland Schools (March 2016).
If these requirements are not being complied with, the issue should be addressed first at the school level in accordance with the disputes procedure. If not resolved at a school level, the issue should be reported to the QTU Organiser.
In addressing the QTU State Conference in July, the Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace advised delegates that if Queensland schools did not feel they were ready to participate in NAPLAN Online in 2020, they would not be required to do so. Participation is not mandated irrespective of any advice to the contrary from QCAA or the department.
Consequently, Union Reps are asked to discuss their school’s interest in participating in NAPLAN Online in 2020, including the potential workload issues, and should members not wish to participate, they should seek a directive from the QTU not to do so.
To seek such a directive, hold a workplace meeting and ballot members on requesting a directive to not participate in NAPLAN Online (including NAPLAN Online readiness testing) in 2020. If carried, the request for the directive should be sent to the QTU, and the directive will be issued. A copy of the directive will also be provided to the department.
Questions about NAPLAN Online in 2019 remain unanswered. The Queensland, NSW and Victorian governments are conducting a review of NAPLAN, and the QTU and other teacher unions support the abolition of NAPLAN in its current form.
Despite regular meetings of the Instrumental Music Reference Group, progress on resolving the issues behind the work to rule is slow, and consequently it remains in place.
Following yesterday’s meeting of the IMRG, the QTU is hopeful that some matters can be jointly communicated to provide clarity to instrumental music instructors/teachers, coordinators and principals in the coming weeks.
Key issues that the Union is attempting to resolve as a matter of priority include reporting, QCE matters and collegial engagement, and annual teacher performance reviews.
A bulletin will be sent to members advising them of progress. Instrumental music and SATE implementation remain the first areas of attention for the Workload Advisory Council when it is formed.
The department is inviting all eligible teachers intending to apply for HAT or LT in 2020 to complete an expression of interest (EOI), which must be received by 10 September.
Additionally, the department and QCT is inviting experienced teachers and school leaders interested in undertaking the highly accomplished teacher (HAT) and lead teacher (LT) national assessor training program (ATP) in late 2019 and early 2020 to complete an EOI by 17 September.
Interested candidates are invited to apply to participate in this program, which offers targeted professional learning developed by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) to prepare them to undertake assessment processes as outlined in the Certification of Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers in Australia (AITSL, 2012).
EB9 Employer Ballot
The department has advised that the ballot for eligible employees (teachers, heads of program and school leaders) to vote on the proposed replacement Teachers’ CA will be open from 9 September to 20 September.
All teachers, heads of program and school leaders will receive their personalised voting instructions via their work email address. For staff on leave for the voting period, a ballot will be forwarded to the home postal address provided in MyHR.
The QTU encourages all teachers, heads of program and school leaders to vote in favour of the proposed replacement Teachers’ CA as determined in the Union ballot in July.
Authorised by Kate Ruttiman, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street, Milton, QLD, Australia, 4064