7 January 2014

QTU,one union – one name:125 years of achievement

January 9, 2014 marks the 125th anniversary of the Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU), one of the oldest and largest trade unions in the state.

The first conference of the union was held in Brisbane at the School of Arts on that day in 1889. Just 24 delegates from across Queensland attended that initial meeting but the foundations they laid have supported the growth of a professional trade union representing the industrial and professional interests of 43,000 teachers and leaders in state schools and TAFE.

“Throughout its history the Queensland Teachers’ Union has been called by that name alone and has been the sole union representing teachers and principals in state schools,” observed 74th President of the QTU, Kevin Bates.

“For any organisation to last 125 years is a fine achievement but to do so without changes to its essential structure and nature is unusual.”

Public education is the cornerstone of a civil society. Teachers and principals are the custodians of the youth of each generation, entrusted with the responsibility for empowering them to become the citizens and leaders of tomorrow. The QTU proudly represents the interests of those workers in promoting and protecting public education.

“Queensland has an outstanding education system providing a high quality education to students across a diverse geographic area,” Mr Bates said.

“The outcomes enjoyed by Queensland students are the result of the hard work and dedication of teachers and principals in combination with strong partnerships with parents and community.”

2014 provides an important opportunity to celebrate the many successes of the QTU and its members over the past 125 years. A few notable achievements include:

  • public service superannuation (1913);
  • first Award for teachers in Australia (1917);
  • equal pay for women teachers (1967);
  • government housing for teachers and principals in rural and remote locations (1974);
  • a world-class compulsory teacher registration system (1975);
  • Remote Area Incentive Scheme introduced (1991); and
  • reduction in class sizes (36 in 1974 down to 28 in 2003).

For more information visit the QTU website.

For comment: Kevin Bates 0418 789 162