President’s comment 15 February 2013
Schools need certainty, not secrecy
The question raised last year by the QTU on whether schools are assets likely to be sold by the State Government remains largely unanswered.
Media scrutiny has prompted a denial by the Government of one sale, but the broader issue remains unaddressed.
The core problem lies in the Government’s decision to not publicly release recommendations in the second interim report from Peter Costello’s Commission of Audit, which has reportedly been in Government hands since November last year.
Further uncertainty has been created by the Government committing only to needing a community mandate before selling “major assets”, but remaining silent on the potential fate of other state-owned assets.
Given this State Government’s poor record on consultation with the public, and even poorer record on consultation with unions as representatives of their members, it is hardly surprising that the QTU is asking the hard questions.
We want to know if there are Government plans for school sales. We want to know the level of consultation the Government and the Queensland Schools Planning Commission will commit to. We want to know where resulting revenue would be directed. We want to know if school communities can feel confident that any changes would result in demonstrated benefits for teachers, principals, students and their families.
Schools and their communities need answers. For the Government to accuse the QTU of being a mouthpiece for the LNP’s political “enemies” answers nothing, and ignores the fact that the QTU is not, and never has been, affiliated with any political party. By refusing to engage with the QTU, the Government is also refusing to engage in an effective way with the views of our 44,000 teacher and principal members.
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