QTU President’s comment : 8 May 2013

Celebrating the past, building on the future

Brisbane1.jpgTwo things have been around for a long time – Queensland’s Labour Day in May and the Queensland Teachers’ Union.

The state’s first May Day march was held in 1891 in Barcaldine; the QTU was formed two years earlier in 1889.

Both proud traditions came together over the first weekend in May this year, when more than 2000 QTU members joined other unionists in parades and festivities around the state. They were numbers not seen since the WorkChoices days, and showed that QTU members are prepared to take the fight up to any government that refuses to show workers the respect they deserve.

They are also clearly prepared to work with any MP who shows a real commitment to representing the members of their electorates, as evidenced by the fact that six QTU members will be attending the Queensland Government’s summit in Mackay on Friday, 10 May. At the close of nominations, the QTU had put forward names in all but a handful of the 89 state seats.

The summit is the first major event in the development of the Queensland Plan, with a 30-year horizon. The QTU members will be attending with MPs from the LNP, the ALP, Katter’s Australia Party and the United Australia Party, and with an independent MP. As representatives of the education profession and their local communities, these QTU members have an important opportunity to influence the future direction of Queensland by ensuring that education has a central part in any plan. They also represent a diverse range of urban, regional and rural electorates.

The Government has said it will offer a range of opportunities for Queenslanders to have input into this long-term vision: if you are interested in putting your ideas forward, register at http://queenslandplan.qld.gov.au/get-involved/.

The QTU’s State Budget submission sets out both urgent funding requirements for 2013-14, including redressing the staffing shortfalls from last year, and longer term recommendations to enhance and protect public education in this state.

Kevin Bates