QTU President's comment 13 July 2015

State Budget 2015: time to deliver on the promise

Kevin Bates, QTU President

QTU President, Kevin Bates

After three years of an LNP government that promised much and delivered what people didn’t want, the Palaszczuk government’s first budget is the opportunity to deliver on the promises made to the people of Queensland by Labor in the January election campaign.

In fulfilling those promises and making education a priority, the key budget outcomes anticipated by Queensland teachers and principals in state schools and in TAFE are:

  1. Catering for growth – allocations for sufficient new teachers to fully cater for the growth in student enrolments in state schools
  2. Repairing the damage – an allocation of 875 additional teachers over the next three years to reverse the shortfall in state school staffing suffered at the hands of the Newman LNP government and to reduce class sizes, provide specialist teachers to state secondary schools and improve the support structures in schools
  3. Supporting students – 
    1. allocation of 45 new Guidance Officers over the next three years to ensure that secondary schools with 500 students are allocated at least 1 full-time guidance officer
    2. allocation of funds for students particular learning needs such as those for whom English is an additional language or dialect and for gifted and talented students
    3. catering for adolescents with acute mental health needs from all over Queensland by building a new Barrett Adolescent Centre in Brisbane and a matching facility in Townsville
  4. Letting teachers teach – allocation of funds to develop an enhanced salary classification structure for teachers that will encourage and reward skilled teachers who remain focused on classroom practice as their career path
  5. Building for the future –
    1. an enhanced allocation of funds for maintenance of existing state schools
    2. provision for the construction of new state schools in areas of need right across Queensland not just in the SE corner
    3. Delivering the promised Cairns Special School
  6. Rescuing TAFE – the retrograde policies and open attacks by the previous LNP government on TAFE as the public provider of vocational education and training must be reversed through new policies and the allocation of quarantined funding for TAFE

See full details of the pre-budget submission provided to the state government by the Queensland Teachers’ Union.

The promise by the Queensland Treasurer of a focus on education and health in his first budget provide hope for the realisation of these commitments.