QTU Members' newsflash No.13-19, 19 July 2019
EB9 offer ballot underway
As you are aware, a school-based ballot is underway to consider the government’s EB offer. The QTU Conference – 250 elected teachers and principals from around the state – overwhelmingly recommended acceptance of the offer at its meeting on 1-3 July.
|Reminder: workplace ballots close at 5pm on Friday 2 August (and must be entered by this date)|
Materials explaining and analysing the offer and alternatives have been sent to Union Reps and to members. Information is also available on the QTU website. Materials include:
- Members’ Newsflash 11 and Newsflash12 (NB: please download and use the Newsflashes from the website as subsequent updates have been made)
- frequently asked questions regarding the offer for classroom teachers and promotional positions
- Principal Updates
- the offer explained
- proposed salary schedules
- videos explaining the package both from Union officers and conference delegates
- various Facebook posts which include the significance of the offer in conference delegates’ own words.
- handouts to support area meetings called “The Offer Unpacked” addressing each of the key priority areas (these have been recently posted to the website)
- correspondence, including a copy of the offer and a letter to the Director-General relating to the offer and the conference resolutions about workload, the Workload Advisory Council and instrumental music teachers/instructors.
The QTU is a democratic organisation and recognises that some members will have different views to those expressed by Conference delegates and in the published materials. The right of members to hold and express different views should be respected. However, the QTU does not condone or tolerate inappropriate behaviour that is designed to intimidate, threaten or mislead members, whether in support of the offer or against. The QTU will not provide support to anyone called to account for inappropriate behaviour toward other QTU members and will investigate complaints to the Union in accordance with Union rules.
Workload: QTU no. 1 priority to 2021
In its conference statement, the QTU Conference declared the reduction of workload in a sustained way to be the top priority for the Union for the two years until the 2021 Conference.
It was clear in the EB debate at Conference (as it was in the QTU Member Needs Survey earlier this year) that excessive and increasing workload is the most pressing issue for members. It was equally clear that words in an EB agreement or offer alone will not be sufficient to address the issue. The proposed Workload Advisory Council offers a mechanism to identify and address the causes of workload, and the increase in non-contact time is the first change in over 25 years; but workload has increased, despite measures specifically designed to address it being included in the 2016 EB agreement (the use of non-contact time; NCT protection for associate administrators; LCC consideration of workload, and joint statements on data and NAPLAN).
A different and sustained approach is required to address the causes of workload at multiple levels: national, state, regional, school and personal.
The Conference was also clear that, while the Union supports wellbeing strategies, the objective is to reduce workload to reasonable levels rather than to apply Band-Aids to the effects of excessive workload.
The decisions of the nearly 250 teachers and school leaders at the Conference commit the Union and the resources of the Union to sustained workload reduction. One of the arguments for accepting the government’s EB offer was that it would enable us to turn our attention to the issue of workload. Addressing workload is not just a matter for EB negotiations once every three years.
The QTU has already written to the government and the department calling for the establishment of the Workload Advisory Council to be fast-tracked, and for its work to commence immediately. A review of workload is, after all, a pre-election commitment made by the government before the last election.
The implementation issues of the new system of secondary assessment and tertiary entrance (SATE) and the associated workload were also the subject of another series of Conference decisions, and are being pursued with the QCAA and the department as matters of urgency.
In addition, instrumental music teachers/instructors’ work-to-rule campaign over workload demands urgent resolution and not continued stone-walling.
Expect to see a renewed and increasingly vigorous campaign to reduce workload in coming months and over the next two years.
Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street,Milton, QLD, Australia, 4064