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Bulletin: 18 Oct 2019

Instrumental music teachers' bulletin,18 October 2019
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QTU member action update

In term four of last year, QTU members employed as instrumental music teachers and/or instructors overwhelmingly supported two separate ballots that called for the current work-to-rule directive.

Our QTU instrumental music campaign and measures to address workload have drawn acclaim from our statewide representative bodies, including QTU State Council, our Union’s Executive, and solidarity motions of support from branches throughout Queensland.

Senior Officers of the QTU have raised the working conditions of instrumental music teachers and instructors with the Director-General, and throughout the year the newly established Instrumental Music Reference Committee has debated the nine parts of the work-to-rule directive. 

During the recent spring vacation, QTU Deputy General Secretary Kate Ruttiman received correspondence from the Department of Education’s Deputy Director-General, which was referred to QTU Executive for a response.

Settlement of the work-to-rule

The department’s letter addresses all nine parts of the QTU’s work-to-rule directive.

i-iii)    The department reaffirms the hours of work provisions in the award, which also reappear in the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). The directive to work to rule has been about making sure QTU members are aware of our working conditions, and that we are mitigating workload stress by not routinely exceeding our working conditions.

QTU members’ working conditions are covered by the award and MOA, whether or not there is a work-to-rule directive in place.

The Deputy Director-General also states that any amendment to the timetable and program is subject to consultation and agreement at the local level between the base school principal and instrumental music teacher/instructor. The QTU actively supported authentic consultation between principals and teachers/instructors throughout the year and the QTU will continue to support our members in this way.

iv-v)    The department has amended the P-12 Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Framework (CARF) to recognise Queensland Instrumental Music Curriculum (QIMC). This professional recognition is a direct result of our QTU member campaign. The amendment to the CARF is recognition of workload associated with instrumental music teacher/instructors teaching at multiple school sites.

From 2020, one additional non-teaching day will be scheduled for instrumental music teachers/instructors in week three of term two. This is in recognition of the workload requirements associated with QCAA Instrumental Music Recognised Study in years 11 and 12. 

vi)    The department is committed to streamlining processes by providing administrative support for instrumental music teachers/instructors, including, but not limited to, developing a common instrumental music recruitment letter template.

vii)    The department commits to investigating the capacity of OneSchool to allow instrumental music teachers/instructors to create ensemble lists.

viii-ix)    The department recognises that your base school principal is your line manager and that as instrumental music teachers/instructors, you should participate in collegial engagement at your base school, if your local consultative committee (LCC) has had the opportunity to endorse collegial engagement processes. The department also recognises that instrumental music teachers/instructors might choose to participate in collegial engagement at a regional level, however such activity would need to be subject to consultation, as indicated in the Collegial Engagement Joint Statement.

The department also recognises that annual performance reviews are school-based processes.

Work-to-rule ballot

Executive has recommended that the agreed position outlined in the Deputy Director-General’s letter be drafted as a joint communiqué, and work on this task is already underway. In recognition of the new commitments from the department, Executive recommended that QTU members employed as instrumental music teachers and instructor be balloted on lifting the work-to-rule directive. 

Lifting the work-to-rule does not mean any teacher or instructor can be required to undertake ensemble rehearsals or performances that exceed their working conditions. On the other hand, lifting the work-to-rule does provide greater opportunity for instrumental music teachers/instructors to engage in consultation with base school principals, with the support of the QTU if required.

Accordingly, QTU Executive recommends that QTU members, employed as instrumental music teachers/instructors support lifting the work-to-rule directive. An online ballot will be sent to the email that you have recorded with the QTU and we envisage that this will occur in week three of this term.

To make sure you get to vote in the ballot, check and update your member details, including your email, in seven quick clicks:

  1. Click to visit the QTU webpage at
  2. Click the “MyQTU” button
  3.  Enter your username and password, then click “Login”
  5. Click “Update Contact”
  6. Update your details and click “Submit”
  7. Remember to click to “Log Out”.

Graham Moloney
General Secretary

Craig Wood
Research Officer – Industrial Advocate

 Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street,Milton, QLD, Australia, 4064

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