17 November 2016

Progress on non-contact time and the review of the classification system for school leaders.

In this issue: Non-contact time | Review of the classification system for school leaders | Update - Half-cohort resourcing for senior secondary

Non-contact time

The QTU and DET have met and discussed providing secondary schools with the capacity to bank non-contact time (NCT) and repay later. QTU Executive considered a letter to be sent to the DG and draft advice documents, namely, a without-prejudice negotiating position and supporting document. Both of these were supported with some amendments. After advocacy from the QTU, DET is willing to negotiate on this issue.

The key message from Executive was that only NCT that needs to be replaced can be banked. Additionally, the minimum weekly requirement for NCT and the timeframe in which it needs to be replaced must be consistent across the sectors.

In line with QTU State Council resolutions and further consultation with members, Executive also discussed the adjustments necessary to OneSchool to minimise the impact of the repayment of NCT on the workload of deputy principals and principals. The QTU position is that schools across all sectors should be able to access any changes to OneSchool that assist in the banking and repayment of NCT.  Consequently, the OneSchool solution should also assist primary and special school leaders in managing the banking and repayment of NCT – something they have been working with for the past 20 years.

Review of the classification system for school leaders

The QTU and DET have met on two separate occasions to discuss the process of the review of the classification system for school leaders and heads of programs, in accordance with the certified agreement.

The formal process between the parties will commence in term one, 2017, and will consist of an analysis of work value and comparative remuneration levels with other states.  Also, the parties will examine drivers and impacts on classifications subject to the review.  As part of this review, QTU school leader members will not only be able to provide input, but feedback as well.

The QTU has been approached by external stakeholders concerned that, as they have no recognised formal status in relation to the certified agreement, they would have no input.  This is not the case. The QTU and DET will welcome submissions to the joint QTU/DET working party, and will seek submissions in due course. 

Update: Half-cohort resourcing for senior secondary, 2018/2019

As reported in a previous Principal Update and in the Journal, the QTU has been working closely with the Department of Education to ensure that schools and students are not disadvantaged in cases where half-cohort enrolment numbers have an effect on staffing for 2018/2019. 

The QTU has expressed concern at the delay in providing information regarding the possibility of supplementary staffing for some schools, as we know that many schools are at an advanced stage of planning. 

We believe that there will soon be an announcement regarding resourcing for those schools with a half-cohort size likely to impact on staffing. However, should no announcement be made prior to the commencement of the 2017 school year, QTU members in secondary or P-12 schools will be asked to hold workplace meetings to discuss the impact on their school and possible action to be taken.

The QTU continues to monitor developments regarding new senior syllabuses and assessment, and the impact on school subject offerings should the new syllabuses preclude schools from offering combined or composite classes for subjects with smaller classes. Additionally, the QTU has continued to raise the need for additional resourcing to be made available for schools as they transition from current syllabuses to new syllabuses, particularly in cases where class sizes are small and schools wish to maintain or introduce particular subjects. Further updates will be provided over coming months. 

 Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union