Principal update 4 July 2019
Late Friday evening, the Queensland Government presented an EB offer to QTU Senior Officers. This offer was discussed by QTU Executive on Saturday afternoon, and it was determined that the Senior Officers and Executive would recommend acceptance of the offer to QTU Conference. After four hours of discussion and debate at QTU State Conference, being held in Brisbane, delegates endorsed the state government package offered as settlement of our EB9 negotiations, recommended its acceptance to members in a ballot to be conducted in term three, and deferred the industrial action planned for July 18.
This Principal Update will focus mainly on the review of the classification system.
- A new 10-point scale for principals, resulting in those in single teacher schools receiving a salary higher than lead teacher, with the top step of the new principal level 1 receiving $121, 975 p.a. in 2019, moving to $130,172 p.a. by the end of the agreement. Half of the current Band 5 schools (129) will go to Level 2.
This salary structure achieves an objective of QTU policy: “The QTU supports a salary structure that: remunerates the principal as the highest paid officer in the school." (2017-2019 QTU Education Leaders policy (Section 2 dot point 4))
- There will be differential outcomes for different classification levels, with the uplift phased in over the life of the agreement. Effectively, if this agreement is accepted by a majority of QTU members, your first pay increment will be on 1 July – with two subsequent pay increases on 1 July 2020 and 1 July 2021. The proposed salary structure can be accessed here.
- The current biennial progression structure will be retained - the new promotional position classification structure will transition from the current three pay-point structure by the end of the agreement, resulting in greater separation between classification levels and faster progression through the salary increments.
- Executive principals will return to the classification scale, receiving a salary in the final year of the agreement of $211 398p.a. (this is the same salary as an Assistant Regional Director). Queensland state school principals will have the highest executive principal salary horizon of all public school principals in the country. Executive principal salaries will now be broken up into three salary levels (P-8 to P-10). The vehicle allowance has been rolled into executive principals’ salary, so this money is now superannuable, which has significant implications, especially for those who retain the Defined Benefits Scheme.
- Primary heads of curriculum are to be harmonised with secondary heads of department. The position description of HOCs will be revised to support this outcome.
- All deputy principals will be recognised under the same classification and remuneration scale.
- Guidance officers, heads of department and HOSES 2 will have a top step salary of $128,884.
- Senior guidance officers and HOSES 3 will have a top step salary of $135,384.
- There will be different thresholds for SDEs, OEECs and special schools.
While the salary structure contained in the offer holds many significant increases, we are aware that we haven’t achieved parity between the primary and secondary sectors – this will remain a priority for the Union and we will continue to advocate and campaign around this matter to achieve a better outcome. While the salaries are not as high as we would have hoped for members, we strongly believe that, under the current circumstances, this is the best deal we can achieve at this point in time. It has become clear that this classification structure will not last 25 years, and in some aspects will be easier to alter in future, based on the use of funding thresholds.
It is also worth noting that the offer contains a commitment to ensuring full teacher award coverage for senior guidance officers and regional school sports officers, securing a long sought-after goal and ensuring a clear promotional position pathway for guidance offers, who will no longer be deterred from seeking promotion to senior guidance officer by the public sector working conditions that previously applied.
Calculation of principal level of classification
Currently, the department and the QTU are discussing a mechanism for principals to calculate their school’s new classification. We will be alerting members to this process as soon as it is set.
Approximately 80 principals will need to access grandparenting provisions. Currently, the QTU is finalising some of the details. All current executive principals will go to level 10, as a result of the vehicle allowance being included in the salary.
Other PPCR related matters
There are a number of PPCR related matters that need to be finalised. We are working on finalising these as a matter of priority, and members will be informed of different aspects of the transition arrangements as soon as they are finalised. This includes:
- determination of how the thresholds will be changed over time to avoid “bracket creep”
- determination of arrangements for schools that are growing or shrinking
- a number of specialist positions for which the relativities are still to be finalised
- specialised education settings, e.g. detention centres.
Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street,Milton, QLD, Australia, 4060