QTU TAFE EB10 bulletin no.3 20 May 2019
The QTU’s TAFE EB10 Bulletins report on bargaining for a replacement certified agreement (Agreement). It is increasingly urgent that TAFE Queensland resolve the QTU log of claims as we count down to 30 June, the nominal expiry date of the current agreement.
The strength of the QTU is always our membership. To strengthen our voice in EB negotiations, as well as to celebrate our 130th year, the QTU is offering discounted membership.
Share the QTU’s TAFE EB10 Bulletins with your colleagues and discuss the commitment of the QTU to improving working conditions of TAFE educators. Better yet, scroll down and share the details of the QTU’s special membership deal with members of your teaching team.
In this TAFE EB10 Bulletin: TAFE to extend SBU meetings, classifications review, class sizes, workforce data, and special QTU membership offer .
TAFE to extend SBU meetings
The QTU wrote to TAFE Queensland in January proposing that bargaining should commence prior to 31 March. While officers of the Union met with TAFE Queensland throughout February in an attempt to resolve matters related to Education Team Leader (ETL), bargaining for a replacement agreement did not commence until 8 March.
Initially, the negotiating parties agreed to single bargaining unit (SBU) meetings on a fortnightly basis.
However, with less than two months until the TAFE Educators’ Certified Agreement expires, the chair of the SBU, realising the 30 June nominal expiry date is looming, has called for increased frequency of meetings, and for longer meetings.
In addition to proposing to commence bargaining prior to 1 April, the QTU provided our log of claims on 22 March, and has responded in good faith to the chair of the SBU’s request by agreeing to additional meetings, as well as listing additional items for discussion in response to calls for agenda items.
Clause 21 of the current agreement committed TAFE Queensland to undertake a classifications review for (ETL), Associate Lecturers, Lecturers, and Senior Lecturers.
Timelines for the classification review are prescribed in clause 21 (c), “The Team Leader classification pilots will be completed in 2017 and the Associate Lecturers, Lecturers, and Senior Lecturers classification pilots will be completed in 2018.”
Following completion of the classifications review, clause 21 (d) states, “On completion of each review the Unions and Public Sector Industrial Relations will be consulted with the intention to make application by consent, if possible, to amend the TAFE Queensland Award – State 2016.
Educational Team Leader
Prior to the commencement of bargaining, the QTU has undertaken a body of work with TAFE Queensland officers to resolve matters pertaining to ETLs that will require an Award variation, such as hours of work and meal break provisions. Recommendations arising from these negotiations will be referred to TAFE Council for consideration.
The QTU position is that an Award variation should occur prior to bargaining on matters related to the classifications for inclusion in a replacement agreement.
The QTU will continue to seek to include provisions on matters specific to ETLs, such as workload management, professional development, and career pathways, in a replacement agreement that is in accord with our EB10 log of claims.
The QTU is alarmed that, with less than two months before the nominal expiry date of the current agreement, and five months after the review should have completed, TAFE Queensland has not formally advised the QTU of the outcomes of the Higher Education Review. The result is that the parties have yet to commence negotiations on an Award variation, which will further delay the QTU’s negotiations to include Higher Education in the replacement agreement.
The failure of TAFE Queensland to adhere to the timelines prescribed in clause 21 of the current agreement compounds the urgency of SBU negotiations for a replacement agreement. Moreover, TAFE Queensland’s actions in not delivering a review on Higher Education in a timely manner risks condemning QTU members employed as Associate Lecturer, Lecturer, or Senior Lecturer to a continuation of the current Individual Workplace Agreements which commenced in 2015/16.
The matter of class sizes is significant to the professionalism of TAFE educators. We know that the escalating workload associated with delivering great TAFE courses is adversely impacted upon with unreasonable class size demands. Our EB10 log of claims calls for a process to review class sizes that considers workload associated with planning and preparation of programmed learning, delivery of program, and workload associated with assessing students (pre-assessment, providing feedback, assessment, recording results).
The QTU has presented our concerns about the absence of an industrial agreement on the terms “Theory” and “Online learning”. There remains no agreed class size definition for on-line or blended delivery. The QTU is further concerned with the absence of industrial recognition of the workload implications of various pedagogical strategies that engage twenty-first century learners. We note that words like “lecture”, “project work”, “practical demonstration”, “problem-based learning”, and “tutorial” – words that have no agreed industrial definition – have begun to appear in team-based working arrangements.
The QTU EB10 log of claims calls for the quarterly reporting of workforce data. Prior to providing this claim, in January 2019 the QTU wrote to TAFE Queensland with a request for workforce data. Section 250 of the Industrial Relations Act 2016 provides that bargaining parties should have access to wage-related information of employees who are or will be covered by a proposed bargaining instrument.
The QTU notes that the Australian Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012, requires non-public sector employers with more than 100 employees to submit an annual report on employment fraction to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
Specifically, the QTU requested workforce data for permanent and non-permanent employees that was further broken down into TAFE campus, identified gender, classification level, program type and employment fraction. The QTU believes that this data will assist with the gender employment equity parts of our EB10 log of claims.
The request for workforce data was again listed as a matter for discussion at the SBU meeting on 5 April. However, the agenda item was held-over because, despite the passing of more than two months since the written request, TAFE Queensland stated that it was unable to provide the data. On 2 May, more than three months after the written request for workforce data and with little more than two months before the nominal expiry date of the current agreement, the QTU can report that de-identified workforce data has been provided.
Special QTU membership offer
To mark its 130th birthday, the QTU is offering non-members the chance to access all the benefits of membership for the rest of the 2019 membership year, for the cost of half year membership*.
Whether you’re temporary or permanent, full-time or part-time, tutor, teacher, LVT, ETL or working in higher education, by joining now you will save an amazing 50 per cent on the dues cost associated with your classification.
What’s more, you’ll be able to have your say on the working conditions and salaries that emerge from the current enterprise bargaining process.
Sign up today and join more than 45,000 of your colleagues as a proud member of the Queensland Teachers’ Union. Your membership entitles you to receive information, support and advocacy to help you deal with the many legal, industrial and professional challenges you can experience as a TAFE educator.
Joining online is easy - just click here to get started, or call our QTU membership team on (07) 3512 9000.
*CONDITIONS APPLY: Offer is for new membership applications only. Payments for 2020 membership will revert to the appropriate dues for your classification (permanent teachers) or the low flat rate for temporary or supply teachers. Legal assistance cannot be granted for matters that occurred prior to becoming a member of the QTU.
Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street,Milton, QLD, Australia, 4060