TAFE EB10 Bulletin no.4, 31 May 2019
The QTU’s TAFE EB10 Bulletins have been reporting on bargaining for a replacement certified 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.
Despite commencing negotiations with TAFE Queensland for a replacement agreement in March, there has been very little progress towards reaching an agreement to improve members’ conditions and salaries.
EB10’s three Ps: Pay, permanency, programming
TAFE Queensland has less than five weeks before the nominal expiry date of the current agreement to provide an acceptable offer that addresses the three Ps that are the core of the QTU log of claims.
The QTU rejects the Queensland Government wage policy of 2.5 per cent. The Queensland Government’s own Budget papers acknowledge: “Increase in salaries and wages are negotiated through enterprise bargaining agreements.” (Budget Strategy and Outlook, 2017/18, p.224)
The most recent Queensland Budget Strategy and Outlook (2018/19) forecast annual wage price index (WPI) growth of 3 per cent per annum in the years 2019/20 to 2021/22, which coincides with the life of a replacement TAFE Educators’ Certified Agreement. WPI is a key economic indicator that is widely used to undertake economic analysis and support the development of wages policy. It measures changes in the wages and salaries paid by employers for a unit of labour.
The impact of government wages policy is demonstrated in the figures below, which compare the annual salary for teacher (step 7) and tutor (step 5) from the nominal expiry of the current certified agreement to the nominal expiry of a replacement certified agreement. The calculations apply: government wages policy (2.5 per cent p.a.); wage price index (3 per cent p.a.); QTU log of claims (4.5 per cent p.a.); and TAFE Victoria salary increases (5.4 per cent p.a.).
The QTU is concerned with reports of increasing casualisation and seeks to include measures to change the rules for secure work in TAFE in a replacement agreement.
Guaranteed access to workforce data will support the QTU’s current log of claims and our continued advocacy on behalf of our members. Specifically, the QTU seeks a review of TAFE Queensland employment practices throughout the regions, which would include circumstances in which temporary and casual employment is engaged.
The QTU is also calling for temporary employees who have been continuously employed in the same role to be engaged as permanent after two years at the average fraction over the period of employment.
The QTU has sought guarantees that temporary employment will only occur in circumstances of a short-term vacancy and that casual employees who have been engaged for periods of six months will be offered temporary contracts.
EB10 must address programming matters to reduce the spiralling workload pressures experienced by TAFE educators. The QTU log of claims identifies measures that address workload through programming.
The QTU seeks to engage with TAFE Queensland to develop a workload audit tool that would include, but not be limited to, reducing increased workload created by the introduction of new initiatives like Master Product and SMS. A workload audit tool would consider proposed changes to work practice at systemic and workplace levels, as well as consider the impact of initiatives on class sizes, start and finish times, access to overtime, NAT, and TOIL.
The QTU seeks to use the current round of bargaining to deliver an industrial instrument that recognises changes to teaching in the twenty-first century. We have called for the bargaining parties to commit to the development of a joint statement on teacher workload and assessment practices, including flexible and online modes of learning.
Previous TAFE EB Bulletins have addressed the matter of class size provisions in the industrial instruments. The QTU is concerned by the absence of industrial recognition of the workload implications of various pedagogical strategies that engage twenty-first century learners. We also 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’s EB10 log of claims seeks to address the wellbeing of members by developing and implementing a workplace health and safety policy and strategy that is specific to mental stress. The QTU has called for the development of such a policy to be in consultation with the Union.
Special QTU membership offer continues
To mark our 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*.
The QTU encourages all members to make sure that the QTU’s special membership offer is advertised with all colleagues. Discuss our special membership offer with your team and put a special QTU membership notice up.
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.
Most importantly, QTU members will be able to have a say on the working conditions and salaries that emerge from the current enterprise bargaining process.
By signing up today, new members will be adding their voice to more than 45,000 educators across the state. Membership entitlements include receiving information, support and advocacy to help deal with the many legal, industrial and professional challenges that can be experienced 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.
2019 federal election
The QTU takes this opportunity to acknowledge the significant contribution of members to both the Change the Rules and Stop TAFE Cuts campaigns in the weeks and months leading up to the 2019 federal election. Across the state, QTU TAFE members held workplace conversations and engaged in persuasive conversations with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Our members made phone calls explaining the importance of our campaigns to union members, and we have worn campaign shirts, displayed stickers and shared social media posts to keep our message visible. We know that some members will have chipped in to help pay for advertisements as well.
The QTU expresses its sincere thanks to our members for every contribution that you have been able to make in the continued fight for fairness at work.
More than just a campaign slogan, Change the Rules frames a set of union values that have been at the heart of QTU activism throughout our 130-year history. Long after the current government leaves office, and the next one and the one after that, the QTU will continue our long-standing history of joining our voices in solidarity and fighting for fair pay, secure work, social equity, and work-life balance. These values are embedded in the Change the Rules movement and continue to be the focus of our EB10 negotiations.
Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street,Milton, QLD, Australia, 4064