Term 4, 2016

Welcome to the fourth term’s Women’s e-News.  Please distribute to women QTU members in your workplaces, your local branch and Area Council. 

In this edition:

Emma Miller awards | Anna Stewart Memorial Program | AEU Federal Women’s Conference | Proposed cuts to the Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave (CPPL) schemePart-time – It’s LAW !!! | Family violence - Not now, not ever, not anywhere!The Queensland Office for Women and Domestic Violence ReformQ Super – DVConnect

2016 Emma Miller Awards

Congratulations to Kerry O’Connor (Browns Plains SHS), who was the QTU recipient of the 2016 Emma Miller Award.  Kerry is a passionate, compassionate and determined Union Rep who has loyally served the members at her schools for over 20 years, as a school based Rep, Branch President, Area Council delegate and State Council rep

Pictured left to right: Kerry O’Connor and Penny Spalding

More information on the history of Emma Miller and the awards.

ASMP – Anna Stewart Memorial Program

Al Hanley and Bridget Walker were the QTU participants in the QCU’s annual ASMP this year.  The program allows women to work-shadow in their own union, and to visit and experience how other unions work.  Al visited United Voice as part of her program and Bridget visited the CPSU.  During their time with the QTU, Al and Bridget attended the listing of the new certified agreement in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, a working party meeting on HAT and lead teacher, and the Federal Women’s Conference.

Pictured left to right: Al Hanley and Bridget Walker

Further information about the annual ASMP

AEU Federal Women’s Conference

The QTU delegation to the Federal Women’s Conference reported an inspiring and motivating conference experience.  The theme of the conference was “Respect”. Highlights included a keynote, “Aging in the classroom”, from QTU member Julie Streeter, and Senator Jenny McAlister (chair of the Senate inquiry into women’s economic security in retirement) reporting on the recommendations of the inquiry.

Celeste Liddle, esteemed aboriginal feminist, NTEU Organiser, author and blogger, presented an amazing keynote, “Finding your professional voice”.

Nominations for the AEU Federal Conference are published annually in the QTU Journal.

Proposed cuts to the Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave (CPPL) scheme

At the time of writing this report, Union women are campaigning to retain the CPPL (18 weeks on minimum wage) in addition to the employer entitlement. The federal government has proposed legislation to remove access to the 18 weeks of CPPL for women who already have access to an employer entitlement and therefore have the capacity to access more than 18 weeks of paid leave.

QTU women would be aware that the entitlement of 14 weeks of employer paid leave was a long, hard fought for one, and was achieved only through collective action and gains made through enterprise bargaining arrangements.  The CPPL was devised and developed to compliment employer entitlements and to enable women to access six months of leave, in line with the minimum standards set out by the World Health Organisation

Part-time – It’s LAW !!!

Appalling reports of the inappropriate management of requests for part-time working conditions continue to come to the QTU.  School leaders and regional HR have at times provided incorrect advice to teachers and principals about which processes to access and what can be accommodated.  Decision makers must be aware that it is not only departmental policy that supports part-time work, it is also the Industrial Relations Act – which is law.

My horror list includes:

  • schools that don’t allow/have “part-time”
  • requests not being considered until after “day 8”
  • 0.5 FTE being worked across five days
  • women returning from maternity leave to be told that they can’t access part-time at their school and that they must undertake DRT and/or work outside their sector
  • being provided with 0.6 FTE over three schools on return from maternity leave
  • school leaders being informed they can’t access part-time under any circumstances
  • members being denied a return to full-time teaching following part-time work, or being asked to complete a transfer form requesting a return to full-time work.

The QTU continues to address issues individually, and central HR has provided a commitment that it will address part-time issues with regional directors, assistant regional directors and senior HR staff.

If you need further information or advice about part-time, or returning to full-time work after part-time, contact the Queensland Teachers’ Assist Desk.

  • Call 1300 11 QTAD (1300 11 7823);OR
  • Make your request ONLINE using the

Factual information on part-time policy can be found at the department’s EPPR.

Not now, not ever, not anywhere!

As a feminised workforce, we know that many members may have experienced family violence, or have friends and family who may be at risk, or need assistance.  The Queensland Government offers paid leave entitlements for employees who may require time off work as a result of family violence.

As an affiliate of the Queensland Council of Unions, your Union is supporting a state-wide campaign to ensure all working women in Australia have access to workplace entitlements that ensure that they are supported at work if they are experiencing family violence.

The QTU has marked out 30 November as its key date.  A package is currently being mailed to QTU Reps containing a letter with further information and a workplace poster highlighting domestic and family violence as a workplace issue.


The Queensland Office for Women and Domestic Violence Reform

The Queensland Office for Women and Domestic Violence has announced the release of the “Queensland Violence against Women Prevention Plan 2016-22”.

The plan has been designed to address the gendered nature of violence against women and represents the final piece of the Queensland policy framework addressing violence against women and children in Queensland.  It will complement the “Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Strategy 2016–2026, Queensland says: not now, not ever”, and supports both the commitment to the “National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022” and the implementation of the safety priority area of theQueensland Women’s Strategy 2016–21”.

Click here for more information and a copy of the “Queensland Violence against Women Prevention Plan”.

Q Super – DVConnect

Up to 4,000 more women will have their call for help answered every year, thanks to a new partnership between QSuper and Australia’s busiest domestic violence hotline, DVConnect.

QSuper will provide financial support for the hotline, allowing the employment of an additional full-time telephone support officer for the next three years, to meet ever-increasing demand. 

DVConnect is available to anyone affected by domestic or family violence and sexual assault, and is one of the busiest state-wide crisis lines in Australia, responding to over 70,000 calls each year.  

QSuper CEO Michael Pennisi said domestic violence took a significant social, emotional and financial toll on its victims, who are predominantly women. 

“Women make up almost two-thirds of QSuper membership and more than half of our workforce. 

“With one in every three women falling victim to physical and/or sexual violence by someone known to them – we felt a great responsibility to act.”

Contact QSuper at qsuper.qld.gov.au or call 1300 360 750.

To access support from DVConnect, call 1800 811 811

Please share this newsletter with other QTU women in your school, workplace, Union branch and Area Council.

If you have any questions about this newsletter, please contact me at services@qtu.asn.au  

Penny Spalding
Assistant Secretary - Women’s and Social Welfare Issues