What now for EB9?
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 124 No 6, 16 August 2019, page no. 11
The final response to the ballot question “Are you in favour of accepting the government’s EB9 offer of 28 June 2019?” was:
|YES||24,910||81 per cent|
|NO||5,862||19 per cent|
This vote involved 74.7 per cent of all eligible financial members. The “yes” vote represents 60.5 per cent of all eligible financial members.
On the basis of the results, the QTU Executive decided at its meeting on Monday 5 August to:
- authorise Senior Officers to formally accept the government’s offer of 28 June 2019
- authorise the QTU negotiation team to proceed, in conjunction with the Department of Education, to convert the offer into a certified agreement for consideration by members in the employer ballot required by the Industrial Relations Act
- subject to the satisfactory drafting of the new agreement, recommend to members that they vote in favour of accepting the new agreement in the employer ballot.
Next steps for the QTU
The QTU has already written to the Director-General of the Department of Education seeking:
- urgent formation of the Workload Advisory Council (WAC)
- prioritisation of workload issues arising from the new QCE (SATE) and ongoing issues for instrumental music teachers and instructors as the first items of business of the Workload Advisory Council.
In response, the department has committed to:
- the establishment of the WAC immediately following certification of the new agreement by the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission
- the WAC considering the workload concerns of instrumental music teachers and instructors and those associated with the implementation of the Secondary Assessment and Tertiary Entrance (SATE) system as a first order of business.
The QTU will now proceed to determine the process for the election of our representatives to the Workload Advisory Council and prepare the issues and evidence to support the consideration of workload in the first two priority issues.
The QTU will also begin the process of preparing materials to support Union Representatives and school leaders in the implementation of the provisions of the new agreement, subject to its final approval and certification.
In addition, the QTU will review relevant publications and update implementation guides to support schools in ensuring the initiatives in the agreement are rolled out in workplaces and across the state. Some of these include the finalisation of discussions regarding the new RAIS and the transfer and relocation processes currently being trialled.
When will the agreement be certified?
There are a number of steps that need to be completed before certification.
- The agreement needs to be drafted – while some clauses have been drafted others are only in the initial stage. The Union and the department continue to meet weekly to draft the clauses to reflect the heads of agreement signed in July.
- The department must provide copies of the draft agreement to employees and will conduct a statewide roadshow to explain the agreement to employees and answer questions.
- Employees will be sent a ballot question. As over 60 per cent of QTU members supported the offer, members will be encouraged to vote yes in this ballot. The department, as the employer, is also required by law to conduct a ballot of employees to be covered by the agreement as part of the process of certification. The process for the conduct of the employer ballot will most likely reflect past practice and all employees covered by the new agreement will be balloted via secure email link. Details of the department process will be published once determined.
- After the department ballot has been completed (and if the vote is in favour of the agreement), a signed agreement will be lodged with the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission for certification.
Experience from previous agreements suggests that it takes approximately three months from the close of the QTU ballot to certification. Consequently, if the 2019 process is similar, the agreement is unlikely to be certified until early term 4.
At that time, the QTU will provide further advice about when members can expect to have their salaries adjusted, receive back pay to 1 July 2019 and receive the one-off $1,250 payment for Stream 1 teachers. The QTU will advise members which pay period the increases will be paid in once this is known.
Members who resign or retire
DoE does not provide back pay for members who retire or resign prior to the date of certification of the new agreement. This is standard practice across all government agencies. Similarly, if a member retires prior to the agreement being certified, QSuper will calculate the superannuation payout based on the salary before the new rate in the agreement. Again, this is consistent practice across the superannuation industry.
Please be aware of this if you are considering resignation or retirement.