Campaign finally brings unis to the table
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 124 No 7, 27 September 2019, page no. 17
After months of campaigning, QTU pressure has finally persuaded Queensland’s universities to come to the negotiating table over pre-service teacher supervision.
For almost 18 months, the QTU and the IEU-QNT have been campaigning for an increase to the daily rate supervising teachers and site co-ordinators receive from the universities when they supervise preservice teachers on their professional experience teaching pracs. The daily rate has not increased since 1992 and is $21.05/day. By comparison, teachers in NSW receive $31.50/day.
The unions are seeking an updated agreement and daily rates that match those paid in NSW, and now the universities are finally ready to negotiate with us.
We have recently received formal correspondence from their employer association, the Australian Higher Education Industrial Association (AHEIA), indicating a willingness to negotiate. We have confirmation that there is a genuine willingness to consider an increase in the daily rate paid.
We are pleased with this development. For so long there was no progress, and thus we had to consider what actions might be open to us.
We had raised with Executive and State Council the possibility of a four-week temporary halt at the beginning of next term, during which members would have been asked to refrain from providing supervision services. Thankfully, this is no longer necessary. We had viewed this as an absolute last resort and are pleased to avoid it.
It is our hope that negotiations go well, but if not, we reserve the right to ask members to refuse to provide supervision at a later date.
For now, we encourage QTU members to continue to provide supervision for preservice teachers.
The expertise you can provide preservice teachers is vital, and we urge you to share this expertise with them. Practicum complements university studies and helps initial teacher education (ITE) students in becoming classroom ready.
We hope to have negotiations concluded by the end of the year, and to have an increased daily rate payable by the beginning of 2020.
While we are not there yet, the willingness of the universities to negotiate is a truly positive step. And it is a step we wouldn’t have made without your support.
Thank you to the hundreds of members who have sent letters and emails to the universities, supporting our campaign and demanding better pay for the work you do in supervising preservice teachers. You have sent a clear message that teachers will not be taken for granted.
You have shown the universities that teachers are a force to be reckoned with and that when we stand together, much can be achieved.