It's time to WWAM that workload!
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 124 No 7, 27 September 2019, page no. 15
The QTU conducts the third Workload, Wellbeing and Assertiveness Month (WWAM) this November, a chance to come together and discuss issues with your colleagues in preparation for the next school year and find ways of making a difference. Here are some of the areas you could look at.
With the QTU committed to a continued focus on workload, members will be asked to consider what needs to change to make a real difference to the burdens placed upon them. Before this happens, you should familiarise yourself with the provisions of the new agreement designed to address issues with workload.
These provisions include the following:
- The LCC as the mechanism at the school level to address workload.
- The principles of good workload management as outlined in the schedule to the agreement.
- The new workload management clause that addresses factors to consider around workload, including judicious timetabling.
- Workplace health and safety clauses that relate to occupational violence and the need for curriculum activity risk assessments (CARAs) for practical subjects to determine safe class sizes
- A commitment to the joint statements, including (among other things) the need to:
- establish a school data plan
- consult on reporting to parents (including frequency and form of reporting)
- consult on the pedagogical framework in a school
- agree to how data will be recorded and displayed
- agree to how planning will be stored
- only conduct NAPLAN practice tests for the purpose of familiarisation and in close proximity to the NAPLAN test
- agree to the form, frequency and purpose of collegial engagements in classrooms
- determine the timing of the annual teacher performance review process.
- Class sizes should be at or below class size targets except in exceptional circumstances and following consultation with staff.
- Determine the purpose, frequency and duration of staff meetings.
- Agreement on the bus and playground duty roster so that all teachers have access to a 10 minute rest/pause per day as part of rostered duty time, 225 minutes of uninterrupted meal breaks per week and at least a 30 minute uninterrupted meal break (in addition to the rest pause and in a separate break) per day.
- Ensure that specialist teachers have access to specialist teacher provisions.
- Replace NCT lost as a consequence of planned school activities.
- Ensure award entitlement to NCT is used at the teacher’s discretion.
- Agree a program of 25 hours professional development (15 of which will occur on student-free days) each year.
In addition to ensuring that these conditions are being met at a workplace during WWAM, members can determine matters that contribute to increasing workloads and suggest processes that may be put in place to reduce workload creep and workload in general in submissions to the Workload Advisory Council. More information on the process for submissions will be provided once the agreement is certified.
During previous WWAMs, the QTU has shared articles on wellbeing from health and productivity coach Thea O’Connor. It is the Union’s intention to provide these articles again, however the key focus of our campaign will be to address the source of workload, not the symptoms.
The Union will also take steps to address the issues of occupational violence.
Workplaces are also encouraged to review the wet weather lunch duty roster and the hot weather strategy that members were encouraged to develop in previous WWAMs.
The Union continues to provide training in assertiveness as part of Union Rep and other courses.
If you are interested in the Union conducting assertiveness training in your area, you are encouraged to speak to your Organiser.
Don’t forget to let us have photos and an outline of your activities during WWAM so we can share your successes with the wider membership.
The QTU recognises that, as with all months during the year, November is a busy month. However, as with previous years, we believe we should never be too busy to talk about workload and wellbeing - if we don’t take time to discuss it, we will never be able to find the time to address it.
So, take your marks, get set, WWAM!