I am thinking about resigning/retiring.  What is the best way to take my long service leave?

If you wish to resign, you should request a statement of service from the department showing your eligibility for a cash payout of long service leave before making any decision.

Many teachers misunderstand when they become entitled to a payout for their leave. Although you may be able to take the LSL as leave after seven years’ service, you cannot receive a payout upon resignation until reaching 10 years’ service.  If there is any doubt about whether you have reached the magic 10 years, check your employment history directly with your relevant payroll.

What should be the duration of parent-teacher interviews?

Every school must provide parents with the opportunity for two face-to-face reporting meetings a year. Parents can decline an interview if their needs are met in another way.

There is no prescribed length of time for parent-teacher interviews. They should be scheduled with sufficient notice and fit in with the timetables, work-life balance and parenting or other caring responsibilities of teachers. Most schools establish a designated night for parent-teacher interviews, which helps teachers maintain an effective work/life balance, as well as meeting the reporting requirements of schools.

If the arrangements of the parent-teacher interview are unmanageable for your circumstances, you may wish to discuss options with your principal.

The QTU advises that schools should determine the operation of parent-teacher interviews in consultation with staff, and the most appropriate avenue for this is through your school’s local consultative committee.

Do I have to go to staff meetings?

The Education Act makes it clear that you are required to attend staff meetings as called by the principal from time to time. These staff meetings should not be used as a means of making professional development compulsory. As staff meetings do not occur as rostered time per week, you do not have to “make up” time, nor can pay be docked for non-attendance.

How many meetings am I expected to attend each week and how long should they be?

The only meeting you are required to attend is a staff meeting. The length of the meeting is determined by the agenda items, which should not include any professional development activities.  Attendance at other meetings outside the 25 hours rostered duty time per week is strictly voluntary.

The QTU Policy on Working Conditions, section 11, states: “The QTU believes its members should not spend more than one hour per week in meetings related to their employment with the Department of Education, which are scheduled outside rostered duty time.”

Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 117 No 4, 1 June 2012, p28