State Council report - 11 August 2018
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 123 No 6, 31 August 2018, page no. 4
At this meeting, resolutions regarding the NAPLAN Online ban, HAT and LT, EB9 Claim development and the schools funding agreement were carried. The vote pertaining to the schools funding agreement endorsed a proposed ballot for a 24 hour stoppage and workbans should the new schools funding agreement include elements unacceptable to the QTU.
In addition to these matters, the QTU celebrated the successful by-election campaign and the engagement of members in the Fair Funding Now! campaign in Longman and the changes to the school uniform code to enable all girls to wear pants or shorts.
Guest speakers at Council included the new Director-General for Education, Tony Cook, and former AEU President Angelo Gavrielatos, who currently works as a special project officer for Education International, working to challenge the commercialisation of education across the globe.
Staffing for small secondary schools in respect to the implementation of the new QCE while teaching out the current senior curriculum was discussed.
Central Queensland resolutons
Resolutions pertaining to action in Central Queensland calling for the provision of district relief teachers was also endorsed by State Council. Members in Central Queensland identified the impact of a lack of short-term relief on their industrial entitlements including:
having to cancel attendance at PD due to lack of TRS
denial of promotional positions due to lack of staff available to backfill
administrative and special education staff being taken offline to replace teachers who are ill
local relief teachers (LRTs) being given long term contracts within the first 8 days without being replaced
combined classes due to inability to replace teachers on sick leave
no specialist TRS to ensure continuity of learning for students
specialist teachers taken off class to relieve classroom teachers, without provision for NCT normally provided during these lessons
high turn-over of teachers diminishing the TRS pool
lower morale from a lack of support and time needed to complete administrative duties
existing teachers required to work with merged composite classes to accommodate lack of TRS in the region (examples include two to three classes merging into one with only one existing member of staff taking over-sized class, breakdown of curriculum/learning
deputy principals taking classes beginning teachers not being released to attend the “Beginning Teachers Conference” at the start of year due to lack of TRS
210 min (high school) and 120 mins (primary) NCT not being provided to staff, and pressure on staff to give up their time to “help out” the school, causing teacher stress
staff not released for medical appointments
behaviour and student well-being are being affected by lack of consistency and charge of routines.
Members in the region will consider industrial action in self-selected schools if they are not satisfied with the department’s response.
Supervision of pre-service teachers
Key strategies that were considered included the “claim and complain” strategy in relation to the remuneration for supervision of pre-service teachers. While the QTU and QIEU have been attempting to negotiate improvements to this rate (which was set in the 1980s), the association representing the higher education institutes has refused to meet. Quite simply, they fail to recognise the value of the work that teachers perform in supervising and mentoring pre-service teachers. The universities claim that teachers do not claim the payment because they are professionals and are contributing to building the profession - we say that people don’t claim because of the paltry amount of the payment. Consequently, in an effort to make the universities listen, the QTU and QIEU are calling on members to claim the payment and then complain, loudly, about the small amount of the payment. It's time universities invested in the profession and valued our contribution.
Council considered the current progress of the dispute regarding higher duties and issues pertaining to teacher accommodation. It also endorsed a research based workload survey being conducted on behalf of the QTU by ACER and the strategy to hold another WWAM (Workload and Wellbeing Assertiveness Month) in November this year.
A minute's silence was held in recognition of long-term QTU activist and member Therese Rourke at the start of the day.