PPCR gathering information and steam
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 123 No 2, 9 March 2018, p13
The Promotional Positions Classification Review (PPCR) is on schedule to produce a report by 31 December this year.
The review will feed into negotiations for a new agreement between the QTU and the Department of Education in the first half of 2019.
Evaluations are being undertaken using the Job Evaluation Management System (JEMS), which is at the heart of the current job evaluation processes for promotional positions. This is part evaluation of principal and other promotional positions and part evaluation of the system itself to determine whether it can reflect the diversity of positions, and particularly the difference in the complexity of roles that are notionally the same “size”.
JEMS is a points factor evaluation system based very heavily on resources managed. The ultimate test is whether the JEMS can produce evaluations that reflect the real demands and value of the positions evaluated and contribute to a fair and realistic classification system.
An initial desktop evaluation of a range of positions has been completed. The second phase involves the interview of incumbents in a representative sample of positions across the state. This is the first such systematic process since the initial introduction of the system in 1988-9. A total of 291 interviews has been organised, to be completed by 8 March, with a report on themes due in mid-March and the final evaluation report in mid-April.
This requires a comparison of the classification structure in Queensland against those in other parts of the country. The department has an agreement with its counterparts in NSW, Victoria, SA and WA, as well as with the Queensland Catholic Education Commission, to share information on the classification structure, accountabilities of positions and resourcing of schools. If possible, comparisons will be made between “like schools”. Deloittes has been commissioned, and is expected to deliver a draft report by late April with a final report for consideration in mid-May.
In addition, focus groups involving hundreds of people are being conducted across the state. The groups in each region will focus on principals of different size schools and sectors, as well as different categories of deputies or heads of program. The QTU will be directly nominating members to each of the focus groups. A session with regional directors has also been conducted to identify issues for consideration.
The aim of this process is to develop a new fit-for-purpose classification structure - the first time this has been attempted in over 25 years. It is being completed in a two-year time frame.
The critical issue is establishing a work value for positions rather than the comparative workload of positions. It is the value, not the quantity, of work that is important in establishing the classification structure.
The QTU is very conscious of the issues of workload, career paths, wellbeing, and many more that will be raised during this review. But they will not be resolved, for the most part, by changes to the classification structure. The Union will consolidate those issues into claims and pursue them separately where and when possible.
Relativities - the current salary relations between various positions - will inevitably change as a result of the findings of the review and the subsequent negotiations about salary rates as part of the enterprise bargaining process. Some will get larger increases, some smaller.
The maximum increase in the 1990s review was 34 per cent. The Union believes that this process could fairly result in double-digit percentage increases overall. This will require breaking a “glass ceiling” of regional and central office salaries, recognising that it should not be necessary to leave principalship to achieve a higher salary.
Have no illusions that this result will be easily achieved as a result of the job evaluations. It will ultimately be a matter of the pressure that can be brought to bear by the Union, its members in promotional positions, and its members generally on the department and the government.