The QTU fully appreciates and understands that the current COVID-19 pandemic poses a range of challenges that are unique to supply teachers, and there has understandably been considerable concern among this cohort, prompting a large volume of enquiries to the Union.
In addition to producing last week's Temporary Teacher Communiqué specifically for QTU members who work as both contract and supply teachers, the QTU has been in ongoing negotiations with the Department of Education regarding arrangements enabling casual employees to access payment under the Pandemic Leave Directive, which was issued in mid-March.
At this stage, the department has defined its process as supporting supply teachers who have been affected by the pandemic to date. It is important to note that, given the rapidly unfolding nature of the pandemic and that decisions regarding school operations for term two are yet to be finalised, the department is not projecting to term two at this stage.
The department has also advised that government employees, including teachers, will not be entitled to the federal government's JobKeeper subsidy.
While this information may not allay supply teachers' angst over their income, the department has affirmed the following.
A long-term casual employee is an employee who has been engaged by the department on a regular and systematic basis, for several periods of employment during a period of at least one year immediately before the employee seeks to access paid special pandemic leave. Long term casual employees can access up to 20 days of special pandemic leave.
The QTU will continue to advocate for supply teachers as term two develops.
What has the department guaranteed for supply teachers affected by the pandemic to date?
The department has provided responses to a range of frequently asked questions. The FAQs provide information in addition to that outlined below.
Supply teacher payment for week ten
The department has determined that any employees engaged for supply work in weeks eight and nine who then were not able to access supply work in week ten because of the move to student free days, will be eligible for a payment for week ten. This will be determined by calculating the number of hours worked in weeks eight and nine and then dividing this by two. These average hours will be what will be paid to members in this category in the 4 May pay period
Access to special leave
Members who are deemed to be long-term casuals and were not able to undertake supply work in weeks eight-ten will be eligible to apply for special pandemic leave paid under the directive if they fit into one of the following categories:
- unable to work due to viral infection; or
- required to care for an immediate family or household member who has an actual or suspected viral infection; or
- required to care for a child whose school or childcare centre is closed.
Members can also access special leave if they were unavailable to work in weeks eight-ten because they were:
- required to self-isolate on medical advice (and where a flexible work arrangement is not possible); or
- prevented from working because they are unable access their usual public transport services due to suspension or cancellation of service (and a flexible work arrangement is not possible); or
- approved to undertake pandemic related volunteer roles in the community.
Access to this leave will be determined on a case by case basis.
What rate of salary will supply teachers be paid?
The salary payable under these arrangements will be the supply teacher rate.
How do I apply?**
The application form is available on OnePortal and should be emailed direct to your payroll team. Supply teachers have access to OnePortal 90 days after their last engagement.
Instructions on how to do this are provided on the form.
The form can be accessed on the Department's intranet via this link:
What happens in term two?
The decision about what school will look like in term two will be made during the autumn holidays. Once this becomes clear, the QTU will continue to work with the department on how we can continue to support supply and contract teachers.
example only – forms can only be lodged through OnePortal
If members are experiencing access issues, they should contact the service centre on 1800 680 445’
Website: TRACER contact details are as follows:
Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street,Milton, QLD, Australia, 4064