11 March 2019

Every three years the QTU has the opportunity to negotiate  a new industrial agreement with the state government to improve the working conditions and salaries of our members.

This year members are committed to see the government deliver its commitment (from the 2016 agreement) for a new classification structure for our school leaders and heads of program members (and the salaries that go with it), more measures to address the increasing workloads of members and measures to address the rising gender employment equity in education. The EB claim was forwarded to the government in early February (as the current certified agreement expires on 30 June 2019) with the request for bargaining to commence as soon a practicable.

Throughout this EB campaign our message will be clear:
Our members make a difference in the lives of Queenslanders every day.
Our members and our profession matter, and consequently are worth more!

EB focus - Non-contact time - 18 March 2019

The QTU member workload survey last year demonstrated that, on average, classroom teachers work 44 hours per week, which is 19 hours above and beyond rostered duty time. 

While all members report that they work from home or arrive early and leave late from work, this amount of extra hours per week is not acceptable. The majority of that 19 hours is given over to planning, developing assessment, correcting assessment and writing reports. 

This statistic strongly supports the need to review non-contact time for all sectors. The amount of non-contact time for secondary schools was set in the 1970s, and the NCT for primary and special was established in the 1990s - they were not set with 21st century schooling in mind. Teachers are working with a curriculum designed for preparing students for life in the 21st century, and their conditions need to reflect this. 

In the first instance, the EB claim calls for NCT in primary and special schools to be increased to at least the level found in their secondary equivalents. Additionally, the claim calls for extra days per term for collaborative planning, data conversations and other professional discussions. While this won’t alleviate all of the additional hours teachers work beyond their rostered duty time, it is a start. It’s important that the government take steps to addressing the workload issue for all members in this EB. Some measures to deliver improved NCT and/or release time will send this message to members. 

EB9 focus - Workplace health and safety - 11 March 2019

Every Queensland state school teacher and school leader deserves a safe and healthy working environment - and that includes being free from violence and abuse, whether physical or virtual, by students and parents. 

Workplace health and safety are key elements of the QTU's EB9 claim. The claim calls for better processes to prevent occupational violence, and for support and release time for QTU members undertaking WHS roles. Members should not have to resort to directives to protect themselves from abuse by parents and students.

EB9 focus - PPCR - 25 Feb 2019

25 Feb 2019

The Promotional Positions Classification Review has affirmed that principals and heads of program are so much more than the bureaucratic formula that is used to measure their worth.

The value of a school leader is wrapped into a range of factors, including their instructional leadership (after all how can you lead teachers without having an implicit understanding of the role, the type of understanding that can only come from having been a teacher), the way they respond to the complexities of their school community, and the support they provide to students and staff.

They are the ones who ensure department priorities are addressed in the school, manage parents’ expectations and secure resources to support the learning needs of the students in their care. School leaders do all they can to provide a healthy and safe learning and teaching environment in the school.

And we mustn’t forget that principals and their schools are found all over Queensland in remote, rural, regional and metropolitan settings. Principals play an important role in all those communities, particularly during natural disasters, when schools become places of refuge for communities under threat.

These are some of the things that are not easily quantified but are intrinsic to the value of our school leaders.

As school leaders from across Queensland come together this week for the department’s 2019 Principals' Conference, the QTU's message to the government, their employer, is that our school leaders are worth more! This EB, it’s time for the government to deliver - not just a 21st century classification structure for promotional positions, but salaries that demonstrate that value and worth.
#schoolleaders #worthmore

EB9 focus - Gender employment equity - 4 Mar 2019

4 March 2019

It’s Queensland’s Women’s Week, and what better time to consider one of the key priorities of the EB claim - gender employment equity. 

The claim suggests ways in which the 10 per cent gender pay gap in education can be addressed, including recognising that the only consequence of part-time work for salaries should be a reduced fraction of salary, not a slowing of salary progression. The claim also suggests improved access to part-time work for all classifications. 

To address the gender superannuation gap, the QTU’s claim calls for superannuation contributions to be made on unpaid carers leave. In recognition of the various types of family, there is also a claim for paid parental leave to be accessed by the primary carer, not just the birth or the adoptive mother. 

These reforms will represent a step in the right direction toward remedying and addressing the existing gender pay gap. In a membership where 76 per cent are women, it is important that such a lens is placed on EB negotiations and the claim.

Read more in this journal article and check out the QTU's log of claims (members only).

#QTUEB9 #teachersmakeadifference

More on EB9

The QTU’s EB claim, which will form the basis of the Union’s position when negotiations begin next year, was debated and endorsed at the State Council on 3 November. Here is a summary of the issues included.
Gender pay equity (GPE) is set to be a key plank of the QTU’s EB claim in 2019 – but given that we have had equal pay for decades, why is this so important?
QTU members have had their say on what the Union’s priorities should be as it enters the negotiations for EB9.
In communications to members, the QTU has been clear that the PPCR is a priority for EB9 as any salary increases that flow from the PPCR will be determined through the enterprise bargaining process. 
Arising from consultation with members, a number of key priorities and other issues have been identified and will be the subject of consideration at workplace meetings...
As the QTU starts the process of developing the next EB claim, it is important to take stock of what has been implemented and what needs to be in place as soon as possible.

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