What is an EB?
Enterprise bargaining (EB) is the process of negotiating a new agreement relating to the salaries and working conditions of members. The outcome of these negotiations between the Union and department form the basis of the certified agreement.
How does it work?
To work toward achieving improvements to salaries and conditions, the Union develops an EB claim, or log of claims, in consultation with members.This claim forms the basis of negotiations at the single bargaining unit (or SBU). The SBU is made up of officers from the Department of Education and the QTU. The QTU is usually represented at the SBU by a Senior Officer and the QTU’s Industrial Officers. Regular reports about the progress of negotiations are provided to the QTU Executive and State Council.
QTU Executive and members of the SBU also use the log of claims to assess the progress of negotiations when considering what if any action members need to take in support of the claim.
Significant gains can be achieved in enterprise bargaining negotiations. This is the reason member engagement in the development of the EB claim is vital. Without member input, the key issues affecting members in workplaces may not form part of the negotiations, which means advances in relation to these issues cannot be made.
During 2015, for example, members identified workload, non-contact time and class sizes as key concerns, and so they became key elements of the QTU’s claim (in EB8).
What was achieved in EB8?
The 2016 certified agreement, resulting from the EB8 claim and negotations, delivered:
- a clear process for consultation and dispute resolution
- commitments around local agreements for the purpose, frequency and duration of staff meetings
- recognition that award entitlements to non-contact time (NCT) are to be used at the teacher’s discretion and that any award NCT lost because of planned school activities needs to be replaced
- NCT for heads of program and administrative time for teaching principals included in an industrial instrument
- increases in curriculum coordination time recognised in the agreement
- class size targets for composite classes
- class sizes that can be exceeded only in exceptional circumstances and following consultation at the local level
- requirements for schools to have agreed data plans, processes for collegial engagement in classrooms and timeframes for annual performance reviews
- a pilot of varied initiatives for the Remote Area Incentives Scheme (RAIS)
- a pilot and statewide roll out of highly accomplished and lead teacher classifications
- new professional pay classifications to Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers (and the remuneration aligned to these
- significant salary increases for classroom teachers (although the base figure was 2.5 per cent per annum, classroom teachers received from 2.9 per cent to 4.2 per cent, resulting in salaries of $101 000 pa for EST (the top of the salary scale for classroom teacher)
- a comprehensive review of the classification system for promotional positions (head of department/head of curriculum and above)
- commitments regarding maximisation of permanency and payment for attendance at both student free days at the start of the school year for temporary teachers
- ongoing commitments to the Mentoring for Beginning Teacher Program.
- Improved salaries for beginning teachers
- Measures to address workload including joint statements that include consultation on a range of matters such as the purpose and use of data in Queensland schools, Planning Preparation and Differentiation, NAPLAN, clarity around the purpose, frequency and duration of staff meetings, clarity about the use of Non-Contact time and clear expectations around class size targets.
Members wanting to review the gains from EB8 should review the Implementation guide