Guidance Matters: No.4 - 23 July 2019
Guidance Matters: No.4 - 23 July 2019
Welcome to the fourth edition of the QTU’s Guidance Matters Update. To ensure that you receive future editions, please visit www.qtu.asn.au/MyQTU to make sure your contact details are up to date (if you are not receiving the updates, but have heard about them through others, it may be because your contact email address/es are not up-to-date or because the emails have gone into the junk folder).
The Queensland Government EB offer and guidance members
The focus of this Update is the Queensland Government’s formal offer. Delegates to the QTU’s State Conference closely considered the offer, both in terms of potential benefits for individual members and the profession as a whole. On Wednesday 3 July, the QTU State Conference resolved to:
- accept the government EB offer in-principle
- recommend its acceptance to QTU members
- defer the strike planned for 18 July 2019.
The Members’ Newsflash that was distributed to members on Monday 15 July has a link to the promotional positions FAQs. The Members’ Newsflash and the FAQ-Promotional Positions document should be read together. The Salary schedules/classification structure document is also useful to review.
The new classification structure is a core part of this agreement, but there is much more in the offer, and therefore it is important that you go to the EB offer page on the QTU website to view Deputy General Secretary Kate Ruttiman explaining the offer to State Conference (approximately 240 grassroots members) - www.qtu.asn.au/eb9offer
As you would be aware, in early April the QTU hosted guidance member teleconferences, which were well supported by the guidance membership. The focus of the teleconferences was to provide members with a context around the release of the department’s Promotional Positions Classification Review (PPCR) Report.
The April 2019 Guidance Matters Update provided guidance members with a summary of the considerations of March QTU State Council in relation to the goals of the Union in securing a new classification structure, including recognising that not one of the three options proposed by the department was acceptable in their then current form. March State Council resolutions confirmed the QTU stance that no position would go backwards in terms of remuneration.
Guidance Officer classification
As flagged in the April 2019 Guidance Matters Update, the department’s PPCR Report “levelled” the GO position below the HOD position. The March QTU State Council categorically rejected this levelling by the department, noting that the methodology used was not to evaluate the ‘value of the role’ of the guidance position and did not adequately consider the intrinsic importance of the mandated guidance qualification. The mandated qualification goes to the heart of the uniqueness of the role. Further, the department’s methodology did not acknowledge or value the very specific legislated reporting obligations of guidance officers.
The QTU PPCR negotiating team was successful in ensuring that guidance officers maintained the level held previously. In the new classification structure, GOs translate directly across from the former Heads of Program Band 5 (HODs, GOs and HOSES 2) to Heads of Program Level 1 (HOD, HODC, GO, HOSES). Please carefully note, there has been no drop in classification level for GOs. The translation across to the new level represents at least a 10 per cent pay rise for HODs, GOs and HOSES who had previously been on Band 5.
The FAQs – the offer – promotional positions document should be read in its entirety; but here are some areas to draw to your attention.
Q1, dot point 7 states:
- Guidance officers, heads of department and HOSES 2 will have a top step salary of $128,884.
Dot point 8 states:
- Senior guidance officers and HOSES 3 will have a top step salary of $135,384.
Dot point 9 states:
- During the life of the agreement, the conditions for senior guidance officers and regional school sports officers will become part of the Teaching in State Education Award.
Specifically in relation to SGOs, Q7 on page two of the FAQs states:
Q7. Where will senior guidance officers (SGOs) and regional schools sports officers (RSSOs) sit in the new classification structure?
Senior guidance officers (SGOs) and regional schools sports officers (RSSOs) will have a top step salary of $135,384. This is the salary payable under level 2 of the heads of program stream.
Additionally, during the life of the agreement SGOs and RSSOs conditions will become part of the Teaching in State Education (TISE) Award – State 2016, which will enable future EB negotiations to address some of the working condition concerns of members employed in these positions. It will also enable the provisions that allow for the creation of MOAs and joint statements to be utilised in relation to these conditions.
As mentioned in paragraph two of Q7, it is agreed that both parties will seek consent orders at the Industrial Relations Commission to move SGOs fully into the Teaching in State Education Award – State 2016. This agreement secures for GOs a more attractive and aligned career path. There will need to be transition arrangements put in place, and the transition will not happen immediately. The QTU will continue to work with the SGO sub-committee in relation to the general context around this part of the agreement and the transition of conditions to full award coverage. Just to move coverage under the award, both parties need to attend a hearing at the Industrial Relations Commission. The transition will be part of EB implementation and will take time. It is worth noting that the QTU, working with SGO members, has at different points in time pursued the goal of full award coverage but there have been impediments to achieving the change. This aspiration is now secured. The QTU acknowledges the input of the QTU SGO Special Interest Group and the coordination of that work through the sub-committee.
The proposed agreement now has a specific workload management section. The (draft) first clause states:
2.17.1 The Department is committed to providing effective work practices that support well-being, work-life balance and a safe work environment. As far as practicable, the work of an individual teacher is not to be unreasonable or excessive.
There is much more to this section, including a mechanism - the Workload Advisory Council - that empowers a council of practising teachers/educational leaders and department appointees to deal with workload at its source, not its symptoms.
The QTU will facilitate opportunities for guidance members to identify some key matters to take forward to the council. For more detailed information, read “The offer unpacked – workload”.
In summary, the offer has specific benefits for the QTU’s guidance membership. The offer also has broader benefits for the profession. The “offer unpacked” resources cover salaries, gender employment equity, and the new classification structure, as well as workload mechanisms. Please explore these resources where relevant.
Conference has recommended acceptance of the offer as it addresses the four key priorities of the QTU’s EB claim, as established by QTU members during its development. It achieves specific gains in terms of the new classification structure, salaries, gender employment equity and workload. As highlighted above, the offer also provides significant gains in other areas, such as securing full award coverage for SGOs.
Kevina O’Neill Graham Moloney
Assistant Secretary – Services General Secretary
Authorised by Kate Ruttiman, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street, Milton, QLD, Australia, 4064