5 Nov 2019: Instrumental music teachers bulletin
5 November 2019 | Download PDF
What lifting the instrumental music work-to-rule directive means
The QTU work-to-rule directive took effect from the commencement of the 2019 school year in response to two separate ballots of QTU members employed as instrumental music teachers or instructors.
Throughout 2019, Senior Officers of the QTU, as well as the statewide Instrumental Music Reference Committee, have continued to negotiate a settlement for the nine parts of the work-to-rule. During the spring vacation, the Deputy Director-General wrote to the QTU with an offer of settlement, and the department’s response has been outlined in previous bulletins.
Following receipt of the letter, the QTU conducted a secure online ballot between 21 – 28 October asking members: “Do you agree to lifting the instrumental music teachers/instructors’ work-to-rule directive?” Voter participation was 72 per cent, and the majority of eligible members (69 per cent) voted in favour of lifting the work-to-rule directive.
In accordance with the QTU’s democratic processes, the result of the online ballot was endorsed by QTU Executive and referred to State Council, which consists of elected delegates from every QTU branch and area council in Queensland. November Council, including representation of instrumental music teachers on behalf of their branch, endorsed the ballot result at its meeting on Saturday, 2 November. In addition, November Council unanimously resolved to congratulate instrumental music teachers/instructors for their courage throughout the campaign and called on Senior Officers of the QTU to allocate appropriate resources to continue the campaign and ensure workload is actively addressed.
Does lifting the work-to-rule mean things go back to how they were?
No. Absolutely not.
The rules are set by: Queensland legislation, the Teaching in State Education Award – State 2016, the certified agreement, the instrumental music teacher/instructor MOA, and Department of Education policy. These rules are your working conditions.
What has changed is that our work-to-rule directive has sharpened members’ and the employer’s understanding of the rules. The Deputy Director-General acknowledges “Schools and Regional Music Coordinators who support instrumental music teachers and instructors need to be aware of Clause 15.2 of the award, which provides for the hours of work and related matters.”
Can I work before 8:00am or after 4:00pm?
The rule is the rule. The agreed industrial instruments are your working conditions.
That said, the QTU agrees with the statement contained in the Deputy Director-General’s letter: “Any amendment to the timetable and program is subject to consultation and agreement at the local level, between the base school principal and the instrumental music teacher/instructor.”
I replaced a teacher who used to rehearse from 7:30 and was told that’s now my timetable. Is that right?
There may have been consultation and agreement with your predecessor, but there is no requirement for you to continue rehearsals outside of rostered duty time. The QTU does not accept that inheriting a circuit where the timetable breaches the award demonstrates compliance with the Deputy Director-General’s use of the words “consultation and agreement”.
Moreover, you have workplace rights that are recognised in the Industrial Relations Act, 2016. A timetable that breaches the award, or that is provided to you in a manner that threatens an adverse action, contravenes s282 of the Industrial Relations Act, 2016. This could trigger the dispute resolution processes and the matter can be referred to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.
Do I have to do A-E reporting for semester 2?
The work-to-rule directed members to work in accordance with the agreed industrial instruments and policies of the Department of Education. Part 4 of our work-to-rule applied the department’s P-12 Curriculum Assessment Reporting Framework (CARF). At the close of the online ballot to lift the work-to-rule, the department had committed to changing the rule, but has yet to do so.
The QTU position is that the rule remains and, until such time as the rule changes, there is no requirement to report. However, given that the work-to-rule has lifted, if “consultation and agreement” occurs at the local level, and instrumental music teachers/instructors agree to provide A-E reporting data on OneSchool, the QTU would strongly encourage members to extend that agreement to recognition of the additional duties that are performed. Such negotiation could include seeking agreement to be allocated non-attendance time for the last week of school, during which time instrumental music teachers/instructors could be performing duties like collecting instruments for end of year servicing and/or storage, reviewing learning resources for 2020, undertaking professional development and online learning, etc.
What should I look for in my 2020 timetable?
Your hours of duty should not commence before 8:00am and should conclude by 4:00pm, unless there has been consultation and agreement to do otherwise.
Remember clause 15.2 (d) states, in part: “An instrumental music teacher/instructor will not be required to instruct for more than 7 hours in any one day or commence duty more than once in any one day.”
Also, make sure that you are timetabled to receive your uninterrupted 45 minute meal break, taken between the fourth and sixth hour of duty, noting that this is not calculated as part of your 30 hours of rostered duty time. You should also be allocated a ten-minute rest pause, and this is calculated as rostered duty time.
Instrumental music teachers/instructors employed on a full-time fraction are entitled to 150 minutes of non-contact time per week. This is included in your rostered duty time. It is not break time. It is not travel time. It is time for you to undertake duties associated with your role, which might include planning for classes, curriculum planning, compilation of assessment records, and other tasks prescribed in the certified agreement.
If you are travelling between schools, the time spent travelling is rostered duty time. Travelling between schools should not be undertaken during your meal break. It is travel time.
Add up your day-by-day scheduled hours of work, and the number of hours for a full-time instrumental music teacher/instructor should not exceed 30.
If your timetable does not comply with the agreed industrial instruments as set out in this section, raise your concerns in writing with your base school principal. If the matter is not resolved, contact the Queensland Teachers’ Assist Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org
What about moderation?
The department is committed to a consistent statewide approach to the moderation processes for the QCAA Instrumental Music Recognised Study in years 11 and 12. The department is also committed to working with regional music coordinators to provide clear advice about the nature and requirements of moderation processes, and will establish a common set of requirements to apply across regions from the commencement of the 2020 school year.
What do I do if I have QCE students?
For the purposes of completing the requirements of the QCAA Instrumental Music Recognised Study, the department supports the implementation of one (1) non-teaching day per instrumental music teacher/instructor (FTE) for the purposes of supporting instrumental music teachers/instructors who have students enrolled in the QCAA Instrumental Music Recognised Study. This non-teaching day is to be scheduled for week three of term two from 2020, and will be accessed by compressing classes at other times.
QTU representatives on the statewide Instrumental Music Reference Committee have also sought commitments from the Department of Education that it will clarify the timeline for QCE duties to be undertaken and improve access to technology, specifically with regards to recording and storing evidence of student work.
Who is my line manager?
Your base school principal is your line manager. For the purposes of collegial engagement, Annual Teacher Review and other matters covered by joint statements, including planning and preparation, the local consultative committee (LCC) of your base school will have determined processes. The role of the LCC in making decisions that impact on your workload cannot be duplicated by officers at a regional level without consultation and agreement.
What is the Union doing about instrumental music teacher/instructor workload?
The settlement to the work-to-rule includes:
- commitment to timetables in accordance with the award – any variations to the timetable must be subject to consultation and agreement.
- release time for QCAA
- support for QCAA
- administrative support for recruitment process into instrumental music programs
- clarity around the role of RMC
- clarity around who is the teachers’ line manager
- clarity around collegial engagement processes
- a commitment to reducing OneSchool parent contact reporting – while mandatory reporting is still a legal requirement, consideration of the number of students must be made when asking instrumental music teachers to complete this OneSchool process
- a commitment to looking into the efficiency of OneSchool for excursion planners and exporting information.
QTU members who are instrumental music teachers/instructors know that there is more to do. There continues to be a lack of transparency around the recruitment of project officers and school-based instrumental music coordinators. There is a lack of a transparent and consistent allocative methodology. There is a lack of transparency in data collection, regional levies, the method of counting students enrolled in a program, and more. There is also a lack of consistency in the duties and responsibilities of coordinator and project officer positions and a lack of consistency in the method of recognising the additional tasks performed by instrumental music coordinators. The department’s own Instrumental Music Policy, which the QTU was never consulted on, prescribes opportunities for students to participate in ensembles that exceed class size targets. The QTU remains concerned about the health and safety risk of ensembles rehearsing before or after schools with only one teacher/instructor present.
The QTU will be referring instrumental music to the Workload Advisory Committee, which will be established pursuant of the new certified agreement. QTU delegates on the IMRC will continue to raise workload matters in that forum as well as monitor the implementation of the Department of Education’s actions and commitments made as settlement in the Deputy Director-General’s letter.
Graham Moloney Craig Wood
General Secretary Research Officer – Industrial Advocate
Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street,Milton, QLD, Australia, 4060