Instrumental music teachers' bulletin - 30 July 2019
Bulletin 30 July 2019
Instrumental music voice heard at QTU Biennial Conference
The Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU) Biennial Conference, held from 1 to 3 July, recognised the unique role of instrumental music teachers and instructors and the solidarity demonstrated in undertaking the instrumental music work to rule.
After a range of speakers spoke to the issues currently faced by instrumental music teachers and instructors, the following motions were passed by the QTU’s supreme decision-making body:
THAT Conference recognises the courage of QTU members employed as instrumental music teachers/instructors in following the nine parts of the QTU work to rule directive.
THAT the QTU seeks guarantees from the Department of Education on measures, whether inside or outside the EB agreement, to mitigate workload identified in the QTU log of claims, for example:
- increase in non-contact time for instrumental music staff
- class size targets for out of hours ensembles
- measures to address the additional hours of work that instrumental music teachers/instructors are required to undertake but which they are not remunerated for.
The work to rule continues
The work-to-rule directive that took effect from the commencement of the 2019 school year remains in place.
The QTU has been fielding several member inquiries about the “lifting” of the work to rule pending the possible signing of the EB offer. The work to rule directive expands on workload issues specific to instrumental music teachers, which are not addressed by either the EB log of claims or the EB offer. Therefore – the work to rule remains.
For a work to rule to cease, a ballot of members needs to occur. This will only happen when QTU officers and QTU-appointed Instrumental Music Reference Committee representatives are satisfied that the department has adequately addressed points 4-9 of the work to rule directive. The QTU continues to engage in genuine consultation with the department in an effort to work toward a resolution.
Items 1 to 3 of the work to rule directive are simply working conditions outlined in the existing award.
Dispute lodged with the Department of Education
On Monday 23 July, the QTU lodged a dispute with the department in relation to several key issues that were consistently raised with us by members.
In lodging the dispute, the QTU called into question the actions of the department in relation to the lack of consultation regarding the role description for regional music coordinators and continual requests for instrumental music teachers and instructors to participate in collegial engagement that are in breach of both the collegial engagement joint statement and the work to rule.
The third issue that prompted the dispute is the fact that instrumental music teachers across the state have had their teacher classification amended from ‘instrumental music teacher’ to ‘instructor’. The QTU was advised of this alarming development on Monday 22 July, and it again occurred without consultation. Changing the teacher type from ‘teacher’ to ‘instructor’ implies a different level of qualification. QTU members are understandably outraged that this has occurred without any communication or information from the department.
The QTU awaits a resolution and action from the department in regard to the above issues.
Instrumental Music Reference Committee
The items included in the current work- to-rule directive continue to be addressed through the Instrumental Music Reference Committee (IMRC), a statewide consultative group with equal representation of employees and the employer. The IMRC meets to discuss matters related to the working conditions of instrumental music teachers and instructors.
The QTU met with members of the department and employees on 23 July to address pertinent issues in relation to the work to rule recently raised with the QTU.
The commitment of the four instrumental music teachers on the IMRC should be noted and we are grateful to them for sharing their lived experiences with the QTU and members of the department to help build an understanding of the complexities of this role.
Workload Advisory Council
As outlined, one of the motions passed at the Biennial Conference ensures that the workload of instrumental music teachers be a priority for the QTU. As such, the workload of instrumental music teachers will be examined by the Workload Advisory Council (pending the acceptance of the EB9 offer).
This is another mechanism that will be employed to address the work intensification of instrumental music teachers and instructors, one that is broader than the scope of those included in the work to rule. The QTU already understands and values the work of instrumental music teachers and instructors and will continue to pursue these matters while they impact on the working conditions of teachers.
Authorised by Kate Ruttiman, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street, Milton, QLD, Australia, 4064