22 October 2015 | No. 20-15 | Download as PDF

TO: QTU MEMBERS

Go Gonski green, celebrate and start the EB conversation

Next week brings together a number of themes that are central to the work of Queensland’s state school teachers and principals.

Gonski

National Gonski Week runs from 26 October to 1 November. Events and activities are happening around the country to keep up the pressure on all parties at the federal level to commit to needs-based, sector-blind schools funding. This is a very timely push, as while there may be some different names and faces in the federal government, unfortunately it still has the same anti-Gonski policies. 

For ideas on how you can go green for Gonski at your workplace and to find out about special Gonski week events, visit the QTU website www.qtu.asn.au/gonski-week-2015. National activities include making sure Malcolm Turnbull hears the Gonski message via phone calls, emails and tweets – more information is on the I give a Gonski website www.igiveagonski.com.au/gonski_week_2015 

State Education Week and World Teachers’ Day

Next week is also State Education Week (25 October to 31 October) and contains World Teachers’ Day (30 October). To highlight the incredibly valuable work done by principals and teachers throughout the state, the QTU has joined other education stakeholders in a major newspaper and billboard advertising campaign to celebrate World Teachers’ Day. 

The key message is that teachers inspire Queensland students – to help us spread the message, tell us in a few sentences here why you have chosen a career dedicated to inspiring young minds and we will share your thoughts on the QTU website and facebook page.

EB8

Now that the interim pay increase for teachers and principals has been delivered and the new state government’s promised review of industrial relations legislation has begun, it is time to start our consultation with members on the next EB claim.

The aim is to have an agreement in place from 1 July, 2016; that date assumes that the award modernisation (as opposed to award stripping under the LNP) process is on schedule, and that the new IR legislation has been passed by the Queensland Parliament. Both of these milestones are important because they are focused on restoring many of the working rights that had been removed by the previous government.

To allow time for negotiations, the EB8 claim needs to be formally endorsed at the QTU State Council meeting on 12 March, 2016. The QTU will be running EB8 area meetings and “mega-branch” meetings in February next year, but it’s not too early to start the conversation in your workplace about what is important to you, your colleagues and the profession as a whole.

A useful context for those conversations is provided by the priorities established through member consultation last year. A number of these are being addressed by the Palaszczuk government fulfilling its pre-election priorities.

  • Class sizes (875 additional teachers)
  • Job security (reintroduction of job security provisions by the Palaszczuk government and the dumping of enforced principal contracts)
  • Workload (development of joint statements and ongoing discussions about a number of issues)
  • Australian Curriculum and C2C (ongoing work with DET and the Minister around review of senior assessment and reporting, the Australian Curriculum and relevant C2C modules)
  • Transfer and relocations system (evaluation of IPS and new recruitment and selection process for school leaders)
  • RAIS – (review of partners for success and introduction of career start bursaries)
  • Beginning teacher issues and professional pay (introduction of mentoring for beginning teachers program and ongoing discussions regarding Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers)
  • Resourcing for schools and non-contact time (state budget submission and review of school administration and support staff).

More can be done on, for example, practical ways to control teachers’ and principals’ workloads and improving the percentage of teachers in permanent employment.

When you are with fellow QTU members at branch meetings, workplace meetings or at Gonski or World Teachers’ Day celebrations, talk about the improvements in working conditions that could most help the teaching profession and let the QTU know via your Organiser or this online form. 


 Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union