23 June 2015 : No. 9-15 | Download PDF

Education is a right, not a privilege

Following yesterday’s revelations about the federal government’s extreme plans to abandon support for public schools, Tony Abbott claimed that schools funding “is a matter for the states and territories to decide”. No, it’s not – it’s a decision for the Australian people.

The Abbott government has outlined the following options for school funding.

  1. It stops funding any schools.
  2. It stops funding public schools but keeps funding non-government schools.
  3. Fees are charged for public schools.

However, the federal government does have a fourth option: to deliver on its election promise of a “unity ticket” on Gonski.  Rather than trying to justify breaking this commitment, the federal government should demonstrate its commitment to education by funding the full Gonski.

Igiveagonski_120px.gifYet the Abbott plan abandons all the Australian children whose future depends on fair schools funding. If you oppose this, add your name to the AEU’s petition calling on Mr Abbott not to abandon Gonski and our public schools.

It is important that the Abbott government accepts its responsibility to provide free, local, secular, inclusive, quality education for every Australian child.

Curriculum implementation ban

Following her attendance at State Council, the QTU has recently received a response from the Minister for Education, Kate Jones, regarding the QTU ban on the implementation of new learning areas of the Australian Curriculum.

The response outlines the Minister’s intention to write to all school principals advising them that this year should be a year of consolidation, in which the only expectation is the implementation of phase 1 learning areas.  Additionally, the Minister has advised the QTU that she will consult with the Union and other stakeholders regarding new timelines for the implementation of the Australian Curriculum.  These revised timelines will be necessary, given the pending decisions regarding the review of the Australian Curriculum that was conducted last year.

Last night, QTU Executive determined to refer the Minister’s correspondence to QTU State Conference (being held next week). State Conference will be asked to consider the impact the Minister’s commitments have on the continuation of the directive to halt the implementation (including familiarisation) of any new learning areas of the Australian Curriculum.

Teacher transfers

Applications for teacher transfers closed 19 June 2015.  The QTU has met with departmental officers to discuss the parameters governing teacher transfers, in an effort to ensure the process is transparent.  Any teachers identified by their region for a potential transfer should have been afforded the opportunity to respond through the expression of interest process. Where a transfer occurs and a transparent process (whether intra-regional or state-wide) has not been applied, the QTU will support members in lodging grievances.  Additionally, should members be identified for transfer solely or only due to their Union involvement or because they hold a Union position (e.g. Union Representative), the QTU will pursue this matter through the dispute resolution process, and the QIRC if necessary.  Union Reps are not immune from normal transfer, but it is a breach of legislation to discriminate against a person on the basis of his/her union activity.  Members with questions regarding the teacher transfer process should contact their local QTU Organiser or the Queensland Teachers' Assist Desk (QTAD).

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