1 August 2016 | No. 20-16 | Download as PDF

QTU ballot supporting action

While the QTU ballot remains open, the return so far shows very strong support for action.  At lunch time today, the interim ballot results were:

  Yes   No
Q1 Reject the government offer 21,934 (93%) 1,137
Q2 Strike on 18 August 20,158 (87%) 2,902
Q3 Implement work bans 21,205 (92%) 1,864

At 23,071 votes cast, this is the third largest ballot in QTU history, after two ballots in 2009.

The ballot remains open past the initial closing date of 29 July because of the late distribution of material to smaller schools, but the support for the three motions is overwhelming.

Negotiations with the department and government have continued while the two ballots (QTU and Electoral Commission of Queensland) were occurring.  The QTU ballot clearly rejects the original government position.  An improved offer from the government is needed before any agreement can be reached.

Detailed information to support the industrial action is being prepared for distribution to schools.

Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) ballot

At noon today, the ECQ had received approximately 15,300 return ballots.

To reach the minimum 50 per cent return required for protected action, we need to secure 18,065 ballots.  The ECQ ballot closes next Monday 8 August.  Even though the QTU ballot will be carried, we still need you to cast your vote in the ECQ ballot.

If  you have not voted in the ECQ ballot, make sure that you post your ballot  tomorrow or Wednesday to allow for the vagaries of postal services.

The Courier-Mail today

The Courier-Mail’s editorial and a page 3 article today focused on the QTU and ECQ ballots for industrial action.  For clarity, some comment is required.  

The articles focused on and criticised the vote for “unlimited strikes” in the ECQ ballot.  Of course, the ballot calls for unlimited strikes, bans and limitations so that an ECQ ballot (which takes over 10 weeks) is not required every time action is contemplated.

A QTU ballot will decide the precise action to be undertaken, as it does on this occasion.

The editorial criticises the ballot for seeking strike approval “in what are still the early days of negotiation”.  The Courier-Mail is oblivious to three months of formal negotiations, the potential cost to members of losing a 1 July start date in a new agreement, and the two month ballot required to “suddenly resort” to industrial action.

Notwithstanding the views of the teachers’ friend, Queensland teachers have the right to strike and take industrial action in support of their claims – both as a matter of human rights and within the narrower limits of Queensland law.  It is a right exercised rarely and only with good cause by Queensland teachers.  But a right that cannot be exercised, as suggested by The Courier-Mail, is no right at all.

The notable omission from The Courier-Mail’s lecture to teachers and the QTU was any call on the government for a fair offer.  Perhaps that will be contained in a future edition.

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