No. 07-16     14 March 2016
[open as pdf] 

Workload and salary feature in final EB8 claim

After extensive member consultation, QTU State Council endorsed the final EB8 claim for state school members at its meeting on 12 March. The full claim is available on the QTU website.

Key elements of the claim include the following.

1.     Workload

  • Enforceable class sizes, rather than targets
  • Enhanced consultation on teacher duties; strengthened Local Consultative Committees (LCCs); and workload audits before initiatives are introduced that would have significant workload impacts
  • Joint statements incorporated into the agreement

2.      Salary

  • 4.5% salary increase each year over the three years of the agreement
  • Creation of Highly Accomplished Teacher and Lead Teacher classifications 

3.      Non-contact time

  • NCT purpose and function clarified
  • Additional release time for principals of small schools; NCT for HOCs, HODs and HOSES to be protected by an industrial instrument

4.      RAIS and transfers

  • Transfer and relocation system strengthened
  • Review RAIS and locality allowance (note the latter can also be pursued with other public service unions)

5.      School leaders

  • Review classification structure

6.      Beginning teachers and temporary teachers

  • Additional two hours’ release time per week for beginning teachers
  • Permanency after two years’ temporary engagement; processes to be included in the agreement
  • Temporary teachers to be paid for attendance at student-free days (SFDs)

7.      Specialist services

  • Teachers of the arts and other specialist areas in primary and special schools to be defined as specialist teachers
  • Clarify teacher librarians’ role descriptions
  • Recognition of additional qualifications required by teachers to provide specialist services

8.      Professional development

  • More flexibility on SFDs
  • PD in own time to be recognised in lieu of attendance at SFDs

Claim development

This final claim was developed after member consultation that began last year with online feedback, and concluded this year with 105 EB claim development meetings held around the state in February and March. The resolution to endorse the draft claim was carried at each of these meetings. Workload was the issue most often listed as a priority, followed by salary.

An additional suggestion made by members was an increase to the Queensland Government’s superannuation contribution – this issue is best pursued in the lead-up to future state budgets, in cooperation with other public sector unions.

Negotiations to begin

The 10-month extension to the current agreement (which included the interim 2.08% pay rise) means that agreement has a nominal expiry date of 30 June, 2016. Formal negotiations will begin in April with the aim of reaching a new agreement by 1 July.

Members should be aware that the 4.5% per annum salary increase, which would lift Queensland teachers’ and principals’ pay to a level comparable with those in other states, is significantly above the Queensland Government’s 2.5% per annum wages policy and is likely to require a significant campaign.

As negotiations take place, the QTU will continue to use all avenues to address members’ workload concerns, including ensuring that members are empowered to assert their existing industrial rights and that joint statements are genuinely implemented.

Authorised by: Kate Ruttiman, Acting General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union