15 July 2016     No.17-16



A new enterprise bargaining agreement for Queensland teachers and principals was due on 1 July 2016.  Negotiations are continuing with the government and the department but the only formal offer is salary increases of 2.5 per cent per annum.  This would leave Queensland state school teachers and principals behind Catholic teachers in Queensland as well as many interstate colleagues.

For some days now the QTU has been expecting a new offer from the government for consideration.  This has not yet materialised.  Time is running out for the government’s deadline of 31 July for the new agreement to take effect from 1 July.  The significance of that 1 July date is explained in the frequently asked questions (FAQs) attached to this Newsflash

The main unresolved issues:

  • salaries for classroom teachers including access to senior teacher and experienced senior teacher;
  • review of the promotional classification structure and salaries;
  • conversion to permanency and reduction in temporary teacher numbers

The time has come for QTU members to vote on industrial action in pursuit of the Union’s claims. You are being asked to vote on six questions in two ballots –

  • an individual ballot conducted by the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) and sent to your preferred mailing address.
  • a school-based ballot conducted by the QTU.

The QTU recommends that you vote YES to all six questions.

ECQ Ballot

Voting YES to the three questions in the Electoral Commission ballot gives industrial action (strikes, bans or limitations) that teachers take protected status under industrial law. No action can be taken against teachers or principals under any law for participating in protected industrial action. The questions are broad but give us flexibility (as explained in the FAQs). Over 18,000 members have to return ballot papers for this vote to be carried.

Make sure you follow the instructions. Your Union Rep can collect the sealed envelopes to return them, but they must be sealed.

ECQ ballot papers must be returned to the ECQ by noon on Monday 8 August.

QTU Ballot

QTU Union Reps will conduct a school-based ballot on three questions:

(i)     to reject the salary offer of 2.5 per cent per annum
(ii)    the holding of a full-day strike on Thursday 18 August
(iii)    the implementation of a package of seven work bans from Monday 15 August.

The rejection of the 2.5 per cent offer will likely mean that a 1 July start date is lost. The significance of this decision is explained in the FAQs. The Union believes that preserving the 1 July date is not worth an unsatisfactory agreement for the next three years, and recommends a YES vote to reject the 2.5 per cent per annum offer.

This ballot gives members the final say about the salary offer.

The QTU ballot closes at noon on Friday 29 July for this reason.

Protected industrial action can only be taken after the ECQ ballot is closed and counted and notice is given. The strike is scheduled for a day when Parliament is sitting in Brisbane.

If a better offer is made?

If the government makes a better offer, this will be communicated to members as quickly as possible.

A new offer should not affect your vote in the ECQ ballot. Ultimately, it just gives protected status while the QTU ballot decides the action to be taken.

New advice will be provided with any new government offer about the QTU ballot.

More information can be found on the QTU website 

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