27 July 2016 | No. 19-16 | Download as PDF

To QTU members

HAVE YOU VOTED?

Vote “YES” for action to achieve better pay and conditions

The QTU school-based ballot to reject the government offer, to strike on 18 August and implement work bans closes this Friday 29 July.

The closing date is intended to secure a 1 July start date for a new agreement IF the new agreement were acceptable.  Of course, the QTU does not believe that what is currently on the table is acceptable.

There have been glitches in the distribution of the QTU ballot materials, for which we apologise.  The ballot will remain open for some extra days to record late returns.

The ECQ ballot to give industrial action protected status closes on Monday 8 August.

This is an individual postal ballot that has been sent to your preferred postal address.  To make sure it gets back in time, you must post it back this week.  Alternatively, your Union Reps can collect and return your ballots in bulk – provided that the ballots are properly sealed within the return envelopes with the details filled in.

The total number of ballot papers distributed was 36,128.  Legislation requires a minimum 50 per cent return, or 18,065.

At close of business on Tuesday, the ECQ had received 9,768 ballots.  Make sure you vote in this election.

The QTU recommends that you vote “YES” to all six questions in the two ballots (see Newsflash No. 17-16).

Arrangements for industrial action

Assuming the ballots for industrial action are carried, the QTU will provide detailed advice to schools and members about the arrangements for the strike day, and for the implementation of the work bans.

Legally, the QTU is required to give three days’ notice.  In practice, if the ballot is carried, the dates of action will be known and the Union will ensure adequate notice is given to the employer and parents.

Seeking a better offer

Negotiations are continuing with the department about a number of issues.  However, the department needs approval from government – at the level of the Cabinet Budget Review Committee – to be able to make a new offer of an agreement to QTU members.

The QTU had been actively seeking a new offer from the government, using every opportunity to raise the issue with ministers.

If you have an ALP state MP, contact them in person, by phone or by email to demand a new, acceptable offer for Queensland teachers.  The QTU has also distributed a lobbying kit to QTU Organisers to organise delegations to MPs.

Curriculum success

The announcement of changes to the implementation of the Australian Curriculum is welcome news in the QTU’s ongoing campaign on teacher workload (see Newsflash No. 18-16).

This ultimately flows from a ballot of QTU members in 2014, leading to a ban on further implementation of the curriculum (with some limited exceptions) from the start of 2015.

This step alone will not address the issue of excessive workload for teachers, and the overall campaign on workload will continue.  However, it is a significant step in a major area of teachers’ work.   The curriculum implementation timelines and arrangements are subject to negotiation with the QTU, and the implementation will be closely monitored.

The willingness of QTU members, through the ballot, to reject the workload associated with the curriculum earned first a respite, and now some relief.

Congratulations to all QTU members on the stand and the result.


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