No. 27-16        4 October 2016

World Teachers’ Day – “Valuing Teachers, Improving their Status”

Welcome back to the last and usually the busiest school term of the year. Tomorrow is World Teachers’ Day, although Queensland usually celebrates this day during State Education Week (This year, the day will be celebrated on Friday 28 October.) Before we launch into another busy term, it is worthwhile reflecting on the role that teachers play in the education of children of all nations.

World Teachers’ Day marks the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. This year’s theme, “Valuing Teachers, Improving their Status”, embodies the fundamental principles of the fifty-year-old recommendation while focussing on the need to support teachers as reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A specific education goal, SDG4, pledges to “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.

Teachers are not only pivotal to the right to education, they are key to achieving the targets set out in SDG4. The roadmap for the new agenda, the Education 2030 Framework for Action, highlights the fact that teachers are fundamental for equitable and quality education and, as such, must be “adequately trained, recruited and remunerated, motivated and supported within well-resourced, efficient and effectively governed systems”.

However, in order to achieve this goal, it is necessary not only to substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers but to motivate them by valuing their work. By 2030, UNESCO predicts that 3.2 million more teachers will be required to achieve universal primary education and 5.1 million more in order to achieve universal lower secondary education. In some countries, the goal is to limit class sizes to 40 pupils.

Teachers across the globe who are organising events for World Teachers’ Day can register their event, and upload photos and video, on the world map at the WTD website:

New state school teachers’ agreement to be certified

A certification hearing will be held in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) tomorrow to certify the State School Teachers’ 2016 Enterprise Bargaining agreement, following the successful employer ballot where 94.3% voted in support of the replacement agreement.

Once the agreement is certified by the QIRC the agreement formally takes effect.

The Department of Education and Training (DET) will need to carefully examine the dates when the increase and back payment of arrears will be able to be made. Development and testing of the payroll system will be needed to ensure a smooth transition to the new salary structure.

The QTU will advise members when the increase and back payments (to July 1 2016) are likely to occur, once DET has confirmed the date. For more details, including a copy of the new State School Teachers’ 2016 Certified Agreement, visit

On behalf of the staff and officers of the QTU, I hope you have a productive and enjoyable term.

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