3 June 2019
In this issue: Workplace ballots | Review of the classification structure | Middle leaders and the review of the classification structure | Changes to QSuper accumulation income protection insurance waiting periods
Workplace ballots: maximise returns to send strong message to government
As reported in Members’ Newsflash No. 08-19, there has been very little progress towards reaching an agreement securing improvements in members’ conditions and salaries, despite formal negotiations with the Queensland Government commencing in early February. The nominal expiry date of the current agreement is 30 June. As such, the Queensland Government has just under four weeks to make an offer acceptable to all members.
As classified officer members will be aware, the QTU is seeking to negotiate a revised classification structure and increased salaries for promotional positions as a result of the work conducted through the Promotional Positions Classification Review (PPCR). During the development of the QTU claim, this was endorsed by QTU members across the state as the number one priority for members.
In response to the slow negotiations, on Saturday 25 May QTU State Council determined to ballot members on statewide industrial action.
Commencing Monday 3 June, members will have the opportunity to participate in workplace meetings and ballots regarding their support for a 24-hour strike on a date to be determined. Workplace ballots must be completed and the results uploaded to the QTU by Friday 21 June.
Details of the process for conducting the ballot have been sent to Union Reps. In schools that have no Union Reps, they have been sent to QTU member school leaders.
We encourage all QTU school leaders to work with their Union Reps to ensure that workplace meetings and ballots are conducted within the set timeframe. Maximising member involvement in the workplace ballots will ensure that the message to the Queensland Government is clear; QTU members demand a strong offer before the expiration of the current agreement.
Review of the classification structure
The PPCR is a priority in the EB9 negotiations, with a focus on obtaining salary increases that remunerate you for the work you do and the complexity of the matters you deal with in your daily working lives. In EB8, this review was the most significant outcome for education leaders, and members have waited patiently for the review to be completed and the classification and salary structure to be established. The time is upon us to show the government that you deserve to be paid more and it needs to recognise the increasing complexity of your work. If it wants to retain great leaders in our schools as well as recruit future great leaders, then it needs to pay you what you are worth and for all the work you do for the children in this state.
Members should be aware that there are rumours and innuendo currently circulating regarding the classification structure review. The QTU continues to negotiate and argue for better salaries for our school leader members and is not deferring this priority. The most accurate information can be obtained from the QTU. Visit www.qtu.asn.au/ppcr or email email@example.com
Where are the PPCR negotiations at?
- The first thing to occur after the release of the PPCR report was the development of a classification structure. We are in negotiations around possible structures at the moment and are carefully looking at all aspects of the possible options so that we can ensure a classification structure that is objective and transparent and that has no unexpected consequences.
- Once a classification structure is agreed upon we will progress to the second stage, which is to negotiate and attach remuneration.
- Any acceptable offer will then go to a full membership ballot.
Please note that this year has seen delegations meeting with MPs across the state – both Labor and LNP, as well as independents. In these meetings, the importance of the PPCR and the need to increase salaries for members in promotional positions has been stressed.
Paige Bousen (QTU Assistant Secretary – Education Leaders) has gone offline to focus on the PPCR.
Middle leaders and the review of the classification structure
When it comes to discussing the Promotional Positions Classification Review, it’s worthwhile remembering that the review is not all about principal salaries and their classification.
The new structure will also establish a new benchmark for heads of programs (HoCs, HODs, HOSES, GOs, etc) and deputy principals.
While the department’s report on the PPCR has a significant focus on principals, it does recognise that any adjustment to the principal classification structure will lead to an adjustment of the salaries and classifications of those in the “middle leader” positions in our schools.
Currently, the focus of the discussions is on establishing the “spine” of the structure. This “spine” aligns to what a principal classification stream might look like. Once this is agreed, those classifications that work with school principals as part of the school’s leadership structure will follow.
In March, QTU State Council established a number of principles for negotiation regarding the classification review. These include:
- parity between sectors is a principle that should be addressed in negotiations in relation to “middle leaders”, which means that all deputy principals, irrespective of sector, receive the same remuneration, that HODs and HOCs receive the same remuneration, and that the position description of HOCs be revised to support this outcome
- no position will go backwards in terms of remuneration
- no QTU member should be financially disadvantaged as an outcome of the transition to the new classification structure.
A full overview of the principles for negotiations from this State Council meeting can be found in the PPCR Update from March 2019.
Changes to QSuper accumulation income protection insurance waiting periods
The QTU has been informed that the QSuper Board has decided to change the income protection (IP) insurance product for accumulation members. The QTU understands that QSuper has decided to make the following changes effective from 1 July, to avoid significant premium increases to the current IP insurance product with a 14-day waiting period:
- a change in the default income protection waiting period to 90 (calendar) days or accrued sick leave whichever is greater
- a reduction in the default income protection benefit period from three to two years.
Please note, these changes do not apply to income protection insurance for defined benefit members.
The QTU is advising QSuper accumulation members to review their income protection insurance as a priority to ensure they have a waiting period that best suits their needs. The QTU is also advising members to consider occupationally rating their insurance, as this may result in lower premiums for most QTU members.
Further information and advice about these insurance changes can be found on the QTU website.
The QTU is asking education leaders to draw this issue to the attention of all QSuper accumulation members in their schools and encourage them to consider the above advice.
QTU members who have questions about these insurance changes should contact QSuper by phone on 1300 360 750 or by email in the first instance.
QSuper members can make changes to their insurance policies, e.g. undertaking occupational rating, by logging into their online account.
Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union