Expect Respect survey: Thank you
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 126 No 5, 30 July 2021, page no.15
During Term 2, the QTU sought input from members across the state regarding their experiences of sexual harassment and gendered violence in their workplaces. Thank you to the members who took the time to supply this important information.
As the Respect@Work report clearly demonstrates, there are currently very real barriers to employees reporting their experiences of gendered violence in workplaces. The department has little data and currently relies on the employee complaints process, which is why our survey and its results are important.
The QTU is currently compiling the raw data provided by the 1,202 members who responded and will publish the Expect Respect Report in early August.
The results are disturbing and at times challenging reading. They certainly validate the anecdotal experiences I hear as the Women’s Officer of our Union and provide the QTU with compelling data to continue its advocacy.
Here is a basic snapshot of the results.
- There were 1,202 responses - primary 32 per cent, secondary 39.8 per cent, TAFE 10 per cent.
- 61 per cent of responders worked in workplaces with no sexual harassment or gendered violence policy that they were aware of.
- 32 per cent of responders indicated they had felt unsafe at work because of gendered violence and/or sexual harassment.
- 32 per cent of responders had experienced gendered violence at work, and more than 40 per cent of this had been perpetrated by students.
- 74 per cent of people had a witness to the event, and 77 per cent of witnesses did not intervene.
- 61 per cent of school leader responders did not feel well-equipped to deal with complaints made to them, and 54 per cent cited the lack of training and information as the reason for this.
- While nearly 70 per cent of responders indicated that they had indeed heard of the Respectful Relationships education program (RREP), only 19 per cent indicated their school had RREP, 70 per cent did not know if it included a gendered approach, and 88 per cent had received no PD in relation to the implementation.
Across the nation, the conversation about gender equality, gendered violence and safety at work is growing in urgency. Earlier this year, our nation was rocked by disturbing reports and allegations of harassment in our nation’s Parliament, and the March4Justice campaign ensued. The ongoing failure of our federal government to respond adequately to the 55 recommendations of the Respect@Work report from the Australian Human Rights Commission has led to a Stop Sexual Harassment Campaign from the Queensland Council of Unions and a campaign from the ACTU.
Our Expect Respect campaign is linked to these wider union campaigns and recognises that, too often, the gendered harassment experienced by teachers in schools and TAFE campuses is student behaviour.
Our Expect Respect campaign seeks to inform our members about gendered violence and highlight to the employer the need for:
- sexual harassment training for all employees and managers
- reporting and recording mechanisms that don’t rely on the employee complaint processes
- a return of sexual harassment referral officers
- a funded and supported Respectful Relationships education program in all state schools, recognising that it is a key prevention tool in addressing gendered violence across the community
- student behaviour reporting mechanisms and policies that recognise and record gendered violence and sexual harassment.
I look forward to presenting and publishing the Expect Respect Report later in the term and continuing our important conversations with the department and our members in relation to this campaign.