RAIS rebadged "RoRRS"
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 126 No 8, 12 November 2021, page no.11
This year, the QTU has met regularly with the department to identify ways of improving the RAIS scheme and implement the findings and recommendations of the Remote Incentives Trial Findings Report (2019).
There has been genuine recognition of the service that our school leaders and teachers provide and a desire to compensate them for the increased costs of travel and the unique challenges associated with working in rural and remote locations.
As such, the RAIS scheme was this year rebranded as Recognition of Rural and Remote Service (RoRRS) to better reflect the intent of the program.
The RoRRS Advisory Committee will continue to meet regularly to identify ways of improving the new scheme in line with the department’s commitments.
One key matter that continues to be identified is RoRRS leave. QTU members in the remotest locations have made it clear that they can’t appropriately access this leave, as they cannot be replaced. Members report they either don’t ask, or the leave request is not approved. The intention of the leave is to enable teachers working in rural and remote Queensland to attend to medical or personal business that cannot be conducted in the remote centre. The more isolated the community, the more unlikely it is that the teacher can access the leave. We continue to advocate on our members’ behalf.
A letter of exchange was completed last year, which agreed that the RoRRS scheme would recognise service in the following ways.
- A permanent or temporary teacher in their first 12 months of teaching (a beginning teacher) will be entitled to a one-off payment of $1,000 in the fortnight preceding commencement in a position placed in a transfer rating six or seven remote location.
- A location specific locality allowance.
- A recognition of service allowance acknowledging the teacher's commitment to stay in their chosen location.
- All eligible teachers to be entitled to both a recognition of service payment and a recognition of location travel payment in recognition of their rural or remote service – these payments will now be clearly itemised on their pay slip.
- A recognition of location travel allowance for teachers and their dependant(s) acknowledging the cost associated with travel in and out of their community.
- Teachers located in transfer rating 4 and above schools may be eligible to apply for the Rural and Remote Professional Learning Grant – Master of Education (or other approved Master’s degree)
- Members in the state’s most remote island locations to be provided with an additional flight per annum.
The department has simplified its information and has produced a comprehensive document, outlining the RoRRS scheme in an easily accessible PDF called “Choose your teaching adventure” (https://teach.qld.gov.au/teach-in-qld-state-schools/documents/remote-teaching-booklet.pdf).