Regional Union Reps Conference
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 126 No 8, 12 November 2021, page no.6
On Friday 22 October, the 2021 QTU Regional Union Reps Conference was held in Cairns, with 80 delegates attending from communities south to Mackay, north to the Torres Strait and west to Mt Isa and Doomadgee.
Since the revival of the concept about four years ago, our regional conferences have continued to grow and engage delegates who normally cannot attend our main Union Reps Conference, held in Brisbane before March State Council each year.
This year’s conference agenda was jam-packed and included:
- unpacking the draft EB10 claim and discussing member engagement strategies for the months in the lead up to negotiations
- a session on the Isaac Isaacs problem solving model from the QTU Industrial Advocate, Thalia Edmonds
- delegates planning and filming tributes to the teachers and colleagues who have inspired them, as part of the #QldTeachersThankU campaign for State Education Week
- the “Every School, Every Child” school funding campaign, the impact on state schools in North and Far North Queensland of not being able to achieve more than 89 per cent of the schooling resource standard, and a lack of capital investment in state schools by the federal government
- the importance of the role of the Union Rep in a modern industrial relations context, and the new Union Rep training curriculum being developed and trialed across the state
- an engaging Teachers and the Law presentation by Rachel Drew from the QTU’s legal firm Holding Redlich, providing insights to help teachers and school leaders avoid the many legal pitfalls they face.
The conference was also held in parallel with a combined Peninsula and North Queensland Area Council meeting, enabling delegates and observers who would not usually have the opportunity to engage in the formal regional democratic structure of the Union.
The feedback from this year’s conference was overwhelmingly positive. The QTU constantly reflects on how these events provide maximum benefit in terms of learning and networking opportunities for Union Reps across the state.