QTU Policy updated
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 126 No 7, 8 October 2021, page no.8
Union Reps and QTU nominees on promotion selection panels will have to have continuity in QTU membership, involvement in QTU activities and structures, and support for QTU members’ working conditions and directives, under new policy adopted by delegates at August State Council.
These amendments to policy, which were sent in by branch members and committee members, would normally have been considered at the Union’s Biennial Conference, but this was forced to close early as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown in Brisbane and other LGAs.
With COVID uncertainty ongoing, for the first time in QTU history, Executive and Senior Officers determined to hold the August State Council meeting online, using the Zoom platform. Delegates and proxies were able to vote during debate using the polling function and ballots were conducted via the QTU’s online voting portal.
A summary of the other significant amendments to QTU Structures, Procedures and Services policy adopted by Council delegates is provided below.
All meetings held in the QTU’s name will now include the acknowledgment of Traditional Owners and the QTU’s Statement of Safety and Respect.
There must be all-abilities access to QTU meetings, events and training.
Considerations include, but are not limited to, the physical layout of venues (ensuring that they are accessible for all members, e.g. ramps/lifts), the provision of facilities for members who are deaf or hard of hearing, and the provision of accessible handouts/presentations for members with reduced vision.
Members should make the QTU aware of their individual needs before meetings, to make sure that these reasonable adjustments can occur.
Members at branch or Area Council meetings who wish to submit motions will no longer be required to obtain the physical signatures of two office-holders. Signatures will now be accepted in digital form, or via an emailed written acknowledgement (sent in to email@example.com) confirming the motion. However, motions have to be accompanied by supporting arguments and should include the name of the mover and seconder. It should be noted that the President cannot move a motion unless they vacate the chair, and this should be noted in the minutes of the meeting.
Changes to the membership of the QTU Education Leaders Committee and Gandu Jarjum, the QTU's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education committee, were adopted. These will be effective immediately and apply to vacancies that arise on the committee during the current term.
To ensure that a QTU standing committee can fulfill its principal functions, future committee members will have to be practising teachers and/or school leaders, with the exception of members who take leave from positions to work as acting officers of the QTU.
Standing committee members who take leave from the Department of Education/TAFE/CQU, for a period of more than 12 months, or are seconded to other positions within these organisations, are no longer eligible to be members of a standing committee. However, if a committee member is on extended leave for family responsibility purposes or other matters identified under the Anti-Discrimination Act, the General Secretary may provide an exemption from this requirement upon application.
Legal assistance will now be provided to financial members of the Queensland Teachers’ Union while they are undertaking supply teaching days in the private sector. Likewise, a reciprocal arrangement shall apply to those financial members of the Queensland Independent Education Union – Queensland and Northern Territory Branch who are engaged at a government school in a supply teaching capacity only.
This arrangement applies to teachers working supply days only. If a teacher is engaged in a contract or permanent capacity in either sector, they must be a financial member of the relevant teacher union (QTU or QIEU-QNT) to access legal assistance.
Thank you to those QTU members who sent in policy amendments for consideration, particularly those who are active on QTU standing committees and QTU Executive. All QTU Policy booklets have been updated and will soon be available on the QTU website.
The Union uses this policy as the basis for negotiation and development of our position regarding emerging educational, professional and industrial matters.
Members can access the QTU policy booklets by logging in to the member-only section of the QTU website.