Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 127 No 7, 30 September 2022, page no. 11
Workload reduction has long been and remains a QTU priority. The Union has been instrumental in achieving workload wins with the Department of Education, including a number of important breakthroughs with regard to the Principles of Good Workload Management, memorandums of agreement (MoAs) and a range of joint statements. We have made important steps forward, but much remains to be accomplished.
As a result of EB10, the department has committed to a review of the duties associated with all teaching and school leadership roles within a school, as part of the forthcoming review of allocative methodology. We cannot address workload and wellbeing if we do not remove the things we do that are additional to our roles.
Clarity about what the core duties of planning, teaching, assessing, reporting and developing look like for teachers, heads of program and school leaders will help ensure that resourcing is directed to these things, and will mean that we are no longer expecting the profession to do more with the same levels of resourcing. While there has previously been some adjustment to the allocative methodology to accommodate changes, this is the first review of its kind in more than 30 years.
Mapping exactly what teachers and school leaders are currently required to do is a crucial early step in the review of duties and responsibilities and the consequent identification of the workload creep that has occurred in recent years. Without that detailed mapping, it is impossible to establish what workload can be reasonably and permanently removed. The terms of the review will be communicated to members when drafting is finalised and EB10 certified.
There is no single solution to increasing workload. The review of the allocative methodology has the power to bring about great change, but in the meantime, there are other strategies you can use now to reduce workload in your context.
The QTU has reviewed, repacked, and refreshed its many workload reduction resources to help members address workload issues in individual school contexts. Further information can be found at https://www.qtu.asn.au/workload-reduction
There are numerous other tools available to help members reduce workload now.
- The LCC (local consultative committee) is a representative group of management and union nominees, established to provide a forum for discussion of work-related issues. The LCC should be the key consultative body responsible for effective change management within the school.
- Joint statements have been developed in response to a number of workload issues. They provide clarity of purpose and ensure all employees have guidelines to follow to ensure that workload is not increased.
- Memorandums of agreement (MoAs) are developed by the QTU and the department through a process of consultation when there is a gap or a need to transition in current industrial instruments that impacts sections of QTU membership.
- Schedule 6, Principles of Good Workload Management was established by the 2019 State School Teachers’ Certified Agreement. The 10 principles now contain a new section, stating: “The department is committed to providing effective work practices that support wellbeing, work-life balance and a safe work environment. As far as practicable, the work of an individual teacher is not to be unreasonable or excessive.”
If you need assistance reducing the workload in your context – reach out, contact your local Organiser, or call QTAD. Workload is everyone’s business and together, with the variety of tools and strategies available, we can make a difference now!