EB10: What’s happening and where to from here?
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 127 No 1, 11 February 2022, page no.9
On Friday 27 January, EB10 negotiation talks resumed after a break for the summer holidays.
QTU General Secretary Kate Ruttiman sent a letter to Cameron Dick, Queensland State Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment:
- outlining the QTU’s wish to commence formal negotiations
- requesting regular and formal meetings to be scheduled for the duration of the bargaining period
- explaining our interest-based bargaining model
- outlining our eight areas of “interest” (see below).
A letter was also written to Michael De’Ath, Director-General of the Department of Education, outlining good faith bargaining guidelines.
So, what is EB, and how does it work?
Enterprise bargaining (EB) is the process of negotiating a new agreement relating to the salaries and working conditions of members.
The outcome of these negotiations between the Union and the department forms the basis of a certified agreement, which legally secures your conditions.
To work toward achieving improvements to salaries and conditions, the Union develops an EB claim, or log of claims, in consultation with members.
This time round, the QTU is adopting an interest-based approach to EB bargaining, under which:
- parties collaborate to find a “win-win” solution, rather than an oppositional “win or lose” position
- the focus is on developing a mutually beneficial agreement based on a set of “interests”
- it is acknowledged that there are multiple ways to achieve wins on member priorities.
What are our “interests”?
On 9 November, QTU State Council endorsed the final log of claims for EB10 negotiations. This is the foundation of the “interests’ which the QTU will use in talks with the Department of Education.
There are eight areas of "interest". These are:
- recognition of complex school environments and 21st century schooling through a review and enhancement of the resourcing and allocative methodology in schools
- salaries placing QTU members among the highest paid teachers and school leaders in Australia
- recognition of additional duties and hours worked outside rostered duty time
- improvement of working conditions, including class sizes, to mitigate workplace health and safety risks and the complexities of inclusive education and 21st century schooling
- provision of intentional collaboration and strategic planning time in schools.
- recognition of the complexity of delivering remote and rural education, through enhanced incentives and resourcing for professional development and learning
- provision of security and certainty in employment through prioritising permanent employees for vacancies across the state
- addressing of employment inequities across the system.
Given the uncertainty presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional area meetings were replaced as a way of gaining feedback on the endorsed log of claims by a member survey, which was forwarded to members on Wednesday 20 November and closed on Wednesday 27 November.
2,090 QTU members responded to the survey, representing higher level of member involvement in this stage of the claim development than in the previous area meetings. All elements of the EB claim were overwhelmingly supported.
Where to from here…
The log of claims will form the basis of negotiations at the single bargaining unit (SBU).
The SBU is made up of officers from both the Department of Education and the QTU. The QTU is usually represented at the SBU by a Senior Officer and the QTU’s Industrial Officers.
Regular reports about the progress of negotiations are provided to the QTU Executive and State Council.
QTU Executive and members of the SBU also use the log of claims to assess the progress of negotiations when considering what (if any) action members need to take in support of the claim.
But I’m not on the QTU Executive or State Council?
Watch out for information about meetings being organised in your region. Facilitators will be addressing interest-based bargaining, as well as the eight “interests” contained within our EB10 log of claims.