Regulation changes are good news for TAFE members
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 127 No 1, 11 February 2022, page no.4
The Queensland Government is proposing to recognise TAFE Queensland as a public service office for the purpose of applying proposed reforms to the Public Service Regulation 2018.
The QTU has welcomed the move, as the Newman state government’s decision to remove operational control of TAFE from the Department of Training continues to adversely impact on the working conditions of TAFE educators.
Since 2015, the Queensland Government has been attempting to restore frontline services and the working conditions of Queensland’s public servants. However, the benefits of those measures have not been equally shared by TAFE employees and other public servants employed by government-owned corporations, including TAFE.
Measures like the Queensland Public Service Directive 08/20, for example, which guarantees temporary to permanent conversion, do not equally apply in TAFE Queensland.
The QTU position, adopted at our 2021 Conference, in essence calls for legislative change in the governance of TAFE Queensland, because legislative change will help restore fairness.
Throughout 2021, the QTU and other public sector unions were engaged in negotiations with the Queensland Government to extend the benefits of public service directives across government-owned corporations. The QTU has specifically raised the employment practices of TAFE Queensland, which deny educators temporary to permanent conversion on operational grounds.
At the end of the year, our negotiations achieved a breakthrough when the Queensland Government proposed to amend the regulation and recognise government-owned corporations as public service offices.This will enable TAFE educators to benefit from the public service directives.
The details will be the subject of continued consultation between the QTU and TAFE Queensland in the first quarter of 2022. Senior Officers of the QTU have consulted with Minister Di Farmer and her staff, and the QTU has exchanged correspondence with TAFE’s Chief Executive Officer.