ST, EST and EST 2 for part-time teachers
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 128 No 1, 17 February 2023, page no. 10
I am yet to meet a part-time teacher who works only on the days and times that they are employed. This is why it was important for part-time teachers to have their experience and dedication to the profession recognised and calculated as years of service, rather than an accumulation of days.
In fact, a QTU State Council representative reported that, thanks to her part-time fraction, her pay progression had been surpassed by the same beginning and pre-service teachers that she mentored and supervised. In EB9, the QTU fought to change this reality and won, giving part-time teachers access to annual incremental progressions, rather than having to wait up to five years to be recognised in the same way as their colleagues.
Unfortunately, while the QTU believed that the EB9 changes applied to all part-time teachers, the department did not, and only applied it until Band 3 Step 4. This meant that those seeking to access senior teacher (ST), experienced senior teacher (EST) and experienced senior teacher 2 (EST2) had to accumulate individual days (200 per year) rather than years of service.
This misinterpretation unfairly disadvantaged approximately 12,500 teachers, prompting the QTU to pursue the matter further. Around 18 months later, this successfully culminated in a change in the Teachers Award.
Although this wrong was righted in January 2022, an agreed process was not in place until November 2022, again following significant action taken by the QTU.
The process below is the one-off process for those eligible for ST and EST following the changes to the Teachers' Award. Those teachers who are eligible for EST2 will be recognised through the usual process, and any relevant backpay will occur at that time.
23 November 2022: Email sent to all EQ teachers and principals providing an overview of the process.
28 November 2022: Email sent to school principals seeking a commitment that required elements for ST or EST will be met by the end of Term 1 2023 or Term 3 2023, respectively. Additionally, principals were to identify any teachers currently undergoing a formal managing unsatisfactory performance (MUP) process, as those teachers are not eligible. Notification email sent to teachers informing them of their eligibility for ST or EST and providing opportunity to opt-out, for, those who wish.
16 February 2023: All eligible teachers (not undergoing MUP) for ST and EST to be processed on this date.
8 March 2023: Change in classification to be reflected in this pay cycle as well as the backpay, calculated from 1 January 2022.
31 March 2023: ST applicants will need to complete their personal action plan and undertaking (PAC&U).
15 September 2023: All annual perfomance reviews to be completed.
As with all changed processes, the QTU has been contacted by members with questions. The answers to the most common are below.
I am on leave and cannot complete the required elements for ST/EST before the date. What do I do?
Eligible teachers returning from leave after 31 March (for ST) and 15 March (EST) will have an additional term to complete the necessary requirements. It would be worth discussing this with your school leader and HR upon your return. If you have any problems, please contact the QTU.
I have just transferred to a new school. Will I still be eligible, and what do I do?
You are employed by the department, which means that your eligibility does not change, regardless of your location. If you have just started at a new school, have a conversation with your school leader about ST/EST, and discuss how you can maintain your eligibility in the new setting.
I have been told that there are concerns about my performance. Am I eligible for ST/EST/EST2?
You are ineligible if you are currently under a formal MUP, which involves a formalised plan and meeting. If this does not apply to you, then you cannot be deemed ineligible for ST, EST or EST2, assuming you have completed all other requirements.