State Council Report: 4 March 2023
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 128 No 2, 31 March 2023, page no. 4
The joint QTU/DoE Certified Agreement Implementation Committee (CAIC) will meet quarterly to monitor the progress of implementation of the agreement. Members will be provided with CAIC updates. Resources will be developed to unpack the wins in EB10 and QTEC training will be updated to include the new elements of the certified agreement.
Conflict of interest concerns
Council discussed the ongoing impact of the department’s Conflict of Interest and Notification of Secondary Employment forms, particularly in terms of volunteering. Members have reported a lack of clarity in the policy, which has not been helped by conflicting advice from some regional office personnel. Council called on the QTU to commence a Stage 3 dispute with the department in relation to the forms, particularly with respect to volunteering in the community.
Comprehensive Review of School Resourcing [CRoSR]
Cindy Freier, principal of Balaclava State School in Cairns, addressed Council about the review of school resourcing. Cindy will be the QTU representative on the CRoSR, set up to review the current resourcing model and processes in response to changing 21st Century educational environments and diverse school contexts and needs. This will include a review of the appropriations that arrive in school bank accounts, often without notification. Clarity is also required on the breadth of school-based roles, including duties, operations, engagement, and updated role descriptions. Cindy will be travelling the state, listening to members, but will be primarily based in the Cairns office.
Delegates endorsed the 2023 QTU Budget, which includes an increase in the QTU officer complement to 25.0 FTE. The growth in member numbers over the years, and the increasing number of legal cases and industrial queries, clearly warrants the employment of a second industrial advocate/legal officer, a position which has been trialled for the past two years. The budget is a conservative and responsible one which will ensure QTU finances are in surplus.
Virtual Education Services Review
Council heard a report on the proposed “virtual academy”, which will potentially offer virtual education services to schools in regional, rural and remote areas that cannot attract subject area specialist teachers. The department will be surveying principals about their needs in relation to such services in April. The QTU has developed a position statement on virtual education services and will be establishing a working group to provide feedback and advice to the Union about the proposals put forward.
Turn to Teaching interns (TTT)
TTT interns have commenced working in state schools, on a 0.5 load alongside their supervising teacher. These interns are still completing their study and will be able to teach additional classes from Term 2, subject to the gradual release indicators. The QTU is seeking clarity from the department in relation to the arrangements for professional experience for these interns. The QTU will be carefully monitoring the roll-out of TTTs.
Council delegates farewelled former QTU Women’s Officer, Penny Spalding, who was Women’s Officer from 2012 until her resignation in December 2022. She has taken up the role of Women’s Officer at the peak union body, the Queensland Council of Unions.
Thanks to the NRL Magic Round’s change of date and the increased costs associated with accommodation, Council ratified that May Council will be held on Saturday 13 May.
Nominations for Life Membership were called, with applications due by 17 April. The QTU Awards committee will consider the nominations and determine who will receive the honour at the QTU’s Biennial Conference at Brisbane City Hall on 26-28 June.