Turning challenges into opportunities
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 123 No 4, 5 June 2020, page no. 12
One of the biggest challenges members have faced this year in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis and the move to remote learning was the inability to meet face to face.
This challenge also impacted upon the QTU’s democratic structures, with branch and Area Council meetings moving to video or teleconference and the cancelling of QTU State Council in May. But this also represented an enormous opportunity, with many members who had never been able to get to a meeting before getting the chance to engage in Zoom branch meetings.
As we begin to look forward to the further lifting of restrictions, the way we communicate and the way we meet is something many of us will be thinking about. The QTU will be reviewing our meeting processes and trialing ongoing online meetings of members using Zoom and Microsoft Teams. We will also be trialling some meetings during Term 3 at which members will be able to meet both face to face and online at the same time. If this is successful, it will open up opportunities for members who are geographically isolated and those that have other commitments that prevent them from attending in person to hook into their local meeting. This is a continuation of the work we have been doing by conducting all meetings of QTU Executive both face to face and on Zoom, ensuring that the elected members of Executive can take part from any part of the state.
Our team of Regional Organisers is investigating new ways to use online platforms to engage with Workplace Representatives and support members with individual and collective issues.
Until the restrictions on face to face meetings are lifted, we will also be looking at the delivery online of training for QTU Reps across the state. This could include interactive sessions and some self-paced modules. These will not replace traditional face to face training, but, if successful, will provide additional opportunities for members to get the training they need.
This has been a challenging time but some of the flexibility members and the QTU have shown during 2020 will lead to enhancing member experiences in the future. Keep an eye out for your next branch meeting notice and advertised Union Rep training during Term 3, as these may be your first opportunity to engage in a meeting and receive training using a remote platform.