The LCC : How sweet it is!
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 125 No 7, 2 October 2020, page no.25
“Consultation is often viewed as a barrier to change rather than a means of achieving positive outcomes for students and members. In reality, however, effective consultation recognises the views of teachers as professionals and can achieve great results.” (Consultation: A QTU Guide)
The QTU Consultation Guide may lament that some view consultation of the type made possible by a local consultative committee as a “dirty word”, but I argue that the tune is changing.
Great results are a reality at Miami State High School. Long time QTU school representatives, including Wendy Pearce and myself, represent our teacher members and, together with school principal, Sue Dalton, we bring an abundance of experience. With almost 100 years of collective service and dedication to public education between the three of us, we are rightly proud of our school’s LCC. We frequently consult on a range of matters that pertain to working conditions and changes in the workplace. Our LLC aims to produce great results for both staff and students.
In the midst of pandemic pandemonium, this LCC met swiftly and frequently to discuss and enact workplace reform in a rapidly changing working and learning environment. With the massive move to online schooling came not only the inevitable technical issues, such as poor internet speed, but also family struggles; day care centres and after school programs had shut down.
As essential workers, teachers battled to do the best they could for their students while juggling their own family and health demands. As Sue said recently: “Everything comes back to our moral purpose, and I can say with confidence that everyone that is on our LCC has moral purpose, is here for the right reason, and wants the best thing for both staff and students.”
With that level of trust, confidence and respect, our forum created workplace reforms enabling staff to conduct their live learning classrooms from home, no longer hindered by slow internet speed. Wendy was not alone in believing that “it was the right thing to do for our staff and students during this time.” Furthermore, this went a long way to assist staff with young families struggling with the before school, after school and day care COVID-19 government restrictions.
Feedback from staff helped us review the flexible work arrangements that were proposed, voted and enacted. It is clear they were a resounding “win win” for all. In “advocating to create the best product and align with the vision" (Dalton), staff productivity remains high and student engagement is maximised.
“Schools, principals and the LCC should always be working hand in hand, because we are working together to create the best for the profession, and that is when you hit the sweet spot.” Indeed, Sue!
How sweet it is.