TAFE: Annual progression changes secured
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 125 No 7, 2 October 2020, page no.15
In 2019, the QTU’s TAFE EB10 campaign was framed by the three Ps: pay, permanency, and programming. A critical aspect of the pay component was gender employment equity, specifically recognition of the adverse salary impact of part-time employment, which is disproportionately experienced by women.
All parties to the TAFE EB10 negotiations expected the Queensland Government to address this systemic gender bias in the public service. However, the QTU had concerns about the degree to which the policy decisions of the government would flow through to the employees of statutory authorities.
That is why the QTU insisted on the inclusion of clause 9(f), which states: “TAFE Queensland is committed to amending employee entitlements with respect to gender equity in accordance with changes to whole of government policy, where there is no diminution of entitlements. Amendments could include, but are not limited to, parental leave, annual progressions regardless of employment fraction and employment security”.
Since the certification of the TAFE Educators Certified Agreement 2019, the QTU has continued to negotiate with other public service unions and the Office of Industrial Relations to progress gender equity matters. We specifically acknowledge the strong advocacy of QTU Women’s Officer, Penny Spalding, which achieved the following change to clause 8.2(g) from the TAFE Queensland Award 2016. Delete clause 8.2(g) and insert: "Part-time educators are eligible for progression from one step to the next highest step in accordance with the provisions of Clause 12.11."
Continued QTU advocacy for gender employment equity means that all TAFE educators will annually progress to the next step of the salary schedule, regardless of their employment fraction. This is a great outcome from the EB10 campaign, which goes beyond commission procedures and words on a page. The QTU expects this clause to make a significant difference to the income and superannuation of our TAFE members.