Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 125 No 7, 2 October 2020, page no.14
TAFE Executive highlights the big issues
CQU EB log of claims
With the current Central Queensland University VET educators EB due to expire on 30 June 2021, the AEUQ /QTU has commenced the process of developing a log of claims for its replacement. A number of consultation meetings have occurred, both via Zoom and face-to-face. Some trepidation from QTU members surrounds this next round of negotiations, due to the College of Trades' VET educators currently being banded in a single agreement with the higher education sector of CQU. The QTU will work hard with its members in the endeavour to secure parity with our TAFE Queensland counterparts.
Programming and the delivery timetable
These seem to be an ongoing point of inconsistency. They should be developed through a collaborative approach within the team. It is not the responsibility of the manager to complete them and then direct the teacher/tutors to undertake the duties. According to clause 27.1 (a) of the certified agreement, the parties “wish to empower teams to allocate workload in a way that meets the genuine needs of TAFE Queensland, employees, industry, and students,” while clause 27.3 (b) states: “The timetable will be developed through negotiation between the teaching team and the manager to allocate programmed time prior to the commencement of delivery.”
AMEP and SEE
The COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of international borders will profoundly effect the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) and the Skills for English and Employment (SEE) program over coming months. There are around 450 AMEP and SEE educators in TAFE Queensland, many of them QTU members. The QTU is currently working closely with HR on a change plan to see these teachers through this crisis. A successful statewide Zoom meeting was organised to share information and enable members to question HR Corporate directly. Members have reported that they feel reassured and are very thankful for the support of the QTU.
Ordinary hours & discretionary time
The TAFE Queensland payroll system is now showing a 36.25-hour week (72.5-hour fortnight). These ordinary hours of work are broken into 32 hours per week programming as per agreed planners/timetables, and 4.25 hours discretionary time. This is time during which you exercise your professional judgement as to what is important to complete and when. When applying for leave through Aurion, however, you will need to be aware of accounting for the discretionary time within your leave and discussing part day leave applications with your line managers. The system automatically operates on the basis of full days.
In some quarters, there appears to be a lack of negotiation and agreement over reallocation of work. For instance, educators are being requested and/or required to be in meetings or undertake duties during periods of approved non-attendance time (NAT), other than as described in the certified agreement.
Managers need to understand the appropriate use and programming of NAT and the obligations of staff.
Educators should use their discretion of how they utilise NAT, and management should formally communicate this.
Any educator required to attend work during approved periods of NAT should have the NAT reversed and the balance re-credited.
COVID-19 has prompted a move from face-to-face delivery to virtual delivery, which is often referred to as online teaching which is asynchronous in nature (ie learners and teachers do not meet in real time). However, virtual delivery through platforms such as Zoom is actually synchronous, in that learners and teachers interact and share information in real time. As a vocational teacher in domestic and family violence, virtual delivery has opened up a rich diversity of experiences and practices from practitioners in the field. I believe that in the future there will remain options for both face-to-face and virtual delivery to meet the needs of learners.