Members' Newsflash No. 25-18, 14 December 2018 | DOWNLOAD PDF
To QTU Members
13 December 2018: End of 2018 wrap-up
As Severe Tropical Cyclone Owen bears down on the Queensland coast our thoughts are with our members and communities across the Cape and Gulf that may be impacted by the event. Check the QTU and department websites for information on the weather event and QTU support if required.
Farewell to QTU Vice-President
The Queensland government has announced that former* QTU Vice-President, Ms Samantha Pidgeon, has been appointed to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) and will commence duty in this new role on 17 December 2018.
Ms Pidgeon has been a QTU member, activist, honorary official and Senior Officer for more than 20 years. She has made a major contribution to the success of the QTU over that time, most recently leading the QTU response to Highly Accomplished Teacher and Lead Teacher certification, changes to Senior Assessment and Tertiary Entrance, and the negotiation of the NAPLAN joint statement. She has our sincere thanks for that. Ms Pidgeon is also the first QTU member or officer to ever be appointed to the QIRC in our almost 130 years.
As a consequence of this appointment, the position of Vice-President is now vacant. The QTU rules provide a process for dealing with such vacancies and the QTU will now apply to the Industrial Registrar for approval for an election to be held for the vacant position sometime in the new year.
In the interim, internal arrangements will be made to carry on the body of work performed by the Vice-President until a full election can be completed. Check back to the QTU website for more information.
*Ms Pidgeon resigned from her position as Vice-President effective 12 December 2018.
IPS Evaluation outcomes
The work of the Independent Public Schools Strategic Directions Steering Committee (the Steering Committee) has concluded for 2018. The focus of the initial meetings has been the implementation of the recommendations of the Evaluation of IPS Initiative Report relating to implementing the outcomes of the review of the department’s human resources systems. A copy of the Evaluation report can be viewed here.
The QTU has been informed that the recommendations of the Steering Committee regarding a trial of revised teacher transfer and promotional position relocation processes will be implemented from the commencement of the 2019 school year.
Key features of the trials will include:
- Human resources systems will apply to all schools and all schools will comply with the same set of processes for transfers and relocation
- A new set of principles will guide the department’s human resource practices and provide a focus for decisions made to support individual employees, schools and the organisation as a whole
- Measures to improve transfer experiences for teachers in remote locations
- Measures to improve relocation experiences for teachers in promotional positions
- Prioritisation of support for teachers who have been unsuccessful in the 2018 transfer round and teachers in promotional positions who have been waiting for relocation for 12 months or more
Detailed information on the changes is being prepared by both the QTU and the department for distribution at the beginning of 2019.
If the changes are implemented as expected, there will be no need for action by the 460 schools that agreed to take industrial action in the absence of change. However, the QTU and the Steering Committee will be closely monitoring the changes and will act swiftly to amend the trials if they are not delivering improvements as expected.
The Queensland Review of NAPLAN has been completed and provided to the Minister. The QTU, having called for the review in the first place, will be active in providing advice to the state government, that has been informed by our 46,000 members, about the outcomes, and subsequent agreed recommendations, during 2019. In the meantime, a number of other major improvements have been achieved:
- Robo-marking of writing tasks has been abandoned;
- The federal Labor party has announced a national review of NAPLAN if elected; and
- A Joint Statement has been successfully negotiated with the Department of Education and implementation is being closely monitored.
At the end of the school year, two matters remain outstanding:
- Action on the commitment to address the findings of the Queensland NAPLAN review; and
- An assurance that no school will be disadvantaged by moving to NAPLAN online.
These outstanding matters mean that the QTU has no option but to maintain the ban on NAPLAN Online for 2019 subject to a further decision early in the new year.
Schools that have opted to be involved in the trial of NAPLAN online in 2019 may continue to undertake time sensitive activities required to ensure that schools will be ready. However, all schools should be aware that the ban on NAPLAN online may remain for 2019 and/or the state government may withdraw schools from further participation in NAPLAN online in response to unresolved concerns about the online test platform and its comparability with the paper version of the test.
Finally, it is important to reiterate the QTU’s position on online or computer-based testing. The QTU does not oppose these forms of testing. If NAPLAN is to continue to exist there may be advantages to moving the test online, but only if no school is disadvantaged.
The year ahead
2019 will be another bumper year for education and the QTU as we continue to win with members. In addition to the regular work of supporting teachers and principals, a few of the major projects include:
- EB9 in schools including the achievement of our three priorities: fair salary increases for all; the finalisation of the promotional positions classification review; action on teacher and principal workload; measures to address gender pay equity
- EB10 in TAFE Queensland where our priorities are: fair salary increases for all; workload management; effective consultation; reforms to programming; measures to address gender pay equity issues
- School funding and TAFE funding as key components of the federal election campaign
- NAPLAN and NAPLAN online – implementation of the agreed recommendations of the Queensland review of NAPLAN and continue the campaign for a national review of NAPLAN
- IPS changes – the evaluation of IPS recommends a new model of school autonomy be developed and the Steering Committee is committed to ten monthly meetings over 2019 to undertake this work
- The QTU will celebrate our 130th anniversary
Thanks for another great year
As we approach our 130th anniversary:
- We have never been larger, 46,000+ members and growing year on year
- We continue to grow stronger with proven industrial and professional credentials. We have taken action on student behaviour and occupational violence, to change NAPLAN, IPS and in support of women’s reproductive rights and girl’s uniform choice. We took industrial action in support of refugees. We are campaigning on workload and wellbeing in schools and TAFE, especially the need for climate control in Queensland classrooms
- We continue to win with members – a new career path for classroom teachers with the finalisation of the certification process for Highly Accomplished Teacher and Lead Teacher with accompanying salaries; we won a dispute over higher duties; the commencement of major works to improve teacher accommodation.
Sincere thanks for all that you do to support the education of Queensland children and the work of your union. Best wishes for the festive season, a safe and healthy holiday and a great new year.
Threats from the federal government to withhold school funding from “non-signatory states” have seen the Queensland Government sign up to a school funding agreement – state and federal contributions to school funding up until 2023 are believed to be outlined in the funding agreement the Queensland state government has signed with the Morrison government. Initial reports suggest that Queensland will be stuck at 89.26 percent of the schooling resource standard (69.26 percent from the state government and 20 percent from the federal government) up until 2023.
A technical briefing on the funding deal will be provided later today and advice for schools will be available early in the new year. Our #FairfundingNow campaign is now even more crucial in the upcoming federal election.
Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union