No. 03/18 28 March 2018 |
Changing the Rules: NAPLAN, school funding, QTU Proud
As the 2018 NAPLAN tests draw nearer, the QTU is seeking information from members about the impact of NAPLAN in their classroom and schools and how they view the test. Click here to complete the survey. It should take around 5 minutes.
A comprehensive response to the survey will help the QTU to tell the story of Queensland teachers and school leaders as we continue to advocate for a review of the testing regime at the federal level. The Queensland Minister for Education, Grace Grace, has announced that she is going to consult with QTU members about the impact of departmental, regional and school policies and related activities regarding NAPLAN.
QTU members voted in large numbers to make their views heard in the ballot late last year, which led to our action banning NAPLAN Online. The QTU survey offers another important opportunity to voice your opinion regarding various aspects of NAPLAN. The survey is now open and will close in late April.
Natural disaster relief
QTU members living in and around Townsville, Cairns and other parts of Far North Queensland areas may have suffered significant loss due to severe weather conditions brought on by the effects of Cyclone Nora.
QTU members who have lost possessions due to cyclone damage or water inundation to their principal place of residence can access a relief payment from the QTU Natural Disaster Fund, as long as they were financial members at the time of the natural disaster.
The fund was established, in accordance with QTU policy, to provide some relief and assistance to members affected by natural disasters such as floods, bushfires or cyclones. It is intended to help relieve members' hardship and distress, but it is not a substitute for insurance cover and cannot make good all losses that a member suffers in a natural disaster.
In order to provide some immediate relief, the QTU is making immediate natural disaster relief payments of up to $1,000 to eligible members, with each application being individually assessed prior to payment. Relief will not be provided for damage incurred to vehicles such as cars, caravans or motorbikes, and will also not be available for the repair of fencing, garages, sheds or to repair damage to outside areas, including gardens or paths.
Applications for QTU Natural Disaster Relief can be made via the online form. You can also apply by downloading a copy of the application form and sending it to the QTU, either by email firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject: Natural Disaster Relief), fax (07 3512 9050), or mail (PO Box 1750, Milton BC QLD 4064).
Members who have lost teaching resources at school as a result of the cyclone can apply for compensation from the Department of Education (DoE) under the Resource Replacement Scheme to help replace them. Information on how to access this payment will be available from your school principal. For more information, go to http://ppr.det.qld.gov.au/corp/infrastructure/facilities/Pages/Resource-Replacement-Scheme.aspx.
The principal and school have the authority to approve up to five days discretionary leave (anything in excess of this can only be approved by the Director-General).
A special leave form can be downloaded through OnePortal and the following link.
Fair Funding Now!
On Tuesday 27 March 2018, members and officers of the QTU attended events in Canberra to launch the Fair Funding Now campaign. In the lead up to the next election it is important that federal politicians commit to the needs based funding necessary to level the playing field for students across the country. This funding should not be tied to issues such as the phonics test for six-year olds and principal certification. Instead it should be provided to schools to ensure that all children have access to the best education and the best learning opportunities. It is important that we ensure the Turnbull Government understands that we will not accept his cuts to education nor will we accept him changing the national funding regime in such a way that the gap between schools in low SES communities and more affluent communities is widened.
Go to Fair Funding Now more information about the campaign.
It’s just a sticker!
At the Union Reps Conference on Friday 9 March 2018, the QTU General Secretary reported that given recent decisions of the federal government it has become evident that it is time for us to Change the Rules and the QTU will join with unions across the country to be part of this campaign.
A recent decision of the construction watch dog the ABCC, banned the displaying of Union logo including the Eureka Stockade Flag from federal building sites. In an act of solidarity, the QTU has produced stickers displaying the Eureka flag and distributed them to Union Reps and other members. The Eureka flag is not synonymous with any one Union but instead was flown during the Eureka rebellion and since then has come to represent an act of defiance and adopted by the union movement in a number of campaigns.
The production of the stickers is a symbol that the QTU will stand up and speak out against attacks on our freedom of speech and the right of members to be proud of their union.
Unfortunately, the state opposition leader has determined that one of her first acts of government, if elected, would be to ban union symbols from schools. Once again, the LNP are showing that they want to tell schools what they should do rather than respecting the professional judgement of school leaders and teachers.