QTU Members' newsflash No. 15-22, 2 December 2022 | Open PDF
TO: QTU MEMBERS
End of school year for western and remote centres
Today marks the end of the school year for those of you in western and remote locations across Queensland. As you head off on a well-earned break, the QTU encourages you to disconnect and enjoy your holidays. We will attempt to keep you informed of any changes that may impact on you through the QTU website and social media.
This year, our members have continued to do all they can to provide students with the best possible opportunities to learn. Thank you to all of you for your hard work and dedication. We hope you stay safe over these holidays and enjoy a well-deserved break.
EB10 – Certification on the horizon
Now that the agreement has been accepted by employees in the employer ballot, the department will finalise an application to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) for certification by 5 December. The department has stated that back pay will be payable during the pay period ending 25 January 2023, subject to QIRC certification.
Only members employed by the department on the date the agreement is certified will be eligible for back pay. The department does not provide back pay for employees who retire or resign prior to the date of certification. This is standard practice across all government agencies.
Similarly, if an employee retires before the agreement is certified, QSuper (a division of ART) will calculate their superannuation pay-out on the basis of their existing salary, not the new rate in the agreement. Again, this is consistent practice across the superannuation industry.
The QTU – the benefits of belonging
The QTU was established by teachers and school leaders in January 1889, meaning that the QTU has now been the voice of the profession for nearly 133 years. Now as then, the Union’s decision-making bodies, including QTU Executive, State Council and others, are comprised of classroom teachers, heads of program, school leaders and TAFE teachers and tutors.
Recently we have secured a raft of additional wins for our members. Wins like these are only possible through the strength of our 48,000 members, campaigning for improved teaching (and therefore learning) conditions.
- Wins for temporary teachers. In one case, a member was offered permanency but missed the email as it went to the wrong email folder. When it was located, the member accepted the offer of permanency, only to be told by the DoE that she was too late and the offer had been withdrawn. After the QTU lodged a dispute in the QIRC, the Commissioner required DoE to make another offer of permanency to the member.
- Wins for permanent members. When members reported the workload implications of being told to self-record unplanned leave (e.g. sick leave) in MyHR, the QTU secured advice from the department that regions and central office cannot require this change in practice. Such changes can only occur following consultation through the LCC.
- Wins for members acting in higher positions. Using Public Service Directive 13, QTU officers have achieved permanency for 30 guidance officers in the Metropolitan Region. This win will be followed by advocacy for our GO members in other regions.
- Wins for schools with VETiS programs. After continued advocacy from QTU Senior Officers, the department has today confirmed that it is not progressing with any changes to VETiS funding for schools in 2023. We will continue negotiations post Day 8, when more data will be available on the footprint of VETiS courses delivered across Queensland state high schools.
- Wins for members in hospital schools and youth detention centres. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the QTU has continued to advocate with the department and state government to ensure member health, safety, wellbeing and workload are prioritised. Although COVID-19 community restrictions have been eased, some teachers and school leaders hospital schools and youth detention settings are still bound by Queensland Health directions at their workplaces. These requirements include isolating from the workplace for seven days after a positive COVID-19 test.
The QTU asked the department to consider alternative working/leave arrangements for these employees, and an agreement was recently reached which ensures that they will not be financially disadvantaged (through loss of leave entitlements) as a result of the additional restrictions they face.
The department has agreed to enable employees working in these unique working environments to work from home (if appropriate) during their mandatory isolation period, and where this is not possible, to access paid special leave.
Impacted employees should speak to their principal about which arrangement will work in their context, and principals have been advised to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to seek approval for special leave if working from home is not viable.
You and the QTU
The QTU is a union that delivers on its values of being democratic, courageous, member-focused, professional, and united.
This strength in unity will continue to be important in 2023, as we implement clauses from the new certified agreement, support our First Nations members as we campaign for a successful referendum on a Voice to Parliament, continue the campaign to address teacher shortages, improve resourcing to schools and eliminate occupational violence.
We will also ensure the full implementation of the current TAFE certified agreement and commence consultation with our TAFE members in preparation of the development of the claim for TAFE EB11.
But for now, these campaigns can wait while our members take the time to rest and rejuvenate, ready to return in 2023 and continue making a difference to the lives of the students they teach.
On behalf of the QTU, I would like to thank you once again for all the work that you continue to every day for your students and each other.
Authorised by Kate Ruttiman, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street, Milton, QLD, Australia, 4064