No. 14-19, 6 August 2019 | DOWNLOAD PDF
To QTU Members
6 Aug 2019: QTU members in schools support EB9 offer
Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU) members in schools have voted convincingly to accept the government’s EB9 offer.
The final response to the ballot question “Are you in favour of accepting the government’s EB9 offer of 28 June 2019?” was:
81 per cent
19 per cent
This vote involved 74.7 per cent of all eligible financial members. The “yes” vote represents 60.5 per cent of all eligible financial members.
On the basis of the results, The QTU Executive decided at its meeting on Monday 5 August to:
- authorise Senior Officers to formally accept the government’s offer of 28 June
- authorise the QTU negotiation team to proceed, in conjunction with the Department of Education, to convert the offer into a certified agreement for consideration by members in the employer ballot required by the Industrial Relations Act
- subject to the satisfactory drafting of the new agreement, recommend to members that they vote in favour of accepting the new agreement in the employer ballot.
Next steps for the QTU
The QTU has already written to the Director-General of the Department of Education seeking:
- the urgent formation of the Workload Advisory Council (WAC)
- the prioritisation of workload issues arising from the new QCE (SATE) and ongoing issues for instrumental music teachers and instructors as the first items of business of the Workload Advisory Council.
- In response, the department has committed to:
- the establishment of the WAC immediately following certification of the new agreement by the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission
- the WAC considering the workload concerns of instrumental music teachers and instructors and those associated with the implementation of the secondary assessment and tertiary entrance (SATE) system as a first order of business.
The QTU will now proceed to determine the process of election for our representatives to the Workload Advisory Council and prepare the issues and evidence to support the consideration of workload in the first two priority issues.
The drafting of the new agreement will also include the finalisation of transition arrangements for the new classification structure for promotional positions. These arrangements will include:
- grandparenting of salaries for some positions
- remuneration levels for non-allocative model roles in schools (e.g. roles created by schools through workplace reforms or Investing for Success funds)
- annual classification review processes for school leaders and HOSES.
The QTU will also begin the process of preparing materials to support Union Representatives and school leaders in the implementation of the provisions of the new agreement, subject to its final approval and certification.
Department of Education (DoE) ballot
The department, as the employer, is also required by law to conduct a ballot of employees to be covered by the agreement as part of the process of certification. The process for the conduct of the employer ballot will most likely reflect past practice, and all employees covered by the new agreement will be balloted via secure email link. Details of the department process will be published once determined.
After the department ballot has been completed (and if the vote is in favour of the agreement), a signed agreement will be lodged with the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission for certification. The agreement only comes into effect upon certification. At that time, the QTU will provide further advice about when members can expect to have their salaries adjusted, receive back pay to 1 July 2019, and receive the one-off $1,250 payment for Stream 1 teachers.
Members who resign or retire
DoE does not provide back pay for members who retire or resign prior to the date of certification of the new agreement. This is standard practice across all government agencies. Similarly, if a member retires prior to the agreement being certified, QSuper will calculate the superannuation payout based on the salary before the new rate in the agreement. Again, this is consistent practice across the superannuation industry.
Please be aware of this if you are considering resignation or retirement.
TAFE Queensland EB10
QTU TAFE Division members employed by TAFE Queensland stopped work for two hours on Tuesday 30 July in their ongoing campaign for a new enterprise bargaining agreement.
A first formal offer, tabled by TAFE Queensland on 26 July, was rejected by TAFE Executive and the subsequent stop work meeting. While progress has been made in negotiations on programming and entitlements for education team leaders and higher education positions, the key areas of pay, permanency and measures to address gender employment inequity have been stymied by government wages policy and vocational education and training funding policy. As such, the package as a whole failed to meet members’ expectations.
While negotiations continue, QTU TAFE Division members employed by TAFE Queensland are being balloted on a 24-hour stoppage to occur before the end of August, should the remaining key elements of the claim not be achieved.
Preparing for the Workload Advisory Council
Now that the offer has been accepted and the Workload Advisory Council can be introduced, it’s time to support members in preparing submissions for the Council to consider.
To this end, the QTU Executive has determined that this should be the key activity in August, with WWAM in November providing another opportunity for members to take action to effect workload.
August will provide members with the opportunity to identify the issues that are impacting on their workload. There is no silver bullet around workload, so we need to identify what is causing the workload issues in schools and provide a framework for members to prepare submissions for the Workload Advisory Council.
To do this, members are being asked to undertake a workload audit in their schools (resources to support this are available on the QTU website and will be used in branch meetings and Area Council meetings in August).
Exploring the issues with workload
We also need to do more than identify the issue, we need to understand how the issue is contributing to workload. We need to bring intentionality to the discussion.
We are very quick to say, for example, “Got an issue with data? Well the solution is a data plan. Do you have one in place? Do you review the data plan? Is it adhered to?”
We should be asking “What is it about data? Is it that there is too much? Is it that it looks like we collect it for the sake of having data? While data is valuable, do you find that after you’ve met and discussed student progress, you are left with more work to do on short time frames?” etc.
To really unpack the issues with workload, we can use an inquiry method of communication, being intentional in what we are asking and hearing, rather than being solutions-focused. This will allow us to best understand how these issues contribute to the workload of members and work to identify how these factors may be addressed. Members can then identify what can be done to address the issue at the workplace and what needs to be addressed at the systems level.
When we understand the cause of the workload, we can work to address it, which means that some of the measures that already exist may need to be modified or updated so that they can effect a real change to workload and impact positively in our work lives.
This approach was taken during the recent QTU Conference, in the break-out group that discussed the impact of the new SATE system on secondary and P-12 schools. The QTU has already commenced progressing these issues with the department.
Australian Teacher Workforce Data (ATWD)
The ATWD National Initial Teacher Education and Teacher Workforce Characteristics Report looks at employment rates, graduate outcomes and perceptions, early career/induction experiences and those planning to leave the profession. The ATWD survey will be distributed by AITSL on 30 August. Due to concerns with privacy and the absence of practicing teachers and school leaders on the ATWD oversight and AITSL boards, QTU members are encouraged not to participate in this voluntary survey.
Last chance to register for the Professional Issues Conference on 23 August, with registrations closing on Friday 9 August 2019.: [Event cancelled]
Authorised by Kate Ruttiman, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street, Milton, QLD, Australia, 4064