15 Nov 2019: Statement on Safety and Respect; Disability Royal Commission; WWAM; Bushfires, smoke haze and meal breaks; and more...
No. 19-19, 15 November 2019 | Download PDF
To QTU Members
The QTU is committed to ensuring that all gatherings convened under its name are free of all forms of harassment, including sexual harassment.
The November meeting of the QTU State Council endorsed a new Statement on Safety and Respect, articulating the way our Union will deliver on this commitment. For our democratic processes to continue to flourish, all members must feel safe to express their views in any QTU forum. Generated following member concerns about behaviour in meetings and online during the debate around enterprise bargaining, the new statement, and the commitment it embodies, has been developed through an extensive consultation process over several months.
The statement will now form part of every meeting agenda for the QTU. The commitment statement will be read immediately following the Acknowledgement of Country at each meeting.
A copy of the Statement on Safety and Respect can be downloaded here.
The first content hearings of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (DRC) were held in Townsville in the week beginning 4 November, addressing education and learning.
The QTU was required to provide a formal statement to the DRC addressing a wide range of issues relating to QTU policy on education for students with disability. This statement will be published on the DRC website in due course. QTU President Kevin Bates was summonsed to appear as a witness during the hearings, as were principals nominated by the Department of Education from several high schools in and around Townsville.
All of the information on the DRC Townsville hearings can be accessed here.
The transcripts of the evidence are available here.
As the second week of WWAM draws to a close, we ask members to consider their health, safety and wellbeing at work. Everybody deserves to be safe at work. This week, why not consider becoming a health and safety representative, ensure that CARAs are in place and that these determine the class sizes for practical subjects, or consider how your classroom/workspace is set up and whether it meets the principles of healthy work design?
Last week’s focus on workload included documentation outlining the workload management principles attached as schedule 6 to the proposed agreement. These principles are developed from the public service principles and are designed to assist in addressing another aspect of work health and safety – that of psychological wellbeing. It is important that when we consider health and safety we look at all aspects of it – physical and psychological – and that we adopt a culture of care in line with the expectations of Work Health and Safety Queensland.
Next week the focus of WWAM will be on “Knowing Your Working Conditions”, to coincide with the certification of the new agreement.
Members in schools affected by the smoke haze are reminded to follow the Workplace Healthy and Safety QLD advice regarding staying indoors to minimise health impacts. Further advice from WHS can be found here.
Members who have experienced loss of property and require financial assistance due to the recent and ongoing natural disaster are encouraged to check the QTU website for further assistance.
If meal break entitlements are affected as a result of students remaining indoors during breaks, QTU members and other school employees should invoke the wet weather/heatwave duty rosters. This will help to ensure there is appropriate management of meal break entitlements.
The QTU has recently sought clarification from the Department of Education regarding the use of gender pronouns in the signature blocks of departmental emails or other communications. The department has established a LGBTIQ+ inclusion section on OnePortal which provides advice and information on matters such as: how to access rainbow lanyards; how to book an LGBTIQ+ awareness session for your workplace; how to establish an ally program and how to change your email block to include gender pronouns or to show your support. Members are encouraged to refer to OnePortal to access further information on these issues.
Friday 15 November is a momentous date for the class of 2019 – the first in prep, the last to do QCS and the last to be awarded an Overall Position (OP) for tertiary entrance. Their hard work and the contributions of teachers, principals, family and community, have combined to deliver a world class education across the length and breadth of Queensland.
While the Year 12 students have every right to be proud of their achievements, they would not have completed their schooling without the hard work and support of their teachers and principals. This year has been a particularly challenging one with the introduction of new senior curriculum and SATE system. The QTU wishes to acknowledge the efforts of all our members and their contribution to this years’ Queensland school leavers.
Expressions of interest are sought for two QTU representatives or honorary officials to be part of a four-person delegation to attend the 2020 Labor Notes Conference (www.labornotes.org) in Chicago.
Dates: 17 – 19 April 2020
Venue: Hyatt Regency O’Hare, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Decisions about participation will be made by the QTU Executive based on the applicant’s history and level of QTU involvement, the benefits to the QTU and the individual of attendance, and QTU policy concerning gender balance in delegations.
Expressions of interest should outline relevant QTU, teaching and other experience and the benefits of attendance; should be no more than 500 words; and be received by the General Secretary no later than the close of business on Friday, 29 November 2019.
The QTU will be responsible for travel, accommodation and incidental costs and will apply to the department for paid leave for the successful applicants to attend the Conference.
Authorised by Kate Ruttiman, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street, Milton, QLD, Australia, 4064