QTU Members' Newsflash no.21-19, 5 December 2019 | download pdf

In this issue: 2019 Wrap-up | Temporary to permanent conversion | QTU Strategic Plan | Statement of Safety and RespectThe year ahead | End of school year farewell | Preservice teacher supervision payment increase

2019 Wrap up

As fires continue to move across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, our thoughts are with our members and communities across the country that may be impacted. Check the QTU and department websites for information on the weather event and contact the QTU if support is required.

This year has been a busy one, with a federal election campaign and the attempt to secure Fair Funding Now! for all schools and two enterprise bargaining campaigns (one in schools and one in TAFE), which resulted in improved working conditions and salaries for members in both sectors.

Since 1 December, the QTU has been celebrating 12 of this year’s achievements via Facebook and Instagram. These achievements included:

  • improvements in salaries for all members, including classification restructures in the TAFE and schools EBs resulting in increases to some members greater than the state government wages policy
  • the first shift in non-contact time (NCT) for primary and special schools in more than 20 years, and the introduction of NCT for beginning teachers as part of the certified agreement
  • the establishment of the Workload Advisory Council to review workload for teachers and school leaders and examine and develop ways in which to reduce it
  • other workload measures, such as the reduction of flexible student free day hours from 15 to 10 hours per year, a delay in the implementation of the Australian Curriculum and an additional day of TRS for senior secondary teachers to assist in the transition to the new senior curriculum, assessment and QCE
  • progress in removing some barriers to gender employment equity, including the establishment of shared parental leave and the annual progression of part-time teachers
  • 2020 as the first year that all Queensland state schools need to provide options of pants for girls as part of their formal uniform
  • improvements for members in rural and remote communities through the Housing Improvement Project, wins within the certified agreement and a potential new RAIS
  • the start of the tri-state review into NAPLAN
  • a round table into occupational violence, held in November this year, and a commitment to further work on eliminating occupational violence in education
  • improved access to permanency in both schools and TAFE.

In addition to these wins, the QTU has opened QuEST, which provides professional development to members across the state.  We have also released our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan, developed new strategic objectives and released a statement of safety and respect.

Temporary to permanent conversion

The new certified agreement reduces the amount of eligible service from three years down to two, which is a great win for early career temporary teachers. However, the QTU is aware that there is a significant number of teachers who have already completed their eligible service and who remain without a permanent position. The QTU has been advocating that DoE converts these members to permanency as a matter of priority.

The department advises that all members who have previously been invited, who remain eligible and who are not yet permanent will be re-invited to opt into the temporary to permanent conversion process. We are aware that these invitations were sent earlier this week, with offers of permanency being made from now and into next year.  

A separate process will address those with two years’ service who are newly eligible. We will communicate more details on how both processes will operate once confirmed with DoE, but the Union is working with the department to ensure job security for members.  

QTU Strategic Plan

The revised strategic plan aligns the Union’s objectives to its mission and values.

The QTU aims to be the most democratic and representative voice of the teaching profession in Queensland on industrial and professional matters, and in support of public education.

In its pursuit of members’ interests, the QTU is professional, courageous, united, democratic and member focused.

The strategic objectives for 2019-2023 are:

  1. A growing, active and engaged membership
  2. To develop positive Union culture and presence in workplaces
  3. To respond proactively to emerging trends in education, industrial issues and member interests
  4. To promote and rebuild the status of the teaching profession
  5. To influence the agenda within the broader union movement and society.

It is this mission, these values and objectives that inform the QTU’s top priorities each year. A full copy of the strategic plan is available on the QTU website.

Statement of Safety and Respect

In addition to the strategic plan, the QTU has recently finalised its Statement of Safety and Respect. This statement informs conduct of members at gatherings and online. The statement of safety and respect will be available at every meeting of the QTU and the following statement will be made immediately after the acknowledgment of the traditional owners: “The QTU is committed to ensuring that all gatherings convened under its name are free of all forms of harassment, including sexual harassment.”

A copy of the Statement of Safety and Respect is available on the QTU website.

The year ahead

The QTU Conference Statement 2019 established the sustained reduction of teacher and principal workload as the QTU’s top priority for 2019-2021.

In addition to this priority, the QTU has adopted a number of other top-level priorities. These include the implementation of the certified agreements in schools and TAFE, the 2020 state election, restoring professional autonomy, occupational violence prevention, SATE implementation, minding super and workplace organisation.

A copy of the 2020 Top Level Priorities can be found on the QTU website. More information on QTU activities in 2020 will be available early next year.

End of school year farewell

Increased workload, numerous campaigns undertaken this year around salaries and conditions, the action taken to address occupational violence, changes to NAPLAN, the EB processes and the federal election have ensured that 2019 has been a very busy year for everyone. The QTU would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the work you do to support the education of Queensland’s children and the work you continue to do with your Union.

We wish you all a safe, happy and restful holiday, and look forward to working with you in 2020.

Preservice teacher supervision payment increase

An interim settlement was agreed with universities on 4 December increasing payments for supervising teachers for practicum placements from $21.05 per day to $30 per day in 2020 and $34 per day in 2021. In light of this the temporary halt to supervisory services, scheduled for the beginning of 2020, will not proceed. Negotiations to finalise this matter will continue in the new year.

 Authorised by Kate Ruttiman, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street, Milton, QLD, Australia, 4064

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