No. 28-20, 24 June 2020 | DOWNLOAD PDF
To QTU Members
24 June 2020: Latest for QTU members
The Workload Advisory Council (WAC) is now collecting information about what is causing workload pressures and seeking recommendations for workload reduction initiatives. This first round of submissions opened on Monday 22 June and will close in Week 6 of Term 3.
The WAC submissions are an opportunity for all QTU members, branches, Area Councils, special interest groups and other formal and informal organisations of QTU members to describe workload pressures and, crucially, to recommend workload reduction initiatives. Submissions could relate to data, OneSchool, planning and preparation including individual curriculum plans, email overload, or many other issues that we know adversely impact on workload and work-life balance.
The QTU has prepared resources to support members to make a submission to the WAC. The QTU guide to making a WAC submission can be downloaded from our website at https://www.qtu.asn.au/workload-advisory-council. For further information on the QTU’s work with the WAC, members can contact QTAD on 1300 11 7823 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make a submission to the WAC, click here and you will be redirected to the Department of Education’s website.
As reported in the QTU Newsflash on 8 June, the revised experienced senior teacher (EST) process has now been finalised, and eligible employees can once again apply for the classification.
When can I apply for the experienced senior teacher classification?
Eligible employees can apply for EST classification from the date they become eligible, or within the school term in which they will become eligible. EST applications can now be submitted throughout the year, rather than during a specific period.
To apply, eligible employees will need to complete the application form and attach a copy of their most recent annual performance review. The application process and relevant forms are outlined on the updated EST OnePortal page.
2020 transitional arrangements
Employees who became eligible prior to the launch of the EST process for 2020 and who apply in the 2020 calendar year will have their EST classification backdated (dependent on a successful outcome) to the date of eligibility (but not before 1 July 2019).
For more information, visit the QTU website https://www.qtu.asn.au/est.
The EST 2 classification will be available from 2022. This classification will be a second pay point from 1 January 2022, which will be accessible after three years’ satisfactory service at EST 1.
New senior teacher process
The QTU has been working with the department to finalise the new process for the senior teacher classification. The new process will be rolled out for eligible teachers from Term 3, with a single form being used to complete the senior teacher undertaking and personal action plan.
When can I apply for the senior teacher classification?
Teachers who have been identified as eligible for senior teacher earlier this year should have applied following the instructions in the eligibility email. Teachers who did not apply will be identified again in the next round, using the new process, emails for which will be sent to eligible teachers at the commencement of Term 3. In the interim, teachers will need to complete the senior teacher undertaking and personal action plan document only. This single form will be used in the 2020 interim process and going forward, as per cl.184.108.40.206 of the certified agreement: “A single form will be used to incorporate the senior teacher undertaking and personal action plan into the APR.”
Once the form is completed, teachers will need to have it signed by their principal and upload it to MyHR for processing. For 2020 only, it will be assumed that teachers have a recently completed APR. The APR document does not need to be uploaded to MyHR. From 2021, the APR will incorporate the senior teacher undertaking and personal action plan. Teachers who are due to become eligible in 2021 will be notified by the department in October.
How do I know if I am eligible?
When a teacher becomes eligible, they will receive an email invitation from the department to opt in to the senior teacher process. The department also notifies principals of staff in their school who are eligible. In implementing the 2019 certified agreement, teachers will receive their notice of eligibility in the year prior. This will commence with notification of teachers in 2020 who fall eligible in 2021. For enquiries related to your eligibility, contact the Teacher Classification Team on email@example.com.
One of the big wins the QTU secured in the new certified agreement was a reduction in eligible service required for temporary to permanent (T2P) conversion, from three years down to two.
Despite QTU advocacy, there have been significant delays in implementing this provision, while the Department of Education finalises the documents informing the process.
DoE has indicated that invitations to teachers who are now eligible for conversion will be sent early next term – at the end of Week 1.
The Union is aware that teachers enquiring about their eligibility directly to central office are receiving an automated response indicating eligibility cannot be confirmed at this stage. We have written to DoE seeking a prompt resolution; however DoE maintains it cannot confirm eligibility until the documents are finalised. For further information regarding eligibility requirements, please click here for the QTU advice brochure on the T2P process.
T2P eligible teachers without ongoing work
If you are a temporary teacher who is expecting an invitation and you have not been offered ongoing temporary employment for next term, please contact regional HR as a matter of urgency. Central office advises that it “will continue to work with our regional colleagues to ensure that all teachers who are deemed eligible continue to be offered employment in the coming semester”.
If regional HR is unable to provide an ongoing offer, please contact your QTU Organiser so we can advocate for you.
The basis of our QTU advocacy is that once a teacher has accepted a T2P invitation, DoE has an obligation to offer ongoing temporary employment until an offer of permanency is made. Invitations have been delayed by DoE. The QTU asserts that DoE cannot then use the delay it has caused to then avoid its responsibility to offer ongoing employment to teachers who are currently eligible for conversion and may have been for some time. These teachers would, but for the department’s delay, have already received an invitation and opted into the process and therefore been receiving offers of ongoing temporary employment. The Union is here to support members in this situation, so please contact your Organiser if regional HR is unable to assist.
The Department of Education released revised Operating Guidelines on Friday last week. These guidelines will be effective from the start of Term 3 and will be adjusted in line with the road map.
Key features of the guidelines.
- Resumption of student assemblies, catering for the social distancing requirements of adults (students over the age of 18 are considered students and not adults for this purpose).
- The ability to conduct meetings face to face, provided they adhere to social distancing and provide a video/teleconferencing opportunity.
- Guidelines for IM and practical subjects.
- Ongoing advice regarding vulnerable workers and support for students required to learn from home for medical reasons.
- Information about the student assessment and reporting processes for Semester 1.
- Excursions, camps, school sports, formals and graduations can proceed with businesses with COVID-safe plans and OEECs. OEECs with residential facilities need to comply with the health restrictions of boarding schools.
- The specialised health procedures from the special school guidelines are now included in the operating guidelines, resulting in one document for all settings.
- Playgroups and ECDPs can operate with the relevant safety requirements.
- Continued restrictions of attendance and gatherings of non-essential adults on and around the school grounds.
- Expectations that external providers who utilise the school facilities will have COVID-safe plans.
The operating guidelines also include links to guidelines for the conduct of instrumental music programs, resuming school sport and cleaning for practical subjects.
Travel over the school holidays
Members are reminded that the current road map allows travel across Queensland over the school holidays. Members in bio-security restricted areas should follow the CHO direction in relation to safe travel zones and return to their residences in these locations.
The department has advised that members who decide to travel to a hot spot, such as locations in Melbourne, will be required to comply with the health directions in relation to self-quarantine. Where previously the department has funded the quarantine requirements, given the current travel restrictions, if members choose to travel to these hot spots, they will be required to access the relevant leave and fund their own quarantine.
More information can be found on the department website.
Had it not been for the COVID-19 crisis causing Education Ministers across the nation to rush to abandon NAPLAN in 2020, the QTU would very likely have banned it in any event. The ballot of members conducted immediately prior to the COVID-19 crisis certainly supported that action.
The future of NAPLAN is not yet decided. The cross-jurisdictional review, involving Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory, was due to hand down its report on the future of NAPLAN at the end of June. This report is now scheduled to be considered by the Education Ministerial Council in September. It is not clear what this review will find or what recommendations it will make that might make a real difference in relieving schools of the workload burden of NAPLAN and eliminate the high stakes nature of the tests.
The June meeting of the Education Council determined that full implementation of NAPLAN Online would not occur in 2021, and Queensland continues to argue that until we have at least one clear year of implementation without glitches, full implementation should not proceed. That is welcome news, but not the final answer we need on NAPLAN.
QTU members will be asked once again to make a decision on action on NAPLAN prior to the end of the 2020 school year to provide certainty around NAPLAN in 2021. The outcomes of the review, other decisions of the Education Council and developments such as an independent report from the Gonski Institute on national testing, may all inform the debate and decision-making. However, as a workload issue, QTU members may be asked to consider action on NAPLAN even before these developments become public. Further updates will be provided in the coming weeks.
The QTU understands the employment and financial uncertainty that supply teachers have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that these challenges are largely unique to our supply teacher members. Your Union appreciates the ongoing angst experienced by supply teachers.
The QTU continues to campaign at the highest levels of the department for supply teachers, in seeking compensation for loss of work for Weeks 1-5 of Term 2. This advocacy is occurring in a complex space, but we continue to persevere. Ultimately, we are dealing with the decisions of government and the employer.
As outlined to members, Senior Officers of the QTU formally wrote to the Department of Education’s Director-General (DG) seeking a response in relation to the compensation for supply teachers who were disadvantaged during Weeks 1-5 of Term 2, as a consequence of COVID-19. The DG has provided a response to the QTU which outlines the department’s position. This position is provided in detail in the supply teacher update being sent to members shortly.
Overall, the Director General has advised that the department appreciates the QTU’s position and recognises the challenges faced by supply teachers. The department has indicated that a range of factors will need to be analysed in coming weeks in considering additional payments to casual teachers. While an immediate answer would be favourable, the QTU is of the view that the department conducting a full analysis will be in the best interests of a fulsome and definitive outcome for supply teachers.
Authorised by Kate Ruttiman, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street, Milton, QLD, Australia, 4064