QTU Members' newsflash No. 2-23, 31 March 2023 | Open PDF
TO: QTU MEMBERS
Working for Members
As we end Term 1, we thought it important to update members on the work the QTU has been undertaking on their behalf. This year has seen a theme of system change that has significant impacts on schools. The QTU continues to remind the Department of Education (DoE) about the requirement to consult in relation to changes to members conditions and ways of working. Consequently, over the last term the QTU has been involved in discussions with the department in relation to the following matters:
- The implementation of the Equity and Excellence strategy – The QTU does not support the unintended consequences of the roll-out of this strategy, which are having an impact on the workload of teachers, heads of program and school leaders. The Union recently wrote to the Associate Director General outlining our members’ concerns in relation to the continued soft launches of changes and the short time frames associated with implementation of these matters in schools. Specifically, the QTU advised the DoE of the impact on schools of the amended OneSchool behaviour modules and the continued pressure on schools in relation to Student Disciplinary Absences (SDAs). It is the Union’s view that if the department is wanting a collaborative, cross-agency approach to managing student behaviour incidents, they need to provide schools with the appropriate support to achieve this. The QTU has also sought the reintroduction of truancy as a behaviour in the OneSchool module.
- Occupational Violence – The QTU strongly recommends that members in schools establish safe systems of work whereby all incidents of occupational violence are recorded on One School and My HR. The Union will support QTU members in schools who want to take action to ensure that their workplace is safe. The QTU has been clear: a student’s individual right to an education does not erode the responsibility of the department to provide teachers, school leaders, and all those who work in schools with a safe and healthy working environment.
- Conflict of Interest procedures – The QTU has provided feedback to the department that elements of this policy are a gross overreach and a potential breach of Queensland’s privacy principles. Members are encouraged not to complete these forms if they represent a breach of their privacy.
- The newly established Principal Supervision Model – The QTU successfully called for these EOSD positions to be clearly advertised on a temporary basis only, and we sought a commitment to a statewide recruitment and selection process, not region by region, to ensure consistency in the recruitment process. Additionally, the QTU was assured that while the new positions will operate under the Department of Education State School Teachers Agreement 2022, they will not be funded from school resourcing. The QTU General Secretary, or nominee, will be part of the Recruitment and Selection process.
- Queensland Virtual Academy and associated pilots – The QTU has identified that several pilots of QVAs are underway, with lessons being developed and co-teaching opportunities being established during the consultation phase. The QTU has identified that the operation of these pilots without agreement with the QTU, may lead to the implementation of QVAs failing, and could be a breach of the industrial and professional rights of our members.
The QTU will continue to pursue these and other issues over the school holidays and will advise members of any progress made.
Certified Agreement Implementation Committee
The QTU and the Department of Education (DoE) held the first meeting of the Certified Agreement Implementation Committee (CAIC) this week and we discussed its terms of reference and the frequency of meetings. CAIC meetings will be held once a term, with the capacity for extra meetings if required.
The department is still finalising an annual forward plan which outlines the timelines for implementation of all elements of the CA; however, the parties discussed implementation of the following clauses as a matter of urgency:
- Processes to enliven the payment of the $900 Regional Attraction and Retention payment
- Reimbursement of the Teacher Registration application for Beginning Teachers
- A standard template for all MOUs.
In addition, DoE have commenced work in relation to cultural capability training, encouragement to disconnect from digital technology, and a Fatigue Management guide for school camps, musicals and overseas trips. The initial steps include a scan of all current policies and procedures within the DoE to map out existing information and review relevancy with a view to then examining best practice in other jurisdictions. The aim of the CAIC is to produce easy-to-access information and guides to facilitate implementation in schools of these initiatives resulting from the Certified Agreement.
Comprehensive Review of School Resourcing
Arising from the Teachers’ Certified Agreement, the department agreed to conduct a Comprehensive Review of School Resourcing (CRoSR), which aims to examine the arrangements for resourcing schools to reduce barriers preventing schools from meeting the needs of all students.
The CRoSR project will:
- review allocative models and methodologies
- review direct-to-school grants and system support resources, including teaching and non-teaching allocations
- include the opportunity for a corresponding analysis of current school-based roles and role descriptions.
The QTU has appointed a Project Officer – Review of School Resourcing, to lead review consultation processes with integrity on behalf of the QTU and actively engage with the members, the department and stakeholders. The QTU will be maximising opportunities for statewide consultation through digital platforms and face-to-face opportunities where possible, engaging with a broad range of members representing a diversity of employee roles, sectors, school sizes, contexts and locations.
CRoSR Project Officer contact: Cindy Freier, firstname.lastname@example.org.
State of our School Survey
For many years the AEU has invited principals to participate in our State of Our Schools survey, and the results have always provided crucial evidence for our work to address workloads, teacher and school leader shortages and the lack of resources faced by state schools. With a new Federal Government and a review about to start on new five-year funding agreements, this information is now more important than ever.
State school teachers and principals are under unprecedented pressure, and we know that many of you are working under extremely challenging circumstances to provide the best education possible to your students. For that reason, this year’s State of Our Schools survey includes a series of questions specifically about the impact of teacher shortages on your school, on staff workloads and morale, and on student wellbeing.
The survey will take 10-15 minutes to complete and will provide invaluable data on teacher shortages and attrition, workload and resourcing. This year, we have also included an optional short survey on the interaction between work and caring responsibilities. The survey closes on the 28 April 2023. Click here.
QTU employment opportunities
The QTU is currently advertising for two Assistant Secretary positions, QTU Organiser Metropolitan Central and QTU Industrial/Legal Officer. Applications need to be received by the General Secretary by 12 April 2023. For further information check the QTU website.
As members commence holidays this afternoon, we hope that you all stay safe and enjoy some time disconnecting from work over the next two weeks. Most importantly, don’t forget to renew your Union membership. It is the strength of our 48,000+ member Union that makes the QTU the most democratic and powerful voice of the profession. For members looking to spread their annual dues payments out across the year, we have added fortnightly direct debit as a new payment option. If you would like to move to fortnightly direct debit log into the myQTU portal here and go to My Payments. Membership of the QTU continues to provide you with industrial, professional and legal support and advocacy. With over 135 years’ experience, QTU members enjoy the collective benefits of membership as we continue to improve working and learning conditions across Queensland.
As the end of the Term is upon us, we encourage you to disconnect from digital technology and we wish you a safe and restful Easter break.
Authorised by Kate Ruttiman, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street, Milton, QLD, Australia, 4064