No. 13-21, 20 April 2021 | DOWNLOAD PDF
TO: QTU MEMBERS
Welcome back for Term 2
Yesterday marked the start of Term 2 in Queensland, with students in the Greater Brisbane area returning to school following the recent COVID-19 lockdown. The vigilance of members has ensured that Queensland state schools and TAFEs remain healthy and safe spaces for students to learn in and members to work in.
Addressing occupational violence at work – because work should never hurt
It is the role of the Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU) to ensure that members have a safe and healthy workplace. Consequently, the QTU has been campaigning with members to end occupational violence in schools and TAFE. Here are the three “Rs” for addressing occupational violence.
- Recognise – occupational violence is any action, incident or behaviour that departs from reasonable conduct in which a person is threatened, harmed, injured by another person in the course of, or as a direct result of their work.
- Report – incidents or near misses should be reported through the MyHR Work Health and Safety (WHS) reporting module and followed up using the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee. Reporting behaviours in OneSchool is not sufficient to record WHS incidents. It is suggested that the MyHR report be made as a matter of priority – unlike OneSchool, you cannot access MyHR remotely, and incidents should be recorded within 24 hours of the event occurring.
- Respond – immediately after a violent incident you should ensure the safety of yourself and others, provide first-aid and arrange necessary medical care, and support the emotional wellbeing of members and students where necessary.
Occupational violence is NOT part of the job – there must be a zero-tolerance approach from the department and schools should be supported to ensure this through resourcing and training.
Members can access more resources and training on responding to occupational violence on the QTU website.
The Australian Human Rights Commission Respect@Work report states that rates of sexual harassment in Australian workplaces are increasing. The 55 recommendations of the report indicate there are important actions to be addressed to create change. A new approach is needed.
Currently there is little available data in relation to gendered violence in schools and TAFEs, including information about who experiences the gendered violence and who perpetrates the violence.
Consequently, we invite all members to complete the QTU’s Expect Respect survey. The survey can be accessed by members via this link and the QR code below. It takes less than five-minutes to complete and can be completed on mobile devices. The survey will remain open until Monday 17 May.
Further information and resources on the Expect Respect campaign can be found on our website.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU) continues to advocate for safe working conditions for all QTU members. As we enter the colder months of the year, we would like to encourage staff and students who are sick to stay home and, where required, get a COVID-19 test. Hand washing facilities and hand sanitiser should also be freely available in all workplaces to minimise the chances of COVID-19 transmission.
The recent lockdown in Greater Brisbane before the Easter break demonstrates the need for everyone to remain diligent in following the available medical advice and getting tested when any symptoms arise. It is also important that schools follow the department and government’s COVID-19 operational advice. Even though the rollout of the national vaccination program continues, we all need to play our part in ensuring we reduce the chance of infection across our community.
Updated instrumental music program COVID-19 guidelines
Following on from the updated advice around school operations earlier this year, the department recently published an updated set of instrumental music guidelines for managing hazards associated with COVID-19. These replace previous versions of the guidelines and will address some of the ongoing workplace health and safety concerns expressed by instrumental music teacher members and school leaders about the challenges of ongoing delivery of these programs. The revised guidelines can be found here.
Supply teachers to be paid for bookings cancelled due to COVID-19 lockdown
The QTU has successfully negotiated payment for supply teachers whose bookings were cancelled prior to or during the Greater Brisbane lockdown that occurred prior to the Easter vacation.
The QTU’s advocacy on behalf of supply teachers means that the department will honour payment for bookings cancelled during the Greater Brisbane lockdown. These will be processed over the next two-week period. It is anticipated that the payments will appear in the pay scheduled for Wednesday 5 May.
If any relief teacher members do not receive their payment or believe there was an error, they should send an email to TRACER@qed.qld.gov.au
QTU members are invited to participate in the following professional opportunities.
- The UNESCO survey on teachers’ readiness to teach education for sustainable development and global citizenship due on 25 April.
- AEU First Nations education seminar series being conducted online at 5.30pm on Thursday 22 April. You can register here.
- The Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) photo competition – have your school profiled as part of the QCT’s 50 years of teacher registration celebrations. Please note that any material provided should be approved by your principal and you should ensure that student project consent forms are in order. Entries close 30 April.
More information about all these opportunities can be found on the QTU website.
Authorised by Kate Ruttiman, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street, Milton, QLD, Australia, 4064