No. 19-21, 25 June 2021 | DOWNLOAD PDF
TO: QTU MEMBERS
Workload Advisory Council workload reduction initiatives to be delivered
Workload Advisory Council
The Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU) and the department have finalised and agreed to a joint communique and action plan with key focus areas for 2021 arising from the Workload Advisory Council (WAC).
Highlights of the action plan include remote access to MyHR, an analysis of school start/finish times, the automation of Day 8 processes, a review of Annual Performance Review (APR)/Managing Unsatisfactory Performance (MUP) processes and Mandatory All Staff Training, joint Local Consultative Committee (LCC) training and the expansion of the complex case support mediation service. Schools will be provided with timely advice during Term 4 regarding the Day 8 automation. The WAC will continue to progress and monitor the focus areas of 2021. Further updates will be provided to members as the WAC progresses these key priorities and a list of further key focus areas will be developed for 2022. The QTU will be consulted on the implementation of each of the action items that have been agreed to in the action plan.
We anticipate that the revised P-12 Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Framework (P-12 CARF) will be released next term, after extensive consultation with key stakeholders including the QTU. This is the final piece of work that forms part of the significant workload reduction initiatives that the QTU began last year in the wake of the pay deferral. The revised P-12 CARF will be available for members to review and discuss during Semester 2, however, it is not for implementation until 2022. More details of the content will be available once the revised P-12 CARF is officially released next term.
Chemical management plan
In correspondence received today, the department advised that there will be an extension granted on the requirement to provide a Chemical Management Plan until 30 September, however, no further extension will be provided beyond that date. There is no requirement to use the Chemwatch risk assessments for the Curriculum Activity Risk Assessment (CARA) processes at this time as it is acknowledged that some schools will not have transitioned to this process. The use of Chemwatch is scheduled for June 2022. The department are setting up a high-level safety governance body, which will include two union officers, that will oversee work health and safety issues from a system-wide perspective, in schools and other education workplaces.
Announcements will be made this week about which schools have been selected to run homework centres. The department has confirmed that their handbook is being updated to remind schools that they should not rely on teachers who already work at the school to volunteer to supervise the 3 teacher aides who will be employed in each homework centre. This supervision will be up to 3 hours a week for up to 24 students who can register for the centre. The department handbook already includes advice that schools can engage supply teachers (or permanent part-time teachers), to supervise the teacher aides. The QTU has requested that the department provide standard templates for schools to assist them in the registration and record-keeping of student attendance and other policies that will need to be developed for these new homework centres. The QTU is keen to receive feedback from members in these schools once the centres commence.
Supply and casual relief teachers
Despite the fact that there are 10,000 casual relief teachers in the pool, more people are staying at home in this COVID environment, because either they or their children are sick and are therefore unable to attend school. The QTU has held urgent meetings with Teacher Relief and Contract Employment Register (TRACER) and Department of Education (DoE) staff following concerns raised by school leaders about the current shortage of casual relief/supply teachers.
The department advised that overall, employee sick leave has increased by 19 percent since 2019. The department are attempting to identify leave patterns where schools are using supply teachers all year round for regular work which could be done by a contract teacher.
The department is going to develop an action plan for Term 3, looking at Local Relief Teachers (LRTs) and District Relief Teachers (DRTs). There will also be mid-year graduates available to join the TRACER pool. Schools should ensure that they have as many teachers as possible on their preferred supply teacher list.
Public Health Regulation 2021
The QTU is aware that the current Public Health (Further Extension of Declared Public Health Emergency – COVID-19) Regulation 2021 is due to expire on 29 June and because of that, we have received some calls recently from vulnerable members about updating their medical advice. We have sought advice from senior officers of the department who have advised that they are waiting on the Chief Health Officer’s update. As soon as we know more, we will advise members. It is also likely that the Director-General will advise employees of the new regulation as soon as it becomes available.
QTU Biennial Conference
The QTU is holding its 114th Biennial Conference during the first three days of the school vacation next week. More than 250 delegates will attend the conference, to consider past and future union policy, priorities, and campaigns. The QTU Milton office will be closed on the morning of Monday 28 June (from 8.30am until 1.30pm) to enable all staff and officers to participate in the official opening ceremony. During this time, Organiser and Officer availability for member queries will be limited. However, if members require assistance, they will still be able to call the Queensland Teachers’ Assist Desk (QTAD) and will be prompted to either leave a voicemail message or send an email. QTAD will operate as normal from 1.30pm that day.
Dr Evelyn Scott Memorial Lecture
The inaugural Dr Evelyn Scott Memorial Lecture will be held at Southbank TAFE’s C Block Auditorium (Brisbane, Queensland) on Sunday 27 June from 3.00pm-4.30pm. We encourage members to attend this event which aims to bring people together in the spirit of reconciliation, and action in the pursuit of justice. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It has been a busy term and the QTU acknowledges the ongoing hard work, dedication, and contribution to public education from each and every member for the students in your schools and workplaces.
In the first step of the campaign for the right to disconnect, the department will make every effort to minimise communication with teachers and school leaders on weekends and school vacations. It is so important for your wellbeing that you disconnect from your working life during the school vacation. Make sure you take the time for self-care so that you can return to work in Term 3 refreshed and rejuvenated.
Authorised by Kate Ruttiman, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street, Milton, QLD, Australia, 4064