Members' newsflash No. 37-20, 28 August 2020 | DOWNLOAD PDF
Contents: Workload reduction | Significant decisions made at State Council | Senior teacher classification | TUH freezes premium increases until April 202 | Trial of department job-sharing platform commences
Workload reduction continues
On 22 August, QTU State Council decided to continue the process of negotiating workload reduction with the department, following a report on the progress of negotiations around school accountability requirements and the P-12 Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Framework (CARF).
The reviews of school accountability requirements and the CARF are part of a package of proposals offered by the Queensland Government at the start of Term 3, which was overwhelmingly supported by members in a ballot in the first two weeks of the term (see Members’ Newsflash 34-20).
If progress had been inadequate, Council could have abandoned the negotiation process and adopted a different strategy.
Negotiations are due to culminate in a series of tangible workload reductions, to be agreed by the end of this term for immediate implementation.
The initial lists of areas to be covered in the reviews were outlined in the QTU’s State government pay deferral: proposals in response to QTU concerns CARF and School Accountability documents. Not all will be proceeded with (at least at this stage) based on both member feedback and on negotiations with the department.
The current negotiations are part of a much broader QTU campaign for workload reduction. The Workload Advisory Council had received just over 800 submissions suggesting areas for workload reduction by the closing date. In addition, the process taking place this term will not exhaust the potential for further workload reduction around school accountability and the CARF.....back to top
The QTU State Council normally meets four times a year and is the Union’s supreme decision-making body, involving almost 120 elected teachers, principals, and TAFE educators. The meeting on 22 August was the first since March, with a scheduled May meeting cancelled due to COVID-19.
The August meeting was held as usual at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in a much bigger space than usual. Thank you to the Council delegates who travelled from around the state during such a difficult time to represent members in decision-making.
The deliberations were extensive. Council decided:
- to unanimously condemn the decision to legislatively impose a pay deferral on Queensland teachers, principals, and TAFE educators
- to continue negotiations around workload reduction based on the progress to that time
- to launch a QTU kit on Occupational Violence - Recognise, Report, Respond
- to endorse a QTU position statement on workload
- to endorse a QTU position statement on professional autonomy
- to note the extensive actions around COVID-19 and the negotiation of operating guidelines, plus future scenarios
- to endorse advice to schools to hold off NAPLAN preparation
- to conduct a ballot to ban preparation and implementation of NAPLAN in all forms in 2021 if the current review does not result in the abolition of NAPLAN in its current form
- to endorse a motion from the Central Queensland and Peninsula Area Councils for a ballot to ban further implementation of the Student Code of Conduct in the absence of significant additional support
- to adopt a list of educational and social claims to be put to political parties prior to the forthcoming state election
- to endorse an election strategy based on comparison of the policy responses and past performance of political parties
- to welcome planned changes to the Public Service Act to increase permanent employment, to adopt positive performance management principles, and reduce the use of disciplinary powers
- to note the launch of the report “An investment in productivity and inclusion: The economic and social benefits of the TAFE system” by the Centre for Future Work
- to appoint two Union officers, including the first ever QTU Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Officer.
More information about these decisions will be progressively distributed in future Newsflashes and through the QTU website and other publications. The final State Council meeting for 2020 is scheduled for 14 November.....back to top
Employees who are eligible to access the senior teacher classification in Term 3 or Term 4 of 2020 will receive an email from the department in the week beginning 31 August outlining the application process.
Applications for the senior teacher classification involve completion of a single form for the senior teacher undertaking and personal action plan. This single form will be used in the 2020 interim process and moving forward, as per cl.188.8.131.52 of the certified agreement: “A single form will be used to incorporate the senior teacher undertaking and personal action plan into the Annual Performance Review.”
For the 2020 application process 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 in during Term 4, 2020.
Members with queries relating to their eligibility should contact Teacher Classification Team email@example.com
Teachers Union Health (TUH) has demonstrated its commitment to members during the challenging COVID-19 period. Most recently, TUH announced it would freeze premium increases until April 2021 (which will be the first increase since April 2019), while continuing to provide quality products for their members. TUH is one of the few funds in Australia to provide this for members, with Medibank and BUPA announcing they will be increasing premiums for most of their members on October 1, 2020.
This freeze is on top of the multi-million-dollar COVID Care package TUH has already provided to members, including generous financial hardship options, telehealth services and COVID-19 coverage on all hospital products. Additionally, they recently offered a free massage to their members in the QTU as a way to give back specifically to teachers for all that we have done during this period.
If you are not already with TUH, I encourage you to chat with your colleagues who are already members and then consider getting a quote. I am sure you’ll find many advantages to belonging to a fund that understands you and always puts you first.
To find out more, visit www.tuh.com.au/qtuedm
TUH was founded in 1972 as a result of a decision of the QTU State Council and with seed funding from the QTU. The close relationship has been maintained ever since, with the QTU having a representative on the TUH Board. TUH is a not-for-profit, member-owned health fund that was recognised as one of the most trusted health funds in Australia in a survey last year. It is THE health fund for teachers and their families, and it is now offering services to members of other unions as well. ....back to top
One of the frustrations members face when trying to access part-time arrangements has been finding suitable partners for job sharing. A job-sharing platform being trialled by the department will address at least some of these frustrations.
The trial follows an election commitment to implement flexible working practices for teachers and school leaders, including those managing family responsibilities. It provides an online tool to support employees in identifying and considering job-sharing partnerships.
The trial will run for 12 months, from June 2020 until June 2021. Secondary schools in the Metropolitan region, Cairns and Townsville can opt into the trial at any time during this period. Permanent teachers and staff in school leadership roles are eligible to participate.
The department encourages participation on the platform by secondary teachers and school leaders who are:
- seeking promotion
- transitioning to retirement
- returning from parental leave and pursuing flexibility in working arrangements.
The platform will allow secondary teachers and schools to:
- identify matches with job-sharing partners with similar work styles and availability
- create a joint CV, collating both job-sharing partners’ information
- speak with principals about job-sharing possibilities in their current school
- send the joint CV to regional office for consideration.
Authorised by Kate Ruttiman, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street, Milton, QLD, Australia, 4064
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