29 October 2019 | Download as PDF
During July, the QTU was asked to provide feedback on some proposed changes to the complaints management process. The department has accepted several changes to the resources, including:
- limiting the use of “customer” and replacing it with “parents, carers, students and other community members” to reflect the school context
- removing departmental complaint resolution timeframes from the complaints template, as schools will likely resolve complaints more quickly
- promoting complainants’ responsibility to be respectful (and not to behave unreasonably)
- adding information about student protection issues and anonymous complaints into the complaints template
- highlighting in the complaints template that schools have many responsibilities and it may not be possible to resolve a complaint or make contact immediately.
The department will provide your school with the revised poster, brochure and complaints template. Two new resources developed as a direct result of feedback will also be provided – an exemplar school complaints process and a checklist to support schools that wish to align their existing complaints processes to departmental requirements.
As part of the ongoing review of the departmental customer complaints management framework, policies and procedures, the QTU will be providing feedback on the new “Managing unreasonable complainant conduct” procedure in the near future.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact:
- Nikki Tran, Acting Director – Risk, Policy and Governance on 351 36914; or
- Naomi Stevens, Principal Policy Officer – Risk, Policy and Governance on 305 52844.
The latest EB agreement continues to support effective consultation between teachers and administrators. The LCC is essential to ensuring that change within the workplace is managed in a manner consistent with the principles contained in this agreement - Consultation involves more than a mere exchange of information. For consultation to be effective, the teacher must be contributing to the decision-making process, not only in appearance, but in fact.
It should be understood from the outset that the school principal has responsibility for the day-to-day running of the school and good order and conduct within the school.
All schools should consider the process of consultation as a good change management process. Even smaller schools should engage in consultation processes. The LCC’s role is to provide a forum for the school’s management/staff and unions to plan smooth change management. The LCC should be considered the key mechanism for managing workload at schools.
Matters requiring consultation should include
- flexible student free days
- school staffing proposals
- bus and playground duty staffing needs
- meal break variations
- extensions to spread of school hours
- areas as required by joint statements between the department and the QTU
- the purpose, frequency and duration of staff meetings
- staffing flexibility.
All representatives have access to training on principles and processes pertaining to the operation of LCC.
It is good practice to send out an agenda two weeks prior to the meeting to allow staff to be consulted on the topics and suggest other items that may need to be included. Following the meetings, minutes should be distributed so that the decision making can be shown to be transparent and that staff members’ suggestions were considered during the process.
To assist principals in determining whether or not consultation was genuine:
- Was advice taken, or was the proposal presented as a fait accompli, i.e. “this is going to happen” or “I’ve decided”?
- Did members provide suggestions or have the opportunity to influence the decision?
- Was the decision reached informed by the consultation?
If the answer to the first question is “yes”, then the consultation was not genuine.
If you are able to answer “yes” to questions two and three, then in all likelihood the consultation was genuine.
The department is committed to providing effective work practices that support wellbeing, work-life balance and a safe work environment. As far as practicable, the work of an individual teacher is not to be unreasonable or excessive.
The function of the Workload Advisory Council will be to ensure alignment with the Principles of good workload management contained in Schedule 6 (below); and to:
(a) collect information about issues contributing to workload pressures
(b) monitor emerging workload issues
(c) inform workload reduction initiatives.
The QTU is currently developing material to support the implementation of the agreement that will include the use of these principles:
Schedule 6 - Principles of good workload management
Effective workload management requires:
- Understanding that all employees and managers are accountable for effective workload management.
- Discuss and review workload. Allocation of workloads that take into account the training, skill, knowledge, career and professional development of individual employees.
- Recognise that changes occur in workplaces on a daily basis and that managers are responsible for managing workloads.
- Success depends on a strong commitment by both employees and managers.
- Equitable distribution of workloads and open and transparent decision making.
- Support decisions that take into account the work-life balance of employees.
- Provide flexibility and discretion in applying workload management to ensure delivery, work requirements and the effectiveness and efficiency of the Department are met.
- Maintenance of safe work environments and safe work practices.
- Allocation of resources to ensure both the maintenance of workloads at a reasonable level and the delivery of a high-quality service.
- Issue escalation processes are in place. The LCC is a key mechanism for managing workload issues at the workplace level.
The QTU has worked in consultation and collaboration with the department on developing the department’s documents around the health and wellbeing of classified teachers. Recently, employees were provided a blueprint for consultation, and the QTU would encourage you to engage with this process and the provision of feedback prior to the cut-off date of 8 November.
In 2018, the department began a full review of the Student Resource Scheme (SRS) and the associated Textbook and Resource Allowance (TRA) procedures. The review process to date has included stakeholder consultations, which discussed and formulated solutions to resolve the main concerns of both parents and schools around the existing procedures, and feedback, which included a stakeholder survey with a return of more than 1,000 responses. The department showed commitment to providing schools and P&Cs with as much help as possible to ensure the transition to the new procedures runs smoothly.
The key points to emerge from the process are:
- implementation date extended to 1/1/2021 (may choose 1/1/2020)
- removal of mandatory requirements with respect to the 2053 cost centre
- removal of the mandated requirement that SRS invoices must not be due before the end of the first week of term 1
- use of the ‘old’ (2019) PAF sent to parents for signup to join 2020 SRS (new PAF 2021)
The department has developed a fact sheet covering the transitional arrangements for the Student Resource Scheme (SRS).
Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street,Milton, QLD, Australia, 4060