The Independent Voice
Journal of the Queensland Independent Education Union
Volume 9 Number 2
QIEU Celebrates 90 Years Celebrating Past Achievements - Future Challenges Over the past 90 years our union has worked to build the collective strength of our membership. From the formation of the Assistant Masters’ Association in 1919 to the present day, the challenges faced by those working in the independent education sector have continued to strengthen our resolve to ensure quality education and quality working conditions. To celebrate the 90th anniversary of the foundation of QIEU and 90 years of our profession being union strong, a professional issues conference was recently held to celebrate our achievements as a profession and as a union. The conference theme, ‘Past Achievements – Future Challenges,’ focused on how the past informs the present and how this knowledge
and understanding may best enable our union collective to prepare for the challenges we will face in the future. A plenary session presented by QIEU General Secretary Terry Burke, acknowledged where our union has come from over the years. From the earliest years both our antecedents, the Assistant Masters’ Association and the Assistant Mistresses’ Association, faced the challenge of recognition and the tasks of building a strong industrial organisation within the profession. Both unions had Award conditions stripped back during the depression, both unions campaigned for teacher registration and both unions pursued wages parity with the
public sector. However, they faced these challenges as separate entities for some 50 years.
The current campaign is yet another in a long history of promoting the profession.
today – we must work as an active collective to address the current issues of concern.
Once the two unions merged to form the Queensland Association of Teachers in Independent Schools Union of Employees (QATIS) in June 1970, the combined power of the organisations and the growth in membership from that time, meant that members experienced the successes that were possible with a united collective voice.
Improved wages in Catholic primary schools was finally achieved in 1976 after years of Catholic employers paying employees only a percentage of the Award wage rate. The payment of 100 per cent of wages under the Award was agreed to after lengthy campaigning from QATIS members. In 1979 full Award coverage with full provisions was won. Over the years, superannuation, portability of long service leave and pay equity were won in the Catholic sector through the efforts of the strong and active membership of our union.
This was addressed in the four streams of the conference: the shaping of industrial relations and the law; national curriculum; early childhood education; and equity (see pages 12, 13 for an in-depth coverage of the streams).
In 1975 teacher registration was finally won for the profession in Queensland and the professional status of teaching was finally recognised. Teacher registration provides the foundation of our professional standing but professional rates of pay are essential to maintain that status.
The lessons of the past point us to how we might address the issues education professionals face
As a union we must continue to have our say on such matters as curriculum and assessment, industrial relations, equity matters and on the early childhood profession. To achieve our goals we must be a strong collective, speaking and acting with the conviction that comes from our shared union values. Our union and our profession are inseparable; we are one and the same. We are union and we are here to stay.
Our Profession - 90 Years Union Strong
The Independent Voice
CONTACTS The Independent Voice is the official publication of the Queensland Independent Education Union (QIEU) www.qieu.asn.au ISSN 1446-1919 QIEU Brisbane Office PH: 07 3839 7020 346 Turbot Street, Spring Hill Q 4000 PO Box 418 Fortitude Valley Q 4006 QIEU Townsville Office PH: 07 4772 6277 Level 1, 316 Sturt St Townsville Q 4810 PO Box 5783 Townsville West Q 4810 QIEU Bundaberg Office PH: 07 4132 8455 44 Maryborough St Bundaberg Q 4670 PO Box 1227 Bundaberg Q 4670 IEUA-QNT Darwin Office PH: 08 8981 1924 FAX: 08 8981 1935 38 Wood Street Darwin NT 0801 GPO Box 4166 Darwin NT 0801 Editorial/ Advertising enquiries to Fiona Richardson: Telephone: 07 3839 7020 Toll Free: 1800 177 937 Fax: 07 3839 7021 Email: email@example.com Editor Mr Terry Burke QIEU General Secretary Publications Officer/Journalist Fiona Richardson Printing: Rural Press (07) 3826 8200 Disclaimer: Advertising is carried in The Independent Voice in order to minimise costs to members and is paid at commercial rates. Such advertising does not in any way reflect endorsement or otherwise of the advertised products and/or services by QIEU. Copyright All articles remain the copyright of QIEU. Permission must be obtained before reprinting. ABN: 45 620 218 712
IEUA 2008 financial reports The Independent Education Union of Australia (IEUA) General Purpose Financial Report has been prepared in accordance with Accounting Standards, other mandatory professional reporting requirements and The Workplace Relations Act 1996 for the year ended 31 December, 2008. The IEUA 2008 Operating Report, 2008 Management Statement, 2008 Auditors Report, Notes To and Forming Parts of Accounts and Depreciation Schedule are now available to view on our website at www.qieu.asn.au. Please click on the About Your Union section and scroll to IEUA to click on the IEUA 2008 reports.
President’s Report Celebrating 90 years of QIEU On Saturday, 28 March our union held a conference titled ‘Our Profession – 90 Years Union Strong: Past Achievements – Future Challenges’. The conference and dinner which followed was the start of the official program celebrating our 90th Anniversary. It was appropriate that at the start of the conference QIEU General Secretary Terry Burke provided us with a brief overview of the industrial and social framework that our union was formed on and then evolved through. He also highlighted key events and achievement in our union’s history. These achievements are the foundations that we continue to build our union on. These achievements that were hard fought and won by members who have gone before us should be recognised, celebrated and never taken for granted. I noted from the presentation of
our union’s history the length of time that it took to achieve many significant gains. It struck a note with me as I considered our current campaign, a campaign to achieve professional wages and conditions, the campaign for commensurate remuneration with the benchmark of our interstate colleagues. Union council has endorsed a campaign in support of our state colleagues in their campaign for professional wages and conditions. It is important that we recognise and also support our fellow education union in their campaign which significantly effects our own. Are we prepared to take up the challenge like the activists before us? The conference also addressed significant challenges that we as unionists and educators face. The topics were also recognition of the breadth of our coverage of membership and depth of issues
relevant to our profession and industry. The presentations covered four themes: Industrial Relations and the Law; National Curriculum; Early Childhood Education; and Equity. The conference presentations were an excellent professional development opportunity, provided by experts in their field. It was also a great opportunity to meet activists from across the state, from different educational settings and systems. I know for me it was inspiring to speak to members who have done so much to help their colleagues in their schools. I spoke to a member who had recently completed an industrial training day with our union who spoke about how it inspired her to go back to her school and implement these strategies to improve the strength of our union in her school and across the branch. Thanks to our sponsors whose
support significantly reduced the cost of running the conference: platinum sponsor TUH; gold sponsor QIEC Super; silver sponsor Members Equity Bank; and also to Union Shopper. The conference was a well-run event that not only demonstrated the dedication and professionalism of our membership, but also that of the staff of our union. Thank you for those involved in the conference and dinner especially research officer Miriam Dunn, publications officer/journalist Fiona Richardson and communications officer Belinda Hogan-Collis. Kind regards, Andrew Elphinstone QIEU President
General Secretary’s Report Our Profession – 90 Years Union Strong At the time of our 60 year celebrations in March 1979, the then General Secretary, Pat Hallinan wrote: “The work and achievements of the past are our heritage – the future is our responsibility”1. Looking back now on the intervening 30 years, it is appropriate to reflect on what we have achieved in that recent period and the nature of the heritage we have built as we take up the responsibilities of the future. In size and dimension we are a quite different union. From a membership in 1979 of a little over 2,500 and a full time staff of four, we are now over 14,000 strong with a staff of nearly 50. Our union now includes early childhood teachers, school officers, increasing numbers of services staff, deputies, school principals and we provide support to members in the Northern Territory by arrangement with our associated union IEUA-QNT. In terms of the conditions we have achieved parity with the public sector of long service leave, sick leave and superannuation co-contribution provisions and will no doubt win parity of paid maternity leave in this round of bargaining. Wage rounds are now predicated on reflecting public sector outcomes and there is a sharper solidarity of our membership in common cause across the broad non-government sector.
We are indeed an industry union of considerable capacity, strength and importantly respect.
educated membership does not have a sense of the power of acting collectively.
In noting those achievements, however, one can not lose sight of a deeper heritage we draw out of those 30 years to guide us in our future. These elements are deeply ingrained in what we do and indeed are striking in their persistence throughout our 90 year history.
Our history demonstrates time and time again that collective action, no matter its dimension, gets results.
Firstly, membership matters. We cannot have a strong and powerful union without having high membership density in the sector. As a union we have always understood that increasing membership cannot be taken for granted and that we must work hard at recruitment and retention. However, employees do not just join a union because it is there; they must see relevance in our organisation and see that it is doing something of relevance to them. Secondly, we have learned the fundamental lesson that members will campaign on an issue and win that issue if they thoroughly understand the issue and how to go about a winning strategy. As an education union we understand not only the power of education but the power of education coupled with a strategy to win a particular outcome. However, it is all to naught if that numerically large and well
Whether it is the staff in the ELICOS College making collective approach to management on classroom resources or a whole sector campaigning on better superannuation provisions, collective action gets results. The future then is our responsibility with that future built not only on our concrete achievements but more particularly our intrinsic understandings and capacities. It is a challenging future made more so by the decline in collective culture in our community, national and international contexts and economic turn of events. At one level our union has encountered such challenges before whether it be recalcitrant employers, misplaced educational and industrial agenda or economic downturn. Our union has always played a role in making sense of those events and contexts and ameliorating their impact on our members.
the workforce, our responsibilities have been largely to play out a role as an adjunct to larger and more significant unions. Today and into the future, we are and will be one of the larger private sector unions in this country. As an education union and in conjunction with the growing other education and health sector unions we have a responsibility to now do the ‘heavy lifting’ in educating about and campaigning for the working conditions which much characterise the new economy. Work will be different in its nature and working conditions will need to be established which reflect respect and dignity for workers in that new work environment of fractional and part-time employment. Our union must and will play a role in what has to be done because that is our heritage and that is our responsibility. Kind regards, Terry Burke General Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org
However, this time our future responsibilities are appreciably different. As a growing yet still relatively small union in a growing yet small part of
QATIS Newsletter March 1979 Page 1.
The Independent Voice
What are they trying to say?
Employers lose the plot on modern national awards
a must for education
The federal government has imposed a requirement on the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) to establish modern national awards for various industry groups and categories of workers. These awards would come into effect on 1 January, 2010. In non-government schools this would mean the reduction of the number of current awards operating across the country in the non-government sector from many scores to at best four or five awards. It is important to note that the modern national awards will be minimalist in their content reflecting National Employment Standards (NES) and minima to be found in existing awards.
seven weeks notice of resignation in term time, non-inclusion of deputy principals and principals, and 38 hours work per week averaged with total hours (48/52 weeks x 38 hours) averaged across the year. There is little surprising in the positions advocated by peak employer groups; employers rarely constrain themselves when they think they have an opportunity. What is surprising, however, is the opportunity taken by the employer groups to editorialise on their position. The National Catholic submission for example, in seeking to justify why annual leave should be taken in school vacation time, goes on to say: “This is consistent with the well established practice in the manufacturing sector that employees are required to take accrued annual leave during periods of annual plant shutdown (Paragraph 96).”
Significantly, the national awards will have no direct impact on employees who are covered by an existing collective agreement. Only employees in schools without a collective agreement would have their working conditions and Seemingly as educators we are engaged wages directly determined by the in creating ‘nuts and bolts’ rather national award. than providing an education to our students. That is a bizarre assertion from The IEUA has made submissions to Catholic employers and reflects poorly the AIRC for a set of modern national on them. However, even more bizarre awards to cover teachers, schools is the submissions made by Anglican officers and services staff, education employers in Queensland and a further services generally and an education group submission from employers listed award in the early childhood sector. (see box below). Peak employer groups have also made submissions including the National It is important again to note that if Catholic Education Commission and a collective agreement exists in a the Australian Independent Schools Associations. Within the constraints Schools who have made of the guidelines and principles the submissions to the AIRC: AIRC has been directed to work within, the submissions necessarily canvass • All Saints Anglican School; conditions at minimum standards. Thus • Anglican Church Grammar School; the various employer submissions set • Educang Limited; out positions arguing for the award to • Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School and provide for four weeks annual leave Ipswich Junior Grammar School; (taken in school vacation time of course),
school then the national award will essentially be irrelevant. For their part, all Anglican schools in Queensland and all the schools listed have current collective agreements. One has to wonder, therefore, at the industrial naiveté of these schools in making a submission. In effect the only message they send to their employees is that, notwithstanding the provisions in their collective agreements, they really want conditions in their schools such as four weeks annual leave for teachers, seven weeks term time notice of resignation, a regulated 38 hour week with over 1,800 hours work averaged across the term dates (a plus 45 hour directed working week in most schools). Administrations in these schools clearly now have their staff on notice regarding the employer claim in the next round of collective bargaining. Whatever these employers spent on their consultant to develop this advice it was clearly money poorly spent. Unless these schools are in fact intending to make such claims for drastic reduction and diminution of benefits then there is no point in their submissions. Each and every one of these schools have conditions in their current collective agreement which are significantly superior to what they advocated in their respective submissions. On this matter these employers really have lost the plot. •Matthew Flinders Anglican College; •Saint Aidan’s Anglican Girls School; • Scots PCG College; • Rockhamption Grammar School; • Toowoomba Grammar School; • Toowoomba Preparatory School; • St Stephen’s College, Gold Coast
With the state election now over, the Queensland Bligh government continues to remain silent on education with no guarantees around professional rates of pay for education professionals. Queenslanders entrusted the government by returning them to power to adequately address the important issues in the face of a tough economic time ahead. QIEU Chapters took a role in serving notice on both major political parties that professional rates of pay must be achieved in Queensland. The LNP were silent on the issue and the ALP made only general statements of support for quality education in a response received on election eve. The biggest issue facing education in Queensland is the retention of its greatest asset - its professional workforce. The absence of an agenda which ensures professional wages not only devalues the work of education professionals, it also sends out a negative message to the community about the significant and difficult work being undertaken by education professionals in our schools. Queensland needs to ensure that the wages it offers teachers and non-teaching staff in both the public and private sector are at least comparable with, if not superior to, those offered in other states. Currently, beginning teachers earn below $50,000 while other states offer in excess of this amount. Leading and senior teachers earn less than $72,000 per annum while teachers in other states earn close to $80,000. Without an adequate commitment by the government to guarantee professional rates of pay, Queensland teachers will continue to face the long term prospect of being the second lowest paid in the country. Remuneration levels need to be restored to more appropriate interstate comparision levels to recognise the critical role of quality educators to not only encourage the best graduates to the profession, but also ensure the more experienced remain in the profession. The Bligh government must now meet or better interstate wage outcomes; any delay in this will see QIEU and our Queensland Teachers’ Union colleagues send a strong message to the government in support of improved wages.
Lutheran ‘time grab’ restricts employee vacation period The employer ‘time grab’ in the Lutheran sector would mean a substancial realignment of the concept of the school year. Currently, teachers in Lutheran schools are entitled to a minimum of 11 weeks when the employer cannot direct them and thus cannot be called upon for professional duties in these weeks of the school vacation time. The employer proposal seeks to determine that student vacations are essentially stand down time except for a period of four weeks annual leave taken during student vacations. The employer proposal would deem that the remaining time shall be considered time off in lieu of hours worked outside of the prescribed hours of duty during term time, and as time available for teacher-directed professional development activities including Accreditation (theological training). Employees are concerned that if the realignment is accepted, future
negotiations would see the capacity for employers to seek to direct teachers in this time. Lutheran sector employees have rejected this condition and have called on the employer to honour their entitlement of a minimum of 11 weeks leave and remove the ‘time grab’. Widespread protest action is currently underway in schools. This issue continues to dominate current negotiations in the Lutheran sector as a replacement industrial agreement is considered in the employer log of claims. The employer position also proposes an initial wage offer of a four per cent pay increase from 1 May, 2009 for all employees. This would see a graduate teacher earning $50,778 and a teacher with nine years experience earning $71,594. Employees tabled a claim which would see a graduate teacher earning more than $53,000 and a B3S4 teacher in excess of $75,000 to reflect wage movements
in Victoria, New South Wales, Northern Territory and Western Australia. The four percent wage offer, or $30 per week (whichever was the greater), has been met with disappointment by employees, as this offer is less than the Queensland Public Service offer of 4.5 per cent or $34 per week and was rejected by employee representatives at the negotiations. At the last meeting of the Lutheran SBU in March, employers increased their ABOVE: Concordia Lutheran College staff reject the employer’s ‘time grab’. offer to 4.5 per cent or $34 per week, whichever was the greater. Employees countered RIGHT: Lutheran with a claim of a realignment of negotiations staff representatives the pay scale and a split increase Ted Murphy, of three percent in May and two Johanna Hohns, per cent in October, giving a B e n H a y e s , nine-year trained teacher $74,145 Tony Purcell of in May and $75,627 in October and Good Shepherd a graduate starting salary of more Lutheran College than $51,000.
The Independent Voice
Early childhood education funding questions unanswered by government The federal government’s announcement of a $955 million commitment to universal access to quality early childhood education for four-year-olds will provide a much needed funding boost; however, it does not address the concerns that still exist from the government’s original proposal. Since the first announcement on early childhood education reforms in 2008, the proposal continues to raise questions on how 15 hours of education will be divided each week and whether individual centres will decide how this will occur.
Further curiosities include the exact nature of how these education programs will be delivered in conjunction with childcare services. The impact on the already significant issue of staff turnover in the sector and the question of what will be the employment conditions for four-year trained teachers have also not been answered by the government. Although funding is an essential component in the success of an early childhood education agenda, there also needs to be consideration of how such an agenda will rollout in the education sector and the long term implications for
education professionals. Funding background The announcement of the Early Childhood Education National Partnership to provide universal access to quality early childhood education to four-year-olds by 2013 Australia-wide follows previous state, territory and commonwealth proposals and announcements regarding early childhood education in Australia. In Queensland, Towards Q2 was announced by the Bligh state government late last year with a pledge to support the commonwealth initiative.
Through this National Partnership, state and territory governments will receive funding over the next four years to ensure that all four-year-olds will have access to early childhood education for 15 hours a week for 40 weeks a year. These programs will be delivered by four-year university qualified early childhood teachers in a diverse range of settings in a way that meets the needs of parents and at a cost that does not present a barrier to access. Funding allocations have been made on a needs basis with an emphasis on assisting those states and territories
that are further behind in the delivery of pre-school services. Queensland will receive $252 million in funding over the next four years. The Northern Territory will receive just under $16 million. Though this additional funding looks to provide a comprehensive and national approach to early childhood education, the government must now consider how such an agenda will work in the long-term for the benefit of early childhood education professionals and to the sector.
Northern Territory News News in brief... May Day in Darwin May Day is a time to unite and celebrate the achievements workers and our unions have accomplished to ensure better working conditions in the Northern Territory for all employees in all sectors. This year Darwin will celebrate the day with IEUA-QNT members meeting at 38 Wood Street at 4:30pm on Monday, 4 May, and finish at the Esplanade for a concert. A May Day dinner will be held on Friday, 1 May at 7pm at Sky City, Darwin for union members. More information will be made available closer to the date and will be available on our website www.qieu.asn.au/nt.html
New NT government Chief Minister Northern Territory government Chief Minister Paul Henderson has taken over the education portfolio from Marion Scrymgour, who resigned due to ill health in February. IEUA-QNT officers have met with the Chief Minister to outline the range of priorities for employees in non-government schools in the Northern Territory.
Lutheran sector reaches positive negotiations A new agreement for the Lutheran sector in the Northern Territory will go to ballot in the new school term. The proposed agreement provides increased wages and a number of enhancements have been achieved, including: • • • •
some personal leave provisions; improvements to the rights of casual employees; a position description review for school officers; and an increase in maternity leave provisions.
Kormilda College bargaining negotiations Kormilda College have had a successful conclusion to bargaining with clear outcomes coming out of negotiations. Pay scales for employees are to parallel the new public sector pay scales in the Territory, with slightly higher wage entitlements. Academic staff have also secured a review of teaching lines and changes to Positions of Added Responsibility (PAR) provisions. School officers are to have role descriptions and positions reviewed and re-classified if necessary; whilst residential staff work value review will be undertaken.
Staff will have the choice of 14 weeks maternity allowance with no accruals or 12 weeks maternity leave with accruals of annual leave, long service leave and superannuation. While this enhancement to maternity leave is somewhat fraught given the employer position, it is nevertheless a significant improvement on the current eight week provision. IEUA-QNT commends its members in the Lutheran sector for successfully collectively campaigning to attain these rights and conditions for all employees.
Essington School, Catholic sector negotiations progress Essington School will commence collective bargaining negotiations in the new term. Staff have recently held meetings to begin discussions to outline this process. The IEUA-QNT continue to seek nominations for the employees’ Single Bargaining Unit (SBU) and employee representatives from various sections of the school.
Additional stand down time for staff has also been negotiated.
IEUA-QNT is also continuing to negotiate a new collective agreement in the Catholic sector for enhancements to working conditions for employees.
This includes one week for teachers, three days for school officers and property services staff, two days for most fractional staff and one day to fractional staff and health workers.
The IEUA-QNT are seeking to improve salaries and decrease workloads to achieve a balance that professional education workers require in their lives.
However, the College has refused to extend this to residential staff, arguing that an additional vacation period had been provided in a previous agreement to take in to account of being on call.
Call centre information
Kormilda College IEUA-QNT members are to be commended on achieving the positive outcome of negotiations as well as a much stronger collective identity among staff.
Our union’s Call Centre is currently contacting members regarding their 2009 membership of the IEUA-QNT and QIEU from Monday to Thursday between 4:30pm and 8:00pm. If you haven’t finalised your membership this year, contact our union on FREECALL 1800 177 937.
The Independent Voice
Graduate teachers sign on to QIEU QIEU asked new BCE graduate teachers why they joined our union: Daniel Hodge Queen of Apostles School Year 4 teacher “I decided to join QIEU for the assurance that they are there to support you if you need it.”
Rebecca O’Connor St Peter’s School, Caboolture “To know that I have the support of my union is important. It’s one of the biggest reasons to join. The collective support is very important to me.” Megan Wilson St Rita’s School
ABOVE: QIEU Organiser Gaye Vale (left) discusses the benefits of belonging to our union to new teacher graduates Juanita Sanders of Siena Catholic Primary School and Steven McCall of St Joseph’s Primary School, Nambour
Catholic sector negotiations and wages were highlighted as key reasons for Brisbane Catholic Education graduate teachers to join as members of QIEU at their recent Induction Day. More than 110 graduate teachers took part in the learning day, listening to important information for their first year of teaching and receiving advice on joining QIEU from union officers. Fifty-two teachers decided to become members of QIEU, joining the 30 BCE graduate teachers who
had already become a part of our union before the day. The induction was also open for Catholic school teachers from surrounding south east Queensland areas who were employed mid-2008 who may not have attended the induction last year. All Saints Primary teacher Rebecca Errey said she did not realise that QIEU were actively pursuing better wages for graduate teachers in current Catholic sector negotiations until she joined at the Induction Day.
“Knowing that you are covered when you need to be is an important reason to join my union. Wages are also important; if QIEU can push for a pay increase, that would be great.”
“Recognising the role of the teacher by asking for better wages is a good thing our union is promoting,” Rebecca said. Sts Peter and Paul Catholic College Year 1 teacher Loren Scanlan said she knew the importance of being a part of an education union, joining QIEU at the beginning of the year after seeking advice from her school colleagues. “I know how important it is to be a part of a union as it makes sure I’m covered if their are any issues and I will have extra support,” Loren said.
Samantha Claydon St Bernard’s School “Joining QIEU means you get backed up; that there is someone there that is always on your side.” Rebecca Errey All Saints Primary School “I didn’t realise QIEU were pushing for better wages for graduates until I joined. Recognising the role of the teacher by asking for better wages is a good thing our union is promoting.”
Members were given a pack containing important information to help them through the year, including fact sheets on duty of care and legal liability, salary rate comparisons and a graduate handbook. Erica Byrne St Augustine’s School “I wanted to make sure I was covered if anything went wrong. Also, to have the knowledge and security by having my union to back me up gives me great peace of mind.”
ABOVE: Queen of Apostles School Year 4 teacher Daniel Hodge signs up to become a member of QIEU with the help of Organiser Jane Maliszewski
ABOVE: Joining QIEU at the BCE Induction Day was Megan Wilson from St Rita’s, Samantha Claydon from St Bernard’s and Rebecca Errey from All Saints Primary
ABOVE: Year 1 teacher Loren Scanlan of Sts Peter and Paul College at the Induction Day
ABOVE: Graduate teacher from St Michael’s, Carlene Gibbs, signs up to QIEU with the help of QIEU Communications Officer/Journalist Belinda Hogan Collis at the BCE Induction Day
The Independent Voice
Assistant General Secretary’s Report What Forward with Fairness means for collective bargaining in schools Federal government industrial relations policies have a profound impact on both our profession and school workplaces. Put otherwise, good industrial relations make for successful schools, a point not lost on the Australian community at the last federal election. So how has the federal government delivered ‘fairness’ one year on? The Fair Work Bill 2008 (now Fair Work Act) was introduced into parliament on 25 November, 2008. The key elements of the new industrial relations laws are: • the abolition of AWAs; • the right to collectively bargain if the majority of employees want to; • the right of employees to be protected from unfair dismissal; • an increase of minimum safety net conditions; and • a new, independent umpire. Most changes will take effect from 1 July, 2009, with the exception of the enhanced minimum safety net provisions, modernised awards and the new independent umpire – Fair Work Australia – which will operate from 1 January, 2010. Practical effect of the new industrial relations laws on collective bargaining The new industrial laws have made collective enterprise bargaining once again the predominant form of industrial instrument, which
is good news for teachers and school employees. The right to collectively bargain Collective bargaining is a positive feature of the vast majority of school workplaces. It provides an opportunity for management and employees to address the range of professional issues and industrial concerns (such as professional pay rates) that both support quality teaching and learning strategies, and enable schools to attract and retain quality teachers. The federal government has now guaranteed employees’ right to collectively bargain, if the majority of employees in a workplace want to. The new industrial laws also provide that employees can be represented in negotiations by their union, can bargain on a broader range of matters, and that every employee must be better off under the negotiated agreement than they would have been under the award. These key rights deliver better legislative support for collective bargaining than ever before. Even before WorkChoices, employers could refuse to bargain collectively with staff, even if every single employee called for the negotiation of a collective agreement. Problems with ‘multi-employer’ collective agreements
However, the new industrial laws have regrettably retained significant hurdles for employees negotiating within the context of a ‘multi-employer agreement’. This aspect of the new laws perpetuates some disadvantage to employees working in sectors where the various employing authorities want to bargain as a group (such as the Catholic and Anglican sectors). A core inequity remains where staff employed in such sector schools are still unable to take protected industrial action during bargaining to achieve a collective agreement, where their employer nominates a multi-employer agreement made in the federal jurisdiction. ‘Single interest’ employer – An alternative negotiation pathway However, the Fair Work Act does now introduce the new concept of ‘single interest’ employers. These are multiple employers that have a close connection with each other and may bargain together for a single enterprise agreement. (Examples of single interest employers include clusters of schools, franchises, public health service entities, etc). Upon application to the Federal Industrial Relations Minister, employers can seek a declaration to bargain together for a single enterprise agreement. The Minister would consider a range of criteria in assessing whether certain employers can
bargain together including: interests that the employers have in common; extent to which the employers operate collaboratively rather than competitively; and governance under a common regulatory regime, whether separate collective agreements for each workplace would be more appropriate. If the employers’ application is ultimately accepted, Fair Work Australia would issue a ‘single interest employer authorisation’. The relevant employees could then bargain with those employers for a single enterprise agreement, which also means they could take industrial action in support of their bargaining claims. Pattern bargaining and industrial action It also remains of concern that the new industrial laws still do not enable teachers to engage in protected industrial action in support of pattern bargaining, but as the ACTU’s Cath Bowtell points out, genuine bargaining at each enterprise for common claims is not pattern bargaining. That’s a commonsense view, given that emerging education industry standards in wages and conditions ought logically to be pursued to remove that aspect of competition for quality educators between government and non-government schools. Only limited changes have been made to other rules regarding
industrial action, which is still only protected during bargaining to achieve a collective agreement under certain circumstances and must be preceded by a secret ballot which authorises such action. Forward to a fairer school workplace? Whether you’re an optimist who thinks these changes amount to a glass that is half full, or a pessimist who sees it as half empty, it is clear that teachers need to remain vigilant about the protection of working rights and conditions. The value of institutional power cannot be ignored, but it’s the collective strength of colleagues in school workplaces who support each other that has been proven to outlast even the most determined government.
Ros McLennan Assistant General Secretary email@example.com
This is an abridged version of the published article in the April 2009 edition of ‘Teacher’. http://teacher. acer.edu.au/
2009 LABOUR DAY CELEBRATIONS Join with union members throughout the state and march for Labour Day 2009. • Brisbane The Brisbane march begins at 10am on Monday, 4 May from the corner of Wharf and Turbot Streets, with celebrations continuing on to the RNA Showgrounds into the afternoon with entertainment for the whole family. The marching route and information on the Labour Day dinner will soon be available. Check out our QIEU website at www.qieu.asn.au for more information. Regional activities to celebrate Labour Day 2009: • Bundaberg A march will be held on Saturday, 2 May with assembly at the top end of Quay Street at Riverside Parklands at 10:30am. The march will proceed to the Burnett Bowls Club for a Labour Day barbeque for delegates, officials and families from 11am. •
A family picnic/fun day will be held on Sunday, 3 May from 11am at Bell Park. Activities will include food and drink stalls, sports, raffles, speeches and live entertainment. • Mackay A march will be held on Monday, 4 May to commence at 9:30am, to assemble at River Street. The march will proceed to Queens Park where there will be speeches, live music, food and drink stalls, rides and children’s races for the kids. • Moranbah A march will be held on Monday, 4 May with assembly from 9:30am on Tallon Street. The march will continue on to the Town Oval, corner Appleton and Mills Avenue. • Rockhampton A march will be held on Monday, 4 May commencing at 9am from Riverside Carpark (between William and Derby Streets) finishing at Victoria Park, Huish Drive. A family fun day will be held in the park with a sausage sizzle, arts and craft stalls, family sports events and entertainment.
• Sunshine Coast A celebration will be held on Sunday, 3 May commencing at 10:30am at Cotton Tree Foreshore Park with speeches and a BBQ. • Townsville A march will be held on Monday, 4 May with assembly from 10am at Anzac Park, The Strand. The march will commence at 10:45am and will then move to Strand Park. There will be music and entertainment, kid’s rides, food stalls, races, tug-o-war, speeches and presentations. MAY DAY 2009 IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY May Day in the Top End will also be celebrated on Monday, 4 May, in Darwin. Independent Education Union of Australia - Queensland and Northern Territory (IEUA-QNT) members meet at 4:30pm at 38 Woods Street, then enjoy a free public concert on the Esplanade. More details will be made available closer to the date on the IEUA-QNT website at www.qieu.asn.au/nt.html
The Independent Voice
Assistant General Secretary/Treasurer’s Report
Our union hard at work Over the past few weeks QIEU organisers across the state have been conducting industrial relations training. This is the first day of a two-day course that provides skills that enable QIEU Chapters to function effectively in their workplaces. Members from single-site schools, Lutheran, Anglican and Catholic systemic schools, as well as early childhood centres, have come together to gain knowledge about and share the experience of working in the non-government sector of education. Day one of the course investigates the foundations of unions and unionism and why the collective is so vitally important in the 21 st century.This training is grounded upon an understanding of the principles that underpin union – what unions value, what employees in unions have achieved and retained and what workers, united by common values and beliefs, can achieve.This day focuses on the best way to operationalise the shared and common values of the collective at the workplace level. Attention is paid to issue identification and the process
by which issues identified as widely and deeply felt can be addressed. The content of the day, and the experiences that participating members bring to the course, demonstrate quite strongly that through member education, networking and one-on-one communication, members can work together strategically to achieve positive results in addressing issues of concern and improve their working conditions. One of the outcomes of this day-long course is the realisation that much can be achieved at sector level but also that specific, particular issues and concerns can also be effectively dealt with at the local, site-specific level. The day also looks at union membership and considers the adage that ‘it’s not just the strength of our argument but the argument of our strength’ that underpins effective collective action. Day two of the two-day course builds upon concepts and skills developed in day one and apply them to union in action at the workplace. There is
ACSEA fails to
consideration of real-life scenarios and participants in this training consider their own issues and scenarios as the basis upon which the group can develop strategies and plans. This day investigates how Chapter meetings become a dynamic and real part of the workplace environment, contributing to overall fair and just workplace conditions. The application of the concepts and skills developed in this training are examples of union at work, in the workplace. A corollary of this training is, however, the establishment of functioning Chapters with resilient structures and a truly shared workload and equally importantly a shared vision and sense of solidarity. To be truly effective and truly ‘union’, the workplace needs to have established dynamic structures. In the hectic life of members in schools, it is difficult for one person to effectively represent and support a union Chapter. In a number of schools, the single Staff Representative has to complete essential school returns, assist
with membership and recruitment, establish networks and take part in the education, dissemination and retrieval of knowledge about the collective bargaining process. As well, this person is regularly required to assist members on an individual basis responding to queries or supporting them in matters that are more serious. Chapters where union is functioning most effectively are Chapters where the various roles, such as Staff Representative, Membership Coordinator, Network Coordinator, and Collective Bargaining Coordinator are taken and shared amongst a number of staff. The sharing of roles and responsibilities across four or more members allows these roles to be fully implemented in the workplace and it allows the workload and ‘face’ of union at a workplace to be shared. It allows and facilitates network structures and encourages a sense of solidarity so there is a real feeling of being part of the collective and the collective being part of and integral to the effective
functioning of the workplace. As well in workplaces where union is integral to the workplace, Chapter executives are mentoring young members to take on roles in the Executive and be a dynamic part of union at work. Union commitment and activity is based on values and belief about fairness, respect, consideration, natural justice and human dignity. To make our workplaces just, fair and respectful we need a collective that is organised and committed. In that situation we have, in the fullest sense, union at work.
Paul Giles Assistant General Secretary/ Treasurer firstname.lastname@example.org
HHH members secure daily rate of pay
listen to early
Collective action at HHH College has resulted in QIEU members successfully campaigning for a daily rate of pay.
networking, feedback was given for a possible letter to gather signatures once drafted.
The ELICOS college employees were receiving an hourly rate of pay which was unfair on staff as it did not allow for the hours of unpaid preparation and marking that the teachers were performing in their own time.
This letter outlined staff concerns, asking for a genuine discussion with management around these issues.
The Australian Community Services Employers Association (ACSEA) is failing employees in the early childhood education sector with misleading statements concerning federal awards. In February, a letter addressed to the early childhood sector from ACSEA states that “the AIRC (Australian Industrial Relations Commission) hopes to achieve one federal children’s industry award.” This in untrue. The AIRC has not commenced its consideration of award coverage for early childhood education or child care. ACSEA creates a disservice to this industry by creating an impression that all community kindergartens and child care centres will be rolled into the one award. QIEU early childhood members have condemned ACSEA for its inaccurate and misleading statements and call on the Association to oppose the inclusion of community kindergartens in the same award which covers child care centres. ACSEA delays collective bargaining negotiations Unnecessary delays to collective bargaining in the early childhood education sector could have negative repercussions for QIEU members. On behalf of employees in early childhood education QIEU had recommenced the bargaining progress; however, ACSEA have continued to cancel scheduled negotiation meetings and declined to set another date. ACSEA justifies their position on the basis of a request for QIEU’s proposal to rates of pay for assistants. QIEU provided such a proposal to ACSEA 18 months ago. Members have now called on ACSEA to return to the negotiating table to commence an agreement covering early childhood education so that appropriate wage increases and better conditions for employees is not unnecessarily delayed.
QIEU members at HHH decided that approaching management together as a collective was the best way to address this issue. This ensured that all staff had a say in the process which gave them confidence that they would not be singled out through acting alone. Staff at the college were committed to working with management to improve their conditions and decided to approach their QIEU organiser to help draft a collective letter to the College. Utilising email communication, meetings and one-to-one
QIEU member and HHH College teacher John Lincolne said: “We choose to stay because we work with an incredible group of people, who respect each other as people and as fellow professionals. We enjoy our work and our students.” After receiving the letter signed by all staff, HHH management held a staff meeting, at which it was agreed that a daily rate would be paid. Management of the College are to be commended for their positive attitude towards dealing with staff concerns. QIEU members at HHH look forward to continuing this positive dialogue in to the future.
Collective bargaining rights – a way forward for ELICOS members Queensland Independent Education Union (QIEU) members remain committed to achieving recognition of the professional status of teachers in the ELICOS industry through improvements to wages, working conditions and job security. This recognition can only be achieved through collective bargaining, which is currently underway in some ELICOS schools. Historically, the ELICOS industry in Queensland has been reliant solely on the Teachers (English Colleges) Award 1999 to provide rights and working conditions for teachers. The benefits traditionally provided for by the award system, including industry standard wage increases, were severely curtailed under the previous federal government under the guise of flexibility and choice. This has resulted in an essentially outdated award system leaving a vacuum of working rights and conditions that must be filled by collective bargaining if standards in the ELICOS industry are ever to be improved. The process of collective bargaining has long operated across Australia and in almost all parts of the education sector, including
ELICOS colleges in Victoria and New South Wales. Experience has shown that simply having a right to collective bargaining will not in itself provide overnight recognition of the professional status of ELICOS teachers. Collective bargaining with your employer requires significant member strength in the workplace if substantive improvements are to be achieved. In order to build strength in the workplace and achieve improvements to wages and working conditions, ELICOS teachers must ensure: • The majority of teachers are represented through membership of QIEU; • All ELICOS teachers are informed about the issues facing them and their colleagues; and • Members are prepared to support one another to achieve good outcomes in the negotiations. Only through ensuring these three things are in place in the workplace will ELICOS teachers have the strength to gain the improvements to wages and conditions they deserve.
The Independent Voice
Members in Action C&K members network in Emerald
North QLD members undertake IR training
ABOVE: QIEU members from Townsville attend IR training
QIEU members in Townsville and Mackay recently completed important Industrial Relations training to learn practical skills and knowledge for collectively addressing issues within schools. ABOVE: C&K members from Emerald get together to network ideas within their sector
Given the specific nature of issues that affect early childhood education employees, member attendance at the recent Crèche and Kindergarten Association Inc (C&K) networking meeting in Emerald was vital in order for members to have their say and share ideas on matters which affect their working lives and conditions.
that they regularly confront within their sector.
Members from C&K centres within the Emerald area attended this important networking meeting, discussing the important issues
“The meeting gave members the opportunity to discuss issues that are directly confronting the C&K sector, such as the ACSEA (The
QIEU regional organiser Richard Pascoe said members benefited from networking as it provided assistance to each other in a remote area while utilising a wealth of experience within the group.
Australian Community Services Employers Association) issue who are failing employees in this sector with misleading statements concerning federal awards,” Richard said. Early Childhood collective bargaining processes, Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) requirements for teacher registration and the Department of Education Creche and Kindergarten Assessment Scheme (DECKAS) funding were also discussed.
Chapters informed on negotiations in the Catholic log of claims Collective agreement negotiations highlights the need to secure professional pay rates and enhanced working conditions in Queensland Catholic schools which also goes to building a stronger union in the process. QIEU members within their school Chapters continue to acknowledge this by meeting with QIEU organisers to discuss the issues and to provide feedback on collective bargaining and the log of claims in the Catholic sector. Recently, employees at John Fisher College in Bracken Ridge met with their QIEU organiser to review the log of claims. Staff at the College identified wage outcomes as a high priority for collective bargaining, as a significant wage rise is needed to at least achieve parity with other
The Industrial Relations in the Workplace training was held in both regional areas in March, with members learning more about the emerging industrial relations environment, workplace organising strategies, networking, dispute resolution procedures and interpreting employment conditions. QIEU regional organiser Wendy Hutchinson said members were educated on the process of effective communication, negotiation and problem solving skills. “Apart from improving the general level of workplace relations at schools, the other key objective was to strengthen workplaces through improved
as necessary to introduce at the school to go to easing this work intensification load from staff.
With such a sizeable gap between rates paid interstate and those in Queensland, teachers are now well-placed to argue for a national benchmark of salary rates.
“Our Chapter representatives are well informed on the key issues and help all members at the school be kept updated with current The Moreton Bay negotiations,” College Chapter QIEU organiser recently held a morning Jenny Nielsen said. tea for school staff to celebrate the spirit Members can of the collective and build on their raise awareness of the collective strength Chapter and the role of by encouraging our union. n o n - u n i o n colleagues to join The morning tea was QIEU, staying also held to celebrate informed about International Women’s negotiations Day and as a ‘Happy and joining with 9 0 th B i r t h d a y ’ t o colleagues around QIEU. issues of concern.
As school officers are increasingly engaged in tasks which are normally undertaken by over-worked teachers, it is no surprise that they are taking up these duties as increases in work pressures and workload burdens are being shared among all staff members in schools. Additional school officers and teacher aides were highlighted
A further important aspect of the training was to build strength and solidarity amongst members by examining how we as a union operate while providing members with an opportunity to learn practical ‘hands-on’ organising skills. Training also included a discussion on modifications of the federal industrial relations legislation and on what changes members can now expect in the lead up to collective bargaining in their sector. A focus on professional issues, performance pay, work intensification issues, National Curriculum and the QCT Continuing Professional Development Framework was also discussed. Because training attracts a diverse group of members, the day also provides an important opportunity to build stronger networks across our schools and sectors.
RIGHT: Members from Mackay recently attended Industrial Relations training to learn practical skills and knowledge for collectively addressing issues within schools
states in Australia and restore remuneration levels to more appropriate comparison levels.
Of added concern to staff at the College is work intensification issues.
membership,” Wendy said.
Moreton Bay College chapter celebrate
ABOVE: Moreton Bay College chapter held a morning tea to celebrate with their colleagues
The Independent Voice
Equity Matters After 30 years of campaigning there is a prospect of Australian working families finally winning a national paid parental leave scheme. In September 2008, the Productivity Commission released a model for a proposed 18 week scheme, after hearing months of submissions and evidence from unions, community organisations and individuals. The key elements of that proposal include: • Paid leave funded primarily by the federal government at minimum wage rates ($543.78 per week); will be taxed; • Employers to continue paying nine per cent superannuation on the paid leave; • Available to all working mothers who have worked at least 10 hours a week on average over the previous 12 months, with the same or various employers; • 18 weeks to be taken after any other paid maternity leave provided by the employer; • 18 weeks must begin within six months of the birth of the baby; • 18 weeks not available before the birth and cannot be taken at half pay. This payment is not available to “stay at home” mothers who will continue to receive the baby bonus and Family Tax Benefit part B (a lesser amount). • Two weeks paid paternity leave for spouse. The ACTU has now called for 18 weeks paid parental leave to become a new national employment standard and for the federal government to
include it in the May 2009 Budget. Here’s why: 1. New parents often cannot survive on one income, or don’t have sufficient savings to enable one of them to choose to stay home and look after babies for a decent amount of time; •Almost two thirds of Australian parents have no access to paid parental leave; • Cost of living pressures mean some new mothers must return to work too early just to keep the family afloat financially; • There are significant child and maternal health and wellbeing benefits when parents are able to care for new babies. The social, psychological and medical cost of having women back at work before they have physically recovered, bonded with their baby and established breast-feeding cannot be measured and should not be tolerated. 2. Paid Parental Leave makes good economic sense. • The estimated cost of a national paid parental leave scheme is around $530 million. The Productivity Commission calculated that an 18 week paid parental leave scheme would only represent a two per cent increase in spending on existing family assistance measures. Overall the costs would be significantly offset from reduced social welfare payments – including the removal of the baby bonus for employed parents and tax revenue from working parents. Government-funded paid parental leave is a drop in the ocean in terms of budget items – but extremely important
in securing Australia’s workforces and future economic growth and prosperity. • The federal government has already taken decisive action to combat the impacts of the global financial crisis through the payment of the economic stimulus package in April, 2009. Paid parental leave is just another tool to ABOVE: The Queensland Council of Unions Deputy Secretary Amanda Richards cuts the cake at the recent stimulate the economy at paid maternity leave morning tea to highlight the need for such a scheme to be introduced in the federal this time of instability and government’s May Budget economic downturn by boosting spending at a time when we • Australia and the United States are Rockhampton are in the process of need it most. New babies are expensive the only two OECD countries without meeting with federal Labor politicians –parents would certainly spend any a statutory Paid Parental Leave scheme. to talk personally about the urgent money received at this time. (New Zealand, Canada, UK, Norway, need to include a national paid Germany, Sweden, Bulgaria – even parental leave scheme in the May 3. Increase retention rates for female Botswana and Burma – all have paid 2009 Budget. workers. maternity leave right now). • Research demonstrates that women • Without a national paid parental leave You can help right now: who have access to paid maternity leave scheme, it has been left to collective • Organise colleagues’ signatures on have a return-to-work rate approaching bargaining outcomes – with varying campaign postcards. (Contact Ros 90 per cent. results. Typically, professional women McLennan on email@example.com. • This helps business retain skilled working in highly unionised industries au with the number of postcards you staff. According to employers, the cost have achieved a level of success in require) of replacing staff – including training accessing paid parental leave; however, • Send a campaign postcard online by and recruitment –appears to be at least there remains significant equity issues 17 April. (Go to www.qcu.asn.au) $10,000 and more for higher skill/salary for women working in casual or short • Send a digital video petition to your areas. term contract positions. There is an local federal member. (Go to www. • Encouraging a larger number of inherent unfairness in the provision of actu.asn.au) women workers to return to paid this key benefit for some families, and • Send a campaign email to your employment is also good news for not others. local MP. (Contact Ros McLennan the federal government’s taxation • Paid parental leave would also aid on firstname.lastname@example.org if you revenue. promotion of positive social goals, such can help) • Australia needs to urgently address as the normalcy of both parents being • Send a letter to the editor to your the matter of women’s workforce involved in caring for children, and local newspaper. (Contact Ros p a r t i c i p a t i o n – combining work and parenthood. McLennan on email@example.com. overseas experience • Opinion polls, talk back radio and au if you can help). shows access to paid letters to the editor clearly show that parental leave will Australians support government-funded We know that the Federal Budget is help. (We are currently paid parental leave. not yet set in concrete; funding paid ranked 23 out of 24 parental leave now would mean babies O E C D c o u n t r i e s Teachers and school employees are can get the best possible start, parents f o r w o r k f o r c e driven to act in the best interests can be relieved of some financial p a r t i c i p a t i o n f o r of students in everything they do. stress and employers are assisted in women aged between Standing up for what is best for families retaining good female staff. 25 and 44). on the issue of paid parental leave is 4. It’s the socially just no exception. A number of committed thing to do. QIEU members in Brisbane, Cairns and Ros McLennan
Paid parental leave – a new employment standard in 2009? Did you know that two thirds of Australian working women have no access to paid parental leave? Also, Australia and the United States are the only two OECD countries which do not offer paid parental leave schemes. Everyone benefits from paid parental leave – mothers, families, business, the economy. New parents need time to recover from childbirth, adjust to motherhood, establish breastfeeding and bond with their new baby – without having to worry about paying the bills. Even in these tough economic times, it makes sense to invest in Australia’s labour force as the cost to the economy of people leaving the workforce after unpaid parental leave is huge. Having a paid parental leave scheme would strengthen the job market by retaining skilled, educated and experienced employees and reduce employers’ re-hiring and training costs. Unions are working together to support the findings of the Productivity Commission Inquiry which has determined that new parents can access a minimum of 18 weeks paid parental leave. This leave would be
funded primarily by the federal government at minimum wage rates (currently $543.78 per week). Employers would be encouraged to ‘top-up’ the government’s paid leave to make sure women earning above the minimum wage receive full income replacement. The 18 weeks would be in addition to any parental leave arrangements which already exist at individual workplaces achieved through collective bargaining. The Productivity Commission handed down its final report in February, 2009. We need to keep the pressure on the federal government to make sure paid parental leave is included in this year’s Federal Budget. We need a universal, government-funded scheme which is available to all eligible workers – not just the lucky few who have been able to negotiate paid leave at their workplaces. A national paid parental leave scheme is long overdue. Join the campaign and send a message that you support the inclusion of a paid parental leave scheme in this year’s Federal Budget. Go to www.qcu.asn.au/100. html
The Independent Voice
QIEU celebrates International Women’s Day The contribution of our female colleagues to education and wider society was celebrated at the annual UNIFEM International Women’s Day breakfast in Brisbane on 5 March. The breakfast, now in its 20th year, brought together a 1,200 strong turn out of a broad cross section of women to discuss their achievements and the challenges they still face in various countries.
girls from attending school; and has been a silent driver of the rapid feminisation of HIV and AIDS. She challenged all guests to get involved and help hold the DRC government to account. “Let us wipe the tears of a nation of women in pain,” she said. QIEU staff members were also in attendance at the IWD breakfast.
This year’s guest speaker, Lulu Mitshabu of the Africa Program Coordinator for CARITAS, spoke on the dangers women face in war zones.
IWD challenges us all to decide what legacy we will pass on to future generations of women workers, both industrially and professionally.
Ms Mitshabu fled the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as a refugee, and told guests about the civil war that ravaged her country leaving 5.4 million people dead; three quarters of whom are women and children.
QIEU members will continue to make a difference in the working lives of women and their families.
She described the horrendous conditions women face as the victims of widespread sexual violence.
For more than 80 years, International Women’s Day (IWD) has been observed as a time for asserting women’s social, political and working rights.
“When I was in a Zambian refugee camp I realised how fully vulnerable women are in these situations so I made a commitment to tell their story,” she said. “It is more dangerous to be a woman collecting firewood or a girl going to school than it is being a soldier on the front line of the war.” Ms Mishabu said violence against women undermines poverty reduction and development efforts; hampers women’s agency and productivity; destroys their health; prevents
LEFT: Attending the UNIFEM IWD breakfast was (back left to right) QIEU’s Camille Furtado, Ros McLennan, Danielle Randall, Narelle Morris, Monique Roosen, (front left to right) Gaye Vale, Miriam Dunn and Kay Holloway
A time for asserting women’s rights
IWD is also a time to reflect on the progress made by generations of working women and their families in the struggle for fair workplace rights, decent employment conditions and equal pay. It is also a time to consider the professional contribution that women educators have made, and to continue to make, within education. In 2009 women’s working rights are as important now as they have ever been. This year after
decades of campaigning, Australian families and unions have called for universal paid parental leave to be funded in the federal government’s May Budget and included as a national employment standard. The Productivity Commission released a model of parental leave for a proposed 18 week scheme; the federal government must now listen to these findings and listen to Australian families and make this happen. Over the past 30 years women’s participation in the workforce has increased dramatically; however, women still earn on average 18.4 per cent less than men, are more likely to be underemployed in casual and fixed term jobs and have less superannuation upon retirement.
Key elements affecting pay equity for women working in the non-government education sector include a lack of: • appropriate recognition of women’s work value and skills; • flexible work practices; and • adequate representation of women in leadership positions, relative to the demographic of the profession. Practical changes need to be made to federal industrial relations laws to ensure equal remuneration for men and women doing work of equal or comparable value. The new Fair Work Act will go to restoring balance to Australian workplaces by introducing new protections against discriminatory
Clarity needed on Continuing Professional Development The Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) long silence on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) implementation must end and greater clarity on the CPD Framework provided before its implementation in 2010. Confusion on CPD requirements and processes has so far not only affected QIEU members, but principals themselves. Members have reported some schools are telling employees that they must be involved in planning and curriculum development to receive the school’s approval for school level professional development to be included in a teachers CPD submissions for QCT requirements. This is false and misleading. Meeting the QCT Professional Development requirements is a matter between the teacher and QCT. The teacher is registered by the QCT and the QCT imposes the CPD requirement and it is the teacher’s responsibility to meet the CPD requirement. The employer is not part of that relationship. Whilst schools are encouraged to provide Professional
Development for employees the school is not directly involved in the QCT-registered teacher relationship. The current QCT guidelines dicredit these schools’ position that you must be involved in the planning process for PD to be approved by the school. The CPD Framework states that “CPD does not include participation in routine core business meetings, planning and preparation.” These issues are arising in more schools due to the confusion as to what is expected by QCT, when and how they expect these things and what does and does not constitute PD. The Board of QCT approved 2009 as the year for further communication and education about the Framework and its links to the Professional Standards for Queensland Teachers. Currently this has not happened. Confusion regarding CPD implementation will continue unless QCT provides clear communication and education on CPD requirements.
treatment at work, with these changes of particular interest to women as it will: • allow new national employment standards for extended parental leave and flexible work for parents; • empower Fair Work Australia to make pay orders to address failure of awards or agreements to provide equal pay for work of equal or comparable value; and • inclusion of a ‘low paid bargaining stream’ mechanism for low paid employees to improve their wages and conditions. Our voices must be heard on these issues of both industrial and professional matters.
Teacher Exchange 5 years Teaching Experience + QIEU Membership = OPPORTUNITY! Work overseas & retain your accrued entitlements UK, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Canada, Colorado, USA Check out our website www.qieu.asn. au Click on About Your Union, then Membership Info and click Overseas Exchange Program Contact Jenny on (07) 3839 7020 (Free Call) 1800 177937 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Independent Voice
Looking back on the history of our union: Our first Awards The first awards for Masters and Mistresses in non-governmental schools in Queensland highlight interesting aspects of the society of the day, especially in relation to working rights for women. In the Teachers’ Non-Governmental Secondary Schools – Award (the Masters’ Award) which was gazetted on 14 December 1920, the definition of “Secondary school” is described as: “any boys’ or mixed school not under the direct control of the Department of Public Instruction, Queensland, and which prepares candidates for the Senior Examination, Matriculation Examinations of the Queensland University, University Open Scholarship (State), or examinations of equal educational standard of a British University.” Furthermore, “Assistant Master” covers any master or mistress other than the head master or principal, and who is ordinarily engaged in teaching fulltime on the staff of a secondary school. However, there is an exemption to this coverage outlined in the section entitled “Application of Award”. The final sentence of this section states that “This Award shall not apply to such teachers in Holy Orders nor to Christian Brothers.” When it came to the Assistant Mistresses’ Award (Non-Governmental Secondary Schools for Girls – Assistant Mistresses’ Award) gazetted 6 April 1921, we see some of the issues concerning the attitudes towards women in evidence. In the Judgment of Mr Allan W. MacNaughton, we learn that this award would apply only to those institutions which may receive the holders of State scholarships in secondary schools; this being considerably more narrow
than that for the boys’ and mixed schools above. The reason for this is given in the Judgment of Justice Allan W. MacNaughton: “It was pointed out that if the Award were made to apply to all schools which prepare candidates for the matriculation examinations in the Queensland University, public examinations, and University scholarships, hardships might be inflicted on ladies who have up till now conducted comparatively small girls’ schools themselves with some outside assistance.” Moreover, he considered that the coverage afforded by his decision
In the Mistresses’ Award, however, Justice MacNaughton’s explained that “there had been a large increase throughout the State in denominational secondary schools, founded and conducted under the auspices of the different religious bodies.” He went on to explain that there was “no dispute as to the exemption of members of religious orders”, but that: “It was stated on behalf of the Church of England, the Presbyterian Church, and the Methodist Church, that many of their members, who do not belong to any religious order, are willing to and do work for no remuneration at
teachers in denominational schools which are defined as schools under the control of a corporation or corporations … in which religious instruction is given.” And that: “Each such teacher must make a statutory declaration in the prescribed form that she is actuated by religious motives in claiming the exemption, and does so of her own free will.” Clearly he did try to build in some protections, built on the false belief that all employers would act in good faith and not coerce women to apply for the exemption, for a further
ABOVE: A photo of Brisbane Grammar School staff in 1927 also contained the images of many of our founding fathers, those including: (back) B.O. Rees (a later President), J.P. McCarthy (the first Treasurer), H. Allen (founding father), N.S.Connal (first Secretary); (middle three men in middle row) H. Cannon, P.J. Moriarty, J.C. Deeney (all Council members with P.J. Moriarty later Secretary and then President); (front) second from left, A.J. Mason (first President), second from right, J. G. Nowlan (Council member and later auditor); (inset) B. Porter (first Vice-President)
would “give ample protection to the members of the applicant union.” Another significant difference between the Awards for Masters and Mistresses concerned the matter of the “Religious Exemption.” In the Masters’ Award it simply states that “This Award shall not apply to such teachers in Holy Orders nor to Christian Brothers.” Clearly it will have force to all other teachers in the schools.
all, or for very little, in the interests of religion; and that if they should be prevented from continuing to do so it would be difficult, if not impossible, to carry on many of these schools.” This he clearly found to be a convincing argument, for he decided that for the Assistant Mistresses that: “The Award shall not apply to teachers who are members of religious orders, or to individual
clause states that the declaration made by the teacher: “Must be accompanied by a certificate from the head of the denomination to which the school belongs stating that he believes that the applicant’s declaration is true, that no pressure has been brought to bear on the declarant to make the declaration, that she is a fit and proper person to receive the exemption, and that it is in the interest of religion that the exemption should be granted.”
Teachers who were granted this exemption “must be paid the minimum rate of £2 3s. per week, with deductions for board and lodging when supplied.” This would amount to £111 16s per annum which is a pittance compared to the top rate of pay which was £370 per annum and is even considerably below the entry rate of pay which was £165. There seems to be here an expression of the widely held view that “gentle” women did not do paid work, but rather engaged in “good works” for the benefit of society and for God’s sake. Furthermore, it is not unreasonable to deduce from these decisions that the education of girls is not as critical an issue as it is for boys, who, as the wisdom of the time would have it, would go on to become the breadwinner of a family and thus support a wife, children, unmarried sisters, maiden aunts and so on. These views were clearly being challenged in many ways after the conclusion of the First World War. Women had won the right to vote and were making progress in many areas. Moreover, the horrendous loss of life and capacity that resulted from the Great War made it a matter of necessity for many women to take on the role of breadwinner. As it turned out the religious exemption clause was to cause problems for many years to come, but slowly and surely women worked towards achieving more equitable working conditions and remuneration. The battle continues with the current pay equity case and the drive for more realistic paid maternity and parental leave provisions.
Left is a copy of the minutes of the meeting at which the Association of Assistant Mistresses in Non Governmental Secondary Girls’ Schools of Queensland came into being. From these minutes we learn that Mr Connal, the Secretary of the Assistant Masters’ Association, was present and that he at least was supportive of the two organisations combining. However, this was not to occur for some 50 years. While we are fortunate that QIEU have almost all of the minute books of the Assistant Misstresses’ Association. None of the minutes of the Assistant Masters’ Association have survived.
Our Profession - 90 Years Union Strong
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QIEU Conference 2009 celebrates Past Achievements - Future Challenges The QIEU Conference 2009 plenary sessions and workshop streams focused on lessons learnt in the past which can point us to how we might address issues education professionals face today and in the future.
issues for participants, as the Conference presenters agreed that the current process of the federal government looking to the UK and Joel Klein’s New York models lacked equity and economic sense.
The Conference, themed ‘Past Achievements – Future Challenges,’ addressed our antecedent union’s past and looked to define the modern teacher.
The early childhood education stream showed that three common themes of concern were felt by participants: a lack of professional status and inequitable pay and work provisions; work intensification; and a concern that policy makers do not share the pedagogical frameworks of those who work with young children on a daily basis. While the group argued for equity with other education professionals in accessing workplace entitlements, it was equally obvious they viewed themselves as strong advocates for the rights of young children, and the profession.
Together with this, a further four streams included: the shaping of industrial relations and the law; national curriculum; early childhood education; and equity. The industrial relations and the law stream covered topics which included: the extent of the legal duty of care owed by teachers and school officers in relation to supervision of students and intervention in situations of violence and bullying; issues of discrimination and “lifestyle clauses” used by schools; the relevance of consumer protection law; and the need for schools to be cautious about promises made to parents. Conference participants were also on hand to listen to Dr John Buchanan, Director of the University of Sydney’s Workplace Relations Centre, who touched on the current and future labour market outlook, labour law and new strategic challenges and options for unions. The shift towards a national curriculum raised many
In the equity stream both presenters spoke on very different subject matters; however, a similar theme was apparent. Teacher quality evidenced through responsive and creative pedagogy, rather than the narrow models that limit teacher quality to test score results, are the critical elements in addressing educational equity in these shifting paradigms. All presentations have given Conference participants improved knowledge and better understanding to enable us, as a union and as educators, to prepare for the challenges of the future.
Industrial Relations and the Law Queensland Independent Education Union members who attended the industrial relations and the law streams during the Conference enjoyed detailed and relevant presentations on a number of industrial and legal issues relevant to QIEU and its members.
Workplace Relations Centre.
The first session presented by Andrew Knott and Rachel Drew of Macrossans Lawyers, who both have a comprehensive knowledge of the law relevant to the education sector, was entitled Independent Education Employees and the Law.
Dr Buchanan discussed the current economic downturn and the impact that it has had and will continue to have on workers and unions.
Macrossans are an invaluable resource for QIEU members working in increasingly complex and demanding workplaces. Topics included: • the extent of the legal duty of care owed by teachers and school officers in relation to supervision of students and intervention in situations of violence and bullying; • issues of discrimination and “lifestyle clauses” used by schools; • the relevance of consumer protection law and the need for schools to be cautious about promises made to parents; and • issues related to teacher registration, plus many more. Andrew Knott and Rachel Drew referred to a growing body of “education law” and the need for teachers and schools to have a good grasp of the legal issues to be aware of. Educational professionals are facing increasingly complex situations at work and a sound knowledge of legal rights and obligations is very important. The second session was presented by Dr John Buchanan, Director of the University of Sydney’s
His fascinating presentation touched on the current and future labour market outlook, labour law and new strategic challenges and options for unions.
Dr Buchanan also gave an overview of labour law over the past 100 years, from the Conciliation and Arbitration Act to the Fair Work Legislation, and analysed changes in direction over that period of time. Dr Buchanan stated that he believed that the former federal government’s WorkChoices was the most extreme pro-employer legislation ever implemented in a modern democratic state. He explained that the Fair Work Bill restores some of the balance by removing the more aggressive provisions of WorkChoices which empowered employers at the expense of workers’ fundamental rights. However, Dr Buchanan expressed some concerns about the new laws and stressed the need for workers and unions to monitor the effects of the new system closely. He also discussed the need for unions and union members to engage more broadly with politicians and the broader community on social issues of concern to them, including equity issues and environmental issues, in order to ensure that the world that emerges from the current downturn is more fair, more sustainable, more tolerant and more
ABOVE: Macrossans Lawyers Andrew Knott and Rachel Drew, with University of Sydney’s Dr John Buchanan (centre) discuss industrial relations and the law at the QIEU Conference responsible than the one that entered it. Dr Buchanan highlighted the vital role of white collar unions such as QIEU in this process of renewing and revitalising the union movement so that it is equipped to address the industrial, social, economic and environmental issues of the future. Sophie Ismail Industrial Officer MIDDLE RIGHT: QIEU members listen to the presenters of the industrial relations and the law stream at the QIEU Conference
RIGHT: Dr John Buchanan presents at the Conference
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National Curriculum The shift towards a national curriculum raises many issues for Queensland teachers and this was made apparent in presentations by Professor Robert Gilbert and Professor Val Klenowski at the Conference. Professor Gilbert from the University of Queensland explained that the ‘culture wars’ being played out in the Australian media and political arenas have major implications for policy and practice. The diversity of pedagogy that exists in Australia, due to having state educational systems and the notion that each approach far outweighs any other, is not new. However, Professor Gilbert said what is novel is that Australia is now engaged in an international curriculum debate that is interwoven with world economic policies. This thus creates “a confrontational atmosphere which is not productive” in establishing what is the best way forward in regards to how our national curriculum should work. Education policy around the world is moving away from the teaching of knowledge to the teaching of the test which creates worldwide “a notion that education is a competition”.
Both national curriculum presenters said the federal government is looking at the United Kingdom and Joel Klein’s New York models with both having an emphasis on hyper accountability. These highly bureaucratic models include: across the board testing; league tables; school inspections, which could result in school closure; and having students repeat grades if they do not pass their tests. These models lack equity and economic sense. Although the Finnish system, with its clarity and emphasis of learning, has been the leading world model, it is not where we are heading. Instead, we are moving towards an education by numbers, with NAPLAN as an example. Further evidence of this is the Queensland Studies Authority (QSA) advice for schools to spend time in years 7 and 8 on specific skills and routines so students can do well in their tests. This concerns Queensland teachers and students because students will have to be taught the skills associated with sitting tests. Studies have also indicated that students become very aware of their expected grade levels which impacts on self-esteem. This move will possibly widen the gap between indigenous and
non-indigenous students and will affect those schools that do not have up to date access of curriculum tools. Furthermore, both presenters agreed that assessment in education is inexact and should be treated as such. The greatest fears we have in regards to the models for a national curriculum that are being touted are that standards will be used as a lever to judge teacher reliability. With the economic decline, standards will force schools into an
Equity Dr Elspeth McInnes from the University of South Australia School of Education, and Associate Professor Martin Mills from UQ School of Education, challenged members to question current strategies employed to achieve educational equity in search of a new paradigm. Dr McInnes used Australian OECD data and the resultant high quality and low equity educational outcomes to explore the ineffectiveness of current equity measures. Historically, these measures have focused on structural solutions to educational inequity based on socio-economic, cultural or geographic disadvantage. Although these remain broad areas of disadvantage, the most extreme cases of need are lost within these groups, limiting the overall success of the programs and strategies adopted. What will make the difference is the provision of educational systems that support the notion of success (at differing levels) for each student and educational spaces that support and nurture a feeling of safety for each student, thus optimising the opportunity for continued and regular engagement of students. Whole school planning including anti-violence curriculum, professional development for education employees, review of existing policies and procedures to remove indirect reinforcement of negative behavioural responses and encourages engagement, resourcing of specialist external intervention services and resourcing of physical and structural measures within the school to provide a safe environment. Such measures would move responses from those of suspension and exclusion to supporting engagement in learning, thus increase educational opportunity. Dr Mills sees current educational gender
constructs as dangerous for both boys and girls and to move from this means rejecting the “competing victim” schooling debate that places boys and girls in competition for high quality learning outcomes and results in a reinforcement of gender stereotyping in education. The historical approach of structural reform including implementation of single sex schools, “boy-friendly” curricula and increasing the number of male teachers is simplistic. It fails to accommodate differing constructs of masculinity and can work to reinforce gender stereotypes; the question of which boys (or which girls) is subsumed by the notion that all boys benefit from the same strategies. What is needed is a better understanding of the nature of gender and how pedagogical rather than structural responses can be utilised to achieve gender equity. In terms of boys and pedagogy we need to address: • intellectual quality by rejecting the deficit models of boys and replaces them with high expectations for their academic achievement; • connectedness to learning without reinforcing a gendered view of learning; and • supportive classroom environments that enables difference and risk-taking; and values difference through exposure to difference. Although very different subject matter, a similar theme is apparent: teacher quality evidenced through responsive and creative pedagogy, rather than the narrow models and arguments that have limited teacher quality to test score results, are the critical elements in addressing educational equity in these shifting paradigms. Gaye Vale Organiser
ABOVE: Dr Martin Mills from UQ RIGHT: Dr Elspeth McInnes, from the University of South Australia, goes through the effects of trauma to participants
accountability competition for numbers, and therefore the emphasis on learning will be lost. Both Professor Gilbert and Klenowski agreed a ‘flexible’ model of standards and teacher moderation is needed. Belinda Hogan-Collis Communications Officer RIGHT: QUT Professor Val Klenowski BELOW: UQ Professor Robert Gilbert presents on the issues concerning the shift to a national curriculum
Early Childhood The desire of those attending the early childhood stream to have their stories told was evident right from the beginning. The participants were from a diverse employment background including community kindergartens, prep and the early years of schooling, and all spoke with one voice about their professional concerns for the present and future in Early Childhood Education. There were three common themes of concern carried through the three sessions: lack of professional status and inequitable pay and work provisions; work intensification; and a professional level of concern that some policy makers and elements in our society do not share the pedagogical frameworks of those who work with young children on a daily basis. Individual participants expressed their right to be recognised as professionals by policy makers, educational authorities, federal and state governments, employers and society in general. While the group argued for equity with other education professionals in accessing workplace entitlements, it was equally obvious they viewed themselves as strong advocates for the rights of young children, their professionalism and the profession. Dr Felicity McArdle from the QUT Centre for Learning Innovation School of Early Childhood invited participants to identify one aspect of their work which needed to be marked for change. While the teachers and assistants clearly wanted pay and work conditions on par with those in other sectors, there was also a concern that the inordinate amount of time required in constructing assessment portfolios was taking teachers away from the fundamental nature of their work. While participants acknowledged the existence of ongoing differences in a shared view on early childhood programmes, there was common agreement that teachers wanted quality time with their children rather than large amounts of time spent with a camera. Dr McArdle encouraged teachers to use their pedagogical knowledge and their every-day work observations to talk back to those who would see teachers become documenters.
Participants welcomed the information presented by qualitative researcher Associate Professor Donna Berthelsen, also from QUT. The findings of three research studies – Growing Up in Australia (a study of 10,000 children from 2002-2018), a UK study funded by the Blair government in 1997 Effective Provision of PreSchool Education and a US study Building a Science of Classrooms. The data confirmed the positive impact of well funded, quality Early Childhood programmes run by professionals in determining future success in schooling. Professor Berthelsen drew attention to the notion of ‘sustained shared thinking’ and this concept of teachers engaging with children in their play activities supported the participants in their position that ‘play’ is often misread as free time by those who may wish to push a formal curriculum agenda. Comments were made that early childhood teachers were feeling this pressure from some employers, parents and even more concerning, some educators in prep classes, to replace play-based programmes. The final session led by both presenters encouraged participants to look to collective forms of action to tell their story. The final discussion focused on the role of the individual and the role of the collective. For the individual this means taking on an educative role by using data from research studies to support their positions in any tough debates with principals, teachers, parents and employer consultative representatives who may question a teacher’s stance. It was generally agreed that more can be achieved through collective action. It is important to build strength through union membership and union partnerships to improve the working rights and conditions of early childhood employees across all regions. Jane Maliszewski Organiser
Session two gave access to valuable data from l o n g i t u d i n a l s t u d i e s . ABOVE: QIEU early childhood members listen to Dr McArdle
The Independent Voice
QIEU 90 Anniversary dinner As part of the QIEU Conference for 2009, members joined together to celebrate our union’s 90th anniversary with a dinner in Brisbane. Together with past and current members, life members and QIEU staff joined with conference presenters and other union dignitries to acknowledge the past achievements and welcome the future challenges of our union. QIEU President Andrew Elphinstone began the night with a formal welcoming of guests, with Reverend Canon Bruce Maughan providing the invocation. General Secretary Terry Burke commented on the significance of the night and spoke on how our union has progressed through the decades. The night also showcased a slideshow of photographs and campaigns progressing through the past 90 years encompassing the significant milestones of QIEU. A vote of thanks by past union Council member Terry Sullivan concluded the evening. All dinner attendees enjoyed celebrating such a significant milestone which is the 90th Anniversary of our union.
ABOVE: QIEU members Denis Kettle, Pat Curran, Maria Campanini and Steven Bishop enjoy the QIEU 90th Anniversary dinner
ABOVE: Martin and Aleisha Connellan, Mark McCall, John Kennedy and Lesley McFarlane ABOVE: Karen Fallon with QIEU Organiser Jane Maliszewski
ABOVE: QIEU Council members Jenny Winn and Peter Lovegrove
ABOVE: IEUA Assistant Federal Secretary Christine Cooper, IEUA Federal President Dick Sherman and QIEU Vice President Suzanne Burdon
ABOVE: Rev Canon Bruce Maughan is awarded a Certificate of 50 years membership by General Secretary Terry Burke
ABOVE: QIEU President Andrew Elphinstone welcomes guests
ABOVE: Marion Gardner with Glenn and Megan Pyne
ABOVE: Enjoying the night was Steve Blacklow, Kerry Laws, Patrick Meikle and Chris Chapman
ABOVE: Gaye Vale, Maria Heenan and Michael Moy
ABOVE: Borilla Kindergarten’s Rebecca MacDonald and Jenny Finlay with Emerald Kindergarten’s Kay Harling
The Independent Voice
Catholic employers slow to act
Management ignore issues at The Lakes
on fixed term contract misuse Fixed term contract misuse continues to occur in some Queensland Catholic diocesan schools, despite more stringent regulations governing their use being negotiated in the last collective bargaining agreement. Catholic employers committed to undertake an internal review process to identify which teacher and school officer positions should now be designated as continuing, permanent positions by the end of the 2007 school year. It was expected that numerous fixed term employees would be moved to a permanent employment status as an outcome of this process. In a number of situations this has occured. At the beginning of the 2008 school year, QIEU wrote to the various Catholic diocesan employing authorities to remind them of their obligations under the collective bargaining agreement and clarify the current status of their internal review process. Employer action on this important employment issue in at least one diocese is underwhelming.
term contract use. The ‘identifiable short term need’ test and its reasonable application to fixed term engagements has been reviewed and defined. (Examples of appropriate use are also included in the collective agreement provision to provide further guidance, if required).
Ironically, one employer pointed to the staggering number of fixed term employees in their diocese, and the associated time required to individually assess whether a legitimate ‘identifiable short term need’ existed, as the very reason for their inability to undertake this internal review process in an expeditious and timely manner. In 2009 there is still an issue, with some Catholic employers seeming to continue to inappropriately engage employees on fixed term contracts, with new graduate teachers particular targets. Where do you stand? The current Agreement contains clear parameters for fixed
Fixed term employees should be provided with written advice as to the ‘identifiable short term need’ they have been appointed to fill in their letter of appointment. Information should also be provided to fixed term employees as to the procedure to be followed and relevant assessment criteria to be used, should they wish to apply for continuing status.
Management have offered staff paid maternity leave for 14 weeks, inclusive of school holidays.
It is also expressly stated that fixed term contracts are not to be used for probationary purposes to “see how the new person goes” before extending permanent employment. Further, part time teachers, specialist teachers, graduates and those providing release for senior administration will not as a matter of course be placed on fixed term contracts.
Fixed term employees have the right to initiate a review of their positions, where they believe that no valid ‘identifiable short-term need’ exists. Under the terms of the Agreement, fixed term employees may apply for continuing status. At the request of an employee, Catholic employers are now obliged to provide information on the procedure to be followed and criteria to be used for conversion from fixed term to continuing employment. QIEU is able to advise and support members through this process.
QIEU are asking that the 14 weeks leave be exclusive of holidays, with the option of taking 28 weeks at half pay. QIEU and its members at the College will continue to fight for this inclusion in their agreement. Employees are also concerned about wage rates, with wage parity to other states and education sectors needed to be included in any future agreement with College management. Teachers at the College have also highlighted the important role of school officers and have agreed to fight collectively to ensure they are properly recognised in the reclassification progress. Addressing work intensification issues at the College was also of concern to staff. QIEU Organisers and the College representatives will continue to meet with management on their log of claims to appropriately address the issues of concern to staff when entering into a new collective agreement.
Call our Brisbane office on (07) 3839 7020 and ask to speak to a Member Services Officer if you would like further information about your workplace rights.
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Paid parental leave, wages parity, recognising the valuable role of school officers through reclassification and work intensification are key issues staff at the College want acknowledged in the school’s new agreement. Currently the school has a Deed of Settlement which expired on 31 March this year; a new union collective agreement would go to addressing these issues to properly recognise staff with better wages and conditions.
What can you do right now? Only in one other - the Rockhampton Diocese - the employing authority seemed to take the matter seriously in the time frame specified.
The Lakes College management continues to propose a 12 month interim collective agreement which continues to ignore issues of concern to staff.
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IEUA-QNT COMMITTEES Independent Education Union of Australia Queensland and Northern Territory (IEUA-QNT) committees have direct input into IEUA-QNT and QIEU Council by helping to guide our unions’ policy development around member issues and devise strategies regarding the various industrial and professional issues and campaigns. You can join any of the following committees:
• • • • •
Education; Equity; Industrial; Member Benefits; Organising Campaigning; and • Publications.
If you would like to be involved please contact the QIEU office on 1800 177 937 (toll free) or email email@example.com
The Independent Voice
Pay equity enhances women’s rights at work The achievement of pay equity and the protection and enhancement of women’s rights at work is a high priority for the QIEU. Pay equity and women’s rights at work are not just “women’s issues”; they affect men, families and whole communities. The unfortunate reality is that pay inequity is still widespread and women still face significant hurdles in relation to workforce participation. Many gains in pay equity made since 1970 were badly eroded by WorkChoices, and the situation is now actually worsening instead of improving. A recent Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) report shows that women still bear the biggest burden of family responsibilities. Women on average earn approximately 16 per cent less than men (and this statistic only relates to women in full-time work), have far less superannuation on retirement and are still underrepresented in leadership positions and overrepresented in casual and parttime employment. Such inequality is readily observable in the non-government education sector, which for example still has relatively few women principals and senior administrators despite
the fact that it is a female-dominated profession. The current global financial crisis poses further threats to women’s job security, quality and pay as vital initiatives such as paid maternity leave are sidelined by the federal government because they are supposedly “unaffordable”. Now more than ever, strong advocacy for the protection of women’s rights at work is needed. In this context, it is timely that the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Employment and Workplace Relations was asked in June last year to investigate and report on pay equity and associated issues related to increasing female participation in the workforce.
lack of adequate representation of women in leadership positions across the non-government education sector. Pay equity is a complicated issue. The widely accepted definition of pay equity refers to equal pay for equal or comparable work. The words “or comparable” in the definition are vital, because pay equity means more than just the same pay for men and women doing the same job. Pay equity also involves the proper valuing of female-dominated professions and the appropriate rewarding of those professions when compared to male-dominated professions which require similar or comparable skills and abilities.
QIEU assisted the Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland and Northern Territory (IEUA-QNT) branch in making a written submission to the inquiry and appeared at the public hearing on 31 March 2009.
The problem is that “female” skills have traditionally been undervalued, which has resulted and continues to result in lower wage outcomes for female-dominated professions which do not have access to the benefits of collective bargaining.
IEUA’s main concerns in regards to pay equity and obstacles to women’s workforce participation are the lack of appropriate recognition of the value of women’s work and skills, the lack of access to flexible work arrangements in schools and the
This again is demonstrated clearly in the non-government education sector, where women in schools with collectively negotiated agreements have higher pay, better job security and generally more favourable working conditions than
We are interested in gathering information about how you combine work and non-work (lifestyle and/or family) aspects of your life. Information will be collected in a longitudinal study that will involve participation in a survey on two occasions, one this year and one next year.
QIEU will be provided with reports on survey findings which will be conveyed to you. Your participation will provide us with the information we need to accurately report on the issues that are important to people working in schools and other educational communities in Queensland.
Chief Investigator: Associate Professor Paula Brough
Work-Life Balance Research Project http://www.griffith.edu.au/health/work-life-balance-project
new federal industrial system.
In workplaces with high union membership and collectively negotiated agreements, employees generally enjoy paid maternity leave, access to flexible working arrangements and other family friendly arrangements that protect women and their families and enhance their workforce participation.
In terms of workplace cultures, IEUA submitted to the inquiry that there are a number of steps that the government can take to secure pay equity and equality of workforce participation.
However, in workplaces with low union-membership and no collectively negotiated agreement, women, particularly those with family responsibilities, remain vulnerable. As such, IEUA is strongly submitting to the Parliamentary Committee investigating this issue that there must be a robust legislative and industrial framework protecting women from pay inequity, accompanied by meaningful policy initiatives from government to ensure that employers and employees are well educated about pay equity and the ways in which equitable workplace cultures can be created and fostered. Legislative and Industrial Frameworks Queensland has Australia’s best pay equity provisions. The Equal Remuneration Principle articulated by the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission in 2002 states that in Queensland, the assessment of work value is to be transparent, objective, non-discriminatory and free of gender-based assumptions. Issues such as the labeling of certain work as “female” and the under-valuing of the skills of female employees are to be considered.
All participation is voluntary and confidential. The survey will be open until May 1 after which a draw will be held to determine winners of a $200 and two $50 shopping vouchers.
women working in schools without collective agreements and with low union membership.
The link to our online survey is: http://www.griffith.edu.au/health/ work-life-balance project/research/ work-life-balance-survey The link is also available on QIEU website http://www.qieu.asn.au/ For more information (or if you would prefer to complete a printed version of the survey) contact project manager: Dr Carolyn Timms Phone: (07) 37353451 firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the most important elements of the Queensland principle is the fact that the test for pay inequity is whether or not there has been undervaluation of the work as a whole, not merely an assessment of whether not there is equal pay compared to a man doing the same job. This principle allows an assessment of whether or not female-dominated professions such as education, child care and community services are as a whole undervalued, even though men and women within those professions are paid the same. The Fair Work Bill is an improvement on WorkChoices, but it is not up to the “best practice” standard contained in Queensland Legislation. IEUA strongly submitted to the inquiry that all Australian women and families deserve the protections contained in the Queensland legislation, and Queensland women should not lose the rights they have won under the
Affordable child care is essential, as is access to flexible work arrangements such as part-time employment upon return from maternity leave. IEUA will be arguing strongly that pay equity is not achievable in any real sense unless we have a decent government and employer funded paid maternity leave scheme, and that this must be included in the upcoming budget. The importance of comprehensive data and research on women’s workforce participation is very important, and the government is responsible for stepping up Australia’s commitment to obtaining the relevant information so that these important issues can be addressed. ‘Equity Plans’ which place positive obligations upon employers to review their workplaces and provide data, such as exist in New Zealand and Canada, should be implemented in Australia by the federal government’s Equal Opportunity for Women Office (EOWA). The current system is inadequate as it is based on voluntary compliance and does not place mandatory obligations on employers. Similarly, EOWA’s ‘Employer of Choice for Women’ programs are commendable, but a higher bar needs to be set for awards to employers. The government must also be responsible for effective education programs regarding the importance of pay equity, the value of flexible work practices for employees and for the long-term success of an organization and the need to prevent sexual harassment and discrimination. Educated workplaces with strong equity cultures and clear policies which are effectively enforced can achieve pay equity and equality of participation for women. Any QIEU members who are experiencing problems with pay equity or workforce participation should contact our office.
Sophie Ismail Industrial Officer email@example.com
The Independent Voice
Member profile Joanne Lawes
Since May 2006, Joanne has been in her ICT role, maintaining the school’s database, updating the internal and external website, processing school reports and year 12 Queensland Studies Authority (QSA) data, among other duties. Joanne believes there are many positives to her role, and few negatives. “The best part about my job is the interaction I have with a wide range of people - students, teaching staff, administration staff, parents and others,” Joanne said. “There are many daily interruptions, but I get to know many people and the tasks vary. “The worst part is the number of hours I spend sitting at my desk; I would much rather be out and about.” Joanne is an active member of QIEU and has been a member since her first non-government school job at Mercy College in 2002. She said it was important to her to become
non-teaching service in the Catholic sector Teachers in the Catholic sector should be made aware that they could be eligible to have prior non-teaching experience recognised when determining their position on the incremental scale.
It is the intention of the Agreement that teachers should be rewarded for prior non-teaching service and experience in an occupation which is relevant to their work as a teacher.
Brisbane Grammar School QIEU member and school officer Joanne Lawes doesn’t mind the varying tasks, daily interruptions and the opportunity to interact with people – it’s all part of her job as an Information Communication Technology (ICT) Administrator at Brisbane Grammar School.
How to be recognised for prior
The current Agreement between QIEU and all Catholic Education employing authorities allows a teacher, including new graduate teachers to the profession, to make an application to have their past work experiences acknowledged.
Information Communication Technology (ICT) Administrator
However, recognition will normally only be given to employment that concluded within the five years prior to commencing employment as a teacher. This is to ensure that the skills gained in the prior employment are not lost through the efflux of time. a part of our union.
component in their prior service can apply to have this recognised in relation to their teaching role. The majority of employers have developed processes and procedures to be used where an employee applies for recognition of prior non-teaching service. In the past QIEU has successfully assisted a number of teachers in gaining recognition for such service where the employer’s original attitude was not positive. Recognition of prior service can also be obtained for School Officers. The Agreement between QIEU and the Queensland Catholic employing authorities has expanded the type of employment which will be recognised as prior service for school officers. Such recognition of prior service will be taken into account when determining the appropriate incremental step, but not classification level, for a school officer. A school officer is entitled to make application to have any relevant experience recognised.
“I joined as I feel protected and that unions unite workers and create a community so workers don’t feel isolated.
The onus, however, rests on the teacher to demonstrate, in their application to their employer, that their previous employment is relevant to their current role.
“You also have the opportunity to learn about your working environment and how it can be improved” she said.
The ‘classic’ example of relevance is that of a building tradesperson who is subsequently employed as a manual arts teacher.
This includes work for any employer and not just in a non governmental school. The onus rests on the school officer to demonstrate that their prior service is relevant to their role.
In 2008 Joanne decided to join QIEU Council to see how our union “works at a higher level than at school”.
However, recognition can be granted in many other circumstances. For example, an employee with a significant pastoral care
For further information please contact QIEU on (07) 3839 7020 or enquiries@ qieu.asn.au
This year she became the convenor of the QIEU Publications Committee. “The Publications Committee is a great addition to being a Council member as it gives me an extra bit of insight, plus I majored in marketing at university so I have an interest in this area.” She said it was important for members to take an active part in QIEU “because that is what makes it strong and effective.” “I also believe that by being an active and interested member you also learn more about what is happening both at your school and at other schools in Queensland.”
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The Independent Voice
QCT website launched for new graduate teachers Online help for beginning teachers is at hand with a new website launched by the Queensland College of Teachers’ (QCT) to assist teachers in adjusting to their new career. The new website, http:// beginningtoteach.qct.edu.au, answers questions and provides information with easyto-access material for teachers working in their first three years of teaching.
teacher’s reflections on how she copes with her job and why she joined the profession, support for undertaking country service, and a series of videos with tips on building relationships, managing professional life and legal advice on common issues that face teachers, such as being invited to a student’s party.
The website’s information also taps into international resources, as well as advice from new and senior teachers across Queensland. After conducting relevant surveys on the need for such a resource, QCT established the website, which went live last year.
Graduates should be aware of a number of matters regarding provisional registration with the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT).
Teacher research grants those of ATEA, ACSA and AARE. This initiative is part of the QCT’s program of activities to promote teaching as a profession. Queensland-registered teachers who have undertaken research related to their teaching practice or that of their colleagues were invited to apply for a grant to enable them to present their findings in a suitable national or state forum. The receipt of the grant will be
Going for Promotion? Need help with your application? Need help with your application? Give yourself the best chance!
Introducing our new Online Packages for Application Writing & Interview (for promotions positions in independent schools) Developed by a former principal and teacher of 35 years’ experience, these highly practical, plain English packages (delivered to you by email) contain a detailed booklet and powerpoint to guide you through the process of ¾ crafting your cover letter ¾ developing your CV for maximum impact ¾ creating dynamic responses to criteria ¾ preparing for a top interview performance The packages contain practical examples and advice for aspiring Catholic & independent school leaders at all levels. Middle managers’ packages: $135 Deputy Principals’ packages: $135 Principals’ packages: $165 Full school site licence: $499 Tel 0411 245 415 i email email@example.com Order direct from our website
www.professional-resume.com.au i Individual assistance is also available i Teachers’ Professional Résumés ABN 40 833 718 673 Rick Bowman, BSc, MEd, DipEd, MACE, FAIM
contingent upon the acceptance of their proposed paper presentation by the conference organisers. The grant will provide financial assistance to cover conference registration fees and travel and accommodation associated with conference attendance. Applications must be submitted to the QCT by 30 April 2009. Please go to the QCT website at http://www.qct.edu.au to view the guidelines for applicants.
of Ethics was approved by the Minister for Education, Training and the Arts, Mr Rod Welford in December 2008. Annual fee: In order to maintain registration, payment of an annual fee is required. Annual fee notices will normally be distributed prior to the end of the year.
Employment as a teacher: Registration enables teachers to seek employment as a teacher in any school in Queensland.
Renewal of registration: Provisional registration is initially granted for a period of two years from the date on which a person is first registered. At the end of this time, provisionally registered teachers are required to meet the Professional Standards for Full Registration. However, an employee can initiate for application of full registration after 12 months.
Certificate of Registration and registration card: All registered teachers will be issued with a certificate of registration. The certificate is only valid if used in conjunction with the registration card and should not be used as evidence of current registration.
Full registration is subject to renewal every five years from the date on which a person is first registered and will require teachers to demonstrate their suitability to teach, sufficient professional practice and the required continuing professional learning.
Code of Practice: All teachers registered in Queensland are encouraged to adhere to certain ethical standards. QCT has developed a Code of Ethics for Queensland teachers about the professional conduct and practice required of approved teachers. The Code
Change of details/ circumstances: All registered teachers are required to inform the College of any changes to their personal details. Changes can be made via the Teacher Services Log-In section of the website at http://www.qct.edu.au
Legislation: QCT is established under an Act of the Queensland Parliament, and is subject to the Regulations approved by the Governor in Council.
Other highlights of the site include a new
In 2009 the QCT will again award a small number of research grants to practising teachers to assist them to attend, and present their research at, key Australian education conferences such as
Specific requirements and information is provided below to ensure that a newly registered teacher understands what it is to be part of this independent professional body.
The website encompasses the explanation of what is the role of QCT, profiles beginning teachers’ experiences, explains the challenges they could face, offers tips and resources, and explains the expectations of a teacher and Continuing Professional Development.
The Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) introduced its research grants for teachers last year. The 2008 grants enabled three Queensland teachers to present papers at education conferences in Brisbane.
Information for newly
QIEU Branch meeting dates Darling Downs Branch Industrial Relations training Day 1 April 28, 4:00pm - Gold Park, Toowoomba
Bayside Banch meeting May 14, 4:00pm - Belmont Tavern, Shop 16, 185 Belmont Road
Wide Bay Branch Industrial Relations training Day 1 April 29, 9:00am-3:00pm - QCU Building, 44 Maryborough Street, Bundaberg
Metropolitan Branch meeting May 21, 4:15pm - Venue to be confirmed
Bayside/Logan Branch Industrial Relations training 1 and 2 May 1, 9:00am-3:00pm - Carina Leagues Club, Chadwick Hall, Creek Road Central Queensland Industrial Relations training Day 1 May 13, 9:00am - TLC Building, Campbell Street, Rockhampton Moreton Branch Industrial Relations training Day 2 May 14, 9:00am-3:00pm - Ipswich RSL Services Club, Downs St Moreton Branch meeting May 14, 4:00pm - Ipswich RSL Services Club, Downs St
Metropolitan Branch Industrial Relations training Day 2 July 30, 8:30pm-3:00pm - QIEU Brisbane Office Metropolitan Branch meeting August 6, 4:15pm - Venue to be confirmed Moreton Branch meeting August 20, 4:00pm - Fig Jam Café, 59 Limestone St, Ipswich Moreton Brach meeting and Dinner October 15, 4:00pm - Metropole Hotel, 253 Brisbane St, Ipswich Metropolitan Branch meeting November 5, 4:15pm - Venue to be confirmed Visit www.qieu.asn.au for further information.
The Independent Voice
Andrew Knott, Macrossans Lawyers
THE DANGERS OF “MUCK-UP” DAY Some recent press reports of events in other states are a reminder that informal school occasions such as break-up days or “muck-up” days involve an increased risk of injury to students and an increased need for vigilance by teachers. There were press reports in late 2008 that a “muck-up” day prank left one student aged 17 at a prestigious private school in Melbourne with a broken leg. In March 2009 the press reported a case conducted in the Supreme Court of New South Wales arising out of an incident in a government high school on “muck-up” day. The case presented was that a 12-year-old female student had fallen from a height when a water bomb shattered a window she was standing behind during a “muck-up” day water fight. The allegation was that the student suffered brain, head and neck injuries and pain in her back as a result of the fall, approximately a decade ago. It was said that she had dropped out of school three years later at the age of 16 as a result of on-going cognitive problems, headaches and neck pain. She is now 23 and is claiming damages for her injuries as well as for future economic losses. It appears that the basis of the claim for liability is the assertion that the Department of Education failed to discharge its duty of care in that it failed to recognise the “increased risks of horse play” at the end of the school year, and to act appropriately. In particular the press reports suggest that there
were allegations that the school was negligent in having allegedly failed to provide structured activities for the students on the day of the accident and also in that students had been permitted to leave the grounds to buy water balloons. There was a further allegation that the school was also negligent after teachers had failed to supervise or intervene during the water bomb activity which was said to have resulted in some girls having to take shelter in the female toilet block. The case for the plaintiff was that she was standing on top of the toilet seat, closing a window to protect herself and other girls from the water balloons being hurled at them by boys, when one of the balloons was thrown through the window causing the glass to shutter and the window frame to crash on top of her head causing her to fall. In due course if this case results in a detailed decision, we will write a report on the outcome of that case. It is now appropriate to turn to a case decided in 1993 by the Supreme Court of New South Wales in respect of another incident which occurred at a government high school in October 1987. Background Facts The plaintiff in this case was a 15-year-old student at Jannali Boys’ High School in Sydney who, while riding his bicycle to school one day in October 1987, was hit in the right eye by a piece of fruit thrown by another student. As a
consequence, the plaintiff lost the sight of his eye. In his evidence he stated that, as was his usual practice, he had been cycling to school with friends, and on this occasion he had seen some flour bombs on the road and thought these might have been thrown by someone. He had also observed several senior students, one of whom was hiding behind a tree, in the vicinity of the school, although not all the students were wearing school uniforms. It was when he was approaching an empty block of land some 60-70 metres from the entrance to the school that fruit began to be thrown at him and his companions. There was evidence that the Department of Education had been aware of such activities by graduating students on “muck-up” day and that a departmental circular had been issued which contained the following: “In recent years there has been a tendency for some students, happily a small minority, to act in a way which caused concern to many people with the interests of students at heart. The behaviour observed on these unfortunate occasions has diminished rather than enhanced the spirit of the day. It has usually been associated with unauthorised visits to other schools, trespass on school property outside the school hours, dangerous use of motor vehicles, damage to public or private property, and unseemly conduct, offensive, and sometimes dangerous to teachers, to fellow students and the
general public.” Furthermore, the evidence indicated that a departmental directive to principals required them to ensure that adequate supervision rosters were in place “for the periods before and after school’’ and for a minimum period of a half-hour before classes commenced. On the morning of “muck-up” day only the deputy principal and a year adviser were on duty, a lower level of supervision than normal. Moreover, apart from the teacher who briefly saw the plaintiff after he had received his injury, no other teacher was observed on the school grounds. Indeed, it was not the practice at Jannali Boys High School, even on “muck-up” day, to roster teachers for school supervision duties before classes in the morning. What Happened in the School on this Occasion Evidence at the trial hearing indicated that, on the day the plaintiff was injured, Jannali Boys High School had toilet and other paper scattered around, Vaseline had been spread on door handles, tyres hoisted up the flagpole and, although this was disputed, condoms strung to the ceiling in the vicinity of the canteen. It was not disputed, however, that there was fruit strewn across the school grounds. In his evidence the principal stated that the behaviour of the students included “the usual sort of things
that occur on muck-up days with water bombs and that sort of thing”, and argued that the important issue for him was to ensure that the graduating students were kept separate from other students attending the school. He added that in previous years “muck-up” day activities had been satisfactorily “contained” by school staff. The Legal Decision The issue that the Court needed to determine was whether on the facts of this case there was a duty of care owed to the plaintiff in the circumstances of an injury taking place outside the school grounds and before classes began. In relation to time and location, the court held that the circulars issued by the Department of Education “clearly recognise that the school has a responsibility for injury which may be caused to pupils before and after normal classes, and in the vicinity of the school grounds”. The judge added that the school, by the action of the principal as well as two of the teachers in taking some initiatives to control or stop the behaviour of the Grade 12 students, “did, in fact, accept responsibility for the welfare of its pupils before the commencement of normal classes and outside the strict boundaries of the school premises…” Accordingly, the school was liable.
Nominate for the 2009 Pride of Australia medal Nominations have now been called for this year’s Pride of Australia™ medal, honouring everyday Australians who do extraordinary things in our communities.
fighter or simply someone who has made your community a better place to live – you can even nominate yourself. There are 10 categories in the Pride of Australia™ award program:
They are our unsung heroes whose contribution to the Australian way of life is not widely known or recognised by the general public.
Bravery Award For an Australian or group of Australians who through their act/s of bravery, helped save a life.
Through their achievements, these remarkable Australians inspire us to help make Australia a better place to live.
Courage Award For the determination and strength of character to triumph over personal adversity.
These people are not high-profile Australians.
Young Aussie Award For an Australian 25 years or younger who has demonstrated outstanding resolve, mature judgement and moral character beyond their years.
They might be a friend, workmate, neighbour, your child’s teacher, the local police officer or fire
Community Spirit Award For an Australian or group of Australians whose selfless, tireless and largely unacknowledged actions have enriched or improved the quality of life for a local community. Role Model Award For common sense, compassion and wisdom while teaching, coaching and mentoring others to be the best they can be. Mateship Award For an Australian or group of Australians who have demonstrated loyalty and goodwill to others; pulling together to achieve a common good, especially when times are tough. True Blue Award For a lifetime of achievement in
fostering Australian values and making Australia a better place to live. Environment Award For an Australian or group of Australians whose actions prove that by making one degree of difference to their local environment, people can collectively make a difference to the broader community. Fair Go Award For an Australian permanent resident or citizen, who was born overseas, who has enriched Australia through their honesty, hard work and willingness to embrace their new home. Peace Award For advancing understanding, tolerance and social harmony among
Australians of any background. A unique sterling silver Pride of Australia™ medal will be awarded to the winner of each category at a special ceremony event held in each State and/or Territory. The Pride of Australia™ medal has grown from strength to strength and has uncovered heart-warming, courageous stories about everyday people whose extraordinary actions make you proud to be Australian. Help us recognise and celebrate these great Australians and nominate someone today. Go to www.prideofaustralia.com. au to nominate.
The Independent Voice
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The Independent Voice
Walk Safely to School Day Friday, 15 May Thousands of school-aged children from around Australia and throughout Queensland will be joining in on Friday, 15 May for national Walk Safely to School Day. The event aims to: • help reduce childhood obesity by encouraging children to develop healthy habits and become more physically active from a young age. And walking is one of the best forms of exercise – it’s free, can be done anywhere and by almost anyone! •
help save our environment by creating less greenhouse gas from vehicle car emissions lessen hazardous traffic congestion around the school gates.
Parents are asked to walk their young children to school but if you can’t walk the whole way, combine a walk with public transport or simply park the car a good distance away from the gates and walk the
rest of the way! Parents, parent groups and teachers are also being invited to organise special events for the day, such as a healthy breakfast for every child/student who walks to school.
For more information, visit www.walk.com.au or www. feetfirstqueensland.blogspot.com Walk Safely To School Day
Jeans for Genes Day Friday, 7 August 2009
Get together at your school this year in your jeans and make a donation to the Children’s Medical Research Institute on Friday, 7 August for Jeans for Genes Day. What is Jeans for Genes? Jeans for Genes Day is the national day when millions of Aussies pull on their jeans to help scientists pull off a major achievement of research.
A special Walk Safely to School Day menu, developed by leading nutritionist Dr Rosemary Stanton is available from www.walk.com.au and includes fresh fruit, a bottle of water or juice, cereal and milk and a packet of sultanas. Research reveals that good habits if started young are more likely to last a lifetime. So go on, hold your child’s hand and Walk Safely to School on Friday, 15 May.
for e t No y... r dia
Jeans for Genes is a major fundraiser with money donated going to helping the scientists at the Children’s Medical Research Institute to try to prevent certain genetic diseases before they occur in our children, or where that is not possible, to develop better treatments. What is a Jeans for Genes Day Genie? Genies help out on Jeans for Genes Day in your workplace, factories, schools and out on the streets. They help to promote the event, collect donations and take care of anything else that makes the day fun. They also raise money by selling Jeans for Genes Day products.
is organised by the Pedestrian Council of Australia, sponsored by the Australian government and supported by all state, territory and local governments, the Heart Foundation, Cancer Council, Diabetes Australia, beyondblue and Planet Ark.
What can I do? Get a group of students, parents and teachers together and register your team or school’s interest in getting out in the public or at your school and selling Jeans for Genes merchandise. Whichever way your school chooses to support Jeans for Genes, its efforts will help continue investigations in children’s health. Aspiring ‘Genies’ can learn more about Jeans for Genes and register at: www.jeansforgenes.org.au
EVENTS DIARY QSA P-10 Conference Queensland Studies Authority’s conference for P–10 educators will be held in Brisbane on 30 April and 1 May. Building success: rethinking access and engagement will feature: Professor Howard Gardner, Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Professor Paula Barrett, Director of Pathways Health and Research Centre; Professor Barry McGaw, Chair of the National Curriculum Board; and Dr Michael Nagel, Senior Lecturer in Education and Head of Education Discipline, USC. The conference will provide a significant forum for discussion and debate as well as showcasing strategies for early and middle years teachers to take back to the classroom. For more information email events@qsa qld.edu.au or phone (07) 3864 0471.
QSA Principals Forums Principals and deputy principals are encouraged to attend the 2009 QSA Principals Forums. The forum themes include: the transition to a national curriculum; school leadership, accountability and transparency; and building on the Queensland Certificate of Education. The forums are free, with registration available when venues and times are confirmed. Locations and dates: • Sunshine Coast South,
21 April • Ipswich, 22 April • Gold Coast South, 23 April • Roma, 28 April • Townsville, 6 May • Gold Coast North, 15 May • Mt Isa, 21 May • Cairns, 26 May • Brisbane East, 28 May • Brisbane North, 29 May • Bundaberg, 2 June • Sunshine Coast North, 4 June • Brisbane South, 11 June • Toowoomba, 12 June • Brisbane Central, 16 June • Mackay, 19 June • Rockhampton, 23 June • Longreach, 24 June For more information contact events administration on (07) 3864 0471 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hospitality Studies Senior Syllabus 2009 workshop Teachers of the current Hospitality Studies and prospective teachers of the revised Hospitality Studies Senior Syllabus 2009 to Year 11 students from 2010 onwards are invited to attend the Introducing the Hospitality Studies Senior Syllabus 2009 workshop. The workshop will introduce teachers to the revised Hospitality Studies senior syllabus and provide guidance for completing a work program. Participants have the opportunity to: develop knowledge and understanding of the content, processes and skills of the Hospitality Studies Senior Syllabus 2009; highlight, compare and discuss changes to requirements, including VET certificates; work
individually and in groups to apply knowledge of the syllabus to develop teaching and learning plans (work programs) that detail how the course of study will be delivered and assessed; share ideas for effective delivery of the subject; and network with personnel from other schools to establish and sustain collegial relationships and professional networks. Locations and dates: • Brisbane South, 12 May, 9am – 12pm Fitzy’s Hotel, Loganholme • Sunshine Coast, 14 May, 1pm – 4pm Rydges Oasis Resort, Caloundra • Cairns, 20 May, 9am – 12pm Frogs on the Waterfront, Cairns Cruising Yacht Club, Portsmith • Townsville, 21 May, 9am – 12pm Townsville RSL, Hermit Park • Toowoomba, 26 May, 1pm – 4pm St James Parish, Toowoomba • Gold Coast, 3 June, 9am – 12pm Currumbin RSL • Rockhampton, 10 June, 1pm – 4pm Rockhampton Plaza Hotel • Brisbane North, 16 June, 9am – 12pm Kedron Wavell Services Club, Chermside Cost is $85 per participant. For more information email@example.com. edu.au or phone (07) 3864 0471.
Literacy and Numeracy early years workshop Early years teachers, Heads of Curriculum, Deputy Principals and Principals with the responsibility of overseeing teaching and learning in the early years are encouraged to attend the Building success
in literacy and numeracy in the early years workshop. The day will unpack the QSA curriculum materials for the early years of schooling. The workshop will focus on: the contribution of the early years to QSA’s Learning P-12 approach; resources that support curriculum continuity for teaching, learning and assessment; Year 1 Learning Statements; Learning P-3 - Literacy and Numeracy indicators; Connections to Early Years Curriculum Guidelines and Essential Learnings for English and Mathematics by the end of Year 3; building consistency of teacher judgment using assessments; and using P-3 Literacy and Numeracy indicators to inform teaching and learning. Participants have the opportunity to: develop knowledge and understanding of curriculum materials for the early years; explore, discuss and develop knowledge of the Year 1 Learning Statements; explore, discuss and develop knowledge of Learning P-3 - Literacy and Numeracy indicators; explore processes to enhance consistency of teacher judgment using assessments; discuss use of the Learning P-3 - Literacy and Numeracy indicators to inform teaching and learning; and network with personnel from other schools to establish and sustain collegial relationships and professional networks. Cost of the workshop is $116 per participant. To find out more email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (07) 3864 0471.
QLD Safety Show The Queensland Safety Show from 16-18 June at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre is offering complimentary trade invitations to QIEU members to attend this year’s event. The 2009 show brings together more than 200 companies displaying a comprehensive range of Workplace Health & Safety products and services for a broad range of industries. The Trade Show is held concurrently with the Queensland Safety Conference which features more than 40 Australian & international speakers covering the latest issues in Occupational Health & Safety. For further information, visit www.qldsafetyshow.com.au
AWE digital workshop The Association of Women Educators (AWE) will host a workshop for women teachers of Years 6 and 7 and their girl students. Each participant will learn about using digital portfolios for students’ self evaluation as well as teacher and school tracking. The workshop will take place on 29 April from 10am to 2pm at Sunnybank Hills State School. Cost is $100.00 total for a woman teacher and two year 6/7 girls, with lunch provided. For more information contact Jay Mills on (07) 5548 8333 or email email@example.com
The Independent Voice
Global Issues Global Union representatives show support for the Employee Free Choice Act
Take part in this year’s Global Action Week to help tackle youth and adult illiteracy
Government investment in education helps fight financial crisis
With anti-unionism a widespread phenomenon in the US, Illinois Democratic Party Senator Bill Hare recently spoke to a global union gathering in Washington DC on the Employee Free Choice Act, where the Act is a legislation proposed to ensure that workers have a free choice and a fair chance to form a union and bargain with their employers for higher wages, benefits and better working conditions.
The Global Campaign for Education has chosen “Youth and Adult Literacy and Lifelong Learning” as the theme for the seventh annual Education for All (EFA) Global Action Week from 20-26 April.
The International Monetary Fund reports that increased government spending on public education will have a more powerful impact on the financial crisis than tax cuts.
The proposal is very controversial, although a growing bipartisan coalition of policy-makers supports the proposed legislation. Senator Hare said this was the right moment for the labour movement to increase pressure on lawmakers. The joint Chambers of Commerce of the US recently mounted a $20-million campaign against the Act, which they believe will restrict the freedom of enterprises. The meeting in Washington also discussed ways to mobilise international support. US union leader Larry Cohen proposed to find 10 foreign governments willing to help persuade the US government to adopt this new legislation. Mr Cohen also asked that 10 US-based and 10 non-US-based multinational corporations, known to be anti-union, be targeted by foreign unions in their home countries.
Literacy for young people and adults is the most neglected goal of the six Dakar objectives on Education for All. Today, there are still millions of people around the world who cannot read and write: 75 million children are not in school and 776 million adults are illiterate, of whom twothirds are women.Without adequate literacy skills, it is very difficult for people to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Providing adults with access to literacy programmes and children with access to school are fundamental steps in tackling poverty. EI encourages you to organise activities in support of literacy and quality Education for All during Global Action Week. The suggested slogan for national activities during Global Action Week 2009 is ‘Open Books, Open Doors’. To find out more about how to participate in this year’s activities, please visit www.ei-ie.org/ globalactionweek2009
This is the conclusion of a note from the IMF to the G20 countries that was released in February. In the note, the IMF calls for “more aggressive and concerted policy actions” by the G20 countries. It also repeats the Fund’s call for stronger fiscal stimulus “to avoid a deep and prolonged recession,” and emphasises that such programmes “should support demand for a prolonged period of time and be applied broadly across countries with policy space to minimise cross-border leakages.” The IMF has calculated multipliers for three policy options: tax cuts; infrastructure investment; and “other” government spending. Public education would be included in the latter. The paper says that the “other” category includes: additional spending on safety nets; assistance to small and medium enterprises; support for housing markets; and transfers to state and local governments. In many North American and European countries, a primary example of transfers to state and local governments is for funding public education. The IMF assessment makes the
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point that “other” government spending has a considerably larger multiplier than tax cuts (1.0 vs 0.6), although infrastructure investment has an even higher multiplier (1.8 vs 0.6). Clearly, tax cuts are the least effective policy option. AFT letter to Hillary Clinton urges action on Zimbabwe The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has sent a letter from President Randi Weingarten to US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, expressing the union’s concern over the continuing suffering of the Zimbabwean people and urging US leadership to end the reign of terror and devastation wrought by President Mugabe. The letter stated that: “The misery, death, persecution and repression of the Zimbabwean people inflicted by Robert Mugabe and his ruling party cohorts have been well documented by the American press and international human rights organizations.” “Teacher unions and civil society organizations with whom we work in Zimbabwe report that most schools have been closed for six months, that hospitals and clinics are empty, with no doctors, nurses, medicines or patients, and that children are abandoned, ill and starving.” In addition, the country is seeing deaths and illness due to cholera, further economic and social deterioration, and an increasing number of political and economic refugees. At its January 18 meeting, the AFT executive council discussed the situation in Zimbabwe and vowed to intensify its efforts to mobilize AFT members, along with unions throughout the world, to bring pressure on the Mugabe regime to end the suffering of the Zimbabwean people, and restore the rule of law and democracy. At the AFT’s 2008 convention, delegates passed a resolution of support for the people of Zimbabwe. The AFT’s international affairs department has been working with the Zimbabwe Teachers Association since 2001 to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS. In addition, the AFT has worked to bring international attention to and support for teachers who have been intimidated, tortured and imprisoned by the Mugabe regime. It also has provided humanitarian relief to educators who choose to stay in the country in the hope that they will be part of the reconstruction of the education system. Recently, the AFT contributed to the Urgent Action Appeal launched by EI on behalf of the teachers organisations in Zimbabwe.
Indonesia: teacher union joins the ILO to combat child labour In a bid to decrease school drop-out rates, the International Labour Organisation and the Indonesian teachers’ union, the Persatuan Guru Republik Indonesia (PGRI), are organising a joint programme aimed at combating child labour. The programme is called the “Mobilization and CapacityBuilding of the Teachers’ Trade Union and Wider Trade Unions in Combating Child Labour in Indonesia”. Under the programme, teachers will receive training which will help them gain a better understanding of child workers and persuade parents to send their children to school. The three-year program will be implemented in the provinces of East Java, Central Java and West Java, where the incidence of child labour is relatively high. The Japanese trade union confederation RENGO has donated US$130,000 to the programme. Director of ILO Indonesia, Alan Boulton, said his office recognises that as the largest teacher union in the country with some 1.9 million members nationwide, the PGRI is a powerful agent for social change. ILO data from 2006 shows that there are more than 2.7 million child workers aged 10 to 15 throughout the country’s 33 provinces. Most boys work in the mining, farming and fishing industries, while girls are often trapped in domestic work and prostitution. PGRI has already begun approaching parents to make them aware of the country’s nine-year compulsory education programme. The union plans to urge the government to extend it to the twelfth grade, with the goal of helping to prepare pupils for entry into the workforce after graduation. EI and its member organisations are committed to fight child labour, through advocating education as a crucial and effective tool in tackling this issue. EI and its member organisations will use the World Day against Child Labour on 12 June to raise awareness about the importance of the provision of full time, formal quality education as a means to successfully eliminate child labour. For more information or to enlist your support for education workers worldwide, please visit Education International’s website www.ei-ie.org The IEUA is an affiliate of EI.
The Independent Voice
AHA/CAL Postgraduate History Prize
APHEDA Raffle 2009 Australian People for Health, Education and Development Abroad (APHEDA) is holding their annual raffle and want QIEU members to help. APHEDA was established by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) in 1984 as the humanitarian aid agency of the Australian union movement to give practical effect that it is the responsibility of unions and union members to directly contribute to the growth and development of workers and their trade unions in countries less fortunate. How can QIEU members help? Help to make life fair everywhere by supporting the APHEDA’s Annual Raffle, which closes in May. Buy or sell tickets in the raffle to support 50 projects in 15 countries. Tickets are $2 each with 10 tickets per book. First prize: AROUND THE WORLD TRIP FOR TWO plus an accommodation and spending package
valued at $8,200 Second prize: DELL INSPIRON 1525 LAPTOP COMPUTER valued at $998. Plus, prizes of a 52cm Colour TV will be awarded to the seller of the most tickets and the seller of the winning ticket. Help fight global poverty by ordering raffle tickets to buy and sell today! Phone 1800 888 674 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. au. Alternatively, download the order form at http:// apheda.labor.net.au/getinvolved/1235028019_ 16369.html and return it to: Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA Level 3, 377-383 Sussex St Sydney, NSW, 2000 Ticket stubs and payment must be returned to the APHEDA office by 15 May, 2009. Winners will be drawn 28 May, 2009 and announced 2 June.
An annual history prize worth $4,000 for an unpublished article-length work of historical research is aimed at fostering important research and writing amongst Australian postgraduates, and encourage them on to further publication. Primarily funded by Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) and supported by the Australian Historical Association (AHA), this Prize will be awarded in September 2009 to a postgraduate student enrolled in an Australian university during 2008. Entrants from all disciplines are encouraged to apply, including social science and humanities areas, and those enrolled in cross-disciplinary areas such as women’s studies and Asian studies. Submission articles must be 6,000 words in length, including references and bibliography, and must be submitted by 29 May, 2009. The winning entry is published in History Australia, the journal of the AHA online and in print by Monash University ePress. Up to three shortlisted articles may also be published. For further information and conditions of entry, visit Monash University ePress online at http://publications.epress.monash.edu/loi/ha/index.html, or contact Monash University School of Historical Studies Susan Grist at email@example.com
Health & Lifestyle Tips with Lauren Postans Exercise Physiologist, Health Educator
Beating the Common Cold This Winter Winter is approaching; we are covering up and thinking about comfort food. Winter is a great time to stay in and read a book, go to the mountains for quiet weekends and then there is always snow skiing. Preparing to be healthy in winter is essential if you want to avoid the common cold and flu and stay on top of your active, busy life. Winter is often a time that people reduce or even skip their exercise routine. It is too dark and cold to get up early or exercise after work. We cover up more so that a few extra kilograms of fat are not always noticed. Exercise remains an important component of your healthy lifestyle so you need to find alternative ways to get your heart racing. Try an in-home exercise bike, treadmill or video exercise program. You can also incorporate as much incidental exercise as possible such as taking the stairs instead of the lift. Your food is your fuel so put in premium fuel to stay healthy - lots of fresh fruit and vegetables to boost your immune system. Incorporate some super foods such as gogi berries or other brightly coloured fruits. These are super saturated with antioxidants to ward off winter viruses. Try not to overeat and keep your food simple and fresh.
Some general tips for staying healthy include: • Have a healthy diet loaded with water and fresh fruit and vegetables; • Boost your immune system with an antioxidant supplement; • Exercise regularly; • Do not smoke; • Avoid sick people and places with crowds; • Wash your hands regularly and avoid touching things that are touched by everyone else such as public toilet doors and flush buttons, escalator handrails and traffic light crossing buttons; • At the first signs of a sore throat, use a mouthwash designed to kill germs; • Avoid strenuous exercise when you first feel sick, rest and keep your germs to yourself; and • It is recommended the very young and elderly have a flu injection. You ‘catch a cold’ or the flu by being exposed to the germs; you cannot get sick simply by being cold. If you have a strong immune system, you are less likely to get sick and you will fight it off at a faster rate so the best advice is to promote your health and wellbeing all year round.
Dear Jo Whilst I love some parts of my role in my work as a high school teacher, I think I am experiencing burn out. I currently lack the enthusiasm and creativity that has marked my career, indeed all my life, and I am ashamed of the fact that I frequently have an attitude of resentment and even of indifference to my colleagues and more and more frequently I am snappy with the children. Do you have any ideas to help me counteract this? Kieran Dear Kieran We have all seen colleagues “burnout”. Too many years doing the same job, increasing workloads, eroding support and resources and additional external pressure – i.e. family stresses, are a few of the common factors behind burnout. The ways that some people manage it can be seen in early retirement, extended or repeated stress or sick leave. Ignored, it can manifest in psychosomatic illnesses, minor complaints like a cold or flu or sometimes symptoms that are more demanding of longer term treatment like back pain or migraines. If stressed enough individuals will reach a stage of fatigue where the usual coping methods no longer work and thus they have
TUH keeps costs down for members for fifth consecutive year TUH is pleased to announce that they have delivered for the fifth consecutive year a well below industry average premium increase, of 4.64%, for members. The industry average increase was 6.02%, with major competitors MBF announcing 5.98% and Medibank Private 5.74% as their increases.
ensuring a strong viable business as well as providing affordable health care to members.
This is great news for members and as a not-for-profit health fund they reap the benefits, yet again. This is also great news for QIEU members and their families - you can reap the same benefits by being eligible to join TUH.
These figures show the commitment to delivering value for money products at prices that won’t blow members’ budget.
TUH Chief Executive Officer, Rob Seljak, said “We keep our premium increase below the industry average because we have low overheads, a dedicated and loyal membership which has grown by over four per cent in the past year and strong support from our industry partners. We are very proud of what we have delivered to our members and reinforces that TUH is one of the most competitive health funds in Australia.” The cost of providing health care is increasing significantly and TUH has had an increase in benefits paid out to members of approximately 10 per cent over the last 12 months. The TUH Board has a commitment to
Mr Seljak believes TUH has achieved this with the rate delivered and the benefits increased to members.
For 35 years, TUH has provided health cover designed for QIEU members and their families. Thanks to this long and strong partnership, TUH have been able to provide value for money products and services and offer you the assurance that you and your family deserve. For more information about TUH products and services please visit www.tuh.com.au or call TUH Customer Contact Centre on 1300 360 701; helpful staff are always happy to help you review your current private health insurance needs and find an appropriate solution for you. Join TUH today to enjoy all the benefits offered to members and you can
reached “burnout”. They feel hopeless and helpless and typically do nothing apart from melting down into tears and confusion or anger and withdrawal. The diminishment of basic functions – like a good night’s sleep, and/or a healthy appetite, poor concentration, low energy, sad mood, difficulty making decisions - are some of the indictors that we are no longer functioning properly. This is the time that people usually reach for help. Teachers tend to be reluctant to do this, as they are used to juggling a lot of ‘plates in the air’. They usually relish the necessary multi-tasking needed to be a teacher, and it can feel like their world is unravelling to admit they are no longer able to manage their lives. Small steps taken on a regular basis can help you manage your work environment and manage yourself. Here are strategies that can guard against burnout: THE BASICS – Enough sleep, exercise and a proper diet help prevent burnout. PEER SUPPORT – Nobody understands what you are up against like colleagues who are often in the same situation. Strong peer support is a critical variable in effectively managing experiences from trauma to work pressures. SET LIMITS – It is your job to set and enforce limits so that you are not driven to the burnout stage; it is a mark of escalating stressors when we fail to do this. TIME MANAGEMENT – Managing tasks more efficiently reduces stress. Prioritisation, sequence and scheduling remain the foundations of good time management. CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES – Conflict is a normal and necessary part of education, and conflict between peers, teachers and administration, faculty and students and faculty and parents cannot be successfully avoided. However, you can be somewhat selective to which battles you enter and to your level of commitment. Deploying your resources too thinly can assure defeat in the burnout war. SELF AWARENESS - It is no accident that the question counsellors most often ask their clients is “How do you feel?” The ability to self monitor your mood and body responses is the best tool you have for tracking stress levels. Awareness of chronic or rising stress levels will allow you to take actions to interrupt the cycle prior to reaching the burnout stage. For further support, please call TUH SupportLine on 1800 655 302. Jo
The Independent Voice
ÂItÊs my health fundÊ ...it could be yours too! TUH rate rise average of 4.64% is again well below the industry average of 6.02%
5 great reasons for you to join TUH! 1. We are a not-for-profit private health insurance fund. 2. We offer value for money products and services with exceptional benefits. 3. We have one of the highest member retention rates in Australia - our members love us and stay with us. 4. We care about our members by offering a SupportLine in times of need as well as other special benefits. 5. We offer a whole range of member services on our website - Member Services Online, online shopping and much more.
So visit us now on www.tuh.com.au
1300 360 701 Not-for-profit health fund
Value for money products
High quality services