Page 1

The Independent Voice

August 2009

Journal of the Queensland Independent Education Union

August 2009

1

Volume 9 Number 5

Professional rates are the real parity Union members in non-government schools will have to take the lead in the campaign for professional rates of pay now that state sector employees are locked up in arbitration in the state jurisdiction. Achieving professional rates of pay at the levels established interstate are critical if Queensland schools, both state and non-government, are to attract quality graduates and retain experienced accomplished teachers. The Queensland government has shown little regard for this fundamental consideration and has used every opportunity under state industrial legislation to frustrate the legitimate campaign of QTU members in pursuit of professional

rates of pay.

This position is shameful in itself.

The Queensland government’s obdurant position has clearly spooked a number of non-government employing authorities who seem more concerned about their funding relationship with the state government than they are with the interests of their employees and ultimately the quality of their schools and the education they provide.

However, it is even more questionable for employing authorities who have asserted that they operate in the federal jurisdiction to refuse meaningful negotiation within that jurisdiction until such time as a matter is resolved in another jurisdiction.

Significant non-government employing authorities are disingenuously continuing to mouth support for professional rates of pay while at the same time taking a position that negotiation of these cannot occur until the state sector arbitration is concluded.

At best the employer wage position is that they will match the state sector arbitration outcomes making their employees de facto state government employees in this process of wage negotiation. Employees in the non-government sector are not employees of the state government. Their employment conditions and wages are determined by agreement with their

employing authority not by the state government. Catholic employing authorities stand out in their disregard for the realities of the jurisdiction in which they claim to operate and their obsequiousness to the state government. The (self) perceived threat of the loss of the funding dollar looms much larger to Catholic employing authorities than a negotiated resolution of professional rates of pay for their teaching staff. Union members in the nongovernment sector will not see their salary rates fall short of the benchmark professional rates of pay which have been established.

Even more determinably they will not see their salary rates fall behind the benchmark rates because of an arbitration process in another jurisdiction. Provisions exist in the federal jurisdiction for employees to pursue their legitimate claim with protected action directed at the position of their employer. It would be sad if employers need that level of angst before there is a serious commitment to professional rates of pay. However, in the absence of agreement to benchmark professional rates of pay that action must be taken, not out of self-interest but in the interests of quality education in Queensland schools.

Our Profession - 90 Years Union Strong


2

The Independent Voice

August 2009

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: frichardson@qieu.asn.au 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

Visit the QIEU website QIEU members can keep up-to-date on the latest news, legal issues, resources, campaigns, events, where QIEU has been in the media, collective bargaining updates, chapter and branch meeting dates and union submissions at the QIEU website! Check out www.qieu.asn.au

President’s Report Professional rates of pay campaign strengthens despite setbacks On 5 August 2009 QTU and QIEU members stood together, side by side at a rally outside of Parliament House. Educators from both the public and independent sectors standing together for a common purpose; that teacher’s in Queensland deserve to be remunerated appropriately for the vital work that they do. The rally outside Parliament House had been delayed until after school hours because the planned second day of strike action for QTU members was thwarted by the state government, through the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission. Members in Catholic schools had also had their plans of taking strike

action on this day prevented with employers asserting that they were in the federal jurisdiction. Catholic employers state that they cannot pay wage rates higher than the Queensland public sector rates. Even though the state government is not their employer, Catholic employers have effectively given all wage negotiations over to the state government. In doing so they abrogate their responsibility to negotiate meaningfully with their employees. Employers do not seem to understand this issue will not go away, that teachers in state, Catholic and other independent schools will not continue to accept

being paid rates that are inferior to our interstate colleagues. Reports of an ageing teaching work force, the continued loss of experienced teachers and the lack of interest by school leavers (demonstrated by the OP score required) to study teaching does not seem to motivate employers to deal with this issue now. It is essential for the future of the teaching profession across all sectors that Queensland teachers gain success in this campaign. This dispute is not only about a wage increases it is about investing in education for the future. We only get this opportunity once every three years to enhance our

conditions. Employers in the independent sectors and the state government can continue to attempt to thwart our campaign with industrial technicalities and arguments of capacity to pay, but our position is fair and just; our claim for a professional rate of pay cannot be legitimately refused. Our membership is strong and prepared to take the action required to succeed.

Andrew Elphinstone QIEU President

General Secretary’s Report Employers cannot abrogate their responsibility for quality education Employers who refuse to face up to their responsibilities and negotiate wage outcomes consistent with benchmark professional rates of pay are placing the future of their schools and the quality of education at risk. That the Queensland government is also refusing to face that responsibility and put the quality of education at risk is a matter we can take an opportunity to address at the next election. As employees of a non-government school we have another level of engagement and responsibility in advocating for and negotiating conditions which promote quality education. Quality schools and quality education requires educators of the highest regard and commitment and to attract and retain those educators; quality conditions and professional rates of pay need to be on offer. As I speak to members across the state I have been struck by the sharp insights of what the failure to gain professional rates of pay will mean for schools and for the profession. Teachers of long experience point

to the loss of so many talented colleagues from the profession in the 1980s as Queensland teachers were institutionalised as the lowest paid in the country for that decade and many left for careers outside education. They further wonder when their commitment and contribution will be recognised with professional pay rates. Teachers in their early years point to friends and colleagues who have found employment interstate with substantially better salaries and wonder why their commitment to schools here in Queensland isn’t similarly recognised.

However, they send a very strong message to their staff about what they truly value. School funding is an important issue but there are times when, in the face of the irresponsibility of others, a statement of conviction is made. Non-government employing authorities have in the past stood up to state governments on such issues as anti-discrimination laws but on the issue of the propriety of professional rates of pay their silence leaves them bankrupt.

Teachers in their middle years of experience wonder why their families should suffer the double pain on an over-burdened commitment to school denying their family time and strained financial circumstances prevail on current wage rates. They too wonder if they should do better for their family and leave education. They stay, however, in the interests of the students they teach; what school can afford to lose teachers of this level of commitment?

There are some employers in the sector who do not feel the intimidation of the state government funding – if it in fact exists – and are prepared to make a solid commitment to their employees to achieve benchmark professional wage rates. They are to be commended.

Non-government employing authorities might humbug about the need to be sensitive to state government funding arrangements.

Either they affirm a fundamental commitment to professional rates of pay and engage in negotiation of those rates in the face of state

For those employers who do feel the intimidation of state government funding then they owe their employees an honest statement.

government displeasure – if in fact that exists. Or in the alternate they drop the pretence of support for professional rates of pay and tell their employees that their funding relationship with the state government is more important to them than recognising and properly remunerating their staff. Ultimately if employers shortchange their staff they short-change the parents and their children and put quality education at risk. In difficult times hard decisions have to be made but those hard decisions should be the right decisions taken in the broader interests of education and not decisions borne of deference to a government which for its part has abrogated its responsibilities to the parents and students in its schools.

Kind regards, Terry Burke General Secretary tburke@qieu.asn.au


2

The Independent Voice

August 2009

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: frichardson@qieu.asn.au 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

Visit the QIEU website QIEU members can keep up-to-date on the latest news, legal issues, resources, campaigns, events, where QIEU has been in the media, collective bargaining updates, chapter and branch meeting dates and union submissions at the QIEU website! Check out www.qieu.asn.au

President’s Report Professional rates of pay campaign strengthens despite setbacks On 5 August 2009 QTU and QIEU members stood together, side by side at a rally outside of Parliament House. Educators from both the public and independent sectors standing together for a common purpose; that teacher’s in Queensland deserve to be remunerated appropriately for the vital work that they do. The rally outside Parliament House had been delayed until after school hours because the planned second day of strike action for QTU members was thwarted by the state government, through the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission. Members in Catholic schools had also had their plans of taking strike

action on this day prevented with employers asserting that they were in the federal jurisdiction. Catholic employers state that they cannot pay wage rates higher than the Queensland public sector rates. Even though the state government is not their employer, Catholic employers have effectively given all wage negotiations over to the state government. In doing so they abrogate their responsibility to negotiate meaningfully with their employees. Employers do not seem to understand this issue will not go away, that teachers in state, Catholic and other independent schools will not continue to accept

being paid rates that are inferior to our interstate colleagues. Reports of an ageing teaching work force, the continued loss of experienced teachers and the lack of interest by school leavers (demonstrated by the OP score required) to study teaching does not seem to motivate employers to deal with this issue now. It is essential for the future of the teaching profession across all sectors that Queensland teachers gain success in this campaign. This dispute is not only about a wage increases it is about investing in education for the future. We only get this opportunity once every three years to enhance our

conditions. Employers in the independent sectors and the state government can continue to attempt to thwart our campaign with industrial technicalities and arguments of capacity to pay, but our position is fair and just; our claim for a professional rate of pay cannot be legitimately refused. Our membership is strong and prepared to take the action required to succeed.

Andrew Elphinstone QIEU President

General Secretary’s Report Employers cannot abrogate their responsibility for quality education Employers who refuse to face up to their responsibilities and negotiate wage outcomes consistent with benchmark professional rates of pay are placing the future of their schools and the quality of education at risk. That the Queensland government is also refusing to face that responsibility and put the quality of education at risk is a matter we can take an opportunity to address at the next election. As employees of a non-government school we have another level of engagement and responsibility in advocating for and negotiating conditions which promote quality education. Quality schools and quality education requires educators of the highest regard and commitment and to attract and retain those educators; quality conditions and professional rates of pay need to be on offer. As I speak to members across the state I have been struck by the sharp insights of what the failure to gain professional rates of pay will mean for schools and for the profession. Teachers of long experience point

to the loss of so many talented colleagues from the profession in the 1980s as Queensland teachers were institutionalised as the lowest paid in the country for that decade and many left for careers outside education. They further wonder when their commitment and contribution will be recognised with professional pay rates. Teachers in their early years point to friends and colleagues who have found employment interstate with substantially better salaries and wonder why their commitment to schools here in Queensland isn’t similarly recognised.

However, they send a very strong message to their staff about what they truly value. School funding is an important issue but there are times when, in the face of the irresponsibility of others, a statement of conviction is made. Non-government employing authorities have in the past stood up to state governments on such issues as anti-discrimination laws but on the issue of the propriety of professional rates of pay their silence leaves them bankrupt.

Teachers in their middle years of experience wonder why their families should suffer the double pain on an over-burdened commitment to school denying their family time and strained financial circumstances prevail on current wage rates. They too wonder if they should do better for their family and leave education. They stay, however, in the interests of the students they teach; what school can afford to lose teachers of this level of commitment?

There are some employers in the sector who do not feel the intimidation of the state government funding – if it in fact exists – and are prepared to make a solid commitment to their employees to achieve benchmark professional wage rates. They are to be commended.

Non-government employing authorities might humbug about the need to be sensitive to state government funding arrangements.

Either they affirm a fundamental commitment to professional rates of pay and engage in negotiation of those rates in the face of state

For those employers who do feel the intimidation of state government funding then they owe their employees an honest statement.

government displeasure – if in fact that exists. Or in the alternate they drop the pretence of support for professional rates of pay and tell their employees that their funding relationship with the state government is more important to them than recognising and properly remunerating their staff. Ultimately if employers shortchange their staff they short-change the parents and their children and put quality education at risk. In difficult times hard decisions have to be made but those hard decisions should be the right decisions taken in the broader interests of education and not decisions borne of deference to a government which for its part has abrogated its responsibilities to the parents and students in its schools.

Kind regards, Terry Burke General Secretary tburke@qieu.asn.au


The Independent Voice

August 2009

3

Funding professional rates of pay Non-government schools’ access to a variety of both federal and state funding provides a solid financial base for school operations. The federal government provides General Recurrent grants using the Socio-Economic Status (SES) model, introduced in 2001 to replace the previous Education Resource Index (ERI) model. The SES model provides funding to schools according to a formula which measures the socio-economic status of the community from which the school draws its students. Each non-government school is provided with an SES score which translates into a percentage of the National Average Government School Recurrent Costs (AGSRC). The AGSRC represents the average annual costs relating to the education of a primary and secondary student in a government school. Schools are funded at points throughout the year. The first allocation of 50 percent of allocated funding is made in January, the second allocation of 25 per cent is made in July and a third allocation of 25 per cent plus the supplementry funding allocation made in October. Supplementation is paid each year to account for price movements and changes to the AGRSC. Adjustments to the AGRSC are different for primary and secondary students; adjustments made to the AGRSC over the past four years, for a primary school student has been an average increase of 5.16 per cent per annum, as opposed to a secondary student where the average increase has been 4.02 per cent per annum over the same time period (see table, right). Supplementary increases are largely driven, under the AGSRC formula, by the wage increases in government schools. With the

P STO S S PRE

significant wage increases interstate Queensland non-government schools will receive (admittedly with an 18 month delay) funding increases driven by wage increases elsewhere. These supplementary increases occur independently of state government funding.

accordingly. All Catholic schools were given a reassurance that they would not be disadvantaged by this change and would have their per capita funding entitlements retained in real terms. This is an arrangement that has continued into the current 2009 to 2012 funding period.

The proportion of funding from federal, state and fees varies across employing authorities. Catholic schools typically rely more heavily on federal funds with Brisbane Catholic Education for example reporting that in 2008 65.2 per cent of its funding came from the federal government. The balance

It is important to note that while Catholic schools are individually assessed under the SES funding model, the allocated funds are still paid to the system authority, not the individual schools. It then falls on the system authority to distribute funding to its member schools.

federal government include: • Literacy, Numeracy and Special Learning Needs Program; • Country Areas Program; • English as a Second Language Program; and • School Languages Program. The National Partnerships Funding is an initiative that arose out of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and is a funding allocation made to schools to facilitate or reward delivery of nationally significant reforms such as improvements in low socio-economic status schools, literacy and numeracy levels or

2005 2006 2007 2008 Average increase over last 4 years of its funding was 22.5 per cent from the state government, 10.6 per cent from school fees and various levies and 1.7 per cent from interest earned. Up until 2004 Catholic schools were funded at a set rate of 56.2 per cent of AGRSC, which is equivalent to an SES score of 96. These funding arrangements preserved in real terms the per capita equivalent of their 2000 funding arrangement under the previous ERI funding model. This arrangement ensured that no Catholic schools would be disadvantaged. For the funding period of 2005 to 2009, for the first time under the SES model, Australian Catholic schools were individually assessed for a SES score and allocated funding

Primary percentage 3.10% 6.34% 5.56% 5.65% 5.16%

Special schools, special assistance schools and majority indigenous schools receive the maximum funding allocation regardless of their SES score. All non-government schools are also eligible for additional funding loading if they are classified as remote or providing distance education. The Indigenous Education Supplementary Assistance was introduced in 2009 and is a consolidation of various indigenous funding provisions which were previously available to schools. Capital Grants Programs and the Trade Training Centres in Schools Programs provide funding for schools for a variety of capital works projects. Other targeted projects for funding provided by the

Secondary percentage 4.67% 3.57% 4.39% 3.45% 4.02%

Also significant is the federal government’s funding commitment as part of Building the Education Revolution. Which has seen 195 independent schools receive more than $135,752,189 in funding and 249 Catholic schools receive $213,774,320 as of July 2009 with more funding to be distributed in the coming months. In the 2009-10 State budget, the State Government has allocated $435.7 million in recurrent grants funding for non-state schools representing a 3.8 per cent increase. It should be noted that as the prep year is now included within the primary years of schooling, eligible enrolments attract the

for protected industrial action

Catholic employing authorities have declined a request to commit to the benchmark professional rates of pay arguing that it is ‘necessary to await the outcome of the Education Queensland wages negotiation’. Members across the state resolved in Chapter resolutions to authorise an application to Fair Work Australia (FWA) for a ballot on protected action if Catholic employing authorities failed to commit in substance to the professional rates of pay. The process of seeking authorisation of protection action through FWA is elaborate and time consuming with a secret ballot to be conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) and authorisation requiring at least 50 per cent of members voting and at least 50 per cent of votes in favour of the proposed action(s).

The needs funding consists of four sub-pools, with 80 per cent related to school characteristics and 20 per cent relating to student characteristics.

enhancements in teach quality.

IEUA-QNT makes ballot application

Application is being made for a ballot of members across the Catholic sector to determine if protected action is taken in support of benchmark professional rates of pay.

The different per capita rates for primary and secondary have been fixed at the dollar amounts set in 2008, that is, $1055 per primary student (inc. prep) and $1583 per secondary student. In 2009-10 the Students With Disabilities targeted program SWD program has been allocated $26.5 million.

From this year the proportions of recurrent and needs based funding are changing. There will be a gradual shift each year, according to the overall growth in the quantum of funding, until the needs component reaches 40 per cent of the total funding available. In 2010 the needs component is estimated to increase to around 28 per cent of funds.

Supplementation increase for SES Year

full primary school funding rate.

Members in Catholic schools are understandably frustrated by a collective employer position which would deny meaningful negotiation of professional rates of pay and substitute ‘discussions’ while an Education Queensland outcome is awaited. Catholic employing authorities initially set a very responsible standard in wage negotiations agreeing to a 4.5 per cent interim wage increase and an undertaking to ensure Catholic sector employees did not fall behind public sector outcomes. However, employing authorities have now decided to ‘fall in’ with the Queensland government and take an obdurant view on professional rates of pay. If protected action is authorised and endorsed, a full day stoppage in mid-October along with a number of employer directed bans would be imposed in support of benchmark professional rates of pay.

Government funding provides nongovernment schools with a solid financial base for school operations. For some sectors and schools this funding can be over 85 per cent of operational expenditure. Nor are these sums static amounts with federal government supplementation formula providing significant increases reflecting large wage movements across the government sector in Australia. In a very real way the supplementation, although delayed and only a portion of the total operating costs, does provide a capacity to address a claim for professional rates of pay in Queensland non-government schools.

Christian Brothers reject extended long service leave Christian Brother employees are being denied access to long service leave at double time half pay by their employer. While other Catholic Employing Authorities have agreed in principle to a claim for long service leave to be available at double time and half pay, Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) continue to refuse to implement this for employees. EREA have concluded that their current payroll system would have difficulty implementing this claim of long service leave at double time half pay, and refuse to look into implementation in the future. QIEU maintains that all employees in the Catholic education sector should be treated fairly and equally. This can be achieved by allowing Christian Brothers school employees the option to access their long service leave at double time and half pay.


The Independent Voice

August 2009

3

Funding professional rates of pay Non-government schools’ access to a variety of both federal and state funding provides a solid financial base for school operations. The federal government provides General Recurrent grants using the Socio-Economic Status (SES) model, introduced in 2001 to replace the previous Education Resource Index (ERI) model. The SES model provides funding to schools according to a formula which measures the socio-economic status of the community from which the school draws its students. Each non-government school is provided with an SES score which translates into a percentage of the National Average Government School Recurrent Costs (AGSRC). The AGSRC represents the average annual costs relating to the education of a primary and secondary student in a government school. Schools are funded at points throughout the year. The first allocation of 50 percent of allocated funding is made in January, the second allocation of 25 per cent is made in July and a third allocation of 25 per cent plus the supplementry funding allocation made in October. Supplementation is paid each year to account for price movements and changes to the AGRSC. Adjustments to the AGRSC are different for primary and secondary students; adjustments made to the AGRSC over the past four years, for a primary school student has been an average increase of 5.16 per cent per annum, as opposed to a secondary student where the average increase has been 4.02 per cent per annum over the same time period (see table, right). Supplementary increases are largely driven, under the AGSRC formula, by the wage increases in government schools. With the

P STO S S PRE

significant wage increases interstate Queensland non-government schools will receive (admittedly with an 18 month delay) funding increases driven by wage increases elsewhere. These supplementary increases occur independently of state government funding.

accordingly. All Catholic schools were given a reassurance that they would not be disadvantaged by this change and would have their per capita funding entitlements retained in real terms. This is an arrangement that has continued into the current 2009 to 2012 funding period.

The proportion of funding from federal, state and fees varies across employing authorities. Catholic schools typically rely more heavily on federal funds with Brisbane Catholic Education for example reporting that in 2008 65.2 per cent of its funding came from the federal government. The balance

It is important to note that while Catholic schools are individually assessed under the SES funding model, the allocated funds are still paid to the system authority, not the individual schools. It then falls on the system authority to distribute funding to its member schools.

federal government include: • Literacy, Numeracy and Special Learning Needs Program; • Country Areas Program; • English as a Second Language Program; and • School Languages Program. The National Partnerships Funding is an initiative that arose out of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and is a funding allocation made to schools to facilitate or reward delivery of nationally significant reforms such as improvements in low socio-economic status schools, literacy and numeracy levels or

2005 2006 2007 2008 Average increase over last 4 years of its funding was 22.5 per cent from the state government, 10.6 per cent from school fees and various levies and 1.7 per cent from interest earned. Up until 2004 Catholic schools were funded at a set rate of 56.2 per cent of AGRSC, which is equivalent to an SES score of 96. These funding arrangements preserved in real terms the per capita equivalent of their 2000 funding arrangement under the previous ERI funding model. This arrangement ensured that no Catholic schools would be disadvantaged. For the funding period of 2005 to 2009, for the first time under the SES model, Australian Catholic schools were individually assessed for a SES score and allocated funding

Primary percentage 3.10% 6.34% 5.56% 5.65% 5.16%

Special schools, special assistance schools and majority indigenous schools receive the maximum funding allocation regardless of their SES score. All non-government schools are also eligible for additional funding loading if they are classified as remote or providing distance education. The Indigenous Education Supplementary Assistance was introduced in 2009 and is a consolidation of various indigenous funding provisions which were previously available to schools. Capital Grants Programs and the Trade Training Centres in Schools Programs provide funding for schools for a variety of capital works projects. Other targeted projects for funding provided by the

Secondary percentage 4.67% 3.57% 4.39% 3.45% 4.02%

Also significant is the federal government’s funding commitment as part of Building the Education Revolution. Which has seen 195 independent schools receive more than $135,752,189 in funding and 249 Catholic schools receive $213,774,320 as of July 2009 with more funding to be distributed in the coming months. In the 2009-10 State budget, the State Government has allocated $435.7 million in recurrent grants funding for non-state schools representing a 3.8 per cent increase. It should be noted that as the prep year is now included within the primary years of schooling, eligible enrolments attract the

for protected industrial action

Catholic employing authorities have declined a request to commit to the benchmark professional rates of pay arguing that it is ‘necessary to await the outcome of the Education Queensland wages negotiation’. Members across the state resolved in Chapter resolutions to authorise an application to Fair Work Australia (FWA) for a ballot on protected action if Catholic employing authorities failed to commit in substance to the professional rates of pay. The process of seeking authorisation of protection action through FWA is elaborate and time consuming with a secret ballot to be conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) and authorisation requiring at least 50 per cent of members voting and at least 50 per cent of votes in favour of the proposed action(s).

The needs funding consists of four sub-pools, with 80 per cent related to school characteristics and 20 per cent relating to student characteristics.

enhancements in teach quality.

IEUA-QNT makes ballot application

Application is being made for a ballot of members across the Catholic sector to determine if protected action is taken in support of benchmark professional rates of pay.

The different per capita rates for primary and secondary have been fixed at the dollar amounts set in 2008, that is, $1055 per primary student (inc. prep) and $1583 per secondary student. In 2009-10 the Students With Disabilities targeted program SWD program has been allocated $26.5 million.

From this year the proportions of recurrent and needs based funding are changing. There will be a gradual shift each year, according to the overall growth in the quantum of funding, until the needs component reaches 40 per cent of the total funding available. In 2010 the needs component is estimated to increase to around 28 per cent of funds.

Supplementation increase for SES Year

full primary school funding rate.

Members in Catholic schools are understandably frustrated by a collective employer position which would deny meaningful negotiation of professional rates of pay and substitute ‘discussions’ while an Education Queensland outcome is awaited. Catholic employing authorities initially set a very responsible standard in wage negotiations agreeing to a 4.5 per cent interim wage increase and an undertaking to ensure Catholic sector employees did not fall behind public sector outcomes. However, employing authorities have now decided to ‘fall in’ with the Queensland government and take an obdurant view on professional rates of pay. If protected action is authorised and endorsed, a full day stoppage in mid-October along with a number of employer directed bans would be imposed in support of benchmark professional rates of pay.

Government funding provides nongovernment schools with a solid financial base for school operations. For some sectors and schools this funding can be over 85 per cent of operational expenditure. Nor are these sums static amounts with federal government supplementation formula providing significant increases reflecting large wage movements across the government sector in Australia. In a very real way the supplementation, although delayed and only a portion of the total operating costs, does provide a capacity to address a claim for professional rates of pay in Queensland non-government schools.

Christian Brothers reject extended long service leave Christian Brother employees are being denied access to long service leave at double time half pay by their employer. While other Catholic Employing Authorities have agreed in principle to a claim for long service leave to be available at double time and half pay, Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) continue to refuse to implement this for employees. EREA have concluded that their current payroll system would have difficulty implementing this claim of long service leave at double time half pay, and refuse to look into implementation in the future. QIEU maintains that all employees in the Catholic education sector should be treated fairly and equally. This can be achieved by allowing Christian Brothers school employees the option to access their long service leave at double time and half pay.


4

The Independent Voice

August 2009

Members in Action Caloundra Christian College negotiate for new collective agreement

Collective agreement negotiations at Blackall Range Independent School Queensland Independent Education Union (QIEU) members at Blackall Range Independent School in Kureelpa are negotiating for a collective agreement reflecting the nature and operations of the school. At present all employees are employed on individual contracts with wages and entitlements determined by the award. Under consideration for inclusion in the collective agreement are wages parity with teachers in other sectors and improvements to maternity leave and sick leave for all staff. Remuneration or an allowance for teachers who stay overnight to look after students in sleep over arrangements has also been requested by employees in their log of claims.

ABOVE: Caloundra Christian College members negotiate for improvements to wages, employment conditions and entitlements in their new collective agreement

Improvements to wages, employment conditions and entitlements are being negotiated for a new collective agreement for Caloundra Christian College employees.

Also under consideration is the availability of job-sharing for staff to encourage work/life balance, and the request for limitations on fixed term contract use on casual employees.

QIEU members have identified issues to be considered in the log of claims, including wages parity with any public sector wage outcome.

Long service leave entitlements are currently accessed by staff after 10 years service; the employee log of claims asks for access to this leave after seven years.

CQ members voice concerns at branch meeting

Employees have requested an additional six weeks of paid parental leave, to take the allowance to 14 weeks exclusive. Also under consideration is the review of redundancy provisions for long term casuals at the school, which currently exempt casual employees.

QIEU organiser Jenny Nielson said the school is to be commended for their action on bargaining for a collective agreement for staff. Originally only one employee at the school was a member of QIEU; however now, the campaign for improvements to wages and conditions through collectively bargaining for an agreement covering all staff has seen QIEU membership climb to 100 per cent. “We have school representatives now that engage other staff members about the issues of importance to their school,” Jenny said. Once the log of claims has been finalised and endorsed by members, the negotiations for an collective agreement will commence, she said.

Suncoast Christian identify issues for log of claims QIEU members at Suncoast Christian College are currently identifying issues for inclusion in their employee log of claims. Members convened a meeting with their QIEU organiser in July to discuss possible improvements in wages and conditions to their current agreement which expires on 31 December this year.

ABOVE: Central Queensland members Andrew Stein, John Kennedy and Karyl Young discuss negotiation issues at the recent branch meeting

Central Queensland members heard the latest developments and voiced their concerns regarding current collective bargaining negotiations at their recent branch meeting in August. The Rockhampton QIEU members from Catholic schools also discussed their concerns that their employer is attempting to hide behind the state government’s public sector wage offer whilst also claiming to be in the federal jurisdiction. QIEU organiser Richard Pascoe said the members continued to discuss possible actions that may

be taken in the future in support of their claim. Richard said the meeting also saw members given the opportunity to view the progress that has been made in other areas of collective bargaining discussions. However, pay remained a clear issue for members at this meeting, he said. “QIEU members are looking forward to further progress being made in negotiations, and hope a pay offer reflecting the professional rates being paid in other Catholic jurisdictions around Australia is made.”

Though still in the early stages of identifying such potential inclusions in their new agreement, discussion with members has so far been positive. Members have specifically highlighted wages parity with the public sector wage outcome along with parity of sick leave entitlements with the state, Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran sectors. Enhanced family leave conditions, including paid and unpaid entitlements, together with enhanced paternity and maternity leave provisions was also discussed. Members also agreed to look further into improvements in procedures for employee job share opportunities and agreed that their should be

ABOVE: QIEU organsier Jenny Nielsen talks to Suncoast Christian College members to identify the key issues to include in the employee log of claims for negotiations for a new agreement

limits in the use of fixed term contracts and casualisation at the College. School officer issues were also highlighted for potential inclusion in a log of claims, including an updated and improved school officer classifications and agreed classification process already seen in arrangements in Catholic, Lutheran and other single site schools, as well as the ability for school officers to ‘bank’ overtime

as Time Off In Lieu (TOIL). Nominees are also now being called to represent the College’s employees in the Single Bargaining Unit (SBU) in future negotiations with the school. Issues for further inclusion in an employee log of claims to go toward a new collective agreement will continue to be discussed amongst members at the College.


The Independent Voice

August 2009

5

Members in Action St Paul’s School job shares Chapter Executive roles The QIEU Chapter at St Paul’s School, Bald Hills, recently elected a new Chapter Executive that better reflects school structure and membership growth at the school. Long-term committed QIEU member and activist Bob Kersnovske said it was often difficult to maintain even basic communication in a school of their size when it falls to just one person to communicate with their Chapter. However, with the Chapter Executive now in place, the Chapter Executive roles and jobs are shared. He said looking at both the employment category and school structure viewpoints, the Chapter now had a team of members that better represents all members. Steve Wilkins, who now is in a job share role of Staff Representative with Bob, believes that the way they have split responsibility between themselves is simply common sense.

“I’m in the Junior School and will be the Chapter’s first point of call there, while Bob will be the face of the Chapter in the Secondary School. We’ve also a team of networkers to better manage communication within the Chapter and in fact have job shared the role of Network Coordinator along the same lines as Chapter Representative,” Steve said. Cheryl Wegener and Maureen Noakes believe as first time Chapter Executive members that they were more comfortable in putting their hand up for the role knowing that they could share the job. Both agreed that it was not only sensible in terms of the Junior/Senior split, but it also meant that they could learn the role together and support each other to get the job done. Supporting Steve and Bob in the role of Membership Coordinator on the Chapter Executive is school officer

member Jeanette Mastenbroek. Jeanette said she was more than happy to help out, especially to ensure that school officer members are included. “In the busyness of schools, school officers can sometimes be overlooked when issues are being considered. We don’t want that to happen here at ABOVE: QIEU members from St Paul’s School in Bald Hills, Steve Wilkins and Jeanette Mastenbroek, explain St Paul’s and I’m how a Chapter operates within a school to the College’s Headmaster, Paul Browning happy to do my bit to make sure it doesn’t,” she said. “With restructuring occurring collective voice needs strong and in many places, the question of responsive structures to ensure it is QIEU organiser for the school, Gaye whether or not there is a better heard,” Gaye said. Vale, believed all Chapters should way of ensuring a strong collective regularly review the operation of voice is facilitated in your Chapter. If you would like help to review their Chapter Executive to ensure it The strength of our Chapters lies in your Chapter, contact your QIEU meets the needs of members. our members; and our members’ Organiser.

Northern Territory News Teacher work practices document

Funding to help Territory schools

still an issue in Catholic agreement

IEUA-QNT member schools in the Northern Territory will share in over $7.4 million of federal government funding to help deliver new science and language centres to the five non-government schools.

bring together existing conditions specific to teacher work practices as outlined in the teachers award and the current collective agreement.

Good Shepherd Lutheran College, Kormilda College, O’Loughlin Catholic College, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Thamarrurr Catholic School and St John’s College Stuart Park will benefit from the additional funding.

The inclusion of the teacher work practices policy document into the collective agreement remains a significant issue yet to be resolved in Northern Territory Catholic sector collective bargaining negotiations. The existing policy document details normal school hours, allocated breaks and allocation of professional teaching duties.

Many of the provisions in the Award and current agreement complement elements of the policy document and bringing it all together would provide a comprehensive and easy reference to teacher work practices and duties.

The employee proposal is to

A number of matters in negotiations

IEW conditions under negotiation Indigenous Education Workers (IEWs) in Northern Territory Catholic schools will have prior service and cultural life experience recognised for the purpose of incremental advancement under provisions being negotiated for a replacement collective agreement. Significant progress has been made in negotiations for IEWs, with the Catholic Education Office (CEO) agreeing that persons appointed as IEWs with prior relevant cultural knowledge and experience will be entitled to one year of incremental progression for every three years of recognised prior service. A revised IEW classification structure is also under negotiation with clarity being brought to conditions for IEWs across all schools.

have been agreed to in principle, and include job share provisions, flexible work practices, establishment of fixed tenure for persons appointed to Positions of Responsibility, and the development of a Work Impact Statement where appropriate. Still under consideration in continued negotiations are maternity leave provisions, the provision of laptops for all employees, and remote area provisions.

Kormilda Residential Review The Kormilda Residential Review authorised under the certified agreement has made a number of significant recommendations to enhance the quality of the boarding program. The recommendations currently before school management go to a number of staffing and operational issues identified in the agreed terms of reference. Staff have generally welcomed the recommendations which have yet to be responded to by school management. Teaching staff at Kormilda have also been engaged in a review of the curriculum and timetable structure and draft considerations are now subject of consultation prior to the introduction of any amended structure in 2010.

Overall an extra $25 million of federal government funding will go to 14 government and non-government Northern Territory schools as part of the $14.7 billion Building the Education Revolution economic stimulus package. This investment in education will go to delivering up-to-date facilities, with the science centres to provide specialised, purposebuilt classrooms to offer a wider range of science subjects. The $14.7 billion Building the Education Revolution plan is made up of the maintenance, renewal of school buildings and minor building works, the $74 million funding to build or upgrade libraries, multi-purpose halls and classrooms, and the building of about 500 new science laboratories and language learning centres in schools across the country.

News in brief... Essington Log of Claims Staff at Essington College will shortly confirm their log of claims for imminent negotiation of a new agreement. The log of claims has been subject of wide ranging consultation with staff. The school has made an interim good faith wage increase this year to ensure wage relativity with the sector.


6

The Independent Voice

August 2009

Assistant General Secretary’s Report

HELP is at hand for teachers The newly-named federal government Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) benefit (previously known as Higher Education Contribution Scheme or HECS) aims to: 1. Promote the teaching profession amongst Maths and Science degree graduates; and 2. Encourage early childhood education teachers to work in specified locations of need, including rural and regional areas, indigenous communities and areas of socio-economic disadvantage. This initiative is one of the measures being introduced as part of the federal government’s Education Revolution, to address particular areas of teacher shortages in order to deliver high quality education for all students wherever they are located. Teacher unionists have clearly articulated a raft of resourcing strategies that should be supported by government to better value the profession and enhance quality teaching/learning outcomes. However, the focus of this article is simply to ensure that all QIEU teacher members are aware of the new HELP entitlement and eligibility criteria, in order to take advantage of this financial benefit wherever possible. What HELP is there for teachers with a Maths or Science degree?

Most new graduate primary teachers and secondary teachers of Maths and Science subjects will be eligible for a HELP benefit of up to $1,500 per annum from the 2008–2009 financial year, in terms of the criteria listed below. Teachers need to have been employed for at least one week to be eligible for a pro rata benefit. Teachers eligible for the HELP benefit are those who: • Have completed a natural or physical science course of study; and • Have satisfied the academic requirements of the relevant degree course after 30 June 2008; and • Were a Commonwealth-supported student for some or all of that course (incurring a HECS/HELP debt for the course undertaken); and • Had a HECS/HELP debt at the time the Maths or Science course was completed; and • Have not repaid the entire debt at any time since completing that course; and • Have a HECS/HELP debt in the period claimed for; and • Are required to make a compulsory HECS/HELP repayment in the income year for which application has been made. This means that teachers are not eligible for the HELP benefit if: • All student contribution payments were made up front; or • There is no compulsory HECS/ HELP repayment to be made

in the income year for which application is made. What HELP is there for Early Childhood Education teachers? Most Early Childhood Education teachers working in a preschool, kindergarten or childcare centre will be eligible for a HELP benefit of up to $1,600 per annum in the 2008–2009 financial year, in terms of the criteria listed below. Teachers need to have been employed for at least one week to be eligible for a pro rata benefit. Teachers eligible for the HELP benefit are those who: • Have completed an Early Childhood Education teaching qualification at any time; and • Are teaching in a regional or remote area, indigenous community or area of high socio-economic disadvantage (please see list of ‘eligible work location postcodes’ via the web address at the end of this article); and • Were a Commonwealth-supported student for some or all of that course (incurring a HECS/HELP debt for the course undertaken); and • Are recognised by a state or territory government as meeting the requirements to teach Early Childhood Education; and • More than half of each weeks teaching duty is spent in an early childhood setting (teaching children 0-5 years); and

• Had a HECS/HELP debt at the time the EarlyChildhood Education teaching course was completed; and • Have not repaid the entire debt at any time since completing that course; and • Have a HECS/HELP debt in the period claimed for. This means that teachers are not eligible for the HELP benefit if: • All student contribution payments were made up front; or • Employment is as a non-teaching child care director, coordinator, manager, preschool aide or other non-teaching assistant; or • Less than half of each weeks teaching duty is spent in an early childhood setting (teaching children 0-5 years). Where an Early Childhood Education teacher does not have to make a compulsory HECS/ HELP repayment, the Australian Tax Office will write to you with details of the benefit awarded and the reduced debt amount. For example, this may occur where your income level falls below the threshold for compulsory repayment, you successfully apply to defer the compulsory HECS/ HELP payment for the year or low family income results in a reduction of the Medicare levy payment that would otherwise be made. If you are required to make a

compulsory repayment, the HELP benefit may reduce your overall tax debt or increase your tax refund, depending on your individual circumstances. Want more information? The scheme is available to eligible teachers who currently have a HECS/HELP debt, on the basis of an annual application to reduce the compulsory repayment or accumulated debt. This application must be made each year. The benefit is not a cash payment. Further information and an application form can be found at: www.ato.gov.au/individuals. (Once in the ATO website, select ‘your situation’, then ‘higher education loan scheme’ to access the information you need). Ros McLennan Assistant General Secretary rmclennan@qieu.asn.au

Equity Matters: Help on hand for new parents (any time of the day or night!) Later this month, a new section of our union website (www.qieu.asn.au) will be launched to provide specialised advice to QIEU members on parental leave. What new parents want This initiative was a result of our recent survey of 114 members on parental leave, conducted by QIEU in April this year. In summary, members told us: • They wanted easier access to information about parental leave entitlements, their rights and responsibilities before, during and after accessing leave, major changes in the profession or any major industrial issues that may affect them upon return to work. • The key issues of interest to them are: job share; options for part time work; regaining the same

position held prior to going on leave upon return to work; maintaining teacher registration and continuing professional development requirements whilst on leave; work/ life balance; transferring between schools; the federal government’s new national paid parental leave scheme; and news of collective bargaining outcomes in the major Queensland non-governmental school sectors. • They preferred to access QIEU advice on these important issues online – at a time that suited them. • They were interested in networking with other QIEU members on parental leave through email or online mechanisms.

The new web space will feature the following information: • A series of fact sheets covering topics such as: everything you need to know about maternity leave provisions; job share; teacher registration and meeting the new continuing professional development requirements whilst on leave; transferring between schools; returning to work advice; and options for part time work. • An update on the details of how the federal government’s national paid parental leave scheme will work, including how it will relate to employer-funded parental leave won through union collective bargaining agreements.

• The contact number for QIEU Members Services Officers, who can assist you with queries about your individual parental leave or return to work situation.

your time on parental leave if we have your current email address and you remain a QIEU member on the special parental leave membership rate.

• A survey for members on parental leave, to keep your ideas coming in and this website space fresh, current and relevant.

If you need to check your current financial membership status, call the QIEU Membership Department on FREECALL 1800 177 937 to confirm your details.

Next steps Getting involved QIEU will also later be exploring the development of a short e-newsletter (to be sent to members on parental leave periodically) which would present the ‘headlines’ of emergent issues for the profession or school workplaces, along with reference to materials available on the QIEU website.

A new web space So the idea to develop a designated space on our website for members on parental leave was born.

• Benefits of retaining your QIEU membership whilst on parental leave – and the fee discounts you are entitled to at this time.

Importance of membership Remember, QIEU can only keep you up to date on issues relevant to

This initiative was developed through the QIEU Equity Committee. If you are interested in getting involved in discussing industrial, employment and social justice issues important to women members and families, this committee may be for you! Teleconference facilities are available and you can contact QIEU Assistant General Secretary Ros McLennan for further information.


The Independent Voice

August 2009

7

Assistant General Secretary/Treasurer’s Report Delivering quality career pathways for teachers In the last The Independent Voice, I noted that at the recent annual Council of the Independent Union of Australia (IEUA), the IEUA Quality Teaching Framework had been launched. The framework is based on the principle that the development, support and maintenance of quality teaching is the responsibility of teachers, the teaching profession, schools and systems and governments at state and federal level. Quality teaching is the shared responsibility of a number of education stakeholders. It was noted in that article that the framework identifies three interlocking, dynamic and synergistically related components, which together, establish quality teaching. The three essential and basic components of quality teaching identified are: • Building Quality Teacher Capacity; • Delivering Quality Career Pathways; and • Establishing Quality Learning Outcomes. The first of these – Building Quality Teacher Capacity, was discussed in

the last The Independent Voice. The second, Delivering Quality Career Pathways, will be discussed in this report. The IEUA policy stresses that central to developing and sustaining quality teaching is access to quality career pathways, which both acknowledge and support the complex nature of teaching and the demanding work undertaken by teachers. The Policy identifies various factors such as: • An integrated career pathway; • High quality applicants to teaching; • Retention of experienced and effective teachers; • Quality training and professional development; • Relevant and meaningful Framework of Standards; • Professional and attractive remuneration; and • Supportive leadership as underpinning a quality career pathway. The IEUA believes that there needs to be developed in Australian education an integrated career structure for teachers that takes into account the various phases, often

interrupted phases, in a teacher’s career including graduate/early career, competent/experienced, highly accomplished and leadership phases. The establishment of such a responsive structure requires a substantial commitment of resources by employers and governments. Directly related to the establishment of a quality career pathway is the establishment and promotion of an objective, encompassing scaffold of Standards that support, encourage and focus teachers’ professional development. Such a scaffold however, to be effective and useful, must relate to the particular phase of the teacher’s career. The IEUA believes a scaffold of standards should be based on: • Pre-service teacher education; • Graduate teacher; • Competent teacher; • Accomplished teacher; and • Leadership, which should underpin and contribute to a quality teaching career pathway. The IEUA policy notes positively that the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA, now MCEECDYA) proposed a

National Framework of Standards based on career dimensions/time line and various elements of a teacher’s professional responsibility. Another element identified by Delivering Quality Career Pathways is the recognition of accomplished teachers. The policy identifies a number of schemes already in existence in various Australian states. There are, however, a number of essential principles identified by this policy that must underpin any structure that recognizes accomplished teachers. These principles include: • Commitment to professional rates of pay in base salaries; • Relevant industrial instruments recognised by employers developed in consultation with employees’ union/s; • A recognition structure that is open to all, without quota; • The inclusion of teachers and their unions in the development of such reward structures; • The appraisal of eligible teachers to be based on agreed criteria objectively, fairly and impartially applied; and • Overt rejection of the naïve notion of rewarding teachers as a function

of popularity or ranking measures or simplistic outcomes. The IEUA policy Quality Teaching Framework has identified three components that will, if effectively developed and applied, synergistically contribute to quality teaching in schools. The second of these components, Delivering Quality Career Pathways, has been discussed in this article. The third component, Establishing Quality Learning Outcomes, will be discussed in the next edition of The Independent Voice. The full policy can be accessed through the IEUA website at: www.ieu.org. au/214.html Paul Giles Assistant General Secretary/ Treasurer pgiles@qieu.asn.au

Early Childhood Education sector faces challenging times ahead The Early Childhood Education sector is facing challenging times ahead, with collective negotiations, DECKAs funding, COAG reforms and the development of the new “Modern Awards” still to be clarified. Collective bargaining stalls in negotiations with ACSEA, QLECS Australian Community Services Employers Association (ACSEA) and the Queensland Lutheran Early Childhood Services Limited (QLECS) have refused to negotiate a new collective agreement, continuing to ignore improved wages and working conditions for early childhood employees. QIEU, on behalf of employees in the sector, have written to both ACSEA and QLECS identifying the importance of collective bargaining and reiterating our request for constructive negotiations. For over 12 months QIEU have sought negotiations for a new agreement for early childhood employees; however, ACSEA continue to hesitate with their current position that no negotiation will occur until funding issues are clarified. Further, QLECS have also proposed no further negotiations

to take place until after 2010. An interim wage increase of 4.5 per cent from May 2009 has, however, been agreed to. Early childhood employees in Queensland have had their wages increased through collective bargaining negotiations since 1996, which also resulted in improvements in other conditions. The excuse of delaying collective bargaining negotiations by ACSEA and QLECS due to the Queensland government’s lack of reviewing DECKAS funding, is poor justification. Negotiations continue with C&K Negotiations between QIEU and the Creche and Kindergarten Associations (C&K) continues for employees in branch centres. These negotiations have identified the respective positions of employees and the employer, with an attempt to achieve negotiated outcomes in relation to those positions. C&K have agreed that they do not seek a net addition to the contact hours for teachers in negotiations; however, discussions remain on how future changes can be met. Queensland government continues to delay review of DECKAS funding

The Queensland government is guilty of woeful delays in finalising the review of funding for Early Childhood Education. The government initially commissioned a formal report into the Department of Education Creche and Kingergarten Assistance Scheme (DECKAS) funding and was provided to government in October 2007. It was not until late 2008 that this report was publicly released. Since then the Queensland government has ignored the findings of its own report. Currently, the Queensland government is considering a “per capita” funding model for early childhood education. This model is contrary to the views of the industry, the submissions on behalf of employees and employers, and the findings of its own report. The Queensland government initially foreshadowed the release of the new funding model approximately two months ago. QIEU, along with other industry representatives, has continually asked the government to release its funding proposals. Despite a number of promises that the funding model would be released “very soon”, we continue to wait. COAG reforms Through the Council of Australian

Governments (COAG), all Australian governments have agreed that there will be universal access to 15 hours of education for all four-year-olds, provided by a four-year university trained teacher. Currently, feedback is sought on the ‘Regulation Impact Statement for Early Childhood Education and Care Reforms’. The government has an online survey which is available at http://www.deewr.gov.au/ EarlyChildhood/Policy_Agenda/ Quality/Pages/RISConsultations. aspx. Members are also encouraged to express their views in writing to the Federal Minister for Early Childhood Education, Childcare and Youth, the Honourable Kate Ellis, PO Box 6022, House of Representatives, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600. Email kate. ellis.mp@aph.gov.au.

early childhood professionals should be covered by an award in the education industry, and by an award which reflects the unique aspects of an education environment.

Developments on the new “Modern Award” The Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) are currently reviewing awards in the education sector; however, there is a risk that wages and conditions of employment could be based on an industry other than education.

Wages and conditions could be adversely affected under the ACSEA submission, which may disadvantage employees in the sector and negatively impact on the education provided to young children. The submissions by ACSEA are directly inconsistent with the very reason for the existence of the employers they claim to represent.

A formal hearing was held in Melbourne on 4 August in relation to the modern award to cover Early Childhood Education. QIEU representatives again argued that

It is unarguable that a better educational outcome will be provided to children where a four-year university trained teacher delivers the educational programme. The ACSEA submission displays a total lack of understanding of both the Early Childhood Education industry and the interests of their members, where it described as “offensive” and “egotistical”, “views about the value of four year qualifications versus Diploma and Certificate III qualifications” .

These issues within Early Childhood Education remain in a state of instability and change.


8

The Independent Voice

August 2009

Sector Matters Grammar Schools sector:

PMSA schools:

Negotiations for replacement collective agreements in Queensland Grammar Schools are continuing.

Issues to attract and retain quality employees through professional rates of pay and the inclusion of an hours of duty schedule in the agreement are critical to this round of collective bargaining in Presbyterian and Methodist Schools’ Association (PMSA) schools.

Negotiations at Rockhampton Grammar School are nearing completion, with QIEU members balloting this term on the proposed agreement. The three and a half year agreement includes a 4.5 per cent wage increase each year for all employees at the school. Fourteen weeks paid maternity leave exclusive of holidays and significant support for graduate teachers was also included in the agreeement. Once balloted, the agreement with be submitted to Fair Work Australia. Rockhampton Girls Grammar School negotiations are proceeding as members continue to represent their log of claims to management of the school. Members are asking for enhancements to wages and to the Positions of Added Responsibility (PAR) structure. The next meeting of the SBU to discuss the negotiations is scheduled for early in term four. Both Brisbane Grammar School and Brisbane Girls Grammar School have concluded their negotiations

for new collective agreements, with members to ballot shortly. Negotiations at BGS saw for the first time a guaranteed wage premium over any state public sector wage outcome for teachers. BGGS have also agreed to in principle a wage increase of 15 per cent over the next three years for staff, with a commitment to reconvene the SBU to review any further wage developments. Ipswich Grammar School employees continue to meet with their employer to discuss improvements to their wages and conditions in negotiations for a new collective agreement. Chapter meetings have been run with employee representatives of the SBU listening to members input and seeking feedback to the ongoing negotiations. Professional rates of pay, appropriate parental and carers leave provisions and a commitment to a standardised school year are being negotiated in the agreement. Townsville Grammar School, Ipswich Girls Grammar School and Toowoomba Grammar School have previously concluded negotitations and currently have certified agreements.

Lutheran sector: Employees in Lutheran schools have previously endorsed motions to not only reject the state government sector wage offer but also continued to seek a commitment from their Lutheran employer for professional rates of pay for inclusion in the current round of negotiations. At a recent Single Bargaining Unit (SBU) employees argued that if interstate benchmarks were not agreed to between the state government and the Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU) regarding professional rates of pay, then it was incumbent on the SBU negotiations to determine

ELICOS sector: Off the back of the Australian College of English (ACE) collective agreement being lodged for certification with Fair Work Australia, many other ELICOS colleges are now engaged in discussions with their employers regarding enhanced wages and conditions. Many colleges should be commended for positively engaging in discussions with employees about equitable conditions in the sector. Unfortunately, some employers have refused to even discuss these critical considerations with their staff. Members in the ELICOS sector will continue to campaign strongly on issues of importance to them in their workplace.

a professional rate of pay for teachers in Lutheran schools. However, employers have failed to commit to interstate benchmarks professional rates of pay. Lutheran employer representations have requested times to consider their position with school authorities before a further SBU meeting in early September. Chapters will continue to be informed on appropriate member action in light of the employer response.

Concerns relating to expectations around and the implementation of federal and state curriculum initiatives, the Queensland College of Teachers’ (QCT) re-registration requirements, school based professional development and the development of an accomplished teacher schedule were other matters employees in PMSA schools wished to see progressed in this round of negotiations. Provisions to deal with work intensification and achieving a balance between work and family life were, as always, important matters for consideration. QIEU members in PMSA schools realise that building union strength and acting collectively is the best way to protect working rights and conditions, negotiate enhancements to wages and conditions and address work intensification concerns in their schools. A draft Employee Log of Claims has been compiled and is being reviewed by PMSA employees, to be endorsed as the employee claim by individual Chapters at each PMSA school. The feedback and advice from Chapters will be used to draft a final Log of Claims, which will be tabled at the first meeting of the Single Bargaining Unit (SBU). The success of this year’s collective bargaining negotiations relies on a strong union voice in PMSA schools with active member involvement. PMSA Employee Network Expressions of interest were received by members to be employee representatives on the SBU sought through the employee network. The PMSA Employee Network will continue to play a key role by informing employee representatives about staff views and assisting in the developing of negotiating positions.

Christian schools sector: After over 18 months of lengthy negotiations, employees at Calvary Christian College, Springwood and Carbrook campuses, recently endorsed a federal collective agreement that has been lodged with Fair Work Australia. The negotiated collective agreement incorporates a number of benefits including an 8.16 per cent salary increase on current wages and salaries and a commitment to reconvene the Single Bargaining Unit (SBU) when public

sector outcomes are known. As well, employees secured increased benefits in regard to various leave entitlements including sick leave, extended leave without pay, paid maternity and adoption leave. In addition, employees can fully access enhanced superannuation benefits from 1 January 2010. QIEU Assistant General Secretary/Treasurer

Paul Giles commented on the positive and open negotiations that had occurred over the last 18 months firstly with the previous principal, Mike Millard and more recently with Cathy Hockey, the current principal of the College. The SBU employee representatives were able to represent the views, issues and concerns of the employees they represented when meeting with the employer representatives, including a representative from the College board.

Independent schools sector:

Hills International College

Employee and employer representatives at John Paul College have recently met to negotiate a replacement collective agreement.The SBU is negotiating a collective agreement to replace a deed that nominally expired in June 2009.

Recently employees at Hills International College voted on and endorsed an extension to their Preserved Collective State Agreement (PCSA).

Employee representatives, representing teaching and non-teaching staff, have met on three occasions. These initial meetings consisted of employee representatives tabling an endorsed Log of Claims, and more recently clauses

and developed positions reflective of that Log. The employees’ Log of Claims included positions around wages, PD, Long Service Leave, redundancy, extracurricular activity, induction and paid maternity/paternity leave. Employer representatives have sought information around and explanation of the clauses and positions and negotiation will continue concerning the proposed agreement.

The agreement includes: wage increases for staff from 1 May 2009; an attempt to cap “covers”; increased redundancy provisions; and a commitment to staff discount for school fees for employees’ children at the College. The agreement had been lodged with the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, and is expected to run until May 2010.


The Independent Voice

August 2009

QIEU and QTU join together for recruitment day

9

Survey uncovers truth behind teaching The teaching profession is being undermined by the failure to appropriately recognise good teachers and by a lack of incentives for teachers to improve teaching strategies, a international survey has shown. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) is the first teacher survey to cover key issues affecting teachers of lower secondary education and their work. More than 70,000 teachers and principals from 23 countries were surveyed, and found that the Australian teaching profession was one of the weakest education systems to recognise teacher performance through pay increases or promotions. The report stated that teacher workplaces offered little incentive for effective teaching, and that “efforts to improve schools rely on improving quality of teaching.” When it comes to rewarding effective teaching, the data shows that across the countries three-quarters of teachers report that they would receive no recognition for increasing the quality of their work or for being more innovative. The survey also found that a majority of teachers participate in professional development, approximately 97 per cent in Australia; however, half “do not think this meets their needs…”.

ABOVE: QIEU organiser Richard Pascoe speaks to a student at CQU about the non-government education sector at the recent education conference at the university

A joint presentation to Bundaberg university students has shown the advantages of Queensland Independent Education Union (QIEU) and the Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU) working together when it comes to recruitment.

employers in the non-government education sector.

In June, QIEU organiser Richard Pascoe and QTU organiser Greg Purches met with 100 education students at the Bundaberg campus of Central Queensland University (CQU). Students were told of the advantages of becoming associate members of both unions, with many signing up on the day. The students then had the opportunity to meet with the organsiers from both unions and ask questions regarding employment in the relevant sectors.

Students appreciated the time to find out more as many were currently seeking employment for next year, Richard said.

QIEU organiser Richard Pascoe said the university students asked a number of questions around the differences in conditions between

“They were surprised by these differences and were able to see the importance of union involvement in negotiations for wages and conditions,” Richard said.

“This was then a timely reminder of the importance of our union in the independent sector.” The combined unions’ presentation was part of a two day education conference at the university. Previously both QIEU and the QTU ran a successful joint function at the Fraser Coast campus of the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) during O Week 2009, where a large number of associate members were also recruited.

The Bundaberg presentation proves that both QIEU and the QTU share many more similarities than differences in terms of operation of an education union, including the services to members that are provided and the ability for members to collectively campaign for improvements in their salaries and working conditions. With a difference of up to $11,500 between wages in schools with union collective agreements and schools with non-union agreements, the advantages of belonging to a union are obvious. Both QIEU and QTU will continue to work together throughout the Wide Bay when it comes to associate members due to the obvious advantages to the partnership. Recruiting associate members today will bring about collective culture and solidarity of QIEU in the future.

Services staff share similar issues

It was reported that their was “unmet demand concentrated in areas relating to dealing with heterogeneous learning groups, ICT and student behaviour.” Work pressures and lack of suitable opportunities were also cited as reasons for insufficient PD. The conclusions drawn from the data are not surprising: “Policy makers and practitioners need to ensure that incentives and support for professional development are better aligned with the types of activity that are effective in meeting teachers’ needs,” the report stated. Teachers are keen to participate in quality professional development where it meets their needs; however, many teachers struggle to find the time to devote to PD and that resources for PD vary significantly, according to the survey. The survey concludes that there is an underlining “need for individualised and targeted interventions for teachers rather than just whole-school or system-wide interventions that have traditionally dominated education policy. The challenges for education systems are likely to intensify. Addressing them will require the creation of ‘knowledge-rich’ evidence-based education systems, in which school leaders and teachers act as a professional community and have the authority to act, the necessary information to do so wisely, and access to effective support systems to assist them in implementing change.” Australia was one of 23 participating countries in the survey, with some 200 schools randomly selected in each country. Of those schools the principal and 20 randomly selected teachers completed the questionnaire. The full report can be accessed at http://www.oecd. org/dataoecd/17/51/43023606.pdf.

Swine flu notification for schools

as education professionals

As the current influenza outbreak continues throughout the country, QIEU has called on all employing authorities in the non-government education sector to assure that adequate measures are being made around notification and protection of all students and staff within schools communities.

Services staff within schools want to be respected as professionals with appropriate wages and conditions, according to a recent Independent Education Union of Australia - Queensland and Northern Territory (IEUAQNT) survey.

The swine flu outbreak is of particular importance to school environments, as the potential for student/staff infection and spreading of the virus from person to person is increased. Persons most at risk of serious illness include pregnant women, indigenous Australians, people with respiratory disease such as asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, heart disease, diabetes, renal disease, morbid obesity and immunosuppression.

these members. The member survey also asked questions about member knowledge of current collective bargaining, attendance at chapter meetings and if they would like to be better informed about any specific issues.

IEUA-QNT contacted its services staff members to ask about workplace issues to get a better understanding of specific concerns to these members.

Members were also asked to identify any specific employment issues or concerns that they had.

The survey found that services staff members also share common issues with other education professionals, such as the issue of work intensification. However, other issues, such as concerns about the outsourcing of jobs, were most specific to

Respondents were also asked when and where is the best time for their organiser to meet with them, understanding that services staff do not always share the same break times as teaching staff, and they do not always make it to staff room.

To assist in avoiding the spread of the virus to other students and staff, particularly those identified as ‘at risk’, QIEU have requested employing authorities to confirm that all students and staff will be notified on each occurrence of infection amongst the school population. In the circumstances where an employer is aware of ‘at risk’ students or staff, the employing authority should give favourable consideration to special requests around attendance, particularly of employees. Employing authorities have been commendably quick to assure that they continue to monitor this influenza outbreak within schools and that adequate measures will be put in place to notify and protect all students and staff.


10

The Independent Voice

August 2009

UK Principals learn more about Queensland educational issues during visit At the beginning of August a group of educators from schools in the Waltham Forest Borough – located in the greater London area – visited Brisbane with the purpose of developing an overview of educational issues in Queensland. The personal learning objectives of various members of the group included topics that are pertinent to Queensland teachers, as well: • behaviour management; • the transition from junior to senior parts of secondary schools; • how physical education is taught in Australia; • how special needs students are supported; and • how to create consistency across the school and the use of ITC in classrooms. The group visited many schools, including St Pauls School at Woodridge, Holy Rosary Primary at Kenmore, St Edward the Confessor Primary at Daisy Hill, Lourdes Hill College at Hawthorne, St Peters Lutheran College at Indooroopilly, St Thomas More College at Sunnybank, and St Pauls at Bald Hills. The group also visited Yeronga State High School with the help of Queensland Teachers’ Unions’ Julie Brown. Our visitors were deeply impressed with the extent to which our schools “value add” to the academic curriculum through a strongly embedded values system. They saw this as a great contribution

ABOVE: The group of educators from England visited Lourdes Hill College, and included Jonathan Clark, Stuart Lock, Sarah Jaggs, Marta Tarasewicz, Nia Phillips, Bill Lyttle and Gary Cascoe, together with Lourdes Hill College Deputy Principal Terry Niebling (second from left) and Principal Narelle Mullins(fourth from right)

to the total education of each student. The group were also impressed with the quality of educational leadership they encountered in each of these places and the strong sense of direction and cohesion within the schools and school communities. They were surprised at the multicultural nature of the student bodies at these schools and were impressed at the apparent social cohesion that exists in the schools. QIEU, as the hosts of this visit, was grateful to the leaders of these schools and to all the staff and

students who gave up their time and resources to accommodate the visitors and to showcase the high standard of education provided by our dedicated education professionals in Queensland.

fruit into the future. It is hoped that this programme of study tours will be repeated in the years to come.

Miriam Dunn QIEU Research Officer

Good contacts have been established between our host schools and those of our visitors. Hopefully this will bear much

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ABOVE: The UK vistors were eager to learn more about education in Queensland when they visited QIEU

Federal government continues funding Funding of $810 million from the federal government will see 537 science laboratories and language learning centres built or refurbished under the first stage of the Science and Language Centres for the 21st Century Secondary Schools element of Building the Education Revolution. Under SLC, $150 million or 18 per cent of funding will go to Catholic schools and $90 million or 11 per cent to Independent schools. This round of funding will see 280 science centres, 179 language centres and 78 dual facilities either constructed or refurbished, and will give schools access to leading edge technologies.


The Independent Voice

August 2009

11

Shanghai Education Union visits Queensland unions The biannual visit to QIEU by the Shanghai Education Union (SEU) delegation from 29 June to 2 July provided another opportunity for sharing ideas and practices both in terms of educational issues and the work of our unions. The programme undertaken this year was somewhat different from what has occurred in the past, particularly because the visit occurred during school holidays. This occurred to facilitate a presentation at the Queensland Teachers’ Union Conference by the President of the SEU and delegation leader, Madam Xia. During the presentation Madam Xia spoke of the value of the relationship with both QIEU and QTU in terms of the mutual learning that occurs. She indicated that exposure to issues in different cultural contexts provides the opportunity to reflect critically on one’s own practices; sometimes to reinforce the merit of what is being done currently, sometimes to reveal more effective ways of working and, generally, to broaden the vision that informs work being undertaken.

ABOVE: The Shanghai Education Union delegates of Mr Ding, Mr Wang, Ms Yu, Madam Xia, Mr Jia and Ms Xu visited The Southport School accompanied by QIEU Assistant General Secretary/Treasurer Paul Giles (fourth from left) and QIEU member Bryce Goldburg (third from right) during the delegate’s visit to Queensland

The members of the delegation raised our awareness of the precious nature of our right to campaign openly and to oppose the dictates of government and employers in a very public manner. Delegates were both impressed and somewhat in awe of the nature of our campaign for professional rates of pay. They were struck by the effective use of the media in our campaign and with the passion of an active membership to ensure that government, employers and the broader public are well informed of the true nature of the issues and what is at stake for education and education professionals in Queensland if professional rates of pay were to be denied to Queensland teachers.

still those processes remain open to us.

Fair Work Act.

A critical issue for us all is to remain strong in the face of those who would oppose our legitimate demands: we must not let ourselves be daunted by red tape or emotional blackmail.

The delegation was very interested in the strengths and weaknesses of the Act and was, again, impressed by our ability to critique government legislation and our capacity to work to influence government policy and legislation.

Looking at our campaign through the reaction of the visiting delegation highlighted the significance of exercising our democratic rights to speak openly about our cause and to pursue it through all available legal avenues. During the visit QIEU officer Belinda Hogan-Collis presented a very well received seminar session on the construction, purpose and use of a Chapter Briefing as a means of communication with members.

Delegates were impressed by the commitment of our members to quality education for Queensland students and to quality working conditions for those who work to deliver that education. They were also impressed by our capacity to engage government and employers in serious debate about working conditions, wages and education issues.

A lesson to be taken from their reaction to this campaign is that we need to remember that the right to take action in support of industrial and professional matters is something that we must not allow others to suppress.

The intense interest in and detailed questions asked about the purposes, distribution and general nature of the format further reinforced the significance of our democratic right to communicate freely our ideas, values and claims.

The delegation was impressed with our open expression of discontent with aspects of our working lives and the activism generated and targeted to effect change.

While current industrial legislation makes the processes necessary for industrial action to be taken more complex,

In a second seminal session QIEU Industrial Officer Sophie Ismail presented an excellent overview of the

Miriam Dunn QIEU Research Officer

ABOVE: SEU delegates take part in QIEU seminars on aspects of union engagement of members during their visit

ABOVE: SEU delegates Mr Jia, Mr Wang, Mr Ding and Ms Xu


12

The Independent Voice

August 2009

QIEU members show so Queensland teachers across the state and non-government education sectors have denounced the state government’s refusal to meet professional rates of pay in collective negotiations. QIEU members joined with their Queensland Teachers’ Union colleagues outside Parliament House in August to highlight the need for education employers to stop being complacent about a fair wage deal for teachers, so the future provision of education in Queensland is not threatened. Our members are fighting the same wage battle as our state sector colleagues, as we also deal with our employers who have failed to follow through or take the lead in appropriate benchmark wage outcomes. With the refusal to meet professional rates of pay, Queensland could see its teacher wages institutionalised for the next decade as we become the lowest paid teachers in the country. Teachers in both non-government and state schools share the common goal of making sure the future provision of high quality education is preserved for all Queensland students, while ensuring the attraction and retention of high quality teachers in our schools. Teachers want what is best for their students, but the failure by employers to pay professional rates of pay could lead to a teacher exodus which would be a dire situation for the state. Throughout this campaign both QIEU and QTU members have resolved to jointly collaborate to achieve teachers’ wages and are determined to achieve a fair wage deal that sees them on par with their interstate colleagues. The demonstration of our collective voice is necessary to make our employers understand that it is time for Queensland teachers to be recognised for their dedicated and sometimes difficult work that they undertake in our schools.

ABOVE: Queensland Independent Education Union (QIEU) members and staff rally at Parliament House in support of professio

ABOVE: Teachers from Villanova College, including Maureen O’Dwyer, Ciaran McCallio Hannah Elder, Peter Meecham, Julie Davis, Brian Pascoe, Col Grant and Belinda Grant, le to the QTU rally

ABOVE: QIEU members Steve Bishop from Matthew Flinders Anglican College, Maria Campanini from Sunshine Coast Grammar School, with Teresa McFadden and Rachel O’Brien from Lourdes Hill College represent their Chapters at the rally

LEFT: A signwriter gives Queensland Premier Anna Bligh a resounding cross during the QTU rally at Parliament House

ABOVE: QIEU General Secretary Terry Burke addresses the crowd at the rally, highlighting the need for professional rates of pay for all teachers in Queensland


12

The Independent Voice

August 2009

The Independent Voice

August 2009

13

QIEU members show solidarity at teachers’ rally Queensland teachers across the state and non-government education sectors have denounced the state government’s refusal to meet professional rates of pay in collective negotiations.

QIEU Chapters support professional rates of pay

QIEU members joined with their Queensland Teachers’ Union colleagues outside Parliament House in August to highlight the need for education employers to stop being complacent about a fair wage deal for teachers, so the future provision of education in Queensland is not threatened. Our members are fighting the same wage battle as our state sector colleagues, as we also deal with our employers who have failed to follow through or take the lead in appropriate benchmark wage outcomes. With the refusal to meet professional rates of pay, Queensland could see its teacher wages institutionalised for the next decade as we become the lowest paid teachers in the country. Teachers in both non-government and state schools share the common goal of making sure the future provision of high quality education is preserved for all Queensland students, while ensuring the attraction and retention of high quality teachers in our schools. Teachers want what is best for their students, but the failure by employers to pay professional rates of pay could lead to a teacher exodus which would be a dire situation for the state. Throughout this campaign both QIEU and QTU members have resolved to jointly collaborate to achieve teachers’ wages and are determined to achieve a fair wage deal that sees them on par with their interstate colleagues. The demonstration of our collective voice is necessary to make our employers understand that it is time for Queensland teachers to be recognised for their dedicated and sometimes difficult work that they undertake in our schools.

QIEU Chapters at St Kevin’s Primary School in Geebung (top) and Southern Cross Catholic School recently held meetings at their schools to support the joint QTU and QIEU professional rates of pay campaign.

ABOVE: Queensland Independent Education Union (QIEU) members and staff rally at Parliament House in support of professional rates of pay for all Queensland teachers

Achieving professional rates of pay that is on par with interstate colleagues is an issue for all Queensland teachers. QIEU members will continue to hold their employers and the Queensland government to account to commit to benchmark rates of pay for the interests of quality education.

Townsville members ABOVE: Teachers from Villanova College, including Maureen O’Dwyer, Ciaran McCallion, Pat Atkinson, Hannah Elder, Peter Meecham, Julie Davis, Brian Pascoe, Col Grant and Belinda Grant, lend their support to the QTU rally

ABOVE: Teachers unite to get their message across to the government that teachers deserve better wages

support QTU colleagues In support of our state sector colleagues, QIEU members in Townsville joined in the QTU rally to demonstrate their concerns and to express disappointment in the cynical use of the industrial system by the government, and its unwillingness to offer teachers a fair salary outcome. The rally in support of the ongoing campaign was held outside local politician Lindy NelsonCarr’s office in Mundingburra, to highlight the need for professional rates of pay.

ABOVE: QIEU members Steve Bishop from Matthew Flinders Anglican College, Maria Campanini from Sunshine Coast Grammar School, with Teresa McFadden and Rachel O’Brien from Lourdes Hill College represent their Chapters at the rally

Other rallies and peaceful assemblies were also organised across the state, including QIEU members showing their support in Mackay. LEFT: A signwriter gives Queensland Premier Anna Bligh a resounding cross during the QTU rally at Parliament House

ABOVE: QIEU General Secretary Terry Burke addresses the crowd at the rally, highlighting the need for professional rates of pay for all teachers in Queensland

ABOVE: QTU President Steve Ryan addresses the rally and marks Education Minister Geoff Wilson in his report card

With the continued resolve of QTU members, together with support from QIEU members, the government must come to understand that their failure to recognise the professionalism of teachers will not be forgotten by our members or the community.

ABOVE: Erin Fuller and Leonie Dunne from The Marian School in Townsville joined their colleagues from QTU at a peaceful assembly in support of professional rates of pay in Townsville recently


The Independent Voice

August 2009

13

olidarity at teachers’ rally QIEU Chapters support professional rates of pay

QIEU Chapters at St Kevin’s Primary School in Geebung (top) and Southern Cross Catholic School recently held meetings at their schools to support the joint QTU and QIEU professional rates of pay campaign.

onal rates of pay for all Queensland teachers

Achieving professional rates of pay that is on par with interstate colleagues is an issue for all Queensland teachers. QIEU members will continue to hold their employers and the Queensland government to account to commit to benchmark rates of pay for the interests of quality education.

Townsville members

on, Pat Atkinson, end their support

g

ABOVE: Teachers unite to get their message across to the government that teachers deserve better wages

support QTU colleagues In support of our state sector colleagues, QIEU members in Townsville joined in the QTU rally to demonstrate their concerns and to express disappointment in the cynical use of the industrial system by the government, and its unwillingness to offer teachers a fair salary outcome. The rally in support of the ongoing campaign was held outside local politician Lindy NelsonCarr’s office in Mundingburra, to highlight the need for professional rates of pay. Other rallies and peaceful assemblies were also organised across the state, including QIEU members showing their support in Mackay.

ABOVE: QTU President Steve Ryan addresses the rally and marks Education Minister Geoff Wilson in his report card

With the continued resolve of QTU members, together with support from QIEU members, the government must come to understand that their failure to recognise the professionalism of teachers will not be forgotten by our members or the community.

ABOVE: Erin Fuller and Leonie Dunne from The Marian School in Townsville joined their colleagues from QTU at a peaceful assembly in support of professional rates of pay in Townsville recently


14

The Independent Voice

August 2009

Looking back on the history of our union: Teacher pay disparity The fight for wage parity with the other states of Australia is not new for QIEU nor for our colleagues at the QTU. In The Independent Teacher of November 1974, in commenting on the then recent decision of the Industrial Commission, noted that the “Judgment is a milestone in that these salaries have been granted before the salary claims of the traditionally leading States have been settled.” It went on to say that “Queensland teachers, for a brief period at least, have the distinction of leading the field.”

article in the August 1981 edition of The Independent Teacher that “teachers’ wages which are now less in real terms than they were in 1975 will continue to fall behind the inflation spiral unless we as [a union] are prepared to ensure otherwise.” It was then pointed out in the same article that New South Wales teachers were being paid 3.5 per cent more than teachers in Queensland and that when the round of work value cases in other states finished, Queensland teachers, both state and private, would be the lowest paid in Australia. In a subsequent article in December

The unions argued that teachers’ salaries had fallen back in relation to economic indices, that the interstate teacher work value round, and other non-national wage adjustments since 1981, had “disturbed the traditional balance between teacher’s [sic] salaries and their interstate counterparts” (The Independent Teacher October 1985). They also argued that the basic reason for the application was to return Queensland teachers’ salaries to an equitable base. QATIS General Secretary of the day, Peter O’Brien, in arguing our case appealed to the Full Bench

decisions were made that rescued Queensland from this invidious position. However, the victory was hard won. Viewed nationally, the Queensland Teachers’ Wage Case was significant for a number of reasons. To begin with it was the longest and most complex of all the special cases for teachers’ wages. Moreover, the opposition by the Queensland Confederation of Industry (representing the non-government employers) to the agreement reached by the Queensland government through its Education Department and the

However, this position of leading the way did not last long, and by July 1975 a report in the journal notes that the wage claim being requested – an 18 per cent increase – is justifiable on the grounds of “maintaining parity with teachers’ salaries in southern States and with the QTU.”

the move towards incorporating AST classifications began. It is worth repeating the comments in relation to the government’s lack of response to this matter in terms of education policy for it has relevance to the status of highly experienced teachers today. Mr O’Brien wrote: “The sober lesson of the last nine months is that governments and private employers are quite happy to mouth the rhetoric of quality education and proper rates for teachers. But when it comes to the crunch, however, they are not prepared to come to the party. “It might be smart politics in the short term, but for an aspiring “clever country” it makes for pretty dumb public policy in the long run. “A disillusioned teaching force will not help the country produce the necessary economic and social outcomes desperately needed for what is shaping up to be a turbulent and probably vicious decade.”

So, it had not taken very long for the southern states to demonstrate their willingness to value more highly in terms of financial remuneration the work done by teachers. But this was not just a game of catch up. The significance of the request for parity with the southern states was that there was need to “ensure that teachers’ salaries compare ABOVE: The salaries scoreboard of what a fourth year teacher was receiving in 1982 favourably with community standards prior to Indexation,” which was imminent. 1981 it is stated that “The key effect to “take this opportunity to return QTU extended the case. of teachers’ wages in Australia the value of a teacher’s work to From 1975 to 1981 Australia relates to wage levels of the NSW its proper standing in society.” But, perhaps more importantly, it h a d a s y s t e m o f w a g e Teachers’ Federation. That is He also argued that there was confirmed that industrial tribunals indexation. This system t h e k e y a w a r d t h r o u g h o u t “an opportunity to assert that the throughout the country were essentially meant that wages Australia.” work of teachers is a valuable taking, with the exception of South were adjusted quarterly on and essential one in today’s Australia, a consistent line on teachers’ wages. the basis of price movements ‘Bleak outlook for teachers’ wages’ society.” (CPI). The original idea was read the headline in The Independent that indexation should fully Teacher in October 1982. And the “What the unions were asking for,” Earlier decisions in the Western reflect the increase in prices so “SALARIES SCOREBOARD” Mr. O’Brien claimed, “was not Australian and Victorian tribunals that if prices increased by three cartoon above, from that same excessive, and, if granted, would had set an interim national per cent, wages would increase article, clearly demonstrates why only return teachers to a position benchmark rate of $37,200; the Queensland case confirmed the by three per cent also. this was so. The State Industrial which they historically enjoyed.” decision of the NSW Commission Commission had recently rejected After the Fraser Government applications by QATIS, the QTU The commission rejected the in setting the benchmark rate of $38,000. It is interesting to note that took office in late 1975, the and the POA (Professional Officers claim. South Australia took the lead at this commission only granted Association) for a 7 per cent increase partial indexation and not in wages and salaries. Mr O’Brien reportedly said: “We time granting a top rate of $38,600 on a quarterly basis. Their are not at the bottom of the heap. and by endorsing an AST rate up justification for this change And the battle continued in 1985 If the community is to value to $44,000. was that real wages would have when in submissions before education, then teachers should be to fall if full employment were the Queensland State Industrial paid accordingly” (The Independent It was at this time that there had been a push for a re-structuring to to be restored. Commission on 24 and 25 September Teacher February 1986). incorporate a Band 4 into the scale. QATIS and the QTU applied for an It was clear to the author of an increase of 5 per cent. It was not until late 1990 that However, this was rejected and so

Our Profession - 90 Years Union Strong

So the history is quite clear and it is pertinent to our current battle for professional rates of pay in Queensland. It is clear that if you allow a significant gap between rates of pay in different locations, subsequent percentage increases have to be increasingly larger to maintain the degree of difference, let alone to bridge the gap. It is, at the least, short-sighted to allow this situation to arise in the first place. There is a long tradition of wages parity between Queensland and the southern states, especially New South Wales. It is also clear that it is folly to rely on the accepted norm being upheld without the dedicated action of the collective behind a well conceived and directed campaign. If we are to avoid being relegated, once again, to “the bottom of the heap” for a decade, then we must maintain the momentum, maintain our determination and continue to press as hard as we can for the professional rates of pay that are our due.


The Independent Voice

August 2009

15

Honouring those who shaped QIEU Reverend Canon Bruce Maughan OAM Active union member for 50 years The Reverend Canon Bruce Maughan, OAM has been instrumental in the development of our union since first becoming a member over 50 years ago. Beginning as a teacher at The Southport School (TSS) in 1959, today Canon Bruce retains his interest as a life member and is still actively involved at TSS serving on the School Council as the Archbishop’s nominee. In QIEU’s 90 th anniversary year, Canon Bruce details his achievements in education and within our union. Born in Warwick in 1935 as the eldest of four children, Canon Bruce completed school at the Church of England Grammar School, now ACGS (Churchie), in 1954. The following year he

began a Bachelor of Arts Diploma of Education (BA DipEd) degree at The University of Queensland through King’s College. After graduating, Bruce began his teaching career at The Southport School in 1959; he taught there for the next 30 years. For a period of nine years Bruce was also Head of the Senior Secondary School until 1986. The previous year he was honoured by having a new Dayboy House named after him, ‘Maughan House’, and is its Patron. He entered full-time Ministry in the Anglican Church in 1989, and was ordained a Priest. From his first year of teaching in 1959, Canon Bruce was a member of our union, recognising the

need of unions within education to represent the issues and best interests of teachers. “Having entered the teaching profession as a Master at TSS straight from university, I joined the Queensland Assistant Masters Association (QAMA) – I had been inspired to do this by two of my Masters at Churchie, not by my colleagues at TSS!” Canon Bruce remembers the annual subscription to QAMA was five pounds. During this time the two associations of the non-government sector, the QAMA and the Queensland Assistant Mistresses’ Association, were largely confined to GPS schools and mainly in south-east Queensland, Canon Bruce recalls. “There was very little observable activity, but there were representations in the Queensland Industrial Court… We were small in numbers; only a few of those eligible to join, but there were a few who had a vision of better things.”

ABOVE: Life member Canon Bruce Maughan presented an invocation speech at the QIEU 90th anniversary dinner in March this year, and was awarded a certificate of appreciation in recognition of his contribution to QIEU and its antecendents by current QIEU General Secretary, Terry Burke

After the Assistant Master and Assistant Mistresses’ merged into the Queensland Association of Teachers in Independent Schools (QATIS), Canon Bruce was entrusted to draft a new state-based Constitution with an empowered Council that was allowed to “get things done”. Canon Bruce remembers: “Although the new leadership had exciting ideas for a more professional

body, this was stymied by a Constitution based on the previous two models. “In 1971… one Schools’ common room in Brisbane was able to prevent a modest subscription increase at the Annual G e n e r a l Meeting! The proposal had had the support of the Council to enable a part-time Secretariat; but it was clear that no one school’s staff should have such a veto for a Queenslandbased organisation. “I was invited by (the then) President to be more involved, and to participate specifically in addressing this problem.” Canon Bruce actively participated in our union throughout the years: in 1973 until 1988 Canon Bruce served on QATIS/QIEU Council of Management; from 1982 until 1990 Canon Bruce was also entrusted as a Trustee of our union; he was elected Senior Vice-President in 1976 and 1977; was Chairman of the Finance Committee from 1975 until 1981; and Foundation President of the Gold Coast Branch (1975-1981). As well, he was for four years (19791982) the Federal President of the Independent Teachers’ Federation of Australia, a member of the Australian College of Educators (MACE) since 1979, was on the State Panel of Review for Ancient History for many years until 1988, was a member representing the Independent sector of the Board of Teacher Education (later the Board of Teacher Registration, now the Queensland College of Teachers) from 1987 to 1988, and from 1986 to 1988 he was a member of the Committee for Admission to the Register of that Board.

ABOVE: Canon Bruce Maughan addresses fellow life members at the recent QIEU life members lunch

Since 1998 Canon Bruce has

Our Profession - 90 Years Union Strong

served on the School Councils of The Southport School as the Archbishop’s nominee, for the last 13 years the Chairman of Cannon Hill Anglican College and Council member since 1994, the Toowoomba Preparatory School from 1991 until 1996, and also on the Council of King’s College within The University of Queensland since 1972. On 24 August 2005, Canon Bruce retired from active ministry and currently is an Honorary Priest at St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List in 2007, for services to education and to teaching, and the Church (OAM). On 18 October 1985, Canon Bruce was elected as life member of QATIS, which he says was an honour he still treasures. Canon Bruce looks back at his time as a member within QAMA, QATIS and now QIEU as a “very invigorating and exciting period.” “I remain strongly committed to the ideals and purposes of our union, and am very proud of its achievements and present strength. I was privileged to be a part of that growth and development, and am confident of the future of our union.”


16

The Independent Voice

August 2009

Nominations called for QIEU excellence awards Nominations are now being called for the John (Max) MacDermott Award, the Ruth George School Officer Award and the Elizabeth McCall Award, presented in recognition of members’ outstanding contributions to their union. These awards recognise the outstanding efforts of individual activists and the efforts of school Chapters, Chapter Executives or networks. Nominations should be forwarded to the General Secretary, QIEU, PO Box 418, Fortitude Valley, Queensland 4006 by Thursday, 8 October, 2009.

The John (Max) MacDermott Award If you know of individuals within your Chapter who have made an outstanding contribution as unionists and union activists, we invite you to nominate them for the John (Max) MacDermott Award for Outstanding Contribution as a Union Activist or the John (Max) MacDermott Award for Outstanding Contribution as a Chapter, Chapter Executive or Network.

of his knowledge of union matters, his intelligence and courage. This award honours his memory and outstanding contribution as a unionist and union activist.

The Ruth George School Officer Award If you know of individual school officers who have made an outstanding contribution as unionists and union activists, we invite you to nominate them for the Ruth George School Officer Award for Outstanding Contribution as a Union Activist or the Ruth George School Officer Award for Outstanding Contribution as a Chapter, Chapter Executive or Network. Why was the Ruth George School Officer Award created? Ruth George played a key role in re-establishing the universal Award covering nongovernment assistant mistresses in 1937 following The Depression cutbacks. Ruth George and her colleagues took on the challenge of restoring their salaries despite opposition from their employers. Her determination and commitment to this cause was crucial in overcoming the employers’ objections and opposition. This award honours her memory and outstanding contribution as an activist and union representative. If you know of individual school officers who have made outstanding contributions as unionists and union activists, we invite you to nominate them for the awards.

Award Criteria

Award Criteria

• Has worked diligently and tirelessly to assist members to address their issues;

• Has made an outstanding contribution to the school Chapter or Branch and QIEU through activism in a specific area;

Why was the John (Max) MacDermott Award created?

• Has acted with honesty, integrity and courage in the conduct of union affairs;

• Has worked diligently and tirelessly to represent the interests of school officers; and

John (Max) MacDermott was a respected teacher at Mercy College, Mackay, who had a deep interest in union activities. As a chapter representative he worked tirelessly to represent the interests of staff. QIEU members were always confident in relying on him for advice because

• Has promoted member action and networking at the Chapter and/or Branch level; and

• Has acted with honesty, integrity and courage in the conduct of their union’s activities.

• Has made an outstanding contribution to their school Chapter and/or Branch and QIEU through activism.

The Elizabeth McCall Award The Elizabeth McCall Award was established to honour inspirational QIEU member Elizabeth McCall who died as a result of an accident outside her school in 2006. Elizabeth, who was a highly respected teacher at St Peter’s Catholic Primary School at Rochedale, was an extraordinary woman who made a remarkable contribution in all aspects of her life; including her union community to which she was dedicated. For Elizabeth her union activism was very much part of her wider commitment to achieving social justice. The award will be for a woman who demonstrates a fundamental commitment to the principles of unionism and in particular gives expression to the pursuit of social justice issues. The award may be given to more than one woman in any given year. Award criteria 1. Demonstrate a fundamental commitment to the principles of

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unionism by: • Actively building membership strength and a strong collective voice; • Building a collective culture and supporting her colleagues in her workplace to achieve fair and just outcomes; and • Being educated about the issues impacting on her and her colleagues and what they can do about them. 2. Actively encourage the expression of the voice of the collective in the pursuit of social justice issues by: • Working to bring social justice issues to the attention of her colleagues and seeking to inspire and educate others through their own example; • Recognising the importance of educating for social justice and inspiring students in her care to investigate issues they care deeply about; • Taking action to promote justice and fairness by standing alongside likeminded colleagues; and • Recognising our union’s capacity to achieve social justice.

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The Independent Voice

August 2009

17

International solidarity at ACTU Congress International speakers from the developing world named education, health and infrastructure as the biggest priorities and poverty as the biggest challenge in the world today at the recent International Union Solidarity fringe event as part of the ACTU Congress in Brisbane.

Michael Malabag, and President of SPOCTU, Mele Amanaki, explained that the South Pacific region too faces huge problems with HIV/ AIDS.

The event featured an international panel of speakers from such countries as Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea; many spoke of a lack of funds as being a huge challenge to growing the union movement in the developing world, and named gender equality as one of the union movement’s most important campaigns.

Both highlighted the pressure on workers caused by the extended family network in PNG which can result in one worker having potentially 10 to 20 people to care for.

Guest speakers from the Zimbabwe Council of Trade Unions (ZCTU), the South Pacific and Oceania Council of Trade Unions (SPOCTU), the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU), and the PNG Trade Union Council (PNG TUC) were represented at the Congress. Opening the event was ACTU’s Sharan Burrow, who highlighted the problems of poverty which have been exacerbated by the Global Financial Crisis. With more than 200 million people now living in extreme poverty, the challenge the international union movement has always faced is now even more daunting. First Vice President of the ZCTU, Lucia Matibenga, spoke of the unimaginable problems faced by the union movement in Zimbabwe, including inflation of more than 500 billion per cent, 85-90 per cent unemployment, a massive informal economy, HIV/AIDS and continuing repression of unions. President of the PNG TUC,

Mr Malabag also spoke of the grave problems in Fiji, where peace and democracy have given way to militarism and repression. The assistance provided to unions in the South Pacific ABOVE Executive Director of APHEDA, Peter Jennings, was presented with a cheque for $5,000 by QIEU Industrial Officer Sophie Ismail by the Australian to support the women’s literacy projects APHEDA runs in East Timor, during the International Solidarity event in Brisbane labour movement was also highlighted and The vulnerability of small Pacific Executive Director of APHEDA, Those that have usually only attend acknowledged. nations compared to Australia and Peter Jennings, with a cheque for for a year or two before leaving to New Zealand was highlighted, $5,000 to support the women’s work in the home and on the family The South Pacific unionists raised a as was the danger of essential literacy projects APHEDA runs in farm. concern that AusAid (the Australian government services being bought East Timor. development agency responsible and sold to the detriment of Mr Jennings was extremely grateful for sending monetary and other locals. Although Timor has free compulsory for the generous donation and assistance to the developing world) schooling from years 1 to 9, this has assured QIEU that the funds would funds the peak business and NGO The unions called for PACER to only been in place since 2004/2005, be of great assistance in developing bodies in the Pacific, but not the be deferred so that a proper impact and the older generation have not and improving existing literacy peak union body, SPOCTU. study can be conducted. programs and establishing new benefited from this. ones. The unions asked for the Australian Another problem faced by the This education gap is particularly union movement to lobby the federal Pacific region is outdated or non- acute for women and even more so QIEU will continue to receive government on this important existent labour legislation and a for rural women. reports from APHEDA regarding issue. lack of enforcement agencies to the use of the donation and will ensure compliance with labour The type of training APHEDA keep members updated in The The free-trade agreement between standards. facilitates is vital as almost two Independent Voice. Australia, New Zealand and other thirds of adult women in East Timor countries of the Pacific (PACER) Following the International have never attended any kind of Sophie Ismail was also discussed. Solidarity event QIEU presented school. QIEU Industrial Officer

Apply for the QIEU Teacher

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1. Eligibility a. Applicants must be enrolled (or intend to enrol) in either, an undergraduate Education/ Teaching Degree at a university in Queensland, or, postgraduate studies in the field of education. b. Applicants must be a member of QIEU or have a nominee who is a parent, partner, guardian, or grandparent that is, or has retired as, a financial member of QIEU. c. QIEU staff, or those who have retired as part of the QIEU staff, are also able to be nominees if they are a parent, partner, guardian or grandparent of the applicant. d. Successful applicants from one year may apply for the bursary in subsequent years. e. Successful applicants must

QIEU has established five education bursaries to encourage people who are studying into the teaching profession. Each year four pre-service education students will be awarded general education bursaries of $1,000. The fifth bursary, the John Nash Bursary, will see $2,000 awarded to an outstanding applicant. To celebrate our union’s 90th Anniversary, QIEU are offering the bursaries in 2009 for the first time. Those interested in applying for the bursaries must abide by the eligibility criteria (see right). QIEU Executive will consider all applicants and select successful candidates. Consideration will be given to those in remote areas, of financial need and academic results. For those interested in applying for the 2009 bursaries, please contact the QIEU Brisbane office on FREECALL 1800 177 937 by 18 September, 2009.

be prepared to assist QIEU via publicity in The Independent Voice or other QIEU publications. f. All applicants must indicate a willingness to sign a statutory declaration indicating that the bursary will be used for education associated expenses; eg, HECS, books, computer technology. g. Applications by non-members must include the details of the parent, partner, guardian, or grandparent that is, or has retired as, a financial member of QIEU. The application should be countersigned by this person. 2. Selection process a. Executive consider the applications and will select the successful applicants; b. Criteria to be used to determine

success will include: • Consideration of financial need, including any pressing personal circumstances; • Year 12 academic results of first year applicants and university results of 2nd, 3rd and 4th year applicants; • In the case of postgraduate applicants, academic records should be submitted along with an overview of the postgraduate work to be undertaken; • Consideration shall be given to at least one awardee; - Coming from remote or country areas distant from the institution at which the applicant is studying or intending to study; and, - being in their first year of an undergraduate course.


18

The Independent Voice

August 2009

QIEU member profile Working as a senior psychologist in a pediatric private practice at the Mater Hospital, a “curious turn of events” eventually led Tim Hay to a short term psychologist position at Trinity College, Beenleigh. That initial semester appointment has now seen Ian working full time at the College for three years. “Trinity has a full time guidance officer and I guess it became evident during that semester placement that a psychologist had something to contribute,” Ian explains. The students Ian predominately work with are those who have some underlying neuro-developmental problems such as attention deficit, Asperger’s syndrome, visual or auditory processing disorders, learning difficulty, conduct or oppositional disorders and some types of anxiety disorders, or have mental health problems. He says it is important that

accommodations need to be made for such children both at home and at school to prevent a neurodevelopmental disorder becoming a longer term mental health problem/ disorder as well. Ian realises that he plays an important role at the school, and that the three most important people to his job are firstly the student, secondly the parent, and “definitely last but by no means least the teacher.” Ian says that there are a number of positives to his role, and except for the “everyday ups and downs surrounding minor and/or significant issues” that there are no negatives. “The positives of working in a school environment is that I am able to access the child almost on any school day, I have access to parents (generally those that I would see in private practice) and I have the co-operation of teachers who have an understanding of the special needs and characteristics of children with neuro-developmental issues,” he says.

Ian Hay School Psychologist Trinity College Beenleigh

“This makes for a wonderful and rewarding working environment. It does not get any better than this.” Convincing the broader educational community about the advantages of having a person working in developmental guidance at schools

is difficult, Ian says. The complementary roles that a school psychologist and school guidance officers play in the school environment share the combined strengths that blend to provide a comprehensive service.

“Guidance officers and school psychologists are not readily identifiable in the school success story of student achievement and there is a need to develop data to show how effective such supports are in the school system,” Ian says.

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IEUA-QNT COMMITTEES 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; Organising and Campaigning; and Publications. If you would like to be involved please contact the QIEU office on FREECALL 1800 177 937 or email enquiries@qieu.asn.au


The Independent Voice

August 2009

19

AWE dinner highlights achievements of women educators The recent annual dinner for the Association of Women Educators (AWE) Brisbane Branch celebrated the achievements of women educators over the past year and highlighted the future directions of the association.

including a focus on supporting Indigenous women’s leadership;

The dinner at the end of July saw Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick give the keynote address, which was favourably attended by QIEU and other union officials.

• Driving down the incidence of sexual harassment;

Commissioner Broderick spoke about the National Listening Tour she undertook last year to assess how far Australia has come in the journey towards gender equality. Commissioner Broderick identified five areas arising from her Listening Tour where she will focus her efforts to improve gender equality in Australia. These included: • Increasing the number of women in leadership positions,

• Balancing paid work and family responsibilities beginning with the implementation of a national government funded paid maternity leave scheme;

• Reducing the gender gap in retirement savings; and • Strengthening laws to address sex discrimination and promote gender equality. These areas are further examined in depth in her report entitled Gender Equality: What matters to Australian women and men.

ABOVE: Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick was guest speaker at The Association of Women Educators annual dinner held in July

During her keynote address, Commissioner Broderick spoke about the importance of implementing flexible working arrangements to ensure inroads are made into the equality of men and women in the Australian workforce.

government’s commitment to implementing a national Paid Parental Leave scheme; however, acknowledged that the policy needs to go further to include better provisions for fathers.

She commended the federal

Gender equality hinges on strong partnerships between men and

women who come together to create a fairer and more equal Australia, she said. Commissioner Broderick also acknowledged the key role unions and other interest and community groups play in achieving gender equality.

EVENTS DIARY IAEA Conference The 35 th International Association for Educational Assessment (IAEA) Annual Conference will be held in Brisbane from 13-18 September at the Sofitel. Theme for the conference is Assessment for a Creative World. The Conference is recognised as a major event in assessment, bringing together leading educational certification agencies, educational assessment experts and examination providers from across the world. The conference provides a forum for participants to share professional expertise and strengthen mutual understanding and relationships - aiming towards building a global educational assessment community. For more information go to www.iaea2009.com

Business workshop Teachers who are implementing and teaching the new Business Communication and Technologies Senior Syllabus 2008, teachers who are teaching the Accounting Senior Syllabus 2003 and teachers who are developing assessment in Business Communication and Technologies and Accounting, are welcome to attend the Developing instrument-specific criteria sheets in Business Communication and Technologies and Accounting workshop. This workshop will focus on the development of instrument-specific criteria sheets for assessment tasks and provide an opportunity to gain a deeper

understanding of instrument-specific criteria sheets as well as an opportunity to prepare instrument-specific criteria sheets. Participants have the opportunity to: • discuss and clarify the assessment requirements of the syllabus to develop knowledge and understanding of instrument-specific criteria sheets for assessment tasks; • work individually and in groups to critique instrument-specific criteria sheets; • develop instrument-specific criteria sheets in Business Communication and Technologies or Accounting; and • network with other teachers to develop and sustain collegial relationships and professional networks to: - establish shared understandings about assessment design using the syllabus standards; and - make decisions about levels of achievement using exit standards. This workshop has relevance to elements of the Professional Standards for Queensland Teachers - Standards One, Three, Five, Nine and Ten. Cost is $88 (GST inc) per participant. Remaining locations and dates: • Brisbane North, 4 September 9am12pm Kedron Wavell Services Club, Chermside • Brisbane/Ipswich, 8 September 9am-12pm Brothers Leagues Club, Raceview • Toowoomba, 9 September 9am-12pm Toowoomba Education Centre, Darling Heights • Brisbane East, 11 September 9am-

12pm Wynnum Manly Leagues Club, Manly West • Mackay, 15 September 9am-12pm Azure Restarurant & Function Centre, Harbour Beach •Rockhampton, 16 September 9am-12pm Rockhampton Leagues Club For more information email events@qsa. qld.edu.au or phone (07) 3864 0471.

The Education Show The Education Show, Brisbane, is a major industry event for those in the education sector. The event will showcase suppliers of educational resources, products and services. The education sector will have a unique opportunity to access the latest resources, technologies, products and services on offer. A wide range of exhibitor categories will be present including - curriculum and teaching resources, AV equipment, bookstore and uniform supplies, fundraising, out of school activities, transport, teacher recruitment and support, publishers, furniture and more. The Education Show will also feature a seminar program focusing on key education issues and offers a great opportunity for professional development. The Education Show 2009, Friday and Saturday 11 and 12 September from 10am-3pm at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. Visit www. educationshow.net.au to register for your FREE ticket and for more information.

“Achieving gender equality for Australia is a shared vision” Commissioner Broderick said. “Change can happen, but it requires strength, it requires courage, it requires determination.”

QIEU meeting dates Workplace bullying and Work Cover course September 3, 8am-4pm - QIEU Office, Sturt Street, Townsville [Half day workplace bullying course, 8am11:30am; Half day WorkCover course, 12:30pm-4pm] Townsville Branch meeting September 3, 4:30pm - QIEU Office, Sturt Street, Townsville North Queensland Branch meeting September 7, 3:30pm - St Mary’s Primary School, Bowen Catholic Schools – Hours of Duty training September 9, 4pm - QCU Building, Campbell Street, Rockhampton Industrial Relations Day 2 training October 8, 9am-3pm - QIEU Brisbane office, 346 Turbot Street, Spring Hill Moreton Branch meeting and dinner October 15, 4:00pm - Metropole Hotel, 253 Brisbane St, Ipswich Metropolitan Branch meeting November 5, 4:15pm - Venue to be confirmed Contact your QIEU organiser or visit www. qieu.asn.au for further information.


20

The Independent Voice

August 2009

Graduate and associate members continue their involvement at QIEU Throughout 2009, QIEU associate and graduate members have had the opportunity to become more involved in our union through a variety of initiatives aimed at ensuring members are educated about our profession as they commence their graduate year of their career. Students at university studying education are eligible to become associate members of QIEU. This year our union has more than 1,000 associate members. These associate members have identified the importance of being a member of QIEU as the collective voice for education professional in the nongovernment education sector. Education professionals in their first year of their career have also recognised the importance of QIEU membership, with more than 340 new graduate members in 2009. Website This year, the associate and graduate member section of the QIEU website (www.qieu.asn.au) was reviewed and updated to include more comprehensive information about finding employment, career preparation, strategies for surviving the graduate first year of your career, information about benefits of membership, past editions of various QIEU publications and a frequently asked questions section which addresses some of the most common questions and concerns facing associate and graduate members. For more information visit http://www.qieu.asn.au/689. html. Publications QIEU also produces two newsletters to ensure that associate and graduate members are informed about what is happening in our profession. Grad News began in 2008 and is distributed to graduate members three times per year. This informative newsletter emailed to our graduate teacher members covers issues affecting the sector

such as professional rates of pay, collective bargaining, fixed term contracts, working in remote locations and teaching students with special needs. This publication also covers issues of specific interest and concern to graduate members such as moving from provisional to full teacher registration, tips and strategies for overcoming common graduate issues and the importance of QIEU graduate membership. Associate Outlook, QIEU’s monthly e-newsletter, also covers the significant issues facing the profession such as professional rates of pay, to ensure that graduates coming into our sector are educated about the challenges we face. Other topics covered include upcoming university visits, updates to the website, forthcoming professional development opportunities and member profiles. Professional Development In term one this year, QIEU hosted a series of information sessions for graduates to give members an overview of what they need to consider as they start their careers. These sessions were held throughout the state and on teleconference and covered topics such as duty of care, teacher registration, fixed term contracts, work intensification, classroom strategies and professional issues. In July, QIEU hosted a professional development session for associate and graduate members to assist them in finding employment in the non-government education sector. This session included a presentation from a QIEU member and principal which covered topics such as where to find a job, what to include in a resume and appropriate dress and conduct at an interview. A QIEU graduate member also discussed her experiences in her graduate year and provided strategies about how she overcome some common problems encountered by graduates. Due to the overwhelming demand

ABOVE: Second year teacher at Chisholm Catholic College Danika Ehlers speaks to associate members about her experiences as a graduate teacher at the recent ‘Strategies for seeking employment in the non-government sector’ session

for this session, another session has been organised for Tuesday, 29 September this year for associate members. Information about this session, including how to RSVP can be found at the bottom of the page. University and induction visits QIEU attended career preparation sessions, education market days and teaching conferences at a majority of Queensland universities to speak to associates about what to expect in their career and provide information packs which cover some of the most significant issues facing education professional today, such as duty of care, legal liability, professional rates of pay and fixed term contracts. Graduates also had the opportunity to meet with QIEU organisers at various school visits and induction sessions throughout the first half of 2009. During these visits, and throughout the year, graduates learnt more about the issues that will affect them in their career and how they can ensure that they have their voice heard in our profession.

Strategies for seeking employment in

TE

DA R E M AI CL This session will provide final year education students with knowledge and skills to assist in finding employment in the non-government education sector. It will also help in the preparation of what to expect in the graduate year of teaching. Topics which will be covered include: • Where to find employment in the non-government sector; • Writing a resume and cover letter;

ABOVE: At the BCE Induction Day earlier this year QIEU Organiser Gaye Vale (left) signs up graduate teacher Kaylene Priddle from Siena Catholic College, Sippy Downs, as a member of QIEU

RIGHT: Deputy Principal of St Rita’s College Catherine O’Kane speaks to associate members at the recent ‘Strategies for seeking employment in the non-government sector’ session

QIEU call centre to contact graduates

the non-government sector

If you are a QIEU associate or graduate member you may have received a call from the QIEU call centre this year.

Tuesday, 29 September from 12:15pm-3:30pm Queensland Council of Unions Level 2, Peel Street, South Brisbane

The QIEU call centre was established so that members could be better informed about what is going on in our profession and to ensure that we have the correct information for you on our membership system so that you receive the publications and professional development invitations that we send to you.

• • •

Preparing for an interview; What to expect in your first year of teaching; and The in’s and out’s of supply teaching.

Principals and graduate members from the non-government education sector will be on hand to share their knowledge and experiences, giving associate members first hand knowledge of the strategies associated with finding employment in the non-government education

sector and preparing for their career. All QIEU associate members or education students who would like to become an associate member are encouraged to attend. RSVP ESSENTIAL - PLACES LIMITED! Please RSVP to Rebecca Sisson by Friday, 18 September 2009. Phone: (07) 3839 7020 or Fax: (07) 3839 7021. Email: rsisson@qieu.asn.au

Throughout the year, the call centre contacts graduates to see how your graduate year is going, to update contact details and discuss the importance of graduate membership with you. Associate members who have recently graduated, or who will be graduating at the end of 2009 will be contacted by the call centre in the coming months to see how the job hunt is progressing, to update your details and to answer any questions that you might have as you prepare to commence your career. The QIEU call centre operates Monday to Thursday 4:30pm to 8:00pm.


The Independent Voice

August 2009

Legal Briefs

21

Andrew Knott, Macrossans Lawyers

HOME OCCUPIER LIABILITY FOR INJURY TO CHILD GUESTS – RECENT CASES In June 2009, a Supreme Court Judge in New South Wales awarded damages of approximately $850,000 to a plaintiff who at the age of 13 had been injured very seriously when coming down from the top bunk in the home of a friend. A few years earlier in New South Wales there had been a judgement (which was unsuccessfully appealed to the Court of Appeal) against a finding of liability against a home occupier on whose property a seven-year-old female guest had been seriously injured when on a trampoline, wearing roller blades. These cases, as well as being illustrations of the application of the principles of the law of negligence to child supervision, are also dramatic indicators of the importance of having insurance against such possible liability if you permit child friends of your own children to play or stay overnight (as was the situation in each of these cases). In the earlier case, the New South Wales Court of Appeal noted that there was no “highly developed body of doctrine about the application of the law of negligence where children suffer an injury while in the care of parents, or of persons who, for longer or shorter periods, exercise the responsibilities of parents”. Important general comments made by the Court of Appeal were as follows: “In a domestic situation, the response of a householder occupant to a foreseeable risk of injury to a child for whom the occupant is exercising parental responsibilities (as for a brief period Mrs Urquhart was) necessarily involves acceptance of many foreseeable risks of injury to the child. A house has much furniture and other effects which can cause injury, according to the way children use them; children could climb on tables and fall off, and they could tip furniture over. A household could be full of things which children might foreseeably break so as to cut themselves, drop on their feet, swallow or otherwise cause injury.” “Stringent parental control and

paralysis of everyday activities are not what the law of negligence requires. Many circumstances may affect what household equipment children can be allowed to use unsupervised; circumstances include the age and experience of the children and any special characteristics which a particular child may have, such as being adept in the use of the equipment, or being known to be inept; there are many possible variations in circumstances, including most importantly the age and experience of the children.” In this earlier case, whilst only one of the possible grounds of liability set out below was made out, it is instructive to note the two grounds: “(1) It should have been found that Mrs Urquhart did not at any time warn or direct the children not to use a trampoline and that this failure was negligent and causative of the injury; (2) It should have been found that it was negligent of Mrs Urquhart not to have turned the trampoline on its side or alternatively upside down so as to prevent it being used (unless the children were supervised) and so as to make clear to the respondent that it was not to be used.” In the recent decision a 13-yearold boy had stayed over night with a friend. It is critical to the case that the ladder and guard rails had been removed (for understandable reasons to do with reliability). In the judgement of the Court the hazard created by that removal had not been addressed.

chose to remove, rather than address the issues which they saw in relation to them. Various possibilities were identified, including the replacement of the bolt securing the guardrail, as well as lashing the ladder to prevent movement. I infer that a handyman could have dealt with the issue, without significant cost. And if that be thought onerous, it was open to the Shaws, especially when young children slept over (such as Cameron), to arrange for them to sleep in the lounge room on mattresses. That in fact was done when a number of children were sleeping over (T285). In the circumstances, I believe that a reasonable person in the position of the Shaws would have taken such precautions (s 5B(1)(c)).” “However, for the reasons given, and notwithstanding what had happened in the past, it was foreseeable that, absent a ladder, a child may improvise when climbing down from the top bunk. Joel, for instance, usually jumped down, as Mrs Shaw acknowledged. A child sitting on the edge of the bunk may well choose to get down another way, rather than climb back onto the bed, walk along to the end and then climb down. Such behaviour could not be described as unusual or unpredictable. Had a ladder been available, it would have been a simple matter for the child, sitting on the bed, to swing onto the ladder and descend. Alternatively, had

a guardrail been available, and had the child slid off the bed, as he lowered himself down he could have held onto the guardrail to steady his descent. A hand hold would have been available, whereas none was available because it had been removed. But for the absence of one or other or both of these safeguards, the harm probably would not have occurred. Had there been a ladder, Cameron I believe would have used it. He said he was scared of jumping down. The bunk beds he had at home were fitted with ladders, which he used (T17). Absent a ladder, but assuming a guardrail, it would have been a sensible and obvious thing to use the guardrail to lower himself to a position close to the floor. I am satisfied that factual causation has been demonstrated.” “However, the bunk beds they had purchased had guardrails and ladders. They were clearly provided for reasons of safety. As stated, when they encountered problems, they chose to remove these safety features rather than address the problems. And they did that whilst still permitting children, significantly younger than their own, to have access to the beds. The potential for accident to a young child climbing from the bed was both foreseeable and preventable.” In the writer’s judgment the Court

did not in either of these cases impose artificial or unrealistically high expectations. The point, however, is that if one is exposed to such liability uninsured, then the financial impact can be dramatic, hence the need for insurance whether one is a owner, or a lessee or the premises at which child guests are permitted to attend. It is notable that in both of these cases the plaintiffs were “sleeping over” for the first time in their lives. In one case it involved playing early in the morning before the adults were awake on a trampoline wearing roller skates and in the other an unsuccessful attempt to dismount early in the morning from a higher bunk. The decision of the New South Wales Court of Appeal is Doubleday–v-Kelly [2005] NSWCA 151 (12 May 2005). It can be read at http://www. austlii.edu.au/au/cases/nsw/ NSWCA/2005/151.html. The other recent decision of the New South Wales Court of Appeal is Thomas–v-Shaw [2009] NSWSC 510 (26 June 2009). It can be read at http:// austlii.edu.au/cgibin/sinodisp/ au/cases/nsw/NSWSC/2009/510. html.

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“Here, I believe, counsel’s claims were likewise extravagant. There were a number of solutions to the potential h a z a r d . Obviously the ladder and guardrail were safety features which the Shaws

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The Independent Voice

August 2009

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The Independent Voice

August 2009

New Cybersmart website provides gateway to online safety resources Australian Communications and Media Authority’s new Cybersmart website offers a range of resources for teachers. Cybersmart.gov.au represents an Australian ‘first’ in cybersafety education, that includes a Schools Gateway, as well as a single access point for cybersafety advice across a range of target audiences—children, parents, libraries and schools. By providing teachers and parents with current and credible information about cybersafety, the website assists to develop in young people the critical skills needed to stay safe online and get the most from their online encounters. The site includes comprehensive and practical advice for parents, interactive learning activities for children and information about safe social networking for teens.

The Cybersmart Schools Gateway offers a wide range of resources for teachers, including guides to assist schools address cybersafety issues, information about how children and young people of different ages engage with online technologies, extensive teaching resources and links to education department guidelines. The gateway also offers online booking for the ACMA’s free and accredited professional development program for educators – Cybersafety Outreach. Cybersmart.gov.au also includes an online helpline for young people who have had negative experiences online, such as cyberbullying. The helpline offers confidential advice and support from counsellors who are trained in listening to children and have expertise in cybersafety.

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Light the Night for Leukaemia Join thousands of friends, families and workmates at Light the Night celebrations across Australia. Brisbane’s Light the Night will be held at South Bank in October. An initiative of the Leukaemia Foundation, the event aims to raise awareness of the Foundation’s mission to care and vision to cure, and to give leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma patients and their families an opportunity to gather together on one night and share inspirational stories. The evening will start with entertainment and presentations from affected community members, followed by a twilight walk through South Bank carrying specially lit helium balloons. Individuals or teams can register for the event at www.lightthenight.org.au. Other city’s taking part in Light the Night in Queensland include the Gold Coast, Bargara, Mackay, Townsville, Queens Park Darling Downs, Sunshine Coast and Cairns.

Brisbane Light the Night Date: Thursday, 8 October, 2009 Location: South Bank, Cultural Forecourt, Brisbane Time: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm Balloon Lighting Ceremony will take place at 6:40 pm www.lightthenight.org.au

Health & Lifestyle Tips with Amelia Rovere Physiotherapist at TUH Health Care Centre

Computer workstation set-up: How to minimize pain Whether you suffer from back pain, neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain or forearm and wrist pain, the most common underlying cause is poor posture. Prevention is the best treatment for any injury. As a physiotherapist who works with teachers, I know that many hours are spent working on a computer and adequate workstation set-up will help to maintain the normal curvature of the spine. Keyboard and mouse set-up • Position the keyboard directly in front of your body. • Determine what section of the keyboard you use most and readjust the keyboard so that section is centered with your body. • Adjust the keyboard position so that your shoulders are relaxed, your elbows are in a slightly open position (100-110 degrees), and your wrists and hands are straight. • Place the mouse as close as possible to the keyboard. • The tilt of the keyboard is dependent upon your sitting position. Use the keyboard tray mechanism, or keyboard feet, to adjust the tilt. If you sit in a forward or upright position, try tilting you keyboard away from you at a negative angle. If you are reclined, a slight positive tilt will help maintain a straight wrist position. • Wrist-rests can help to maintain neutral postures and pad hard surfaces. However, the wrist-rest should only be used to rest the palms of the hands between keystrokes, not while typing. Chair set-up • Adjust the seat height so your feet are flat on the floor and your knees equal to, or slightly lower than, your hips. • Push hips right back into the chair to maintain the curve in the low back. This will help everything fall into place.

• Adjust the back of the chair to a 100 degrees-110 degree reclined angle. Make sure your upper and lower back are supported. Use a lumbar support roll, an inflatable cushions or small pillows if necessary. • Adjust the armrests (if fitted) so that your shoulders are relaxed, not hunched. • Use a footrest if your feet dangle. • If you do not have a fully adjustable keyboard tray, you may need to adjust your desk height or the height of your chair. • Remember to take one to two minute stretch breaks every 20-30 minutes and keep moving as much as possible. This will give your muscles a break from holding you in one position. Monitor set-up • Centre the monitor directly in front of you. • Position the monitor so the top is approximately five centimetres above seated eye level. • If you are using a laptop, use a separate keyboard and position the monitor at the appropriate height. • Sit at least an arms length away from the screen. • Reduce glare by careful positioning of the screen at right angles to the window. • Position source documents directly in front of you, between the monitor and the keyboard, using an in-line copy stand. Alternatively use a document holder placed adjacent to the monitor. By using the tips above, to position yourself with correct posture, you can prevent and minimise pain and injuries. Always remember if you are suffering pain, consult your physiotherapist for an assessment and advice on the best course of action. Do not just hope the pain goes away - early treatment and professional advice will result in a quicker, less painful road to recovery.

Dear Jo, I have been a teacher for 15 years and am currently receiving IVF treatment. I find the energy and commitment I have always assumed I would have is minimal at the moment. I also worry that if I feel this tired now, I will not be able to manage teaching and being a mother. I find that I am extremely envious and sometimes angry with parents who are pregnant/new mothers and whenever one of my pupils comes to school to report a new baby sibling I find myself totally overwhelmed by emotion. Others have warned me that I may need to take leave to have a successful outcome but that would mean when I have the baby (I am being positive!) I will have less time for maternity leave. I do not want my colleagues to know about the IVF treatment; however they are beginning to worry about me and my frequent tears. Can you advise me of how to manage this situation? Julie Dear Julie Trying to conceive a baby through IVF treatment can be a very stressful experience, especially when you are trying to deal with full-time work and a number of emotional strains. The fact that you do not want to discuss this with your colleagues is understandable; however, it minimises your opportunities for support. For many woman and their partners IVF is not at all straightforward. Reactions are individual and may include anxiety about conception, the potential for grief if the program is not successful, guilt about not giving your ‘all’ to teaching as you have in the past, wondering if your body can do this job, and not having any control over your body are all very stressful. The hormones that you will be taking also account for some of the heightened emotions you are experiencing. The responsibility of work and daily life has not left you the time and energy to address these intense feelings. Feelings can be scary, especially if you haven’t been up close enough to them yet to find out how deep they go, or where they might lead. Distancing oneself from painful thoughts and emotions can certainly be a useful way to stop them getting in the way of our work and home-life responsibilities, and it can also allow some time before you are ready to come face to face with the emotions. However, one of the best remedies for finding the right answers to your question will come more readily if and when you decide you’re ready to explore your emotions further. This may be made easier with some caring support and some quiet time to reflect. Your strong relationship with your husband can be a great source of support and comfort if you let him know you’re clear about how he can help (Cuddles? Help with housework or other demanding tasks? Reminding you of how he feels about you?) You may find it helpful to explore your thoughts, hopes and fears with your husband, another family member or friend, or perhaps you would feel more comfortable talking with a professional who’s not emotionally involved in the situation. Trained counsellors are available to you as a TUH member and can be contacted at TUH Supportline on 1800 655 302. Whomever you talk to, it is important that you feel comfortable that they will respect your opinions, feelings and decisions and not try to dictate how you should think or feel about this most personal experience. Jo

/Aug2009Binder  

http://www.qieu.asn.au/files/3913/1303/0384/Aug2009Binder.pdf

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