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The Independent Voice

July 2009

Journal of the Queensland Independent Education Union

July 2009

1

Volume 9 Number 4

Continuing status for school officers page 8

ABOVE: QIEU members at Marist College, Ashgrove, march in support of the QTU campaign for professional rates of pay in May. Further action by QIEU members may be called upon to highlight the need for non-government employers to commit to interstate benchmarks of professional rates of pay

Honouring life members of QIEU in 90th year

QIEU action on professional rates of pay

page 12 Teachers in non-government schools will not tolerate intractable state sector wage negotiations nor employers hiding behind negotiations to deny benchmark professional rates of pay.

Liftout: Women’s contribution to our union pages 11 - 14

QIEU members working in the non-government education sector share the predicament with QTU members given the significance our employers attachment to public sector wage outcomes in determining their wages position. Presently employing authorities in the Catholic and Lutheran sectors, among others, are clearly reluctant to pay wages to employees ahead of any wage outcome in the public sector and have thus adopted a wait

and see approach to wage rates. QIEU members in these sectors have overwhelmingly endorsed resolutions confirming that they will not accept anything less than the established professional rates of pay and have called upon their employers to commit to these benchmarks. It is in the employers’ interest to achieve professional rates of pay in current rounds of collective bargaining to attract and retain quality teachers to the profession. Without an adequate commitment by the government and nongovernment education authorities to guarantee professional rates

of pay, Queensland teachers will continue to face the long term prospect of being among the lowest paid teachers in the country. The absence of fair rates of pay for teachers not only devalues the work of educational professionals, it also sends out a negative message to the community about the significant and difficult work done by those working in our schools. High quality education relies on having high quality teachers; and professional rates of pay are urgently needed to continue to attract and retain these teachers to the profession. Wage settlements in Victoria,

Western Australia, New South Wales and the Northern Territory have achieved comparable teacher salary rates which have effectively set a national benchmark. On the basis of the current Queensland government offer, in 2011 a Queensland teacher with nine years experience would be paid $77, 806. In comparison a similarly skilled teacher in NSW will be receiving $84,760 ($6,954 per annum more), VIC $81,806 ($4,0000 and WA $84,863 ($7,057) [see graph page 3]. The current Queensland government offer is unacceptable, in light of these comparisons. continued page 3...

Our Profession - 90 Years Union Strong


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The Independent Voice

July 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 essential The state government does not seem to understand the importance of education to our society’s social and economic well being, and certainly there does not seem to be any awareness of how integral teachers are to quality education. As the government cries poor due to the global economic slowdown, they nevertheless appropriately persist with a large scale expenditure on physical infrastructure. I am not here to debate the merits of this infrastructure spend, but it certainly seems incongruent that the state government can be so committed to this investment and take the tough stance despite the global financial slowdown, yet at the same time offer state teachers a pay rate that would resign them to being one of the lowest in the country. The lack of commitment to maintaining and supporting a high quality teaching workforce is a stark contrast. Where is the recognition that education is essential to our society’s social and economic well being and that ultimately a well resourced,

remunerated and supported teacher profession is essential to any quality education system? The federal government and its “Education Revolution” continue to provide funding to schools, public and private. Demonstrating the federal governments recognition of the importance of education especially in an economic slowdown, they have invested in schools through this infrastructure and also continue to roll out their computer initiative. So we have a state government that wants to have record spending on infrastructure but keep Queensland teachers as one of the lowest paid in the country, and we have a federal government that talks about the importance of education and has provided funding for school infrastructure. Where is the investment in teachers by either of these governments? So what is the position of employers in the independent sector? Where is the leadership from independent schools who wish to be a school of

choice? As I write this article our union awaits for an official response from employers in the various employing authorities across Queensland. Many Chapters across the state and across the various school sectors have called upon their employers to show leadership and recognise that teachers and the support staff in schools are the most significant component to quality education. Members in the various sectors have requested that their employers show this acknowledgement through their various collective bargaining agreements and provide teachers with a professional rate of pay, a pay rate that is commensurate with interstate benchmarks. Ultimately we need to consider what next we will do to support our campaign for a professional rate of pay. What are we as individuals and as a collective prepared to do if our employer’s response to our request for a pay rate commensurate with interstate benchmarks is negative? Our state school colleagues have recently endorsed further strike action to occur in late July and early August.

What are we prepared to do? Of course we need to be mindful of our legal restriction under the numerous collective agreements in the independent sector. Recently I had the pleasure to meet with life members of our union; it struck me when talking to life member’s that each spoke of service to their colleagues and their profession. It was inspiring to meet these men and women who have shaped our union and it certainly resonated with me, that yes, we as union members are here to support our colleagues in our day to day activities but we also are here to serve our profession. We do educators in Queensland an injustice if we accept inferior wages and ultimately we allow teaching in Queensland to be seen as an inferior profession. Andrew Elphinstone QIEU President

General Secretary’s Report Recognising our worth Our schools make a significant and essential contribution to building a community of both diversity and social cohesion. Those who work in our schools do so out of a commitment to the essential character of what the respective school stands for and its educational philosophy, but even more significantly to working with children and youth to educate them so that they acquire the knowledge, skills and essential values that one needs to take a proper place in our society. That does not mean we tolerate the employer excesses and mischiefs but it does mean we work in our schools because we respect and value what they do and fundamentally we want to be there. That commitment and contribution to the education of our students and to the broader Australian community needs to be appropriately recognised and acknowledged. That commitment and contribution needs to be recognised at a number of levels. Firstly, in the broader educational debates about the role of nongovernment schools and their funding, we need to assert our place and our contribution to schooling

in Australia and the building of an educated and tolerant Australia. As a step in that campaign members and the broader educational community will receive a brochure which sets out our case for recognising the contribution of nongovernment schools in this country. (See insert to this edition.) Every country has a unique character to its schooling provision and in Australia the size and diversity of non-government schools is an essential and notable feature. Clearly this provision is sustained on the basis of significant government funding and we have a legitimate right to assert that the schools in which we work are funded at levels which encourage high quality outcomes and which provide for high quality conditions for those who work in them. That funding must be delivered through appropriate and transparent funding formula which recognise that it is taxpayers’ money and which recognise that an essential characteristic of a democratic society is the provision of a well funded and accessible public school system. As a union we have long argued for funding arrangements which provide

for transparency, accountability, certainty and adequacy for all schools. Recognition of the commitment and contribution of staff also sits squarely with our employers. The current collective bargaining round has put the spotlight on employer attitudes to professional rates of pay for their employees. Employees are grateful for the well meaning and supportive comments from employers affirming the contribution staff make to their schools. However, those words are rarely being supported by concrete action. Employers will understandably plead funding sources as a factor limiting their capacity to establish professional rates of pay. The argument is, however, a bit thin when those professional rates of pay are being paid in like nongovernment schools interstate. The employer position is even more problematic in the absence of public employer advocacy for professional rates of pay. Such advocacy by employers would speak strongly of their recognition of the commitment

and contribution of employees in non-government schools. For the moment the silence is deafening. Non-government schools and their employees have a critical role in building a stronger fabric to our community. We want to be part of building that community and we will advocate on behalf of members to be recognised for that contribution. However, we also need employers to take an advocacy role as well and in concrete terms make a clear statement of employees’ worth and contribution with professional rates of pay. Our schools are good schools with good staff but good schools need good conditions for their staff and therein lies the employer challenge. Kind regards, Terry Burke General Secretary tburke@qieu.asn.au


The Independent Voice

July 2009

QIEU member action for

Catholic employers’ opportunistic

professional rates of pay

position in Modern Award

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...continued from page 1

Non-government education sector employees are being disadvantaged with no guarantee of a wage offer above public sector wage outcomes by employers. With the absence of an employer commitment to interstate benchmark professional rates of pay, only QIEU member action will ensure that professional rates of pay are achieved. QIEU has written to the Catholic and Lutheran employing authorities on the basis of chapter resolutions seeking a commitment to the benchmark professional rates of pay.

Our employers cannot merely defer to public sector outcomes and thence refuse these profession rates of pay. In the immediate absence of nongovernment commitment to the benchmark professional rates of pay, QIEU members need to meet again to consider what action is appropriate to ensure that professional rates of pay are achieved. Remuneration levels need to be restored to more appropriate interstate comparison levels to recognise the crucial role of quality educators.

Neither has the Queensland government agreed to these professional rates of pay for teachers in the public sector.

Failure to win comparable rates with interstate wage outcomes will institutionalise Queensland as the low wage state for the next decade.

The Queensland Teachers’ Union members have endorsed further industrial action in support of these professional rates of pay.

Our teachers cannot and will not be satisfied with anything less than professional rates of pay at least consistent with interstate benchmarks.

85,000 82,500 80,000 77,500

The national Catholic employers have proposed a longer school year for staff, reductions in conditions and entitlements and that some workers in the schools’ sector should be ‘award free’. Over the last 12 months the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) has been undertaking work across all industries to create ‘modern national awards’. On 22 May “exposure drafts” for the school sector were released by the AIRC. Much of the content in the exposure drafts has been the subject of extensive discussion and agreement between the IEUA and the Associations of Independent Schools (AIS). Prior to the release of the exposure drafts of the modern awards the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) did not in any meaningful way seek to discuss and attempt to agree on the content of modern awards with the IEUA or the AIS. The NCEC submission represents the views of Catholic employing authorities across Australia, including Queensland Catholic employing authorities.

QLD NSW WA

75,000 72,500 70,000 67,500 65,000 62,500

55,000 52,500 50,000 QLD Band 2 Step 1

QLD Band 2 Step 2

QLD Band 2 Step 3

QLD Band 2 Step 4

QLD Band 2 Step 5

QLD Band 3 Step 1

QLD Band 3 Step 2

QLD Band 3 Step 3

QLD Band 3 Step 4

QLD Band 3 Step 4

QLD Band 3 Step 4

Note: All rates are for four (4) year qualified teachers from graduate rate to ninth year of experience at the end of 2011. Queensland rates are based on core public sector offer of 4.5%, 4%, 4% over three years. NSW and Western Australia rates are agreed outcomes.

The NCEC wants the AIRC to: • make Catholic Education Office staff, principals and deputy principals award free – no protection for these people of a safety net award; • increase the maximum number of school days from 205 to 210; • remove provisions requiring teachers with more than a 90 per cent load to be classified and paid as full-time; • remove award content in its entirety that would otherwise provide some limits on the employment of fixed term teachers; • remove the requirement to advise full-time employees of their face-toface teaching load when the commence employment; • remove rights for part-time employees to access redundancy when their load is reduced by more than 25 per cent; and • remove the right to full accrual of leave entitlements for ‘averaged’ employees.

As modern awards only apply to employees where an agreement is not operating or the school remains in the state system, the modern awards will apply to very few if any employees in Catholic schools in Australia.

This is an extraordinary attack on the minimum conditions that would prevail under the new Modern Awards.

Conversely, the modern awards will regulate and change the conditions of employment for a significant number of employees nationally in Independent schools.

Given that these awards will not apply to staff in Catholic schools as existing collective agreements will apply, one has to question why the NCEC believes it necessary to undermine the rights and entitlements of workers in other schools.

60,000 57,250

submission in response to the draft awards.

Even though the awards will not operate in Catholic schools the NCEC seriously proposes cuts to conditions for employees in Independent schools, according to their

For further information visit the Independent Education Union of Australia (IEUA) website at www.ieu.org.au

QIEU honours its activists Nominate for 90 outstanding activist list Q I E U ’ s 9 0 th A n n i v e r s a r y celebrations continue in August as Chapters are invited to nominate a union member to be on the list of 90 outstanding activists as acknowledgement of the dedicated work of current activist members.

outstanding activist list.

During the week of the 24 th through to the 28th of August, Chapter’s will celebrate our union’s heritage with morning tea’s to acknowledge the efforts of QIEU members, and will also congratulate the Chapter’s selected nominee to the 90

The 90 outstanding activist list will be compiled to commemorate the work of members and to ensure their effort is remembered into the future.

As our union is our members, QIEU wants to highlight the outstanding work undertaken by so many people to increase our strength and to achieve positive outcomes in our workplaces.

In a busy and demanding education environment, it is important to take

time out to look at what our union and active unionists have achieved in the past and to consider what we can achieve in the future as we continue to build the strength of our collective voice. Chapters are encouraged to nominate an active unionist at their school. Nominations should address the criteria, that the nominee has demonstrated: • Commitment to building membership strength and a strong collective voice;

• Commitment to keeping informed about the issues impacting on members and what they can do about them; • Commitment to building a collective culture and supporting colleagues in the workplace to achieve fair and just outcomes; and • Commitment to promoting member action and networking at the chapter and/or branch level. Every member nominated will receive a certificate acknowledging

the significance of their work and the gratitude of their colleagues for the effort they have made. Formal awards to the identified ‘90’ will be presented in October. For a nomination form please turn to page 18 to view. For more information or for further nomination forms, please contact the QIEU Brisbane office on FREECALL 1800 177 937. Nominations for the 90 outstanding activists close on Friday, 14 August.


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The Independent Voice

July 2009

Northern Territory News IEUA-QNT officers promote issues in visit to Top End Independent Education Union of Australia - Queensland and Northern Territory (IEUAQNT) members were shown the importance of a strong collective in gaining improvements to working conditions in collective bargaining when union officers recently visited the Top End. Throughout June IEUA-QNT officers Nick Holliday and Caryl Rosser visited Northern Territory members in schools to discuss professional and industrial issues. During the visit to Alice Springs Nick met with members at Living Waters Lutheran College. Positive discussions were had with members around the implementation of the school’s new agreement where recent wage rises were awarded. Nick said he believed it was time for employees in the Lutheran sector to celebrate the improvements gained through hard work that was made during

the collective bargaining process. “It is now time to begin looking towards the future of their wages and conditions,” he said. Nick also visited three Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (OLSH) campuses, where he spoke to staff about bargaining. He said members were feeling positive about negotiations, especially non-teaching staff. “It’s great to talk to employees committed to standing together as a collective to win improvements during negotiations.” “This round of bargaining is particularly important for nonteaching staff in Catholic schools, who are currently talking about a raft of improvements to their conditions,” he said. Caryl’s visit to Darwin members in Catholic, Lutheran and independent schools produced successful conversations concerning the issues members felt were important to them and their Chapter.

With The Essington School about to begin the collective bargaining process, Caryl was on hand for members to address any concerns or questions related to developing an employee log of claims. “The school is working towards big improvements in their wages and

conditions and are working closely with IEUA-QNT to achieve this,” Caryl said. She said members in the Catholic sector in the Territory should also be commended for their support and work towards their current collective bargaining negotiations.

Recognition of role of technology in NT The current round of collective bargaining in the Catholic sector has highlighted the need to recognise the importance of Information Technology professionals in the school environment. Previous collective agreements have failed to specify claims for IT workers; however, the current log of claims achieves this with a reclassification of duties and a wages structure to encourage progression through classification levels. A classification structure to recognise those with tertiary qualifications is also emphasised.

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College IT worker, Geoff Baird from Alice Springs, said: “This new collective agreement should encourage those members of the IT profession who want to make working in a school a career and not a stepping stone to another occupation.”

“ IT staff who are professional with a tertiary qualification or working towards a tertiary qualification should be provided with a higher salary than those who are at the same

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Northern Territory teachers The Code of Ethics is a guide for teachers in how to make daily ethical decisions and to determine what are their ethical responsibilities. The document also explains the purpose of a Code of Ethics and the core values of the teaching profession. The document was finalised after advice and comments on appropriate wording of the Code after a submission was made by the IEUA-QNT. IEUA-QNT Organiser Chris Seymour said the IEUA-QNT submitted improvements to the draft Code of Ethics and were pleased with the final result. “Our members noted that the code is a brief statement; however, we are satisfied that the professional standards are underpinned by agreed values which informs and influences school communities

and promotes public confidence in the profession,” he said. The Code explains that: “The development and maintenance of a Code of Ethics by the profession provides a means of clearly identifying and communicating the core values that underpin the professional standards for teaching.”

our students, parents and carers, colleagues and members of the wider community,” the Code continues.

The core values of the profession, as stated in the document, include: integrity; respect; justice; empathy; and dignity.

“As teachers in the Northern Territory, it is our ethical responsibility to: • create learning experiences which engage, inspire, motivate, delight, affirm and challenge our learners; • understand our unique position of trust and influence by acting with professionalism and integrity; • be truthful, honest and trustworthy; • recognise our shared humanity by acting with care, compassion and empathy; • uphold the rights and responsibilities of self and others; • demonstrate dignity in relationships with others; • respect the uniqueness and diversity of our community; and • develop by example the principles of social justice and equity.”

“As teachers, we have ethical responsibilities to ourselves,

The TRB Code of Ethics, is available at http://www.trb.nt.gov.au/

The purpose of a Code of Ethics is to: • Inspire the quality of behaviour that reflects the honour and dignity of the profession; • Identify the core values and ethical responsibilities of the profession; • Guide ethical decisions and actions of the teaching profession; and • Promote public confidence in the profession.

level with no qualifications,” he said.

Mr Baird said the tabling of the new classification structure is crucial to the profession.

Code of Ethics endorsed for The Northern Territory Teacher Registration Board (TRB) has finalised a Code of Ethics for teachers.

“The staff in the Catholic sector need to be acknowledged for their hard work and willingness to support each other in this round of bargaining. It is through this support of others that will give all staff in Catholic schools in the Territory the conditions that they deserve.”

UP

ABOVE: Information Technology officer Geoff Baird from Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Alice Springs, believes it is important for IT professionals to be recognised in the school environment

Catholic sector negotiations

Negotiations in the Northern Territory Catholic sector are continuing with a commitment by the Catholic Education Office (CEO) to public sector wage outcomes with percentage increases paid to teachers to apply to all employees. IEUA-QNT members have made a claim for an interim increase consistent with the public sector increase, due to the length of time involved in current negotiations. Further discussions on such a wage claim will take place in negotiations in term three. The expansion of school officer position classifications has also been an important aspect of the current negotiations. The present agreement sees Indigenous Education Workers (IEWs), Inclusion Support Assistants (ISAs), Information Technology (IT) technicians and teacher assistants grouped together under one general school officers’ clause.

Claims have been tabled to elaborate position descriptions and processes for these workers. These positions would make more explicit the descriptors associated with each classification level and thence the relevant pay rates, giving workers a clear structure for progressive remuneration. Furthermore, IEUA-QNT have tabled the need to make the various categories of Early Learning Centre (ELC) workers more explicit. Employees have tabled a provision that provides position descriptors of skills, knowledge and minimum qualifications of each of the categories of ELC staff with appropriate wage levels. The employer has also tabled their position, which is now being considered by members. A review of working provisions in a residential facility with the nature and conduct of that review is still under discussion. The collective bargaining negotiations will continue in term three.


The Independent Voice

July 2009

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Sector Matters Lutheran sector:

Anglican sector:

Grammar

Collective bargaining negotiations are continuing in the Lutheran sector, with professional rates of pay, maternity leave and school officer qualification allowances dominating discussions between the employee and employer groups.

that if the Education Queensland sector negotiations were still unknown at 30 September, both parties would reconvene the SBU for the purpose of reviewing the status of negotiations and their implications for the Queensland Lutheran schools sector.

Anglican sector employers have heeded the advice of the Workplace Authority and lodged individual employer agreements for authorisation of the making of the actual agreements. This means that each separate employer will, through the Anglican Schools Commission, lodge the exact same agreement, with the only difference being the employer’s name.

Schools sector:

At the SBU in June, Lutheran sector employers rejected an employee claim for professional rates of pay beyond the 2009 school year until the Education Queensland wages outcome is known. Lutheran employees sought parity with the New South Wales state and Catholic pay rates, and argued that a teacher in the Queensland Lutheran school system with nine years experience should earn $80,000.

Both parties agreed that any wages adjustments for teachers relating to the 2009 school year in order to meet the employer commitment to parity with the Education Queensland wage outcome for that year will be paid on 28 February, 2010.

The employer tabled an alternative position suggesting

It was also agreed that any teacher leaving a Queensland Lutheran school in 2009 would receive any wage adjustment relating to that year in their final pay on or before 31 December, 2009. The next meeting of the SBU will be held on 5 August.

Australian Technical Colleges: A $2.4 million hole in the Australian Technical College (ATC) North Brisbane budget has been caused by the cancellation of federal funding particular to ATCs. Through the College’s consultative committee, union members and management are engaging in discussion on the implications of this change to their working conditions. Currently staff at ATC North Brisbane work a 45 week year. Pay for staff at the College is in consideration at a premium over other professional wages in the non-government education sector. Discussions between staff and management through the consultative committee are ongoing, as they attempt to address this funding issue.

ELICOS sector: Australian College of English (ACE) is the first ELICOS college to complete collective bargaining negotiations, recognising the importance of improving wages and for better working conditions for employees. QIEU members at the College have accepted a wage increase of 4.5 per cent and four per cent over two years. Previously, the College relied on award provisions to regulate pay and conditions.

Early Childhood Education: ACSEA continues to place at risk the relationship between the wage rates in Early Childhood Education and those paid in state and non-government schools by proposing a short collective agreement for employees. A six or seven month agreement has been proposed by ACSEA on the basis that state government DECKAS funding remains under review and no commitment has been guaranteed around funding. A short agreement will mean a further argument for the retention of the comparability of wages for employees early in the new year, which would not be of benefit to employees.

Whilst the level of state government funding may increase or decrease and thus the quantum of funding also increase or decrease, the necessity to attract and retain quality staff remains the same. QIEU has taken the initiative in writing to the Queensland government seeking certainty around funding for any wage increase. Both C&K and ACSEA have agreed to be a part of a joint approach to the government in an attempt to obtain some certainty around funding for any increase which may be agreed by employer representatives. No response has yet been received.

This comes after the Workplace Authority refused to authorise the making of the proposed agreement as a multiple business agreement, as such agreements are deemed “the exception rather than the rule.”

Brisbane Grammar School have almost completed negotiations for a revised state union collective agreement, securing a guaranteed wage premium over any state public sector wage outcome.

It is expected that these agreements will be authorised by the Workplace Authority and the formal employee ballots will then occur at each school prior to the agreements being formally registered. At this stage no timeframes on when this will occur is known.

Brisbane Grammar School teachers have been guaranteed for the first time to receive wages at a slight percentage higher than the public sector wage outcome.

A separate deed of agreement will address prohibited content matters that cannot be carried forward in the actual consolidated agreement. Anglican schools will either have their agreement under the Diocese of Brisbane for the Diocesan Owned Schools or the separated incorporated company for most other schools.

Significant QIEU member action in Chapter meetings secured this impressive wage outcome for staff.

The one agreement covering the Corporation of the Synod of the Diocese of Brisbane include: Anglican Church Grammar School; Coomera Anglican College; Fraser Coast Anglican College; St Andrew’s Anglican College; St Hilda’s School; St Luke’s Anglican College; St Paul’s School; The Glennie School; The Southport School; The Toowoomba Preparatory School; and West Moreton Anglican College. Separate agreements for the Separately Incorporated Schools include: All Saints Anglican School Ltd; Cannon Hill Anglican College Pty Ltd; Canterbury College Ltd; Hillbrook Anglican School Ltd; Matthew Flinders Anglican College Ltd; Trinity Anglican School Ltd; Cathedral School of St Anne and St James Ltd; and The Society of the Sacred Advent Schools Pty Ltd (St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School).

QIEU Organiser Nick Holliday said: “Collective action and solidarity at Brisbane Grammar amongst staff has achieved this significant wage outcome.” Negotiations at the school has also seen an improvement in the paid maternity leave scheme, with 14 weeks exclusive of holidays now offered to employees. A commitment to review the school officer classification has also been acknowledged in negotiations.

Lutheran Early Childhood sector: Employees in the Queensland Lutheran Early Childhood Education sector are being disadvantaged by their employer’s view that Early Childhood Education is not part of the education sector. The employer has prevaricated in relation to negotiations, where a period of five months has elapsed between the initial meeting (which occurred at QIEU’s initiative) in January and the second meeting held on 24 June. However, QIEU commends the employer for implementing an interim pay increase of 4.5 per cent for employees backdated to 1 May, 2009. By this action Lutheran Early Childhood Education employees have retained their comparability with employees in Lutheran and Catholic schools. Historically, employees in community kindergartens have been paid wage increases which reflect the increases of wages in Education Queensland. In the previous agreement wages were negotiated for Lutheran Early Childhood Education employees which specifically aligned to rates for Lutheran

school teachers. Lutheran schools have committed to at least match the wage outcomes from Education Queensland; however, no such commitment of comparable wage increases has yet been made by Lutheran Early Childhood Education. QIEU, on behalf of employees, has also sought a commitment from the employer for an increase in entitlements to paid maternity leave. Currently employees are entitled to six weeks paid maternity leave; an increase in this provision to 14 weeks is needed to match the standard in Education Queensland and other non-government education employing authorities. Lutheran Early Childhood Education must commit to future wage increases for employees, together with a guarantee of 14 weeks paid maternity leave to ensure Lutheran early childhood employees do not remain disadvantaged compared to other education sectors.

C&K Branch Centres: The debate around negotiation of a replacement collective agreement between QIEU and C&K Branch Centres in the federal jurisdiction should not take away from the substance of negotiations for an agreement that protects and enhances wages and conditions. QIEU neither accepts nor rejects the proposed coverage of the agreement in the federal jurisdiction and in turn welcomes the commitment of C&K on behalf of its Branch Centres to commence negotiations.

Wages for teachers employed in early childhood education have previously been linked to wages paid to teachers in state schools. Similar percentage increases have also been applied to assistants in early childhood education. QIEU is seeking a continuation of this parity of wage outcomes in the negotiations which have recently begun.


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The Independent Voice

July 2009

Assistant General Secretary’s Report Inspiring responsible citizenship at All Souls St Gabriels School Schools are always looking for creative ways to help inspire responsible citizenship in students, given their overarching commitment to developing the whole student – academically, emotionally, physically and spiritually. In April this year, primary students at All Souls St Gabriels School in Charters Towers hosted a visit from the RSPCA’s Education Mobile Unit (EMU), designed to promote children’s understanding and respect for animals. The RSPCA reports positive outcomes for school communities arising out of EMU visits which typically include a greater ability to empathise with animals, improved student relationships now and more healthy interpersonal relationships later in life. EMU visits All Souls St Gabriels School All Souls St Gabriels School is just one of several Queensland non-government and state schools that have already scheduled a visit from the EMU van this year. Head of Junior School at All Souls St Gabriels School, Kristie O’Keefe, coordinated 134 students from Prep to Year 7 to visit the interactive education van at different times over the course of the school day on 28 April 2009. Ms O’Keefe reports: “This was a rewarding and educational life experience for our students. In a country area such as Charters Towers, students are often exposed to different animals. A visit from the RSPCA’s EMU van was therefore a very positive, practical way to reinforce conservation themes (including animals and habitats) covered in student learning within the primary school curriculum.”

In the words of another All Souls St Gabriels teacher: “Our visit stimulated play in the vet corner and we had many classroom conversations about the welfare of, and caring for, animals”. Ms O’Keefe also explained that this initiative is consistent with the school’s educational philosophy of the development of the whole person in mind, body and spirit, as originally instituted by the founding Headmaster, Sir Reginald Charles Halse (later Archbishop of Brisbane). Positive outcomes for students Research indicates that cruelty to animals by children may well be a sign of another problem including: • Bullying; • Unhappiness, confusion and anger; • Witnessing abuse; or • Being the victim of abuse. A variety of research into Humane Education Programs (including the RSPCA’s EMU project), indicates they increase children’s understanding of animals and, at the same time, enhance animal welfare appropriate attitudes (Signal, 1997).

treatment of animals has a big influence on how they empathise with, and relate to, other people both now and later on in life.” “EMU uses practical, interactive education strategies to promote values such as empathy, kindness, respect, responsibility and courage. These values are priceless in a school environment and help foster a kinder Queensland for both animals and people,” Ms Ireland says. Relevance to school curriculum The EMU van is equipped with the latest in multi-media technology and enables hands on student participation in a range of activities relating to animal welfare. Using interactive modules, students investigate: • The roles and responsibilities of vets, animal carers and inspectors; • The lives of farm animals and responsible pet care; and • Ways to minimise threats to

native wildlife. EMU lessons are based on curriculum in SOSE, Science, Health and Physical Education, as well as having relevance to literacy, numeracy and life skills. Booking your EMU experience Please direct any enquiries regarding booking the EMU to visit your school by calling (07) 3710 9806 or email emu@rspcaqld.org.au. For Brisbane students, the EMU will also be at the Brisbane EKKA from 6-15 August 2009.

cruelty to animals mean? • What should I do if a child I know has harmed an animal? Ros McLennan Assistant General Secretary rmclennan@qieu.asn.au

Useful resources The website www. woaw.org.au also contains useful information for school staff on questions such as: • What can child

But that is not where the benefit of this experience for students ends. Director of Education at RSPCA Queensland, Kellie Ireland, explains: “There is also a demonstrated increase in the human-directed empathy of participants in Humane Education Programs. So a visit from the EMU not only promotes appropriate attitudes towards the treatment of animals, but also goes some way to reducing the propensity of students to future aggression and violence. In short, research shows that children’s

LEFT: All Souls St Gabriels School Year 1 teacher, Carolyn Brumby, tries out some cramped cage conditions TOP: Stuart ‘rescues’ a possum as part of a hands on EMU activity ABOVE: The RSPCA’s Education Mobile Unit (EMU). If you are interested in volunteering, please turn to page 23 for more information.

Publishing of school league tables marginalise school communities The publishing of league tables based on student and school performance data by the media should be legislatively prohibited by the federal government as such tables have been shown to limit the learning outcomes for students and to marginalise school communities. The damage to curriculum provision, students and school communities resulting from league tables is well-documented in international research and evidence. The New York model of ranking schools might sound attractive to some, but first-hand experiences of front-line educators reveal a

flawed system in which students with greatest need attract least support. In a flurry of enthusiasm for Chancellor Joel Klein’s model, Education Minister Julia Gillard has praised Klein’s passionate commitment to the “identification of school need, the comparison of like-schools and the identification of best practice”. Yet in practice the New York model of assigning letter grades to schools has favoured schools in wealthier areas, with low percentages of special education students and low immigrant populations. The schools that have been ‘merged’ or closed have been in low

socio-economic areas. The Independent Education Union of Australia (IEUA), along with other teacher organisations throughout the country, wrote to the federal and state education Ministers with concerns about school reporting requirements. Whilst we are appreciative of the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs’ (MCEETYA) desire to put in place a structure and process to allow for a longitudinal analysis of school and system performance, the education profession requires an assurance that the misuse of this data will not occur. Legislative action is now required to

prohibit the creation and publication reporting is to improve student of league tables by third parties. learning. It is intended to inform teaching in the classroom and Our schools and our students provide parents with an insight deserve an accountability model into their children’s progress. that addresses problems where they exist, not one that potentially creates When we forget this, it’s the ghetto schools across our country. quality of education that suffers. This can only happen if there is a genuine dialogue with those who The curriculum narrows and the know: the teachers. To date this has focus moves from the individual not happened. child to the attainment of a school rank. Tests become the T h e I E U A b e l i e v e s p a r e n t s curriculum. should have access to timely and meaningful information about their Debate and consultation among children’s progress and are entitled education professionals on this to comprehensive and accessible issue is welcome, to ensure our reports. testing models are best practice and to learn from international The purpose of assessment and experience.


The Independent Voice

July 2009

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Assistant General Secretary/Treasurer’s Report Developing quality teaching - a shared responsibility At the recent annual Council of the IEUA, the IEUA Quality Teaching Framework was launched. This 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 a shared responsibility for a number of education stakeholders. 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, will be discussed further in this report. The endorsed policy of our union is that building high quality teacher capacity requires sustained focus and comprehensive systematic strategies. Such focus and strategies should involve: • Developing and honing skills and knowledge in content areas and equipping teachers with effective

pedagogy; • Effective, pertinent and ‘enabling’ professional development; • Comprehensive pre-service training; • Targeted and well resourced graduate induction and mentoring programmes; and • School structures that facilitate professional development. Within this component, the IEUA policy identifies three specific, related and synergistic elements: • Teacher Practicum; • Graduate Induction; and • Professional Development. The policy identifies Teacher Practicum and high-quality preservice education as critical to establishing quality teaching. It is during this phase that a solid and enduring base to quality teaching can be established. The policy stresses the need for those involved in teacher training - higher education institutions and schools - to be more integrally related, such that there is a real nexus between what occurs at university and what is consolidated and maintained in the school setting. Such a continuity of theory and practice is being realised where balanced learning partnerships are established between schools and higher education institutions. There are significant gains to be made by developing strong relationships between experienced practitioners and student teachers and by developing strong relationships between teacher educators in educational courses and school-based projects in schools.

Such relationships match theory with practice. There are certainly industrial issues that need to be explored and resolved in such models. However, as the policy indicates, the reality of a strong continuum of learning from pre-service through induction to skilled practitioner is able to be realised with transparency and commitment from all parties involved. A second identified element for building quality teacher capacity is Induction. Such induction should enhance a graduate teacher’s content and pedagogical knowledge with information of a specific kind relating to the school and its community. As well, such induction should deal in a concrete and practical way with classroom management, curriculum planning, teaching method and other facets such as administration procedures and teacher registration demands. There are practical issues to be addressed at a system and school level in regard to establishing and maintaining a relevant induction programme. Issues such as designation of induction coordinators, mentors, work load for graduates and mentors, guidance and advice on useful professional development and review of established processes, all need to be addressed in developing an effective induction programme. As well, such an induction programme ought to be aimed at and responsive to the needs of the graduate. It should encourage

The State Budget: Impact on schools The Queensland government Budget allocation to education shows a determination to direct funding to improving literacy and numeracy in the primary years and to ‘reigniting’ interest in the study of science in primary students. The way these funds will be directed could put considerable pressure on non-governmental schools to match their commitments. The Queensland government plans to spend $20.3 million to provide additional teachers of 10 to 20 hours of intensive intervention for students in years 3 and 5 who are falling behind national literacy and numeracy benchmarks. As well as this, the government intends to employ 100 new science teachers in primary schools to work with students in years 4 to 7 as part

of the Science Spark Programme. Where these teachers will come from is not immediately clear. However, if attractive incentives were to be offered it could well cause a drain from the private sector. Our employers will need to ensure that they match or better any offers made in the public sector to ensure they retain their staff and attract science graduates to their schools. Of some concern is the announcement that they will establish 72 Summer Schools to assist some 9,000 years 5 to 7 students and to provide professional development to teachers. Apart from the concerns about young students being deprived of

some of their substantial summer break, this announcement indicates the intention to eat into teachers’ only real holiday break of the year. While we will always applaud the allocation of funds to the provision of high quality professional development, it is not appropriate to erode vital holiday time – the one time of the year when education professionals have the opportunity for sustained rest and relaxation away from the pressures of planning, teaching, marking and reporting. We will continue to monitor the developments that result from these and other announcements in the Budget and to advocate for sensible, workable outcomes for teachers and students in Queensland schools.

and respect the graduate teacher’s professional style and should build confidence and satisfaction for them, in their profession. A third identified element in building quality teacher capacity is the maintenance of a highly skilled teaching force, through on-going quality professional learning. The IEUA policy stresses that in-service training and quality professional learning are essential to building teacher capacity. Further, it states that such professional learning should utilise effective adult learning strategies and should be: • Relevant to the specific identified needs of the teacher as-well-as the needs of the school/system; • Delivered/available in various modes; • Accessible to all teachers in a clear and transparent way; • Cost neutral for teachers; and • Made available during normal hours of work. With these considerations should be equity of access. As well, such professional learning shouldn’t impose work or other demands on colleagues. Professional learning is vital to building and maintaining teacher and teaching quality. State and federal governments must be held accountable and responsible, along with employers and employing authorities, to ensuring that there is sufficient funding for professional learning of teachers in all sectors of education. Teachers themselves need to take responsibility for identifying the

learning they need and responding to initiatives to address their selfidentified needs. The IEUA policy, Quality Teaching Framework, identifies a number of components and elements within those components, which need to be addressed in a non-piecemeal way, to achieve quality teaching. Teacher practicum and the relationship between universities and schools, induction for graduate teachers and quality professional learning are elements that can synergistically coalesce to build quality teacher capacity. We as union need to ensure that the correct ingredients and balance are brought together so that the ideal outcomes are achieved. This report has concentrated on one major component – Building Quality Teacher Capacity and elements within that component. Other components that together can lead to quality teaching will be addressed in the future. 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

Additional funding for QLD schools Libraries, covered areas, halls and classrooms will be built at over 100 Queensland Catholic and independent primary schools in the latest round of the $12.4 billion federal government funded primary school package. In this round non-government primary schools will share $1.2 billion with almost 600 state Queensland primary schools. This figure is almost double the first allocation of $650 million. Of the total funding, Catholic schools will receive $237 million, or 19 per cent of the funding, and independent schools will share $225 million, or 18 per cent.

More than 40 per cent of all eligible schools in Queensland are to receive funding under round two and the remaining schools will have a third opportunity in round three of the program. After controversially excluding distance education schools from the original funding program, the federal government have now guaranteed a review and that the Education Minister’s department would contact distance education authorities to help them apply for funding. To find out more, visit buildingtheeducationrevolution. gov.au or economicstimulusplan. gov.au.


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The Independent Voice

July 2009

Members in Action Continuing status recognised for St Edward’s school officers Over 90 years of combined school service has finally been recognised for five St Edward’s Catholic Primary School teacher aides who have now all received continuing status. Wendy Gibney, Debbie Doyle, Michelle Pope, Donna Smith and Claire Cowie applied for continuing status 12 months ago, after years of being offered yearly fixed-term contracts by their employer. The school officers were informed of their right to apply for continuing status in May last year, when QIEU Assistant General Secretary/Treasurer Paul Giles visited the school and provided advice and encouragement on how to ask for a position review. Claire Cowie said she decided to ask for continuing status in 2008 as she felt that after 21 years of service at the school she deserved some recognition. “You would expect that after a certain time of service it would be automatic for an employer to grant some form of permanent employment,” Claire said.

“I am very pleased to be recognised as continuing status. I feel that I am now a true part of the staff at my school; I feel valued in my role.” “Without help (from QIEU) I doubt that I would have ever achieved continuing status despite my many years of continuous service at St Edward’s.” Claire will continue in her role where her primary responsibilities include implementing a phonics program at the school and assisting year 2 to year 6 children in small groups with literacy and numeracy activities. Prep and years 3 and 4 teacher aide Wendy Gibney said after 17 years of working at the school it was time to request continuing status of her Principal. “It made more sense to me for this status to exist rather then 16 years of term time contracts, so when I became aware of the opportunity I went for it,” Wendy said. “Whilst I understand, and it has been made abundantly clear, that this new status is no future guarantee of hours, I think it is fitting recognition

Members gather for Fraser Coast area meeting

ABOVE: QIEU members from the Fraser Coast Area Branch discuss the issues important to their sectors at their recent Branch meeting in June

QIEU members were given the opportunity to discuss current rounds of collective bargaining and to listen to the important issues relating to their sectors at the recent Fraser Coast Area Branch meeting. The group considered the issues around building up their Branch representation, spoke about member density in schools, and provided a negotiations update for both the Catholic and Lutheran sectors. QIEU Organiser Richard Pascoe said these Branch meetings were important as they provide the opportunity for members to hear and discuss in detail the issues that are occurring in their sector. “These meetings also provide an opportunity for members to share and hear about issues arising in other sectors that are represented at their Branch level,” he said.

ABOVE: St Edward’s Primary School continuing status school officers: (back left to right) Claire Cowie, Michelle Pope, Wendy Gibney, (front left to right) Debbie Doyle and Donna Smith

of long service.” Prep to year 3 teacher aide Michelle Pope agrees that after 21 years of service that it felt rewarding to finally be recognised with continuing status. “As it’s not a guarantee, it was rewarding to be accepted for continuing status,” she said. Prep and administration aide Donna

Smith was employed on fixedterm contracts every year for 21 years, and said that to finally be recognised made her “feel appreciated and conforting to know I have continuous employment.” Debbie Doyle, who works with year 1 to year 4s in classroom activities and individual support of students, said she was pleased that her status has finally been recognised after 11 years at the school.

All of the school officers commended the support and advice received by QIEU and Paul Giles in helping achieve continuing status. If you are on a fixed-term contract and think you may be eligible for continuing status, please talk to your QIEU organiser or call the QIEU Brisbane office on FREECALL 1800 177 937.

School officers workshop position descriptions The increasing complexity and intensity of the work a school officer performs needs to be acknowledged by accurate and realistic position descriptions. Without a position description which clearly documents the duties and responsibilities of their position, school officers can find themselves overloaded with additional tasks and under-classified in terms of the new skills and responsibilities resulting ABOVE: School officers at St Joachim College workshop their position descriptions from those tasks. description will ensure they are more than once every 12 months. School officers at St Joachim remunerated appropriately, she Recognition, through the C o l l e g e r e c e n t l y u n d e r t o o k said. documentation of the duties workshopping of their position descriptions in two training days “It is important to ensure their performed by school officers, with the help of QIEU officer Gaye contribution is recognised and is a vital step in the process of rewarded, and that school officers acknowledging the important Vale. ensure that they have up to date role school officers have in our Gaye said the school officers decided position descriptions reflecting the schools. to do a job analysis on their positions duties they are required to perform,” School officer members who so that they were able to up date as Gaye said. think it might be time to review required their positions descriptions and then classify updated positions School officers classification their position descriptions are descriptions against the school provisions provide an opportunity encouraged to contact their QIEU for school officers whose role organiser for information on what officers classification matrix. may have changed to seek a steps are needed to review their The accuracy of their position reclassification of their position no position descriptions.


The Independent Voice

July 2009

Graduates prepare for employment as teachers

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Work Impact Assessment needed to implement National Curriculum To quantify effective resourcing of the implementation of the National Curriculum (low definition syllabuses) all non-government schools and school systems should implement a Work Impact Assessment prior to initiating work on curricula. In QIEU’s initial response to the National Curriculum Low Definition Syllabuses it states assessment that relies on consistency of teacher judgement within and between classrooms and schools will need to articulate to common and national reference points. To achieve this, time for internal (school and system based) and external moderation and relevant professional development will need to be quantified and factored into the Work Impact Assessment.

ABOVE: QIEU associate and graduate members were provided with information and resources to assist them in preparing for their career and securing graduate employment

The recent professional development session for QIEU associate and graduate members provided members with information and resources to assist them in preparing for their career and securing graduate employment. On 7 July, 47 QIEU associate and graduate members attended the session at the QIEU Brisbane office entitled Strategies for seeking employment in the non-government sector. Deputy Principal at St Rita’s College and QIEU member Catherine O’Kane presented to the group and provided a comprehensive overview about what employers look for in a graduate teacher. Catherine covered numerous topics

ranging from where to find a job, what to include in a resume, and appropriate dress and conduct in a job interview. She also discussed supply teaching and provided attendees with advice as to how they can find supply work and how they can use this as a stepping stone to more permanent employment. A series of short 10 minute sessions was then presented which covered topics such as where to find employment, tips for putting together a resume, writing a cover letter and preparing for an interview. QIEU organiser Gaye Vale spoke with members about specific legal and professional situations that

graduates might encounter in their first year and the importance of being a QIEU member to ensure that they had appropriate support and assistance. The session concluded with a presentation by second year teacher at Chisholm Catholic College and QIEU member Danika Ehlers. Danika spoke to members about her experiences as a graduate teacher covering topics such as lesson planning, classroom set up and interacting with students. All attendees were provided with information packs to assist them in finding employment and help them become better educated about the profession.

The Work Impact Assessment will: • Outline and define the proposed initiative; • Investigate and outline the resource demands in regard to teaching and non-teaching personnel associated with the implementation of the initiative; • Investigate and outline the non-human material resource needs for introduction of the initiative; and • Make recommendations about resourcing and provide a planned and staged implementation process. The Work Impact Assessment must be undertaken prior to work on any initiative starting and agreed resourcing be in place in a timely manner to support teachers in implementing change. To achieve high quality, high equity outcomes for students, teachers must also receive adequate release time and resourcing to develop integrated units of work and individual programs that maximise opportunities for all students to achieve their potential to facilitate fine-grained assessment and reporting based on reliable and consistent teacher judgement. QIEU recognises that positive implementation of a National Curriculum will prescribe a learning entitlement for each Australian student and that there will be scope for teacher professional judgement about how to organise learning for students, about how to reflect local and regional circumstances and about how to take advantage of teachers’ special knowledge and teachers’ and students’ interests.

Teachers recognised for previous work experience The teaching industry is attracting an increasing number of graduates who are transitioning to the profession after years of working in other industries. For many seeking a professional ‘sea change’, the fact that they are now able to capitalise on previous work experience is facilitating increases in their salary and is an added bonus to the benefits of working in education. In the current collective agreement between QIEU and the Catholic sector, and the collective agreement between Moreton Bay College and QIEU, teachers are applying for and being recognised for their prior nonteaching experience in industries which are relevant to their work as a teacher. To qualify for prior recognition and to move up the salary levels, the onus is on the employee to prove the relevance of the prior experience to the work as a teacher or a school officer. The currency of the skills, experience and knowledge is integral to being accepted as relevant. Therefore, recognition of prior work relates to that which was performed within five years of the commencement of employment as a teacher. In this context, full time,

part time and self employment would all qualify. One such teacher is Rosalind Wood from Moreton Bay College. Rosalind is a business studies teacher and vocational education coordinator and has been a teacher since 2005. Recently Rosalind lodged an application for recognition of her previous work as a SunSuper call centre manager and branch manager for Suncorp. Additionally, Rosalind was an owner and manager of a Spring Water business and has been an ‘on the job trainer’ for vocational education students. In addition to Rosalind’s experience with vocational training, it is the management experience that appears to have served her application well. According to Rosalind, the College is considering the direct links between her managerial tasks in her previous occupations with the current demands of the classroom context. In determining her eligibility for an increase in her salary level, Rosalind submitted evidence in the form of her curriculum vitae, role descriptions and a statutory declaration that indicated the nature of her experience in the

years leading up to her transition to teaching. Throughout this process, Rosalind was supported by QIEU in terms of using a proforma and receiving advice on her application. St Brendan’s, Yeppoon teacher Bill Moody endorsed the role that QIEU had in assisting him to prove his eligibility for an increased salary level. After a career change from

an auto-technician, Bill commenced teaching in 2000 after starting his apprenticeship in 1968. Lengthy industry experience and work as a manual arts teacher aide in a school saw him able to justify the criteria and consequently increase his salary by four increments. Eligibility for this recognition of prior work experience came to Bill’s attention through his membership of

Being recognised for prior learning: The application process in a few easy steps... Step 1: Teacher recalls prior non-teaching positions and considers whether any are relevant to current teaching role. Step 2: Teacher lists employment dates of all relevant prior non-teaching positions to determine whether the necessary time periods for application are met. The last relevant non-teaching position must have ceased within five years of commencing employment as a teacher; however, some special consideration may apply in certain circumstances.

Step 3: Teacher gathers documentation and evidence regarding the prior non-teaching service and experience required for their application. Step 4: Teacher completes standard application form, giving particular emphasis to explaining how the prior non-teaching service and experience is relevant to their current teaching role. The statement of service or statutory declaration supporting the claim is also attached to the application.

QIEU and information flowing from collective bargaining negotiations. Although Bill states that it was not a smooth or quick process, he believes that alongside his clear eligibility, pressure from QIEU saw the claims resolved in his favour. QIEU Council member Susan O’Leary (as part of the Anna Stewart Memorial Project) Step 5: The employer considers the teacher’s submitted written claim. If the employer agrees that the prior non-teaching service is relevant, the teacher is advised that their claim is accepted and back payment is made. If the employer does not accept that the prior non-teaching service is relevant, the teacher is advised that their claim has been rejected. The employer’s reason(s) for not recognising prior non-teaching service and experience will be specified to the teacher in writing on the standard application form. The teacher may then consider their options to initiate the dispute resolution process.


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The Independent Voice

July 2009

Equity Matters: Superannuation basics The sole purpose of superannuation is to provide income for retirement. Superannuation remains an attractive way to save for retirement because contributions are taxed concessionally, on the following basis: • 15% on normal contributions; and • 10% on capital gains. These concessional tax rates are clearly much less than income tax rates, so you keep more of your money for use in retirement. This is important because the age pension currently provides only about $24,000 per couple or $14,000 for singles – so an alternative source of income becomes essential for most people to maintain a desired standard of living. Women and superannuation Women’s typical work patterns and family responsibilities pose many problems for retirement saving: • Average earnings of females are less than those of males. A lower income means smaller employer contributions to superannuation in dollar terms. Recent research into pay gap increases for women in healthcare, education and finance reveals that full time female teachers were earning 8% less than men in May 2006. This gap has now increased to 15% less in earnings for women in 2008. • Women tend to spend less time in the

workforce due to factors such as raising children, returning to work on a part time basis and caring responsibilities for elderly parents and/or grandchildren. Less working time means fewer years to accumulate superannuation. • Many women retire when their (often

older) husbands retire, thereby forgoing a further few years of income. • Women live longer than men (with

an average life expectancy of 87 years compared with 83 years for men) meaning that retirement income needs to be stretched over a longer period of time, in turn resulting in lower annual income levels. For these reasons, women need to invest more in superannuation than men. Table 1 (right)‘Retirement savings gap for women’ shows the level of additional superannuation contributions needed over and above the minimum 9% employer payment to superannuation. (Source: Rice Warner Actuaries, ‘Women in Retirement’, October 2004).

Women and Superannuation

Are you getting enough? Advice from QTCU Financial Planning Adviser, Meredith Ward, indicates that the estimated income needed in retirement is 62.5% of your gross earnings before retirement. Table 2 (below right) ‘How much is enough’ provides a clear snap shot of the quantum of superannuation savings required to deliver various levels of retirement income. Collective bargaining delivers big benefits As a legislative minimum, all employers must pay 9% superannuation to eligible employees. Collective bargaining in most Queensland schools has already delivered enhanced employer contribution to superannuation, on the basis of an employee co-payment. Typically, an employer contribution of 12.75% is payable where an employee chooses to make an additional personal contribution of 5% to superannuation. (An employee’s voluntary superannuation co-payment may also be made before tax, in accordance with the salary packaging provisions in the relevant collective bargaining agreement). This provision currently applies in all Queensland state schools, as well as in Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, PMSA and several single-site non-government schools.

Financial advice for union members Some ideas to boost your retirement income include: • Reducing debt; • Budgeting; and • Smarter investment in superannuation through maximising your personal contribution payments, salary sacrificing employee contributions and exploring the benefits of spouse contributions and/or government co-contributions available. While it is never too late to get financial advice for retirement planning, the general rule is the earlier the better. Superannuation research and statistics included in this article has been sourced from a presentation in July 2009 by QTCU Financial Planning Adviser, Meredith Ward. QIEU members can access professional advice to assist them with retirement planning. A free one hour consultation is available by contacting the QTCU Financial Planning on (07) 3842 6297. Should you wish to engage the services of a financial planner to develop a personal retirement plan, a charge of between $660 and $1,650 generally applies. Alternatively, QIEU members can contact our Member Services department on freecall 1800 177 937 for a list of ACTU accredited financial planners in your local area.

Enhanced employer contribution to employee superannuation results in a very substantial benefit for members’ Ros McLennan retirement savings in the longer term. Officer Supporting the While enhanced employer contribution IEUA–QNT Equity Committee to superannuation was first won through Note: QTCU Financial Planning Pty Ltd (ABN 35 116 a member campaign in Queensland 361 650) is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Financial Solutions Pty Ltd (ABN 40 083 233 Catholic schools in 2005 (as a matter of Outlook 925) (Australian Financial Services Licence number parity with Education Queensland), the 240959). This publication is for general information and not consider any particular person’s investment take up rate amongst employees remains does objectives, financial situation or needs. Accordingly, no low. This has highlighted the ongoing recommendation (express or implied) or other information be acted on without obtaining specific advice from need to educate QIEU members about should a Representative of QTCU Financial Planning. Past this important employment benefit – and performance is not indicative of future performance. For and superannuation matters, we recommend you the long term impact of making a wise taxation seek advice from a suitably qualified professional. decision now. QIEU members Table 1: Retirement savings gap for women should contact Age band Additional superannuation Additional superannuation contributions needed above contributions needed above our Member the minimum 9% - Males the minimum 9% - Females S e r v i c e s 25 – 29 2.9% 5.6% 30 – 34 3.5% 6.7% department 35 – 39 4.1% 9% on freecall 40 – 44 5.1% 12.2% 45 – 49 6.1% 17% 1800 177 937 50 – 54 8.8% 23.3% to ascertain 55 – 59 13.5% 34.3% 60 - 64 27.3% the relevant superannuation a n d s a l a r y Table 2: How much is enough? s a c r i f i c e Annual income $30,000 $40,000 $50,000 $60,000 provisions under required at their collective retirement Lump sum $492,914 $657,219 $821,523 $985,858 b a r g a i n i n g required at retirement agreement.

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Vaccination regimes for workers in school environments

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) have embarked on a campaign to promote awareness of the control of contagious diseases in educational settings. WHSQ report a trend that many employers do not see communicable disease as a workplace health and safety issue, preferring instead to deem it a public health issue and not their responsibility. While it is definitely a public health issue, it is also very much a workplace issue that carries the responsibilities and obligations of employers, employees and others under the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995. This campaign is particularly targeted toward early childhood, primary and special needs settings because of the increased exposure to risk that WHSQ has identified in these areas. The outbreak of measles at a school on the Sunshine Coast is being utilised by WHSQ as a timely reminder of why they feel these issues need to be addressed. The campaign outlines vaccination recommendations for those who work in early childhood and educational settings and is aimed at assisting employers in managing their occupational vaccination schemes. The vaccinations being recommended are those for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), chicken pox (Varicella), Pertussis (Whooping Cough) with “add on” vaccines of Hepatitis A for those working in childcare, preschool or indigenous settings, and Hepatitis A and B for those assisting children with special needs. WHSQ is also recommending that those workers who are assigned to the outer Torres Strait Islands for a month or more during wet season be vaccinated for Japanese encephalitis. Additionally, they have recommendations for anyone working in agricultural college settings such as vaccination against Q Fever. WHSQ are encouraging employers to develop an immunisation policy and set up a vaccination register for staff. Clearly these issues will impact on our membership and we need to be certain we are managing both the interests and obligations of our members. It would be very useful if members could provide us will some feedback at this early stage about how any suggestion of an optional or compulsory vaccination scheme will affect them and what concerns they may have about this. All feedback can be forwarded to dwilson@qieu.asn. au. QIEU will continue to monitor this campaign by WHSQ and will keep members apprised of any further information as it comes to hand. Danielle Wilson Industrial Services Officer

Importance of union membership contributes to member growth Union membership has grown to its highest levels in years as working Australians now realise the importance of being a member of a union to protect their jobs, wages and conditions in these difficult economic times. In the past 12 months union membership has grown considerably, with such increases most apparent amongst education and health professionals where

women make up the majority of unionists. Female membership has surged with 52,900 new members, lifting density from 18.2 per cent to 18.8 per cent, according to new ABS data recently released. Since 2008 union membership has grown by three per cent overall, increasing member density for the first time since 1990. This lift in union membership shows that one in four employees in Australia are

now members of a union. The data also shows that union members earn $96 a week more than non-members, on average. This information proves that unions are still relevant and strong as they continue to protect working conditions, wages and entitlements of employees that may be affected by the current economic crisis.

Griffith University Professor of Industrial Relations, David Peetz, has reportedly indicated that the drop of union membership and density experienced in recent years was a direct result of WorkChoices, and that membership increases show that now “WorkChoices has probably worked itself out of the system.” He said in the 1990s the effect of anti-union laws in the states was

most apparent in the first few years after they had taken effect, and this data appeared to be consistent with this pattern. In these uncertain economic times, employees need to feel that their jobs, wages and conditions are safe. To guarantee this safety, the smart thing to do is become a member of our union.


The Independent Voice

July 2009

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The contribution of women to our union

The Exemption Clause: what it meant for women educators One of the challenges faced by women educators in the early years of our union’s history was society’s attitude to women in the workforce.

Governmental Secondary Schools for Girls – Assistant Mistresses’ Award (31 March, 1921) there is scope for individuals to apply for exemption.

Grace Johansen in her 2002 Doctoral thesis reminds us that there was a stronger sense of class division in Australia in the early 1900s.

Here we have evidence of the notion of ladies of a certain class, rightly supported by a male breadwinner, husband, father, etc (or the legacy from one), might engage in good works out of a sense of vocation.

And these divisions restricted the types of work that women might undertake. For ladies from the higher rungs of the social ladder, the caring professions of teaching and nursing were acceptable and, of course, for the lower classes and indigenous women, domestic work– the sphere of the home– was appropriate. It was a mark of social status for a woman to be able to offer her services to charitable organisations or to the church without being paid. It demonstrated the quality of her husband as a breadwinner, advertised their financial standing, and probably suggested that the woman was supported with domestic help in the home. Many good women did this work out of a genuine sense of care for the community and for their church. However, when it came to the Assistant Mistresses’ application for an Award of their own, this expectation of a pool of free, or at least very cheap, workers was something that the employers were unwilling to relinquish, and that Justice MacNaughton of the Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Court saw fit to retain, albeit with some protections. Thus the ‘Exemption Clause,’ as it came to be known, became a cause of concern for many years to come. In the Teachers’ – NonGovernmental Secondary Schools – Award (the Masters’ Award), in the section dealing with the application of the award, it is stated that “This Award shall not apply to such teachers in Holy Orders nor to Christian Brothers.” This is clear and concise. However, in the Non-

The clause reads as follows: 2. (1) This Award shall apply to all assistant mistresses and visiting mistresses employed in secondary schools as defined in clause 1 (1) hereof, except teachers who are members of religious orders or such individual teachers in denominational schools, as defined in clause 1 (2) hereof, who shall make a statutory declaration in Form A annexed hereto, which said declaration shall be certified in Form B annexed hereto by the recognised head of the religious denomination which controls such school in that part of the State of Queensland in which such denominational school is situated. The Judgement in this Award is revealing in terms of attitudes of the times and the thinking behind some decisions made in this Award and so is worth reporting at some length.

After discussion, in which I was greatly helped by Mr Story, who represented three of the Girls’ Grammar Schools and so was not in any way concerned in the question, I decided to confine the Award to schools approved by the Governor in Council as schools which may receive the holders of State scholarships in secondary schools. In Mr Story’s opinion, with which I venture to agree, this will give ample protection to the members of the applicant union. 2. Of recent years there has been a large increase throughout the State in denominational secondary schools, founded and conducted under the auspices of the different religious bodies, which have conferred the benefits of religious as well as secular education of a high class on many parts of Queensland. There was no dispute as to the exemption of members of religious orders, by whom all the girls’ secondary schools belonging to the Roman Catholic Church are managed. There is one religious order belonging to the Church of England, the Society of the Sacred Advent, which has girls’ schools in Brisbane and four country centres,

on such grounds, contending that ladies who wished to assist the Church to which they belong could find some other sphere of action than that of secondary education. The governing bodies of these denominational schools, which have earned excellent reputations for efficiency, would not be likely to do anything to injure this by employing, for the sake of cheapness, mistresses of low qualifications, as was suggested by the opponents of the exemption asked for. Mr Justice MacNaughton was not moved by the arguments put forward by the union and so, the exemption came into being. He did try to put in place sufficient protections, relying on the force of a statutory declaration by the teacher and a certificate from the head of the denomination to which the school belongs stating that he believes that the applicant’s declaration is true, that no pressure has been brought to bear on the declarant to make the declaration, that she is a fit and proper person to receive the exemption, and that it is in the interest of religion that the exemption should be granted….

“The Assistant Mistresses’ had been concerned about the potential for misuse of this clause at the time of the implementation of the Award and their concerns were justified.”

All matters were settled at a compulsory conference except:

(1) The schools to which the Award should apply, and (2) Exemptions to teachers on religious grounds. 1. It was pointed out that if the Award were made to apply to all schools which prepare candidates for the matriculation examinations in the Queensland University, public examinations, and University scholarships, hardships might be inflicted on ladies who have up till now conducted comparatively small girls’ schools themselves with some outside assistance.

but the order is not sufficiently numerous to supply the whole staffs for them. It was stated on behalf of the Church of England, the Presbyterian Church, and the Methodist Church, that many of their members, who do not belong to any religious order, are willing to and do work for no remuneration at all, or for very little, in the interests of religion; and that if they should be prevented from continuing to do so it would be difficult, if not impossible, to carry on many of these schools. The representatives of the union strongly opposed any exemption

S u c h exempted teachers, other than members of religious orders, must be paid the minimum rate of £2 3s. per week, with deduction for board and lodging w h e n supplied.

The Award came into being on 31 March, 1921 and as early as May 1921 the AMA’s minutes report a discussion “about the exemptions being claimed by the staffs of certain Denominational schools.”

Court for a special ruling in their case” and so should “approach the Court for a revision of the Exemption Clause on the ground that it had been taken advantage of in a way that was not intended and that would harm members of the union.” Nothing came of this. By the time of the Teachers Award – Non-Governmental Secondary Schools (28 July, 1971), which saw the end of a separate Award for Masters and Mistresses, the Exemption Clause still exists but was considerably modified. Still there exists the provision that the Award would not apply to “such teachers as are in Holy Orders or are members of a recognised religious teaching order.” However, the protection against the misuse of the clause by employers is strengthened as follows: This Award shall not apply to persons who, at a personal interview with an Industrial Magistrate, at which no other person shall be present, satisfy such Industrial Magistrate that they wish to teach in any particular school from religious motives, and who receive from the Industrial Magistrate a certificate in the appended form. No Certificate of exemption shall be granted for a period exceeding one year but may be renewed on application from time to time for a further period not exceeding one year. As our union grew and strengthened it became increasingly difficult for people to be coerced into accepting wages below the award on the grounds of the religious exemption.

Clearly the Assistant Mistresses’ had been concerned about the potential for misuse of this clause at the time of the implementation of the Award and their concerns were justified.

As members started to feel the strength of the collective supporting them, on many levels, it became easier and more acceptable to challenge patriarchal authority when it was misused.

In the case of a particular school, legal advice suggested that while there were no “legal grounds for complaint” they might “move the

With the drafting of the new ‘Modern Awards’ this anachronism will disappear altogether.

Our Profession - 90 Years Union Strong


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The Independent Voice

July 2009

The contribution of women to our union

The contribution of w

QIEU life members take trip down memory lane... QIEU life members were honoured for their contribution to shaping our union at a recent luncheon, as QIEU continues to celebrate 90 years of union strength in 2009. The 14 life members who attended the luncheon have all contributed to the success of our union over the years; some life members first joined our antecedent unions 50 years ago. The important role of women in our union and the contribution they make to the education profession was evident with five women as QIEU life members: Evelyn Williams; Vonnie Burke; Robin Steinhardt; Maria Heenan and Christine Cooper. Both Evelyn Williams and Vonnie Burke began their union involvment in the 1960s; Evelyn was a member of the Executive and Vice President of QATIS Council until 1995, and Vonnie was the Darling Downs Branch representative, a Council member and active unionist for over 40 years. Life member Robin Steinhardt was the first school officer to be elected to Council, and was an active voice in representing school officer interests. The newest additions to the life members list,

recognising the important contribution to our union, included former QIEU President and current Assistant Federal Secretary of our federal IEUA branch, Christine Cooper, and former QIEU Junior and Senior Vice President Maria Heenan, who were awarded life membership of QIEU in 2008 and 2007 respectively. Some life members began their involvement in our predecessor union over 50 years ago; Barry Whelan and Canon Bruce Maughan OAM both joined the Queensland Assistant Masters’ Association (QAMA) in the late 1950s. Canon Maughan served on the Council of Management, was a Trustee, occupied the position of Senior Vice President, was Chairman of the Finance Committee and Foundation President of the Gold Coast Branch. As well, he was the Federal President of the Independent Teachers’ Federation of Australia. Barry Whelan was Secretary/Treasurer and later served as President. As Secretary, Barry represented QAMA at hearings of the Industrial Commission seeking changes to the award, usually claiming parity with state teachers. All life members are to be congratulated for their contribution in shaping the way our union operates today.

ABOVE: Celebrating the contribution that QIEU life members have made to our union at the recent life member luncheon included (back left to right) Terry Burke, Robin Steinhardt, Paul Giles, Miriam Dunn, Tom Swanton, Ray Cloonan, Andrew Elphinstone, Maria Heenan, Barry Whelan, Ros McLennan, Christine Cooper, Bob Rea, Terry Edward, (front left to right) Bryce Goldberg, Joseph Jones, Canon Bruce Maughan OAM, Vonnie Burke, Tom Slater, Evelyn Williams and Patrick Lee

ABOVE: The important contribution women played in the history of our union is evident with five women inducted as life members. Celebrating QIEU’s 90th anniversary at the life members luncheon in June was life members (back left to right) Robin Steinhardt, Christine Cooper, Maria Heenan, (front left to right) Vonnie Burke and Evelyn Williams

What do you think has been the pivotal activist campaign in sks a U QIE fe r li u o ... s r be m me Tom Slater Former QIEU Senior Vice President “We had lots of women in our union that needed to be represented. So when the Women’s Committee began it was an essential move for our union.”

recognising women’s contribution in the past 90 years? Robin Steinhardt Former QATIS Council member and QIEU Vice President

Maria Heenan Former QIEU Vice President “The school officer campaign from inception to implementation was a recognition of the role of school officers as women in our schools, which makes them feel important in our schools and union.”

“It was worthwhile when school officers became members of Council, to bring to light to members, the issues school officers face in schools.”

Evelyn Williams Former QATIS Vice President “In the beginning it was hard for women to get in (to the union), and when we did get in things began to look up.”

Vonnie Burke Former Council member “The Women’s Committee was an important addition to our union because it drew attention to the fact that women did have particular problems and concerns that needed addressing.”

Our Profession - 90 Years Union Strong

Our Profession - 90 Y


The Independent Voice

July 2009

women to our union

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The contribution of women to our union

Looking back on the history of our union: Equal pay for women The battle for equal pay for work of equal value was closely linked to the growing political power of women that came with female suffrage in the early part of the last century. However, as with the right to vote, the acknowledgement of the value of work done by women was a long time in the making. The patriarchal society of the times strongly enforced the view that there was work suitable for women and work suitable for men; that is, the work of the household, the wife and the mother was the “real” work of a woman. The accepted wisdom of the time was that the man of the house was the breadwinner, responsible for ensuring the provision of all necessary to sustain the life and well being of his family. This is clearly demonstrated in the 1907 Harvester Judgement which set a minimum living wage for workers. It was a family wage based on the cost of a man supporting his wife and three children. Because

it was considered that a woman would not have these financial responsibilities, that at the most she would be responsible only for herself, the minimum wage for women was set at 54 per cent of the male minimum wage. In 1921, when the Assistant Mistresses’ Award was gazetted, the wages were the female rates of pay. The comparison with male teachers’ wages is as follows: Years service 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th 16th

of Males Per annum £ 185 225 255 275 285 295 305 315 330 340 350 360 370 380 390 400

Females Per annum £ 165 195 225 245 255 265 275 285 300 310 320 330 340 350 360 370

The women in the Assistant Mistresses’ Association were to wait a long time before wage inequality was eliminated. Throughout this intervening time,

a small band of highly committed women dedicated themselves to the preparation of submissions to the Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Commission of Queensland to ensure that Assistant Mistresses’ were awarded the same pay increases at their counterparts in the State system and those covered by the Assistant Masters’ Award. This work, along with the attention to a wide range of individual matters, was conducted by members of the Council in their own time. There were no paid employees to assist in these matters although they did employ the services of a solicitor who advised them in relation to various matters. Small wonder then that the resources did not run to an organised campaign in support of equal pay for women. The Association did affiliate with various bodies that campaigned for women’s rights – the Status of Women Committee, for example. At the Council meeting of 1 June, 1967, Miss Filatoff reported that she had attended a meeting and that: 1. Delegates were asked to urge members of their respective

associations to press for equal pay for equal service; 2. A community week is being planned when a series of lectures is being arranged to deal with a wide range of subjects; and 3. A committee has been formed to make special enquiry into teacher training. It was pointed out to delegates that this Committee was comprised entirely of male members, which seems to be an oversight in view of the fact that the majority of teacher trainees were female.

general business meeting below...) It had taken 50 years, hampered by the effects of a severe depression and two world wars, but the commitment of this dedicated band of women along with others in a wide range of employment spheres, ensured that female teachers were no longer treaded as second class citizens in terms of their rates of pay.

Clearly the work of many women in many spheres did make a difference as the notice of the General Business Meeting outlines. The claim that was put would see the phasing in of wage increases for female teachers that would see them come into line with male wages by 1 January, 1971. (See notice of

Susan sees other side of union as part of Anna Stewart Memorial Project QIEU Council member Susan O’Leary recounts her experiences and what she learnt as part of the Anna Stewart Memorial Project 2009. Stepping from the classroom to another workplace is not an opportunity afforded to most; however, as the QIEU participant in the 2009 Anna Stewart Memorial Project, I was fortunate enough to experience just this by undertaking two weeks work in May for QIEU and Queensland Nurses’ Union. The Anna Stewart Memorial Project has been run since 1984 through most state Trades and Labor Councils to increase women’s involvement in the union movement. As building strength through education is one of the strategic arms of union activism, immersing myself in the myriad of tasks performed by our unions was a stimulating and fulfilling experience and has certainly enhanced my understanding of how union ideals are applied. The program saw me partnered with QIEU union organiser

Gaye Vale, and in this context, I participated in site visits and discussed issues with members that ranged from how to organise a Chapter to dealing with onerous time demands placed by employers. My experience coincided with the lead up to the statewide meetings held to show solidarity with our Education Queensland colleagues in their battle for professional rates of pay. In my 14 years as a teacher, I have found myself working in schools with highly organised Chapters and in my visits with Gaye Vale, I encountered some workplaces that were struggling to generate interest and commitment to organised activities. For me, this served to reinforce the importance of the union at the ground level. Many members will often ask, “what is the union doing for me?” and until people realise that union is merely a reflection of collective will and efforts, enhancing workplace conditions and advocacy efforts will continue to be a significant struggle. Other elements of the QIEU organisation were revealed to me during a personally daunting period

0 Years Union Strong

manning the phones in the call centre and through working with the journalist, interviewing and writing for The Independent Voice. The following week I spent with the QNU and at this time, the union was undertaking ABOVE: QIEU Council member Susan O’Leary is presented with a participation certificate for the Anna s i t e v i s i t s Stewart Memorial Project by The Queensland Council of Unions Deputy Secretary Amanda Richards ahead of the upcoming vote on their EB7. The Marie Nielsen and Juliana Virine was an outstanding opportunity challenges confronting a union and I wish to thank these women for me to witness union activities that deals with public, private and for their time and support. and has certainly reinforced aged care facilities with both state my commitment to its and federal influences was an eye The Anna Stewart Memorial Project ideals. opener in terms of the variables that shape the working lives of L E F T : our nurses and the levels of care Participants of able to be provided for our sick. A the Anna Stewart Memorial visit to the Queensland Industrial Project for 2009 Commission was a wonderful with Amanda opportunity to witness member Richards advocacy at the highest level. My (centre) mentors were Bernie O’Connor,

Our Profession - 90 Years Union Strong


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The Independent Voice

July 2009

The contribution of women to our union

Honouring those who shaped QIEU Vonnie Burke Former President Darling Downs Branch Vonnie Burke’s involvement in our union has stretched over 40 years and three name changes. Originally joining The Assistant Mistresses’ Association (AMA) in the late 60s, Vonnie soon became an active union member by attending Branch meetings and becoming the Darling Downs representative on Council. In the 90th anniversary year of our union, Vonnie Burke tells of her personal experiences and growth within our union over the years and how proud she is to be a QIEU life member. I joined the union in 1968 when I was ‘head hunted’ by St. Saviour’s College. I had applied to return to the state system so when the Principal of the College rang me, my immediate reaction was that I could not accept the position unless I received a wage comparable to that of a state school teacher. I had memories of being pressured to teach at another school in 1957 for a hot lunch and a pittance. Luckily for me

the two `lay teachers’ employed at the College had already approached our union and had convinced the Principal that their wages should be increased. I realised that I should join the union and support its efforts to support teachers. I attended Branch meetings regularly and soon became an office bearer and President at one stage. When Roger Boyd, the Darling Downs representative on Council, wanted to relinquish the position he asked me to step in. The Darling Downs Branch was lucky in having Joe Jones as Secretary. He had started a Branch newsletter which helped to give us a more personal connection with the Branch members. This was in the days before School Chapters and it was easy for members to feel somewhat isolated from the Brisbane office. It was felt that always having meetings in Toowoomba added to that feeling so we started having ‘travelling meetings’ at schools further out on the Downs. In 1983 in the midst of higly contested elections for governance of our union, I was elected on Council as a general member with a large member vote. Good sense prevailed in that election

with the membership making a strong statement of support for the then current leadership and the positive direction our union was taking. I think I had become better known on the Downs because of those `travelling meetings’ and my `Report from Council’ in Joe’s newsletter. I served on Council until I retired and thought that would be the end of my union involvement. Well as they say `never say never’. When union Council decided to break up the Metropolitan Branch the process was started to form a Sunshine Coast Branch. Shortly before the inaugural meeting I had a phone call from the General Secretary - “Mother, will you do me a favour?” The Sunshine Coast’s Industrial Officer was ill so I was asked to chair the meeting as an unattached member (I had been given life membership sometime earlier). My role in chairing the meeting was to present a draft constitution for consideration, call for nominations for the executive and then to take a back seat. Getting someone to be President was not too difficult but when the President called for nominations

for Secretary and Treasurer there was complete silence and lots of shaking heads that went on and on. I thought “what would Terry say - I cannot even get this started.” So rather than admit defeat I offered to take on the positions until they could get a Branch member to do so. It took a while but eventually a Branch member accepted the positions. One thing I do remember initiating while I was on the Branch Executive - I organised our meetings in different schools throughout the region. Once again this was to make the union more accessible to the members. I have been able on many occassions to observe the professionalism and dedication of union officers. One such occassion occured when I was present throughout a wrongful dismissal case. Then at my retirement, I was buoyed

by the determined support of union officers in obtaining my superannuation payout on the basis of physical incapacity. It is gratifying to know that such support is always available to members. All in all I do not think I achieved anything of magnitude as a union member. However, I always felt that if I was part of the organisation then I should be willing to take my turn to serve. I am still proud to be a card carrying union member.

The Assistant Mistresses’ Association Literary Competition: 50 years of excellence Apart from the strong foundation of collective strength built by the early teacher unionists of the Assistant Mistresses’ Association, perhaps the most visible aspect of their legacy today is the continuance of the Literary Competition. The competition was initiated at the AGM of 20 March, 1959, and this year celebrates its 50th anniversary. The Minutes of the meeting record that: Miss George said that through our donation to the Science Teachers’ Association, we were helping to encourage young science students to

further their studies but pointed out that very little was being done to encourage the literary development of students. She thought that our Association should do something in this respect and suggested that perhaps a literary competition might encourage freedom of expression and help to cultivate the creative faculty and literature. Her suggestion having been very favourably received and discussed, Miss George proposed that the Q.A.M.A. sponsor a literary competition and award a small prize in each of two sections viz. a short story and a poem. It was proposed that two prizes

should be offered and at a subsequent meeting in May of the same year it was decided that the prize money would be £5/5/- for each section of the competition, most probably because this was the value of the prize donated to the Science Teachers’ Association to be awarded for their competition. In that first year of the competition, a circular was produced to advertise the competition. The Department of Education sent a copy to each of the 199 state high schools and Miss George sent out 110 copies to non-governmental secondary schools. The Courier-Mail agreed to publicise the event. In the minutes of the General Meeting of 9 July, 1959 we learn

that “Mrs Judith Wright (McKinney) had graciously consented to do the final judging of the lyric poem.” … and that she had “thanked Miss George for the compliment of asking her.” Mr David Rowbotham, the Arts Editor of The Courier-Mail and a person of considerable literary talent himself, agreed to judge the short story. Sadly, the names of the winners of the competition are not recorded in the minutes. At the time of the amalgamation of the Assistant Masters’ Association and the Assistant Mistresses’ Association into QATIS (the predecessor to QIEU) it was made a

Our Profession - 90 Years Union Strong

condition of the amalgamation that the Literary Competition be continued. Since that time many hundreds of students have been formally recognised for their writing with awards and publication of their work in The CourierMail and the union journal. Even more have been encouraged to write and explore the beauty of our language and its possibilities. We are indeed grateful for the initiative of these women educators of 50 years ago and the quality of the work they have inspired is no small tribute to their legacy.


The Independent Voice

July 2009

Celebrating 90 years of union strength Establishment of QIEU Teacher Education Bursaries 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 90 th 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.

Applying for the bursaries: 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 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.

2009 Federal Budget Update A number of proposed superannuation changes were announced in the 2009/10 Federal Budget. What are the key superannuation changes? The key changes, which will take effect from 1 July 2009, include: • A reduction to the maximum amount of concessional contributions, for example, employer and salary sacrifice contributions, that can be made to a superannuation fund each year before extra tax is payable by the member; • A temporary reduction in the amount of cocontribution the Government will pay to a superannuation fund when you make personal contributions from your after tax income; • Members with an Account Based Pension will be able to elect to receive only 50% of the minimum payment for the 2009/10 financial year. 1. Reduced concessional contribution limits The Government places a limit on the amount of concessional contributions that can be made for a member each year before additional tax is payable. From 1 July 2009, the concessional contributions limit has been halved. For those under age 50 the limit has changed from $50,000 to $25,000 p.a., and for people over 50 years of age, from $100,000 to $50,000 p.a.. For 2009/10, the annual limit on nonconcessional contributions will remain unchanged at $150,000 p.a. (or $450,000 over three years from members aged under 65). 2. Temporary reduction of Government cocontributions For 2008/09, the Government co-contribution is payable at a maximum of 150% on eligible personal contributions (up to a maximum of $1,500). The Government has announced it will temporarily reduce the amount of co-contribution as follows: • for 2009/10 to 2011/12, the co-contribution will be reduced to a maximum of 100% of eligible personal contributions; • for 2012/13 and 2013/14, the co-contribution will be set at a maximum of 125% of eligible personal contributions; • From 1 July 2014, it is proposed that the cocontribution will return to a maximum level of 150% of eligible personal contributions.

Income thresholds regarding eligibility for the co-contribution still apply. Please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement, available at www.qiec.com.au for details of the relevant income thresholds. 3. Account Based Pensions The Government requires minimum annual payments to be made to members holding Account Based Pensions, with the limits varying based on age. To avoid requiring members to withdraw monies in the current depressed investment market, the Government has halved the minimum payment amounts for Account Based Pensions for 2009/10. This facility is optional, so if you would like to receive the full minimum payment (or an amount above that*), you can continue to do so. *Please note a maximum payment limit also applies to pre-retirement Account Based Pensions.

Who was John Nash? John James Nash (1947-2006) was an extraordinary teacher and unionist who played a significant role in the development of our union. Having played an important part in building our capacity as a union in the 1980s, John continued to ensure the continued strength and influence of the Chapter at his school, St Laurence’s College, Brisbane, by educating and inspiring new staff to become active in our union and to aspire to being a professional teacher. Those who had the privilege to teach beside him were always impressed by his commitment to his profession. John was especially concerned about the less gifted, the non-conformist and the struggler. He always rejoiced in their success and never condemned them for any shortcomings. John was an outstanding teacher-professional and teacher-unionist. QIEU is proud to dedicate an education bursary in John’s honour.

Pick of the bunch QIEC Super is the Queensland industry super fund for independent education and care. We operate only to benefit members. We pay no commissions. We have low fees.

What does this mean? If you are an employer, consider the impact of the changes on any of your employees and their contribution arrangements. If you are a member, consider the impact of the changes on your own contribution arrangements. If you hold an Account Based Pension, consider whether reduced pension payments are appropriate for you. If you wish to discuss the impact of these changes please contact QIEC Super on 1300 360 507. This information is of a general nature and does not take account of your individual financial situation, objectives or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. You should obtain a Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and consider the PDS before making any decision. If you require such specific advice, you should contact a licenced financial adviser. QIEC Super Pty Ltd (ABN 81 010 897 480), the Trustee of QIEC Super (ABN 15 549 636 673), is Corporate Authorised Representative No. 268804 under Australian Financial Services Licence No.238507 and is authorised to provide general financial product advice in relation to superannuation.

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Contact QIEC Super for more information. Ph: 1300 360 507 Email: info@qiec.com.au Web: www.qiec.com.au SuperRatings Pty Limited (ABN 95 100 192 283) holds AFSL No. 311880. This information is of a general nature only and has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. You should also refer to the Combined Annual Report, Member Handbook and Financial Services Guide (Product Disclosure Statement) before making a decision. To obtain a copy of the PDS, contact QIEC Super or visit the website. QIEC Super Pty Ltd ABN 81 010 897 480, the Trustee of QIEC Super ABN 15 549 636 673, is Corporate Authorised Representative No. 268804 under AFS Licence No. 238507


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The Independent Voice

July 2009

Teacher exchange: a trip of a lifetime! QIEU member and St Andrew’s Catholic College teacher Maree Callaway shares her teacher exchange experience in Ontario. Here I am on the other side of the world experiencing all kinds of new things and so totally immersed in life in Fort Frances that our home in Cairns seems just a distant memory. Fort Frances is a border town in Ontario with a population of 9,000 - just minutes away from Minnesota and its border town which is International Falls. Arriving here was an adventure in itself as three bags were lost in transit and consequently my husband had to borrow underwear off my new principal! We were flung into the coldest weather that part of Canada had seen for 30 years and went from 30C to -35C. Much to our new friends delight my three children aged 10, 13, and 14 refused to let that stop them enjoying their first snow experience. School here is quite different as the students only do four subjects per semester and their timetable is the same everyday: two lessons then one hour lunch where they can leave school then two more lessons. The day goes from 9am until approximately 3pm. Winter was awesome and we were skiing and snow shoeing and ice fishing and tobogganing; its amazing what you can do outside when its -25C. We didn’t get out when it was colder than that much as its a bit hard to breathe when its -40C. The students are pretty much like mine back home except secondary school starts in year 9 and you can’t graduate until you have a certain amount of

credits so some of my students are 19 years old and the youngest are 14. It is spring here now and the lake is no longer frozen (we skated on it in winter). There are animals everywhere, but unfortunately, the hunting season opens soon and it breaks my heart to think of moose, deer and bears being shot. Lots of the kids here shoot; you can have a gun licence at 12 years old. The gun laws are so different to here. We have just finished the school musical which I choreographed and we had a blast; the show was brilliant! There are a lot of talented kids here in terms of music and singing. Guitars are popular and the halls are full of students strumming away individually or in groups. The prom is this Saturday night and most of the year 12 students will go. Then we have graduation where all the staff and students wear the gowns; I have been asked to read out names at the ceremony which is a real honour. My family are all settled here and my own kids have amazed me with their ability to adapt. My husband has become accustomed to this lifestyle also and we have just sadly booked our return flights. However, the year is still young and with summer break coming we are making plans to explore and make the most of our nine week break. If you would like to go overseas on a teacher exchange program, or for more information, please contact QIEU Teacher Exchange Officer Jenny Zugno on FREECALL 1800 177 937 or email jennyz@qieu.asn.au

ABOVE: QIEU member Maree Callaway and her family get used to the freezing temperatures and snow during teacher exchange in Ontario

Excellent teachers wanted for World Teachers’ Day Registered Queensland teachers from government, Catholic and Independent schools are encouraged to celebrate World Teachers’ Day this year by nominating for the Queensland College of Teachers’ inaugural QCT Excellence in Teaching Awards. Teachers, principals and members of school communities can nominate a teacher for the award. The World Teachers’ Day ceremony to

celebrate Queensland’s excellent teachers is planned for Government House on 30 October, 2009. Winners will be presented with the award by Her Excellency, Governor of Queensland, Ms Penelope Wensley AO and will take home $5,000 each. Finalists will also win $500 towards professional development. Nominations are now open, with two categories up for grabs - excellence in teaching, and excellence in beginning to teach. Both focus on individual or school achievements, innovation and creativity leading to effective student learning outcomes, and professional relationships within the school community, with three simple judging criteria: 1. Demonstrated excellence in their field; 2. Significant contribution to the teaching profession; and 3. Being an inspirational role model for other teachers. Entries close on 24 July, 2009. To download an application, visit www.qct.edu.au or email excellence@qct.edu.au.


The Independent Voice

July 2009

17

School officer profile Collaborating with teachers when developing innovative learning programs, assisting in the supervision of technology classes and providing additional support to teachers and students throughout the learning experience is all in a day’s work for St Columba’s Primary Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Coordinator Gaylene Sutton. As the ICT Coordinator and Network Administrator, Gaylene also oversees the management and maintenance of the school’s network, ensuring that the system is operating efficiently and securely. Gaylene says St Columba’s administration recognises the need for professional development training in Information Communication Learning Technologies (ICLT) for all staff, and it is Gaylene’s job to plan and deliver these weekly sessions focusing on ICLT. “This year we have seen a significant increase in the number of school officers attending the sessions. Once

each term the school provides breakfast making these PD sessions ones to look forward to,” Gaylene says. The recognition of school officers’ contributions to schools still remains an important issue for Gaylene. She believes that school officers should no longer be referred to as ‘aides’ (assistants to teachers), as “school officers are educated people that bring professionalism, dedication, commitment and more often experience to the job.” “I look forward to when all current qualifications pertaining to our job description can be considered in reclassification, especially when they are recognised as valued skills from our employers.” With so many alternate paths a person can pursue to build their career, Gaylene is certain that many school officers would support continuing professional development which will go to furthering career opportunities. “While there has been steps taken in this area we need to continue our pursuit of career recognition,” she says.

Gaylene Sutton ICT Coordinator St Columba’s Primary Wilston Comparable wages for school officers, recognising the important role they play at schools, is also needed, she says. “Schools have a vested interest in keeping our competent, educated school officers. It’s not an easy job; we give willingly to the position and our pay is not reflective of the responsibilities and professionalism we have.” Gaylene relishes her challenging role, and admits she enjoys the way her job has developed to encompass all technology

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needs at the school. “The belief and encouragement my employer and colleagues have given me over the years has contributed in building my confidence, and helped create a career in Information Technology.” The challenges Gaylene often deals with include on-the-spot decision making and the fact that technology is always changing which occasionally proves difficult to stay up to date. But she would never change these aspects as they are just part of her job, she says. “As the ICT Coordinator it’s very important for me keep up with new

developments within the IT industry. Over the last two years I have studied and qualified as a Master Instructor of Microsoft, obtained a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and completed a Certificate of ICT in Education.” Gaylene says it is important that school officers have total support from their school when working towards further qualifications. “It would have been so much more difficult if I didn’t have St Columba’s support and encouragement during the last two years; it was with my colleagues help that got me over the line.”

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The Independent Voice

July 2009

CELEBRATING 90 YEARS OF UNION STRENGTH 90 Outstanding Activists Nomination Form Nominee’s Details: Nominated By: Name:........................................................ Name: ................................................... Position: .................................................... Position: ................................................ Telephone No: ............................................ Telephone No: ........................................ School Chapter: ............................................................................................................. Please describe how your nominee has demonstrated the following activist attributes: 1. Commitment to building membership strength and a strong collective voice:....................................................................... ............................................................................................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 2. Commitment to keeping informed about the issues impacting on members and what they can do about them:.................. .................................................................................................................................................................................................... .................................................................................................................................................................................................... .................................................................................................................................................................................................... .................................................................................................................................................................................................... 3. Commitment to building a collective culture and supporting colleagues in the workplace to achieve fair and just outcomes: ............................................................................................................................................................................. ............................................................................................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 4. Commitment to promoting member action and networking at the chapter and/or branch level: .......................................... ............................................................................................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................................................................................... Please fill in the nomination form and return to: The General Secretary Terry Burke QIEU PO BOX 418 FORTITUDE VALLEY Q 4006 or fax: 07 3839 7021 or email: enquiries@qieu.asn.au

NOMINATIONS CLOSE - Friday, 14 August, 2009.


The Independent Voice

July 2009

Legal Briefs

19

Andrew Knott, Macrossans Lawyers

DAMAGES IN BULLYING CASE ALMOST $500,000 On 19 June 2009, Justice Elizabeth Fullerton of the Supreme Court of New South Wales awarded damages against the State of NSW in a case brought by a former student of a government school. Those damages totalled approximately $468,000. The case received significant publicity. Accordingly, it may be helpful to give some brief description of the nature of this case. The plaintiff sought an award of damages to compensate him for the mental harm he suffered as an adolescent as a result of being subject to bullying and other generalised mistreatment by fellow students at his high school. He also claimed damages for economic loss resulting from the impairment to his earning capacity over various periods since leaving the school and extending into the future. The damages awarded comprised $247,500 for non-economic loss, future loss of earning capacity plus superannuation of approximately $241,000. Damages were also awarded for past out-of-pocket expenses and future therapeutic costs, inclusive of future medical costs, both of those categories “to be agreed.” Presumably therefore the final award will be substantially more than $468,000. Although the judgment deals predominantly with the issue of the calculation of those damages, the case is also of interest in

relation to the basis of liability. By its original defence the State of NSW admitted that it owed a duty to the plaintiff but denied that it had breached that duty. Subsequently, the State of NSW filed an amended defence admitting breach but limited to some only of the particular of the breach as pleaded in the statement of claim. They were as follows: (a) Failing to exercise due and proper care in relation to the plaintiff’s general welfare; (b) Failing to have in place a system of supervision whereby its servants and/or agents the defendant would have prevented students at the school from mistreating the plaintiff; (c) Failing to exercise adequate control over its students to prevent mistreatment of the plaintiff; (d) Allowing a system known as the SACK system to operate whereby older boys exert power over younger boys and engage in bullying as a means of control; (e) Allowing students at the school the opportunity to mistreat the plaintiff; (f) Failing to have installed procedures which would adequately deal with the mistreatment of the plaintiff by other students. Before turning to factual matters alleged by the plaintiff, it is of interest to note the Judge’s description of the SACK system: “The plaintiff gave evidence of being introduced to a system of discipline that operated at Farrer known as the SACK system soon after arriving at high school. There was no evidence as to the meaning

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SOS FOR HOST FAMILIES It is the dream of many teenagers to visit our vast and ‘exotic’ country, Down Under. Their dream can only come true with your help. It is only through the hospitality of caring families, with an interest in better cultural understanding and world peace, that these dreams can become reality. STS High School Foundation urgently needs volunteer host families for students arriving from Europe in August 2009 and January 2010. If you would like to join a unique and growing group of families in Queensland, we need to heard from you now. STS High School Foundation is a not for profit student exchange organisation, with 49 years experience and a global network of 22 offices. Our organisation is registered with Education Queensland. Please contact: Suzanne Kidman Queensland State Coordinator STS High School Foundation PO Box 666 The Gap QLD 4061 Phone/fax: (07) 3300 0301 Mobile: 0403 154 723 Email: suzanne.sts@optusnet.com.au

of the acronym but there was no challenge to the way it operated, and was permitted to operate within the school, with the approval of the school administration. The SACK system operated on the basis of a strict hierarchy requiring younger students to obey a direction or request from an older student at the risk of punishment for disobedience. “In addition, the SACK system gave Year 12 students authority over the entire student body and gave Year 12 students the right to inflict punishment in the event of disobedience. There were three particular forms of punishment. These were described by the plaintiff as “the nicks” where a student was hit on the hand with a ruler, “being broomed”´ where a student would be required to bend over and be hit with a broom, and “gnome duty” which required a student to stand at the entrance to the Year 12 dormitory in the position of a guard holding a broom and a rubbish bin lid.” The plaintiff obviously gave considerable evidence about the matters which he said had contributed to his damages. There was also substantial evidence from medical and related experts. Not all of the evidence of the plaintiff was accepted by the Judge. The plaintiff described being subjected to sustained campaign of “terror, abuse, humiliation and vilification” on a daily basis from the middle of Year 7 in 1991 until his graduation 1996 after completing

Year 12. He described progressively more entrenched feelings of fear, isolation, hopelessness and sadness after being forced to endure mistreatment without the assistance or intervention of teaching staff over that period. He gave “graphic evidence” of the various measures he took in an effort to deal with his situation including “obsessive washing with hospital grade disinfectant on daily basis from as early as 1993.” In his senior years at high school, he cut himself with razor blades on his forearms and legs described as feelings of isolation, inadequacy and despair. The plaintiff claimed that during the second term of his first year, he was given the affirmative side in a class debate on the question of whether the SACK system should be abolished. He claimed that as a result of the position he took in that debate, he was singled out thereafter by some Year 7 boys and by two boys in Year 8 who started called him names. “He said that at this time he also became the subject of physical aggression. He was tripped over in the corridors, flicked on the back of the ears, pushed into other boys or shoved into walls. He said

he had “spitballs” shot at him in class. He said some boys in Year 10 also started calling him names. Despite the fact that he reported the aggression and the insults to his Year 7 master on multiple occasions, and that he was upset and in tears when making the complaint, the name-calling and physical intimidation continued on a daily basis or at least every other day.” This name-calling, on his evidence, developed into a pattern throughout the period of his time at the school. These are samples of the sorts of conduct of which the student gave evidence. As stated above, not all of his evidence was accepted by the Judge but it would seem that a substantial part of it was. This case is a reminder to teachers not only of the way in which some students are vulnerable to being classified as different and treated accordingly but of the long term serious consequences which can flow if such mistreatment of a student is not effectively managed and prevented.

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFORMATION FOR MEMBERS: The QIEU booklet Legal Protection for Teachers, School Officers and Services Staff is now available on our website, www.qieu.asn.au. The informative booklet demonstrates the common legal issues in schools and liability issues, amongst other important information. To access, go to the QIEU website and click on About Your Union and QIEU legal protection booklet.

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The Independent Voice

July 2009

QIEU art awards

Guest speaker:

Brisbane artist Mike Banks

captures students and teachers artistic side Pre-school, primary and secondary school students along with their teachers will allow their creative mind to draw, paint, photograph, sculpt or combine media to capture their artistic side in the QIEU Awards for Excellence in Art Design 2009.

90 thAnniversary 1919 - 2009

Awards for Excellence In Art Design 2009

LET YOUR CREATIVE MIND DRAW, PAINT, PRINT, PHOTOGRAPH, SCULPT OR COMBINE MEDIA TO CAPTURE:

Mike Banks (or Banx, as he artistically prefers to be known) is a full-time contemporary artist and children’s book illustrator, and is inspired by his love of the vivid colours and intense light of the Australian landscape (Queensland, in particular). Banx has illustrated and drawn for most of his life, following in a line of several generations of artists in his family.

The theme of this year’s awards asks students and teachers in independent schools to ‘Let’s Celebrate – Looking back to go forward’ as Queensland celebrates its 150th birthday and QIEU celebrates its 90th anniversary.

interest in art and to foster the talent of students.

Each non-government school throughout Queensland has received entry forms and information about the awards, with entry forms also available for downloading at QIEU’s website www.qieu.asn.au.

These awards are specifically designed for students in the non-government education sector and attract well over 1,000 entries from pre-school through to secondary school students as well as teachers.

Art is a very important area of learning in our schools and kindergartens, and QIEU is proud to support students, teachers, practising artists and art in Queensland.

QIEU’s goal is to promote an interest and awareness of these awards to art teachers.

LoOking back to go forward

He studied lithography at Te Kowhai Print Trust, New Zealand, and taught contemporary art at The Summer Arts Retreat at The University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba. He is currently partner and artist-in-residence at Moving Canvas Gallery, New Farm, Brisbane, where he specialises in site-specific commissions for corporate offices - most recently the Foyer 333 Ann Street. Banx exhibits annually in Brisbane and Sydney and his many and varied works are held in private and public collections throughout Australia, New Zealand, USA and Europe. He is currently illustrating a second children’s book due for publication later this year.

Closing date for this year’s awards is 31 July, with the Award presentation and art exhibition evening on 9 September at the Bardon Conference Centre.

LEFT: Commissioned painting, Corporate Ties, by Banx. To view more artwork, visit www.banx.com.au

Student talent showcased in literary competition’s 50th year

Guest speaker: Author Jo Hinchliffe

QIEU established the awards to promote and encourage artistic students to maintain an

Teachers throughout Queensland are being encouraged to get their school students involved in showcasing their literary talents as part of the 2009 QIEU and ETAQ Literary Competition. The annual competition gives students the opportunity to be recognised and acknowledged for their outstanding literary works, and this year celebrates its 50th anniversary. Students entering this year’s competition can submit either a short story and/or poetry piece, with students in Years 11 and 12 also able to enter a work of

non-fiction prose. The closing date for the literary competition entries is Friday, 17 July 2009. Winners will be presented with their awards at a special ceremony held at The Bardon Centre on Wednesday, 14 October 2009. The competition is jointly sponsored by the Queensland Independent Education Union (QIEU) and the English Teachers’ Association of Queensland (ETAQ). Competition entries are judged by ETAQ members and the winning

students will be presented with their awards by QIEU President Andrew Elphinstone. Guest speaker for the ceremony will be Queensland author, Jo Hinchliffe. Founded in 1959, the Literary Competition is one of the oldest continuing competitions for school students in Queensland. More information on the competition, including entry forms, is available from www. qieu.asn.au or by contacting Event Coordinator Kay Holloway on (07) 3839 7020.

Author, creative artist and poet in residence, Jo Hinchliffe has had extensive experience in the area of Language Arts over the years. After many years of classroom teaching, including two, one teacher schools, and two years working as a teacher librarian, Jo then proceeded to spend six years in educational publishing dealing with published material for both primary and secondary schools. In 1987, Ashton Scholastic published her first book, The Hilton Hen House which was reprinted in 2003 as a Big Book. Now, in 2009, Jo is the author of 27 books for children and teachers. For the past 17 years Jo has been specialising in the area of poetry, and working in schools developing this genre. One of her poetry books is a dictionary of 54 poetry forms for teachers to model to students from Prep to year 9. Jo also lends herself to schools for classroom writing workshops on poetry and creative writing and has

recently published her latest book, with co-author Colin Campbell, called, Step Out of the Square, (strategies for helping children to write creatively). Jo also conducts teacher PD sessions on poetry and creative writing and encourages children and teachers to ‘think outside the box!’ To view Jo’s work and her writing tour dates, visit her website johinchliffe.com


The Independent Voice

July 2009

EVENTS DIARY IAEA Conference The 35th 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

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives workshop In a joint initiative with the Queensland Indigenous Education Consultative Committee (QIECC) Dare to Lead, Principals Australia Department of Education and Training (DET), Queensland Catholic Education Commission (QCEC), Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) and Queensland Studies Authority (QSA), the theme of the workshops is Relationships, which signifies the importance of engagement between community and school in order to appropriately and accurately include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in the curriculum. The workshops aim to enhance a shared partnership in building a common vision and focus for best-practice pedagogy and curriculum in Queensland- valuing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, knowledges and ways of working. Participants will: share experiences of embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives and build partnerships to support and sustain initiatives; explore

the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives within the Essential Learnings and resources to support implementation; develop knowledge and understanding to embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives within the curriculum; and network with personnel from other schools to establish and sustain collegial relationships and professional networks. Cost is free. Locations and dates: • Brisbane Central, 21 July • Toowoomba, 23 July • Mackay, 30 July • Mt Isa, 6 August • Wide Bay, 13 August • Sunshine Coast, 17 August • Barcaldine, 26 August • Brisbane/Ipswich, 3 September For more information phone (07) 3864 0471 or email events@qsa.qld.edu.au

Building success in literacy and numeracy in the early years workshop Early years teachers and Heads of Curriculum, Deputy Principals and Principals with the responsibility of overseeing teaching and learning in the early years are welcome to attend this workshop. The workshop will unpack the QSA curriculum materials for the early years of schooling and focus on: the contribution of the early years to QSA’s Learning P-12 approach; resources that support curriculum continuity for teaching, learning and assessment; Year 1 Learning Statements; Learning P-3 - Literacy and Numeracy indicators; Connections to Early Years Curriculum Guidelines and Essential Learnings for English and Mathematics by the end of Year 3; building consistency of teacher judgment using assessments; and using P-3 Literacy and Numeracy indicators to inform teaching and learning. Participants will: develop knowledge and understanding of curriculum materials for the early years; explore, discuss and develop knowledge of the Year 1 Learning Statements; explore, discuss and develop knowledge of Learning

P-3 - Literacy and Numeracy indicators; explore processes to enhance consistency of teacher judgment using assessments; discuss use of the Learning P-3 - Literacy and Numeracy indicators to inform teaching and learning; and network with personnel from other schools to establish and sustain collegial relationships and professional networks. Cost is $116 (GST inc) per participant. Locations and dates: • Roma, 23 July 9am–3pm Maranoa Club • Mt Isa, 31 July 9am–3pm All Seasons Verona Hotel • Brisbane North/Central, 5 August 9am–3pm Hickey Park Football Club, Stafford • Brisbane/Ipswich, 17 August 9am–3pm Darra Motel • Brisbane East, 21 August, 9am–3pm HQ on Lytton, Morningside • Brisbane South, 25 August 9am-3pm Fitzy’s Hotel, Loganholme 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. Visit www.educationshow.net. au to register for your FREE ticket and for more information.

Position vacant: Education Consultant DSAQ The Down Syndrome Association of Queensland (DSAQ) is a predominantly parent-run, not-forprofit association with a volunteer management committee of parents of and young people with Down syndrome. DSAQ exists to support individuals with Down syndrome and their families, influence social and political change and to inform professions and sectors important to the lives, community membership and participation of people with Down syndrome and their families. DSAQ members are spread throughout Queensland and are people with Down syndrome, their families and organisations.

DSAQ Mission Statement To support, advocate for and empower Queensland children and adults with Down syndrome, so that they can be valued and contributing members of the community, as is their right. Purpose of the Position The purpose of the Education Consultant role is to improve education outcomes for students with Down syndrome.

Essential Selection Criteria • Current “C” class driver’s license; • Positive Notice Blue Card (working with children); • Positive Notice Disability Card; and • High level knowledge and understanding of Down syndrome with special focus on issues regarding the inclusion of students with Down syndrome in regular classroom settings

The Education Consultant provides a range of professional opportunities to support teachers, teacher’s assistants and parents.

Please contact DSAQ for a full Position Description on (07) 3356 6655 or email dsa.qld@ uq.net.au

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Teacher conference to help build assessment capacity Who: QUT Centre for Professional Development Practical and Actionable Guidance for Teaching Assessment: Building Assessment Capacity - A Conference for Teachers When: Saturday, 1 August 2009 Where: QUT Kelvin Grove Campus, Brisbane The inaugural Building Assessment Capacity – A Conference for Teachers conference, the first of many practical and informative conferences presented by QUT’s Faculty of Education Centre for Professional Development, will demonstrate how you can use assessment to improve learning, and attend to reporting and accountability demands. This conference will help you gain further understanding of the implications for teaching practice and key assessment issues relating to NAPLAN and the Queensland Curriculum and Reporting Framework. Classroom teachers, curriculum directors, school leaders, education leaders, deputy principals, school principals and policy officers are welcome to attend. Key topics include: • Building Teachers’ Assessment Capacity • Literacy Demands of Assessment • Using Assessment Data for Improved Teaching and Learning • Analysing NAPLAN data • QCAR

Benefits of attending: • Increased knowledge about developments in assessment practices and policies • Practical strategies to address some of the current assessment demands • Resources and practices to help build teacher capacity in assessment practices • Insights into how assessment can be used to improve teaching and learning • Increased awareness of the importance of assessment and the need to understand the measurement and assessment of student performance in relation to learning and teaching • An improved match between assessment design/approach and student learning/attainment • More informed assessment policy and practice at the level of schools • Development of partnerships with the university, agencies and schools. Cost is $200 per person (including GST) or $500 for a group of 3. To find out more call the QUT School of Learning and Professional Studies on (07) 3138 3040 or email laura.obrien@qut.edu.au

New Worksite looks at new work laws The ACTU has completely updated their Worksite for Schools website to coincide with the introduction of the new federal workplace laws on 1 July. The content of Worksite focuses on the move from work experience to a student’s first job. A simple Work Experience Diary helps students to make the most of school work experience programs, while information sheets explain job rights specifically for people starting their first job. Worksite also has quizzes, competitions, video content and a section devoted to assignment help. ACTU President Sharan Burrow said the new workplace laws were an important topic for all teachers and students. Ms Burrow, who is also a former teacher, said schools have an important role to play in alerting students to their rights at work.

“Worksite is all about helping students understand their rights so they can enjoy them and get the most out of work,” she said. She said that research conducted for Worksite found that many students were unaware of their rights in the workplace. The research found that students did not know how to find out if they were getting the right pay or conditions, or where to get help if they had other work concerns. ‘The central message of Worksite is that every employee has basic rights – the right to the correct pay; the right to healthy and safe work; the right to be treated fairly. Worksite explains these rights and how to enjoy them to get the most out of work,’ she said. View the website www.worksite.actu.asn.au

at

Supporting pregnant teens & young parents A symposium convened by the Association of Women Educators A unique networking opportunity schools conducting support programs for pregnant and parenting students. August 4 and 5, 2009 - Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre To find out more information phone (07) 3869 3433 or email awe1@bigpond.net.au


22

The Independent Voice

July 2009

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The Independent Voice

RSPCA seeks humane education volunteers RSPCA Queensland are seeking potential volunteers for their school visit program all over the state, to deliver pre-prepared lessons to students of all ages about a variety of animal-related topics. Visits range in length from 30 minutes to two hours and volunteers can be accommodated in terms of their preferences for suburbs/towns, days and times, age of the students, and any other variables. RSPCA Queensland is an independent, non-government charity that provides refuge for over 40,000 displaced animals each year and investigates 11,000 cases of alleged animal cruelty. In addition to these core duties, the organisation also focuses heavily on the education of the community and currently visits an average of 60,000 school students every year with important messages about responsible pet care and animal welfare. QIEU members interested in finding out more about this valuable and highly rewarding program are invited to contact the RSPCA’s Volunteer Department on (07)3426 9903, or email education@rspcaqld.org.au. More details about the work of the RSPCA is also available at www.rspcaqld.org.au.

July 2009

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Tax time for members If you are a teacher, tutor, early childhood, primary, secondary, special education or relief teacher, you may be able to claim on tax deductions you did not even know about. These include: • Laboratory coats and art smocks that protect you from injury at work or protects your everyday clothing from damage; • Stopwatches, cost of purchase, repairs and batteries - but not the costs of purchasing and repairing ordinary wrist watches, including waterproof watches; • Sunglasses, sunhats and sunscreen lotions – if the nature of your work requires you to work in the sun for all or part of the day; • Excursions, school trips and camps if they have an educational benefit and are related to the curriculum or extracurricular activities of the school; • Teaching aids used for work; and

• Bachelor of Education degree expenses - but not education expenses not related to your teaching position. If you think you are entitled to claim or need more information download the Teachers 2008-09 tax publication: www.ato.gov.au. The Tax Office has a range of information and assistance available to help people meet the 31 October deadline. From 1 July 2009, people can prepare and lodge their return online using e-tax, which is a secure, easy to use system which, in most cases, processes your return within 14 days. The Tax Office also provides FREE, easy-to-use online tax calculators and decision tools to help employees in managing their tax affairs. To access this service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, visit their website and

select the rates, calculators and tools option. These calculators and tools include: •Home office expenses calculator; •Self-education eligibility tool; •Self-education expenses calculator; •Work-related uniform expenses calculator; •Super co-contribution calculators; •Comprehensive tax calculator; and • Simple tax calculator. You can also access information on: • Individual income tax rates. These tables show the percentage of tax payable for each income bracket, for individual Australian taxpayers; and • PAYG withholding – how much tax should be taken from my pay? This will help you to work out how much PAYG withholding tax should be taken from your pay.

Health & Lifestyle Tips with Lauren Postans Exercise Physiologist, Health Educator

In Australia, more than 20 per cent of kids between two and 17 years old are overweight or obese. This has emotional and health consequences for the child, their family and the nation. If the problems are not addressed during childhood, they escalate into an overweight adult with increased risk of serious health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Research has shown that the nation’s children are getting fatter and there have been many hypotheses regarding the reasons for this. These include fast food, access to fast food, increasing number of families where both parents work, increasing hours children spend in sedentary activity such as computer and television, increasing number of children at home alone and not able to play outside. I believe that all of these factors play a part in the spiralling obesity level so the plan of action to combat the problem also needs to be a combination of initiatives. A most interesting research factor is that when the families of obese children were surveyed, 60 per cent of the parents did not recognise that their children were in fact overweight. In families where the parents were overweight, it is found that the children are also overweight, usually due to lifestyle such as the food they ate and lack of exercise. Children learn from their role models such as their parents, teachers and peer group. If you are going to help children have healthy habits, you need to start with their families. Education for the entire family is vital regarding healthy habits. Schools also need to develop healthy school habits which run through the tuck shop, through to education on food choices, exercise and fun activities and the teachers and staff also need to be seen to be adopting healthy habits. Here are some examples for schools and families: • No junk food in the tuck shop; • Have healthy breakfasts and after school snacks available at the tuck shop; • Educate children on healthy food options, what food is used for in the body and the benefits of exercise; • Have education sessions for the parents; • Provide before and after school physical activities for children that are not necessarily competitive in nature; • Compulsory physical activity classes for all children; • Limit television and computer usage after school; • Encourage the entire family to do physical activities together; • Limit fast food to once a week; • Do not have junk food in the house; and • Get children involved with growing vegetables and fruit. Children require education on healthy habits, followed up by great role models and most importantly they need to have fun. For further information about Healthy Kids Programs, contact Lauren Postans by email lauren@rothburyhealth.com.au

Dear Jo, I am having difficulty with a colleague, which is impacting on my work and my home life. He and I probably have similar types of personality and my wife points out to me that we are both competitive and ambitious for promotion. However, our communications are wearing me down and at times I think it would be better to transfer to another school. Do you have any ideas or strategies that might assist me in this? Sean Dear Sean, Well done on reaching out for help, and for having the insight to recognise that when we want something to change, it is ourselves who must do the changing. Because of the regularity of the interaction, the amount of time you spend together, and because of the fact that your own professional well being may be heavily influenced by the quality of the relationships you share, having good professional relationships with people at work is probably just about as important as having good relationships with friends or family members. While “difficult colleagues” is a common complaint as a cause for work related stress, this is probably not the most useful way to think of the problem. While there are some individuals that most of us would agree are “difficult” to get along with, much more common is a clash or conflict between two otherwise quite functional individuals. When the “difficult” label is applied to your colleague, the implication is that the problems are the fault of the

colleague, and while you may feel absolved of blame and responsibility, there is little you can do to better the situation. A more useful way of looking at the problem is an “interactive analysis”. Instead of “what’s wrong with him?” ask yourself “what is it about how he and I interact that isn’t working”. Even when you ask yourself the right question, it is always easier to see what he is doing wrong, and what he should change than to see how you could make an improvement. If you can fight the temptation to blame and take a positive and constructive approach to the situation, the few guidelines offered below may help you establish or reestablish a work environment that is healthier, happier, and more productive for everyone. • Practice good workplace relationship hygiene Prevention is a powerful and positive approach to health, and it works just as well with your relationships at work. Simple courtesy and consideration go a long way. Arguments that can tear an organisation apart result in legal action, or significant emotional distress can sometimes be traced back to unwashed teacups or the failure to share desk space effectively. Remembering birthdays, “please and thank you”, and a bit of social chat in a free moment are cheap insurance policies that insulate against the development of problems, and put you in a strong position to resolve them quickly when they first arise. • Act early, and don’t let problems “fester” Some of the biggest and ugliest

interpersonal problems at work started small and were either deliberately or unconsciously ignored. Blaming the other party allows the neglect, but so does being “busy” or not knowing exactly how to approach the problem. Simple shyness or lack of assertive skills can allow a small interpersonal problem to grow like a cancer. Address the problem when you are feeling relatively good about your colleague rather than waiting for the last straw, which breaks the camel’s back. Your approach will be calmer, more rational and more productive. • Get help when you need it A third party, particularly one who is neutral and not simply taking your side, can help you develop a problem solving strategy, or may play an active mediator role. • Don’t get discouraged, and don’t let yourself be put off If the problem is severe or has developed over a period of time, it may not be realistic to try to solve it in one definitive discussion. Think of yourself as a diplomat, and lay the groundwork for later positive negotiations. Your partner may well avoid your efforts to find a solution, but that does not mean they enjoy or wish to maintain the status quo. Often fear, discomfort, or not knowing how to proceed appears as though the other party is invested in continuing the “war”. • Remember that Teachers’ Union Health Fund Supportline exists to help teachers be able to function at their best Don’t hesitate to call our number 1800 655 302 if you would like further assistance from a professional counsellor. Jo


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The Independent Voice

July 2009

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