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The Independent Voice

May 2010

Journal of the Queensland Independent Education Union

May 2010

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Volume 10 Number 3

IEUA-QNT celebrates Labour Day

May Day celebrated in Northern Territory page 8

New BCE teachers sign on to IEUA-QNT page 15

Awards for Excellence In Art Design 2010 Let your creative mind draw, paint, print, photograph, sculpt or combine media to capture:

IMAGINE Entries open for art and literary competitions page 17

ABOVE: Members and their families marched for the first time under our IEUA-QNT banner at Labour Day events to acknowledge the achievements of the labour movement and to make a statement about the success of our recent campaign for professional rates of pay in Catholic schools. Photos pages 12,13

Catholic sector campaign success The strong and member led collective campaign for professional rates of pay in the Catholic sector has resulted in significant gains for employees in the sector and a wage rate for experienced teachers which appropriately recognises their contribution to high quality Catholic education. In a long standing claim, teachers in Catholic schools sought professional rates of pay which recognised their dedication, work and commitment to Catholic education. Following another full day strike in schools the Catholic employers, in mid April, finally put on the table a fair wage deal that recognises the work of experienced teachers. Members have now endorsed, in principle, a wage deal which would deliver to the most experienced teachers an annual

rate of $84,421 from April 2012 which more appropriately reflects interstate benchmark professional rates of pay. The wage outcome establishes new classifications for experienced teachers (Experienced Teacher 5 and 6) replacing, in relevant jurisdictions, the current Leading Teacher and AST1/2 provisions. Access to the new classification will be available for any teacher with at least four years of experience at Band 3 Step 4 with transition arrangements over time to ensure those on Band 3 Step 4 will be recognised for eligibility to ET6. Transition arrangements have been made to ensure teachers with current Advanced Skills Teacher/Leading Teacher and Positions of Added Responsibility (PAR) classification have ready access to the new classification (for

further information on the new ET6 classification, see page 3).

consideration, with a formal ballot to be conducted in mid-June.

Significant other enhancements were also achieved over the 14 months of negotiations with increases to paid maternity and paternity leave most notable.

IEUA-QNT members in Catholic schools can be proud of what has been achieved as a result of their collective union action. Their achievement is even more remarkable given that for the first time a significant wage differential now exists with the public sector.

School officers will have access to a range of allowances and enhanced time banking arrangements. A wide-ranging review of the current PAR structures has also been agreed to in negotiations (see page 3). Members have shown in this campaign that they will not stand back and accept a wage deal that does not recognise their professional commitment to quality education. Schools will soon receive the draft agreement containing all the negotiated provisions for

The determination of those members authorised to take protected industrial action was especially noteworthy with these members conducting two days of strikes along with the imposition of work bans. Their commitment to the campaign never faltered and those members denied the opportunity to take protected action owe them a debt of gratitude for their resolve and collective strength.


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The Independent Voice

May 2010

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 Stutz: Telephone: 07 3839 7020 Toll Free: 1800 177 937 Fax: 07 3839 7021 Email: fstutz@qieu.asn.au Editor Mr Terry Burke QIEU General Secretary Publications Officer/ Journalist Fiona Stutz 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

REMINDER IEUA-QNT members are reminded that if you have recently changed your address you need to inform IEUA-QNT! To change your details log on to our website at www.qieu.asn.au Alternatively, call the IEUA-QNT office on (07) 38397020 or FREECALL 1800 177 937

President’s Report Union activism is essential for improved member outcomes Recently we have seen many sectors of our membership authorising and in some instances taking industrial action. Members in Lutheran schools endorsed protected action before settling their collective bargaining agreement; members in Catholic schools have campaigned for 14 months and have taken various protected action including two full day stoppages; and members in the Presbyterian and Methodist School Association (PMSA) have overwhelmingly endorsed the taking of protected action. These actions are not only significant in improving member outcomes, they are also defining moments in our union’s development. Members who have taken protected action clearly understand that action is needed to gain improved outcomes. Taking protected industrial action is very significant action which only occurs as a last resort during

collective bargaining periods as a sign of the collective resolve of members. However, there are many others forms of action that can be taken regularly which will strengthen our union in your worksite and across the various sectors. You can contribute to the strengthening of our union’s voice by encouraging non-members to join; by being educated about the issues we face, by acting collectively and supporting your colleagues at work and encouraging members at your worksite to be involved in campaigns and events. Our union has highly talented and dedicated staff; from the excellent leadership of the Branch Secretary and the two Assistant Secretaries, to the hard working and dedicated organisers and officers and the professional support staff; but, the real strength lies within the membership, this is who our union is and more importantly this is why we need to continue to grow,

develop activism and encourage new activists to join with the more experienced. There are many challenges and issues that we face in working in educational settings; some are specific to our school sector, some specific to the age group of children we care for and teach, others specific to our chosen profession within education. We also continue to have challenges that go across the various school sectors onto a national scale. There are many opportunities to be involved in strengthening our collective voice: • Our union holds member training that enables you to further develop your skills as a delegate at your worksite; • Attend Branch meetings which are held regularly enabling members across different sectors to meet; and • Become a member one of our various committees.

Our lives are very busy and we cannot be apart of all of these opportunities but if each worksite had a different member being involved in some of these various activities would be fantastic. Our union provides a vehicle for our voice to be heard but it is up to all of us to ensure that our voice is strong and effective. Your active involvement in our advocacy and campaigning as a union is essential in ensuring that our collective voice continues to grow and be heard.

Kind regards, Andrew Elphinstone IEUA-QNT President

General Secretary’s Report Marching under the one banner Members in Queensland marched for the first time under the IEUA-QNT banner in this year’s Labour Day. In doing so they shared visibly for the first time an identity with members in the Northern Territory. This is a matter of significance in the history of our original Queensland b a se d u n i o n a nd ma r ks t he culmination of a three year process of integrating the Queensland and Northern Territory branches. While our union structures and operational processes have been effectively integrated for some time, the sign and symbol of marching as one union cannot be ignored. It is the ultimate statement of ‘union’ to say that we are one collective of members and that our identity and purpose are shared across the disparate membership no matter where they are in Queensland or the Northern Territory. Labour Day is also an opportunity to recall the achievements of union members over the decades and to remind ourselves that a great legacy has been entrusted to us. The various conditions we enjoy today didn’t just get handed to us by employers but rather came

as a result of union and member advocacy and collective action. For many in our non-government education sector this year’s Labour Day was especially poignant to that point with members across many sectors having recently won significant enhancements to wages and conditions in the face of employer obduracy with their collective action and voice. Members in the Lutheran and Catholic sectors and now the PMSA schools have authorised protected industrial action and in the case of the former two sectors the employers in the face of action and threatened action have revised their negotiating position.

The current industrial relations system imposes a responsibility on employees to stand up for their wages and conditions and in the absence of doing so employees are left with indifferent and impoverished employment conditions. hundred years ago. Union has therefore never been more important because in the absence of collective strength and collective determination to win better conditions the employer view will prevail subject only to the ‘goodness of their heart’ enhancements. It is a salutary point to make to those of our colleagues who see little relevance in union and little point in joining.

The consistent member endorsement of protected industrial action does not herald a new militancy among our membership.

For many of this mindset, the conditions which are won by those who are union members come to them anyway.

Rather it is a reflection of the industrial realities of the contemporary industrial relations system.

That is true to a point but a point which only lasts as long as there is a significant union presence.

No longer is there a ‘third party’ in the form of an industrial tribunal to determine an outcome between the competing employer and employee arguments. Those days are long gone.

In the absence of any collective representation the employer will readily embrace a situation where their will prevails. A society without union would be a bleak prospect and one which gave rise to the early unions of over a

Our struggle is a continuation of their struggle as they, like us, understood that only with a strong collective union does an individual have a voice. As we celebrate Labour Day we can not only remind ourselves of what we have achieved but even more significantly how we have achieved what we have accomplished. In no small way then, our marching this year as one union under a common banner is a concrete reminder of the essence of what it means to be union. Moreover it is an opportunity to reaffirm for all of our members that their union gives them a voice and that their collective voice makes a difference.

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


The Independent Voice

May 2010

Catholic sector - Experienced Teacher 6: Recognising the classroom teacher The new Experienced Teacher 6 (ET6) classification outlined in the Catholic sector agreement will recognise the demonstrated skill, knowledge, proficiency and contribution of the classroom teacher. With the final schedule for the new ET6 position yet to be finalised with Catholic employing authorities, the essential elements have been agreed to in principle. What is Experienced Teacher 6? An ET6 is defined as a teaching practitioner who significantly contributes to effective teaching and learning in a school. The renaming of the classification structure will see those who are Advanced Skills Teacher 2 in Brisbane Catholic Education schools able to transition to ET6. The existing Band 3 Step 1 to Band 3 Step 4 will also change to ET1 to ET4. Who can apply? Any teacher with four years experience at Band 3 Step 4 (ET4) at 1 July 2010 will be able to apply in the initial round. In future years, transition provisions will be in place which enable recognition of years of experience at Band 3 Step 4 until ET5 and ET6 are fully in place. What is required in the application? A teacher applying for ET6 will be required to provide responses to

each of the five criteria: A. Understanding of, commitment to and support for the values and ethos of the Catholic school in the classroom and the wider school community; B. Significant skills in effective inclusive classroom practices, in evaluating and reporting students’ progress and in encouraging positive relationships with students in the classroom; C. Skills in achieving appropriate personal and professional relationships with parents/carers of students and with other relevant community members; D. Effective personal and professional skills in collaborating with colleagues and relevant professionals in promoting student achievement; and E. Ability to develop and implement ideas gained from professional activites to enhance students’ learning. To be successful in the application of ET6 a teacher will need to indicate they are highly proficient in criteria A and B and at least proficient in all others. How is the application assessed? An external validation panel assesses the application and will be made up of a Principal or nominee from outside the applicant’s school and from an agreed panel, a nominee of

the employer and a nominee from IEUA-QNT. Is ET6 tenured? Employers have not required any tenure on ET6. An appraisal process in accordance with the Agreed Appraisal Process for teachers will apply. Is there an appeal process if unsuccessful? An appeal process consistent with the established grievance procedure will exist.

An Experienced Teacher 6 will be paid $84,421 in the first pay period of April 2012. In 2010 teachers who have been classified Band 3 Step 4 for four years are encouraged to apply for ET6 this year. It is expected that two processes for ET6 applications will be made each year with employees able to apply prior to reaching eligibility. IEUA-QNT will conduct member training in the near future to assist in making applications.

PARs to be reviewed Catholic employers have agreed to a substantive review of Positions of Added Responsibility (PAR) provisions. The current PAR structure is 20 years old and notwithstanding a number of changes over the past 15 years it is increasingly recognised as dysfunctional and deficient. Employer representatives have agreed to establish a Joint Working Party to conduct a fundamental review of the current PAR structure and provisions which would address the very evident problems in current arrangements. The review will have elaborate terms of reference to take account of the

real concerns of employees and employing authorities that the PAR provisions provide proper benefit to PAR incumbents and that the PAR structure well serves the organisational needs of a school. IEUA-QNT will conduct a series of member forums in the new term to identify a comprehensive list of issues to be considered and an on-going member reference group will be established to inform the representatives to the working party. Members are encouraged to contact their organiser to express their interest in being part of the reference group.

New agreement reached in Lutheran sector The Queensland Lutheran Schools Single Enterprise Agreement has been approved and is now operational. Fair Work Australia approved the document on 19 April 2010. The terms of the new agreement are backdated to when the Lutheran school employees approved it via ballot on 19 March 2010. Members resolve in acting collectively resulted in the successful agreement which includes a wages outcome for teachers to reach parity with teachers in South Australia by 1 January 2011. Improved payments to graduates in their first three years of teaching, easier access to leading teacher salary rates and 14 weeks maternity leave exclusive of school holidays were also agreed upon. The agreement has a nominal expiry date of 30 April 2012. Lutheran employees are to be commended for their collective strength in the member campaign.

Protected industrial action in PMSA schools Protected industrial action looms in PMSA schools in support of their professional rates of pay campaign. In the recent Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) ballots to determine whether members in PMSA schools were authorised to take protected action in their campaign for professional rates of pay, members from Sunshine Coast Grammar School, Brisbane Boys College, Clayfield College and Somerville House wholeheartedly endorsed the proposed action. Over 80 per cent of members cast a ballot making the ballots a valid vote under the provisions of the Fair Work Act. The various proposed protected industrial actions were endorsed by around nine

in 10 members who voted. After months of negotiations employees have considered a timetable of protected action, to include protest action during the week of 25 May and a full day stoppage on 3 June. Members are committed to a fair and just outcome for all PMSA employees and a professional rate of pay for teachers consistent with the employee claim. PMSA employees have remained steadfast in their collective resolve to achieve wages parity with Anglican colleagues. At the Single Bargaining Unit (SBU) meeting on 17 May employers tabled a wages position which not only falls short of the employee wage claim, but also contains a number of objectable elements which could see PMSA employees in Queensland schools branded the ‘poor relation’ in

comparison to their Anglican and other colleagues in the nongovernment sector. The endorsed employee wage claim seeks parity with comparable rates in the non-government sector. The critical issue remains that the teacher wage offer is inadequate and a professional rate of pay more reflective of Anglican and Grammar schools needs to be tabled as a matter of urgency. The progress on hours of duty has been undermined by the employer refusing to reference the TANGS Award in negotiations for a new agreement, failing to reference standards such as a maximum 30 hours of directed duty pertained in the Award. In addition, hours of duty schedules currently being developed at the school level would not be included in any agreement under the employer proposals, thus removing

an reference point for dispute to Fair Work Australia should the employer unilaterally seek to increase future employee workload. Employees are now left wondering about the integrity of the employer position that benchmarks itself against the public sector yet seeks to deny employees critical reference points which would give security against arbitrary employer changes to hours of duty. Issues relating to school officer and services staff, other than pay, has been marginalised by the employer’s attempt to exclude services staff from a collective agreement. The employer has failed to address any issues specifically relating to non-teachers in the employee log of claims. The actions of two PMSA schools in excluding school officer and

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services staff from the list of employees required by the AEC in the ballot is mirrored by the total lack of priority PMSA gives to non-teaching issues. The attitude of the PMSA now makes protected industrial action necessary. After months of negotiations without an appropriate wage offer and hours of work still to be determined, members are now considering a timetable of protected action. While it is regrettable that the PMSA forces this action on employees, the support and commitment to the protected actions of PMSA members will be critical in persuading the employer to commit to a fair and just outcome for employees and a professional rate of pay for teachers consistent with the employee claims.


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The Independent Voice

April 2010

Members in Action Training highlights hours of duty responsibilities for members

LEFT: Members at Emmaus College in Rockhampton work together to calculate their hours of duty after completing the IEUAQNT Catholic Schools Hours of Duty training session recently

With mounting pressure on work/life balance through work intensification, IEUA-QNT members are becoming more aware of the importance of understanding their rights and responsibilities regarding their hours of duty.

IEUA-QNT organiser Richard Pascoe said members were concerned that at times their family life is being impinged upon as greater pressure is being placed on members to participate in extra curricular activities.

Members in Rockhampton found out more about this issue at a training session on Catholic Schools Hours of Duty at the end of March.

Richard said members should be aware that in Catholic schools activities such as sport and after school tutorial groups are honourary

and voluntary and members should not be pressured to attend or run these activities. “Through the training it was recognised that the hours of duty are clear and concise in regards to the expectations of teachers,” Richard said. “If the activity falls within their defined hours of duty teachers are

Collective member strength contributes to enhancements in log of claims

expected to be in attendance. “However, extra activities outside of the prescribed hours are at the members discretion.” He said member feedback has shown that some members are not clear if certain activities are voluntary or part of the prescribed hours, often due to confusion in the wording used.

• Branch meeting - Bayside Wednesday, 16 June, 4pm. Belmont Tavern

Members have endorsed a log of claims for a new collective agreement. Employees at the school have

The ability for employees to ask for job share arrangements and flexible work practices was also considered.

The establishment of a Position of Added Responsibility (PAR) structure and senior teacher level, recognition for higher degrees and capping of student class sizes was also highlighted in the log of claims.

School officers have asked for enhancements to conditions such as the ability to ‘bank’ extra hours worked and recognition of extra qualifications, responsibilities and years of service.

Details will be available on the IEUA-QNT website at www.qieu.asn.au in Semester 2.

Meeting Calendar

• Industrial Relations in the Workplace day 1 - Bayside and Logan Friday, 4 June, 9am-3pm. Carina Leagues Club

asked for wages parity with the public sector, together with enhancements to maternity leave provisions.

Further training will be provided later in the year for members who were unable to attend this session.

IEUA-QNT Members

• Industrial Relations in the Workplace day 1 - Moreton, Metropolitan and North Metropolitan Tuesday, 1 June, 9am-3pm. Ashgrove Golf Club

Members at St Michael’s College in Caboolture have become better educated on the advantages of working as a strong Chapter in current negotiations for a new collective agreement.

“I have advised those members that they should speak to their principal and seek a clear determination as soon as possible.”

• Industrial Relations in the Workplace day 2 - Central QLD Wednesday, 4 August, 9am3pm. Trades and Labour Council building, Rockhampton

• Branch meeting - Sunshine Coast Wednesday, 18 August, 4:30pm. Buderim Tavern • Branch meeting - Bayside Thursday, 19 August, 4pm. Belmont Tavern • Branch meeting - North Metropolitan Wednesday, 8 September, 4:30pm. Redcliffe RSL Club • Branch meeting - Sunshine Coast Wednesday, 20 October, 4:30pm. Noosa Reef Hotel • Branch meeting - North Metropolitan Wednesday, 27 October, 4:30pm. Bracken Ridge Tavern

For full IEUA-QNT training details for 2010, visit our website at www.qieu.asn.au


The Independent Voice

May 2010

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Members in Action Rockhampton members undertake industrial relations training

Central Queensland members informed on negotiations Members in central Queensland remain informed on the provisions bargained for in Catholic sector negotiations following their recent branch meeting.

ABOVE: IEUA-QNT members in Rockhampton have learnt the practical skills and knowledge for collectively addressing issues within schools after completing important industrial relations training recently

IEUA-QNT members in Rockhampton have the practical skills and knowledge for collectively addressing issues within schools after completing industrial relations training.

networking and recruitment planning.

The Industrial Relations in the Workplace training covered information on the current industrial relations environment, along with the structure of our union and the benefits of being in an organising union, workplace mapping,

Organiser Richard Pascoe said the training day was beneficial to members to keep up to date on the ever-changing and often uncertain industrial relations environment.

Members also looked at the different types of industrial instruments and agreements and allowable content.

“Often it can be difficult to remain

Members network at

As regional members, those in attendance understood the need to become better educated and to keep involved in current processes in the sector wide campaign.

“It is imperative to keep up to date on these issues by members actively taking part in such important industrial relation training days,” Richard said.

Organiser Richard Pascoe and Single Bargaining Unit (SBU) representative and Emmaus College teacher Karyl Young discussed with members the enhancements to their working rights and conditions that have been achieved through negotiations.

The second day of the IR training in Rockhampton for central Queensland members will take place next term.

“Members resolve to win professional rates of pay in recognition of their work and contribution to Catholic schools

informed on the changing rules and regulations which unionists operate within.

was evident in discussions,” Richard said. Members were briefed on when and how the current collective agreement will commence and the implications of the agreement in particular to school officers. “During the campaign members in central Queensland actively contributed to Catholic sector negotiations by keeping aware of the issues and educating colleagues on the processes of negotiations in Chapter meeting and area branch meetings.” Richard said members were supportive of the provisions successfully bargained for in negotiations, in particular enhancements to wages, job share arrangements, hours of work, and also looked forward to a review to the PAR system.

Professionals issues highlighted at FNQ branch meeting

ELICOS meeting The English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) Industry Network meeting has become a vital tool for members to have their say in matters which affect their working lives and conditions. In April the meeting saw important issues raised and discussed with members from Brisbane’s HHH Language Centre attending. Dominating discussions were the implications of the Modern Award on ELICOS workers and which colleges are actively involved in collective bargaining. Members attending the meeting were also educated on the importance of engaging colleagues by fostering a collective culture of member support through an educated staff. Growth organiser Caryl Davies said in the past, the major hurdle to improving work conditions within the ELICOS industry was the employers refusal to discuss such issues with staff. However, under the Fair Work Act, employers must negotiate in good faith if the majority of staff request a collective agreement. “The ability to negotiate with employers will allow staff to begin to improve wages and conditions within the industry,” Caryl said. Further issues that continue to affect the ELICOS sector include inadequate pay rates, the absence of paid marking and preparation time and lack of job security. A further ELICOS Industry Network meeting will be held in Term 3.

Important professional issues that can have an impact on education professionals was highlighted in discussion amongst Cairns IEUA-QNT members at the recent Far North Queensland branch meeting. Members voiced their concerns over implications of the National Teaching Standards, current proposals around the National Curriculum and apprehension over future Continuing Professional

Development requirements. IEUA-QNT Fair North Queensland organiser Patrick Meikle said members were, however, enthusiastic about the range of professional development opportunities being provided by IEUA-QNT covering such important matters. “It is important that our members in such areas as Mackay, Townsville and Cairns can be actively involved in the professional issues our

members are currently facing by playing a part and becoming better informed through professional development training opportunities,” Patrick said. “Not only do our members themselves benefit by taking an active role in training, so too do school Chapters who can become better educated on the issues teachers continually encounter.”


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The Independent Voice

May 2010

Assistant General Secretary’s Report New HECS/HELP assistance for educators Last year, the federal government introduced the Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) benefit - a further initiative of the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) - for most new early childhood teachers, primary and secondary teachers (including principals) and maths/science graduates teaching in secondary schools. As part of the federal government’s commitments to address particular areas of teacher shortages and deliver high quality education for all students wherever they are located, this new HELP benefit aims to: 1. Promote the teaching profession amongst maths and science degree graduates; 2. Encourage early childhood education teachers to work in specified locations of need, including rural and regional areas, indigenous communities and areas of socio-economic disadvantage. What’s changed? Previously applicable only to new graduates after 30 June 2008, the scheme has recently been extended to include those educators graduating after 1 July 2009. It is also now possible for a person to qualify for multiple benefits, even when they are employed in only one occupation. For example, if a person graduated with a degree in early childhood education after 1 July 2009 and is employed in a kindergarten in the specified postcode, they would receive both the educator and the early childhood teacher benefit.

This also applies to maths and science graduates (from a natural or physical science course) who graduated after 1 July 2009. If they are teaching in a primary school or high school, they would receive a benefit as both an educator and a maths/science graduate. The benefit still needs to be applied for each year and the time to apply is at the end of the financial year. Current benefit details 1. Educator benefit New graduate teachers will be eligible to claim up to a $1,558.50 reduction in the HECS/HELP compulsory repayment per annum from the 2009–2010 financial year if they: - Graduated after 1 July 2009; - Are teaching as an early childhood, primary or secondary school teacher; - Have a HECS/HELP debt. Further details can be found at http://www.ato. gov.au/individuals/content. asp?doc=/content/00236507. htm&pc=001/002/008/013/ 004&mnu=43386&mfp=001/ 002&st=&cy=1 2. Maths/science graduate benefit New maths/science graduates will be eligible to claim up to a $1,558.50 reduction in the HECS/HELP compulsory repayment per annum in the 2009–2010 financial year if they: - Have completed a natural or physical science course of study; - Have satisfied the academic requirements of the relevant degree course after 1July 2008;

Employees turn to unions for better pay and conditions

- Are employed in an eligible occupation (this includes a primary or secondary teacher); - Were a Commonwealth-supported student for some or all of that course (incurring a HECS/HELP debt for the course undertaken); - Had a HECS/HELP debt at the time the maths or science course was completed; - Have not repaid the entire debt at any time since completing that course; - Have a HECS/HELP debt in the period claimed for; - Are required to make a compulsory HECS/HELP repayment in the income year for which application has been made. Further details can be found at http://www.ato. gov.au/individuals/content. asp?doc=/content/00185883. htm&pc=001/002/008/013/ 004&mnu=43386&mfp=001/ 002&st=&cy=1 3. Early childhood teacher benefit Most Early Childhood Education (ECE) teachers working in a preschool, kindergarten or childcare centre will be eligible for a HELP benefit of up to $1,662.40 per annum in the 2009–2010 financial year if they: - Have completed an Early Childhood Education teaching qualification at any time; - Are teaching in a regional or remote area, indigenous community or area of high socioeconomic disadvantage (please see list of ‘eligible work location postcodes’ via the website www.ato.gov.au/individuals); - Were a Commonwealth-supported student for some or all of that course (incurring a HECS/HELP debt for the course undertaken); - Had a HECS/HELP debt at the time the Early Childhood Education teaching course was

The rise in union membership in the past year shows working Australians are turning to unions to further enhance and protect their wages and conditions. This is supported with QIEU membership also increasing over this time, with an almost 4 per cent increase in membership since March 2009. Newly released Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data shows a lift in overall union membership of more than 82,000 workers with the proportion of the workforce in unions increased from 19 per cent to 20 per cent. Data shows there are 1.9 million Australians

completed; - Have not repaid the entire debt at any time since completing that course; - Have a HECS/HELP debt in the period claimed for. Further details can be found at http://www.ato. gov.au/individuals/content. asp?doc=/content/00186952. htm&pc=001/002/008/013/ 004&mnu=43386&mfp=001/ 002&st=&cy=1 Where an ECE teacher does not have to make a compulsory HECS/ HELP repayment, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) will write to you with details of the benefit awarded and the reduced debt amount. For example, this may occur where your income level falls below the threshold for compulsory repayment, you successfully apply to defer the compulsory HECS/HELP payment for the year or low family income results in a reduction of the Medicare levy payment that would otherwise be made.

• They have not been employed as a teacher for at least one week (to be eligible for pro rata payment only). Making your application

benefit

The scheme is available to eligible teachers who currently have a HECS/HELP debt, on the basis of an application made each year to reduce the compulsory repayment or accumulated debt. The benefit is not a cash payment. Further information and an application form can be found at www.ato.gov.au/individuals Help at hand

If you are required to make a compulsory repayment, the HELP benefit may reduce your overall tax debt or increase your tax refund, depending on your individual circumstances. Who is not eligible? This means that teachers are not eligible for the HELP benefit if:

If further assistance is needed in understanding the scheme, members are encouraged to contact the Australian Tax Office on 1300 650 225. Alternatively, the web addresses provided at the end of each relevant section may be useful to your particular circumstances.

• All student contribution payments were made up front; or • There is no compulsory HECS/ HELP repayment to be made in the income year for which application is made (except early child hood teachers); or

that are members of a union and that union members earn, on average, $145 a week more than non- members.

Ros McLennan Assistant General Secretary rmclennan@qieu.asn.au

the best way to improve their wages and conditions,” Mr Lawrence said.

There has been a rise in union membership density in both the public and private sectors with the strongest gains among male full time workers.

“There has always been a pay bonus for union members and this year’s ABS data shows an enormous 51 per cent increase in the union wage advantage. It shows the success of unions in bargaining and campaigning for growth.”

Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) Secretary Jeff Lawrence said the new data was encouraging as it showed working Australians were turning to unions to improve their living standards.

An active union membership who is educated on the benefits of working as a collective is the most effective method to protecting and enhancing employment conditions.

“They know that being an active member of a union and bargaining collectively is

Membership of our union continues to grow with a 5.6 per cent increase in 2009 and a 3 per cent net increase to date.


The Independent Voice

May 2010

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Assistant General Secretary/Treasurer’s Report Development and maintenance of quality teaching At a time when formal acknowledgment of quality teaching is being incorporated into collective agreements, it is appropriate to look at what constitutes quality teaching and where various responsibilities lie in regard to it. Our union has developed and endorsed a policy and framework underpinned by the tenet that support and maintenance of quality teaching is the responsibility of teachers, the teaching profession, schools and systems and governments at state and federal level. The framework identifies three interlocking, dynamic and synergistically related components, which together, establish quality teaching: • Building Quality Teacher Capacity; • Delivering Quality Career Pathways; and • Enabling Quality Learning Environments. The building of quality teacher capacity requires sustained application of comprehensive systematic strategies. These strategies should involve: • Comprehensive pre-service training; • Targeted and well resourced graduate induction and mentoring programmes; • School structures that facilitate professional development; • Developing and honing skills and knowledge in content areas and equipping teachers with effective pedagogy; and

• Effective, pertinent and ‘enabling’ professional development. Teacher practicum and high-quality pre-service education are critical to establishing quality teaching. It is during these phases that a solid and enduring base to quality teaching can be established. A second identified element for building quality teacher capacity is induction. 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 ways with classroom management, curriculum planning, teaching method and other facets such as administration procedures and teacher registration demands. A third identified element in building quality teacher capacity is the maintenance of a highly skilled teaching force, through on-going quality professional learning. Such professional learning should utilise effective adult learning strategies: • 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. Central to developing and sustaining

quality teaching is access to quality career pathways, which both acknowledge and support the complex nature of teaching and the demanding work undertaken by teachers. Various factors such as: • An integrated career pathway; • High quality applicants to teaching; • Retention of experienced and effective teachers; • Quality training and professional development; • Relevant and meaningful Framework of Standards; • Professional and attractive remuneration; and • Supportive leadership underpin a quality career pathway. Directly related to the establishment of a quality career pathway is the establishment and promotion of an objective, encompassing scaffold of standards that support, encourage and focus teachers’ professional development. Such a scaffold, however, to be effective and useful must relate to the particular phase of the teacher’s career. Another vital element is the recognition of accomplished teachers. There are, however, a number of essential principles that must underpin any structure that recognizes accomplished teachers. These principles include: • Commitment to professional rates of pay in base salaries; • Relevant industrial instruments recognised by employers developed in consultation with employees’ union/s;

• A recognition structure that is open to all, without quota; • The inclusion of teachers and their unions in the development of such reward structures; • The appraisal of eligible teachers to be based on agreed criteria objectively, fairly and impartially applied; and • Overt rejection of the naïve notion of rewarding teachers as a function of popularity or ranking measures or simplistic outcomes. In discussing the creation and maintenance of quality teaching the “enabling” quality of the learning environment is vital. There exists a strong relationship between the capacity of teachers to provide quality learning and the resourcing and enabling structures that exist which are the responsibility of schools, systems and governments. Establishing quality learning environments is dependent upon such factors as: • Adequate levels of resources and support; • Adequate levels of staffing and workforce development to meet the full needs of students including the provision of specialist support; • Flexible classroom environments appropriate for individualised learning and school structures that enable and encourage team work; • Fair and reasonable workload arrangements including adequate time release from face to face teaching, appropriate class sizes, access to professional learning and reduced administration duties; and

• Inter-agency support. Policies and programmes in quality learning environments should provide systemic and systematic practical strategies for improving student participation, retention rates and student learning outcomes. As well strategies should be such that they identify and respond to the needs of staff and identify and support new and developing educational initiatives. 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. These various components together create quality learning environments. It is when quality learning capacity is aligned with quality career pathways and quality learning environments that quality teaching can flourish. The full IEUA 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

Concerns over implementation of pre-school program IEUA-QNT early childhood members have identified concerns regarding the implementation of the federal government’s policy regarding pre-school provision.

Lutheran system no employer has identified an intention to protect the current hours of work for teachers. This apparent capitulation is disappointing.

The bilateral agreement between the Queensland and federal government requires the universal availability of a 15 hour pre-school program delivered by a four-year trained ECE teacher for 40 weeks per year by 2013.

Most of the suggested models for implementation by 2011 would require teachers to provide an educational program for more hours per week than is currently the case, which represents additional work on their part. The only options which do not result in the provision of additional hours of educational program would result in additional payroll cost through the employment of additional staff.

However, for community kindergartens to be eligible for funding they need to offer the program from the beginning of 2011. The implementation of the 15 hour requirement will necessitate a renegotiation of the various industrial instruments covering Early Childhood Education. With the exception of the

Members have suggested if they are required to work additional hours then additional remuneration for that work should be received. Early childhood members demand that the introduction of new government policies should

not be at the expense of their wages and conditions.

Further, employees in early childhood education demand that

employers stand up for the rights of their employees.

QLECS lack of clarity in negotiations

for employees in Lutheran schools.

The Queensland Lutheran Early Childhood Services (QLECS) have committed to protecting existing hours of work for early childhood professionals; however, the absence of detail in relation to other issues in the current round of collective bargaining remains a concern. IEUA-QNT members in Lutheran early childhood education have reaffirmed their commitment of maintenance of comparability of wages and conditions in a new agreement.

A lack of clarity around a wage review for assistants and a foreshadowed request for the continuation of the current payment of assistants for 52 weeks to be tied to flexible hours is also evident in negotiations. Further information is needed from QLECS to clarify these issues. IEUA-QNT continues to argue for the protection of existing conditions and enhancements which reflect common provisions for employees in education.

The employer is to be commended for protecting the existing hours for teachers by agreeing not to seek an increase in the maximum

number of hours for delivering an educational program beyond the current 27.5 hours per week. QLECS have also agreed to a wage increase of four per cent from 1 May 2010. However, a position in relation to a further four per cent increase due in 2011 has yet to be confirmed by the employer. A change to the Leading Teacher requirements has also been suggested by QLECS with a formal proposal on implementation yet to be provided for consideration. QLECS have also rejected outright an increase in the current quantum of paid maternity leave which will remain at six weeks. This is in stark contrast to the provisions

The protection of wages and conditions is a crucial issue in light of other current uncertainties for kindergartens.


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The Independent Voice

May 2010

Northern Territory News May Day celebrated in Top End IEUA-QNT members and their families celebrated May Day in Darwin and Alice Springs, uniting with various unions throughout the Northern Territory to acknowledge the role of unions in the achievements they have accomplished to ensure better working conditions. Hundreds of unionists marched through the streets of Darwin and rallied together in Alice Springs, with IEUA-QNT members proudly displaying their union banner. In Darwin the march concluded at the Esplanade where a public concert was held.Alice Springs members enjoyed a family barbeque at the Telegraph Station Historical Reserve with IEUAQNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke.

DARWIN

IEUA-QNT organiser Camille Furtado said: “Members were really in the spirit this year celebrating May Day; it was wonderful to see them marching in support of the professional issues facing our sector.”

ABOVE: IEUA-QNT members celebrate the achievements they have accomplished to ensure better working conditions across the education sectors at May Day celebrations in Darwin

May Day in the Northern Territory is an opportunity to celebrate the better working conditions and way of life IEUA-QNT members have gained through the collective efforts of our members.

ALICE SPRINGS

Alice Springs visit highlights issues for members Training on critical concepts such as working with colleagues to resolve workplace issues, talking to new starters about union membership and what role an activist can play in developing a strong union Chapter were the subject of discussion for activists in the Southern Division of the Northern Territory. Lead organiser Nick Holliday said: “Activists in the Northern Territory Southern Division are committed to building a stronger union by speaking with potential members about the importance of IEUA-QNT membership and holding regular chapter meetings to educate their colleagues on current issues such as workload and hours of duty.” “These meetings will be instrumental in encouraging the increasing level of member activism in the branch.” Other topics of discussion during

LEFT: Alice Springs members joined with IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke to enjoy a family barbeque celebrating May Day

Yirara College negotiations Yirara College employee representatives have tabled a log of claims to the employer recognising that wage increases and enhancements to employment conditions are needed to attract and retain quality staff to the college. The log of claims details a wages position of at least parity with the Northern Territory Lutheran agreement and to reflect at least public sector provisions.

ABOVE: IEUA-QNT members (from left) Patrick Johnson, Chris Ferguson and Sam Typuszak at the Alice Springs branch meeting

the meeting included:

seminar next term;

• a general update on various schools and sectors in the area;

• NAPLAN and the MySchool website implications for teachers and the community; and

• information on collective bargaining in the Catholic sector and at Yirara College; • the importance of member training with a commitment to running an activist training

• building Chapter strength by increasing union membership, educating members and activists and building a collective culture.

Paid parental leave of at least 14 weeks to achieve parity with the Lutheran sector, a work impact statement, professional development opportunities, a new and comprehensive structure to recognise advanced skills teachers, support for graduate teachers and remote area incentives are also to be negotiated. The employer has reaffirmed their intention to try to establish an agreement covering Lutheran schools throughout South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory and as such has sought a considerably shorter agreement to enable participation in the combined agreement in late 2010. Both representatives of staff and the College have agreed to review provisions in the existing Northern Territory Lutheran agreement to determine their relevance for a collective agreement at Yirara and to draft a set of core provisions for consideration. Negotiations for the first agreement for the college will continue when representatives meet again in June.


The Independent Voice

May 2010

9

Sector Matters Shafston International College

Nudgee International

Members at Shafston College have authorised a campaign in support of their claim for industry standard wages in current collective bargaining negotiations.

staff representatives tabled a wage position claiming a five per cent increase from 1 May 2010 and a further five per cent from 1 May 2011.

Authorisation involving Chapter level action has been agreed to, as well as enlisting the support of the broader IEUA-QNT membership.

This wage position would give staff at Shafston College parity with comparable ELICOS colleges in Brisbane.

Negotiations for a new collective agreement have been ongoing since the beginning of 2010.

The College ownership has also denied outright without any discussion with staff paid parental leave, paid time for marking and preparation and recognition of higher qualifications.

Whilst progress has been made on low cost claims such as the establishment of a consultative committee and formalisation of promotional positions, the College owner refuses to negotiate a fair wage deal. At the previous Single Bargaining Unit (SBU) meeting

Members at the College remain committed to enhancing wages and conditions in a new agreement and working with IEUA-QNT members to achieve this.

Kaplan Aspect Members at Kaplan Aspect have affirmed their commitment to achieving industry standard wages and conditions in current negotiations for a new collective agreement.

In response to this offer employees tabled a revised wage claim seeking a three-year agreement with a five per cent wage increase each year for the life of the agreement.

Employee representatives at the last Single Bargaining Unit (SBU) meeting rejected the employers offer of a four-year agreement with increases of 4.5 per cent in the first year and two per cent in each subsequent year over the life of the agreement.

Other issues still under negotiation include paid marking and preparation time, paid parental leave, enhanced senior teacher allowances and equitable job share provisions.

This wage offer fails to give parity with other Kaplan Aspect colleges in New South Wales or even other ELICOS colleges in Queensland.

Members remain committed to achieving industry standard rates and are now looking to their employer to come to the table with a fair wage offer.

College Nudgee International College management has refused to commit to a process of collective bargaining, with staff currently relying on minimum award standards of wages and conditions. Employees have sought to negotiate with management since 2009 as they remain the only Edmund Rice Education institution with no collective agreement in place. In May, College staff met with management to outline key concerns and to discuss a way forward to enhance wages and conditions at the College for both teachers and school officers. Employer representatives failed to commit to bargain; however, they agreed to consider the issues outlined by staff and notify them of their position for negotiations in the future. It remains a clear expectation of staff that management agree to a genuine process of negotiation as soon as possible and not deny employees their right to a collective agreement. Staff are seeking enhanced wages reflecting the nature of the high school preparation course run at the College, providing parity with outcomes in other ELICOS colleges. Paid marking and preparation time, equitable senior teacher and curriculum coordinator structure and enhanced commitment to College resourcing are also included in the employee log of claims. IEUA-QNT members at the College are awaiting management decision to negotiate and are committed to taking further steps to allow staff to have their concerns addressed in bargaining.

Dennis awarded as outstanding delegate An extraordinary commitment and contribution to the union movement saw IEUA-QNT member Dennis McCloskey recognised in the Evol Fayers’ Outstanding Delegate Award during Labour Day celebrations in Townsville. The Ignatius Park College teacher and Catholic sector SBU representative has been an active member of our union for over 24 years, providing support and advice to his colleagues and other members in the North Queensland Branch. Dennis took a key role in developing strong member support for protected action at the school. Throughout 2009 and 2010 Dennis continually motivated members to attend meetings to discuss the progress of negotiations, encouraged members who participated in protected action ballots and defended the campaign for professional rates of pay. Organiser Patrick Meikle said Dennis demonstrated inspirational leadership throughout the campaign, which was evidenced through maintaining almost 100 per cent member support for protected action. “Dennis and his colleagues overcame

LEFT: IEUA-QNT member Dennis McCloskey (centre) was awarded the Evol Fayers’ Outstanding Delegate Award. On hand to congratulate Dennis was IEUAQNT organiser Patrick Meikle (left) and President of Townsville Provincial Council of QCU Les Moffitt

the sense of isolation associated with being the only Catholic school between Tully and Yeppoon in a position to take protected action, and demonstrated that through solidarity and commitment to a just cause, members can achieve much,” Patrick said. Dennis has also been instrumental in providing members with advice and support in dealing with issues such as hours of duty and workloads. Through his tireless and diligent efforts, Dennis has contributed to building membership strength and support at his school over the years, and continues to

educate members on the benefits of the collective. The Queensland Council of Unions Evol Fayer’s Outstanding Delegate Award highlights the importance of delegates and activists to the growing success of the union movement. As delegates are the backbone of any local union movement, their skills, commitment and strength are critical to building a union that recruits and retains members and wins improvements in wages, conditions and dignity for members within their workplace and industry.

IEUA-QNT win awards at Labour Day dinner

ABOVE: IEUA-QNT members and staff celebrate winning ‘Best Union Journal‘ and ‘Best Union Story in the Mainstream Media’ at the Labour Day dinner

IEUA-QNT joined with other Queensland unions to celebrate at the 2010 Labour Day dinner coordinated by the Queensland Council of Unions (QCU). IEUA-QNT was honoured in the QCU Labour Day Awards on the night, winning the category for Best Union Journal for the April 2010 edition featuring industrial action in Catholic schools. Our union also won Best Union Story in the Mainstream Media for the article by Warwick Daily News ‘Teachers on strike: equal wages for equal work’.


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The Independent Voice

May 2010

PROFESSIONAL ISSUES IN EDUCATION

Paid parental leave close to delivery in 2011 A year after promising 18 weeks paid parental leave for Australian workers, the federal government released the Paid Parental Leave Bill on 3 May 2010. Should this legislation pass, new parents will be able to access 18 weeks of leave at the federal minimum wage (currently approximately $545 per week) from 1 January 2011. IEUA-QNT members have had success in negotiating the inclusion of paid maternity leave in collective agreements, and these successes have only been achieved through member strength in negotiations. However, there is much variance in terms of length of leave entitlement and eligibility criteria and there still remains a number of staff in non-government schools who have no access to paid maternity leave. The federal government’s scheme operates separately to employer funded maternity leave and the proposed law states that this scheme operates in addition to any employer funded entitlements. The introduction of a federal government-funded scheme lays

a solid foundation for all working parents and gurantees some access to this type of leave for all workers. For those Australians, who otherwise do not have access to paid maternity leave entitlements, this Bill will allow them to have financial support to remain home with their newborn. If you are the primary carer, have worked continuously with one or more employers for at least 10 of the 13 months prior to the expected date of birth or adoption and have worked at least 330 hours in those 10 months (about one day a week) then you would be able to access the federal government’s PPL scheme. However, after many decades of campaigning, we are not there yet. The Bill on the day of release was referred to the Senate Committee for Community Affairs Legislation for inquiry. This Committee is due to report on 3 June 2010. It is critical that this Bill passes to allow the scheme to commence on 1 January 2011.

Therefore, it is critical that the Coalition MPs and Senators are left in no doubt that the Australian public expects this scheme to be fully operational by 1 January 2011.

Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) Paid Parental Leave petition. The petition and more information about Paid Parental Leave is available on our website at www.qieu.asn.au .

Member action has played a big part in moving the federal government to a PPL scheme.

To contribute, print out the petition and encourage your family, friends and colleagues to be part of this final push to ensure working Australians have access to paid parental leave.

IEUA-QNT members are now encouraged to do their bit to ensure this legislation is passed by the Senate by putting their name to the

Fundamentally, the introduction of paid parental leave schemes ensure

that parents can spend time with their babies without the financial pressures forcing them back into work early. IEUA-QNT members must ensure the paid parental leave scheme is introduced in 2011. IEUA-QNT will also continue to bargain for enhanced employer paid parental leave provisions in all education sectors to ensure, as an industry standard, 14 weeks paid parental leave.

Paid parental leave scheme - at a glance • 18 weeks paid parental leave funded by the federal government from 1 January 2011

• The payment will be taxed and will not include a superannuation contribution

• Leave accessed at the federal minimum wage of around $545 per week

• Parents need to have worked at least 10 of the 13 months before the child’s birth or adoption to qualify (at least 330 hours or one day a week)

• An estimated 148,000 people can qualify each year with 85 per cent of families considered better off

• Part-time workers will also qualify if they take a non-work break of up to eight weeks during the timeframe

• Recipients cannot receive the baby bonus; families will be on average $2,000 better off than the baby bonus

• The government’s scheme complements any existing employer-funded paid parental leave which can be taken simultaneously or one after the other

• Part of the leave can be transfered to the child’s other parent if eligibility requirements are met

NAPLAN breakthrough:

What is wrong with MySchool?

Working party to be established to overhaul MySchool

The IEUA-QNT believes it is vitally important that the government acknowledges the shortcomings of the current MySchool website. What is wrong with MySchool?

The campaigning of teacher unions’ has resulted in the federal government’s decision to establish a working party to prevent the misuse of NAPLAN data in simplistic league tables and to address poor comparisons of ‘like’ schools on the MySchool website. This positive move towards ensuring NAPLAN data is used appropriately and that the MySchool website has credibility has been welcomed by our union. The formal review will be undertaken by a working party which includes representatives from IEUA and will be established under the auspices of the Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority (ACARA). The IEUA-QNT will soon survey Principals and Chapter representatives across the state to establish evidenced research on MySchool concerns felt within school communities.

Evidence on the impact on schools of MySchool will then be used in the working party. The IEUA-QNT recognises that significant changes need to be made to the MySchool website and the processes it relies upon to present a more accurate assessment of the effectiveness of schools. The current website claims to give Australian parents an assessment of individual schools based on the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests. This is a flagrant misuse of NAPLAN data as such results are a point in time view of the literacy and numeracy skills of a particular group of students. They are not an appropriate means of describing or identifying the character of a school. The IEUA-QNT are calling for: • a thorough re-evaluation of the use of the Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage

(ICSEA) as a means of identifying “like schools”; including using the ICSEA only as a way of comparing schools rather than a schools ‘sorting’ mechanism as is currently the case; • the reporting of students’ average scores to be replaced with a graph or an overall percentage achievement above minimum benchmarks; and • schools with fewer than 15 students in the NAPLAN cohort not having student data reported in any comparative measures. NAPLAN tests are a good tool for teachers to use to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their students and to guide the revision of their work programmes or lesson plans to support student learning. The IEUA-QNT supports the collection and publication of student data through national and international tests; however, the MySchool website needs to be expeditiously reviewed and should address the proper use of NAPLAN data.

• NAPLAN test results are used on the MySchool website as if these were indicators of the quality of teaching and learning that occurs in a school. Clearly this is not what the tests are designed for. Rather, they are a point in time view of the literacy and numeracy skills of individual students who happen to go to a particular school. They are a good tool for teachers to use to identify the particular strengths and weaknesses of their students and to guide the revision of their work programmes or lesson plans to support student learning. The IEUA-QNT supports this use. • There are concerns that the data on the website is not reliable. In Measuring What Matters: Student Performance – A Grattan Report, it states that “the school performance measures … are prone to mismeasurement and may be biased against schools serving lower socio-economic communities”. • The use of the Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) as a means of identifying “like schools” has produced some nonsensical comparisons; for example, the Anglican Church Grammar School at East Brisbane is said to be statistically similar to Geham State School (a small school on the Darling Downs). There are many more examples of this across the country. The IEUA–QNT is committed to improving the MySchool website and the data it contains.


The Independent Voice

May 2010

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PROFESSIONAL ISSUES IN EDUCATION

Queensland Schools Alliance Against Violence: IEUA-QNT plays a part in addressing bullying in Queensland Schools High quality, well researched resource materials for schools to use to develop and refine policy and practice are needed to address bullying in schools. Helping to implement such strategies is the establishment of the Queensland Schools Alliance Against Violence (QSAAV), the first response to the recommendations of Dr Ken Rigby in his report Enhancing Response to Bullying in Queensland Schools.

Queensland Minister for Education and Training, Geoff Wilson, who stated his commitment to action on this matter and encouraged members of the Alliance to explore national and international best practice that addresses bullying and violence in schools and specifically to identify practical strategies for schools to implement. It is anticipated that the work of the Alliance will be substantially concluded within six months.

The Alliance is made up of representatives from a wide range of stakeholder groups, including IEUA-QNT.

The Rigby Report contained 12 recommendations with a strong focus on education about bullying and how it can be countered.

Recently the first meeting of the Alliance was held with the

There is recommendation that there be a requirement that schools have

an anti-bullying policy and that it be reported on each year. The Report also strongly promotes the use of evaluative procedures to discover what has been achieved following interventions in cases. There is a strong emphasis on the importance of Professional Development relating to various intervention methods when faced with instances of bullying. This emphasis is extended to encourage the Minister to review what is included on addressing bullying in schools in mandatory professional programs for preservice teachers and make recommendations on what is to be covered (for the full report go to

Australian curriculum: Re-writing of school work programmes questioned To re-write or not to re-write? That is the question that is burning in the minds of many teachers and school leaders ahead of the introduction of the national curricula. It would seem that, apart from the changes that one would normally make to revise and improve the current work programme that occurs on an ongoing basis, it would be folly to begin a re-write of any school work programme at this stage. Obviously, those schools that have made a commitment to participate in a trial of a new syllabus will have to proceed with that work. However, to commence work to incorporate what might or might not be in the Australian Curriculum (AC) would likely be a significant waste of time and effort. The final version of the AC for English, mathematics, science and history for K-10 will not be released until September at the earliest. The Senior Years drafts in these subjects has now been released for consultation

ACARA news...

and it would seem unlikely to have access to the final version of these documents until November or even December this year. Furthermore, there has been no public announcement of when the state and territory governments will release their implementation plans. These plans will indicate which of the subjects will be “rolled out” first and at which year levels. While the ACARA information indicates that implementation will commence from 2011, it is by no means clear what “implementation” will mean for Queensland or the Northern Territory. Until these plans are released and we have the final curriculum documents in our hands, and until we see what demands or parameters the Queensland Studies Authority and the Northern Territory Board of Studies might further put around these AC documents, only those with an exceptionally reliable crystal ball should commit their energies to rewriting programmes of work.

Senior years’ Australian Curriculum

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has released the draft senior secondary years’ Australian Curriculum content in English, mathematics, science and history for national consultation until 30 July 2010. The draft curriculum content will be available through ACARA’s consultation website www.australiancurriculum.edu.au to review. ACARA encourages the involvement of all educators and the wider community during the consultation process to provide feedback on what senior secondary students should learn in English, mathematics, science and history. ACARA will consider all feedback in developing the Australian Curriculum. From June the draft K-10 Australian Curriculum will still be available to view along with the draft senior secondary curriculum on the Australian Curriculum consultation portal.

http://education.qld.gov.au/ ). A toolkit containing a range of materials that might assist in the development of policy and procedures is also being developed and will be made available. As part of the educative process the Queensland government has already announced a series of free Action Against Bullying seminars across the state. The bullying and cyber safety forums will be presented by psychologist and bullying expert Dr Michael Carr-Gregg and are open to all school staff and parents. At each location there will be a breakfast for school leaders, a half day workshop for school staff (teachers, teacher aides, guidance

officers and behaviour management staff) and an evening session for parents. Dr Carr-Gregg will be in various locations throughout Queensland (see page 16 Events Diary for dates and information). QSAAV continues to work to ensure that the implementation of the recommendations from the report is managed in a way that will promote best practice in Queensland schools. While this is a Queensland initiative, members in the Northern Territory will have access once the Toolkit for schools has been developed and available on the Queensland Department of Education and Training website.

Federal review of school funding A review of school funding arrangements will commence this year; the first time funding arrangements for all schools has been reviewed since 1973. In a message from the Education Minister Julia Gillard in the Discussion Paper and Draft Terms of Reference for the Review of Funding for Schooling, it states the review will be “open and transparent” and that it will be “consultative, wide ranging and comprehensive.” She also states that “The review is not about taking money away from schools but any new funding system must be financially sustainable.” The first step in the review is to develop the terms of reference. This will be done with key stakeholders including “key Australian educationalists, including state government systems and schools, non-government systems and schools, parents, principals, teachers and unions.” The Minister has indicated that the review should address some of the most fundamental questions about funding for schooling such as: • What are the principles against which schools funding should be measured? • What is the right level of resourcing needed to provide a child with a high quality education? What are the

most effective means of distributing those resources? • How do we ensure all students have access to a high quality education? How do we best support students with a disability, indigenous students, students at risk of leaving the education system and other vulnerable students? • What funding models are used overseas and how do these link to outcomes and quality in their respective education systems? Are there lessons that Australia can learn from other countries? • What does data tell us about the relationship between resources and outcomes for students? The Discussion Paper and the draft terms of reference are available at www.deewr.gov.au/fundingreview. It is anticipated that the terms of reference will be finalised and announced in June 2010. This will be followed by a period of public consultations which will be conducted by the review panel. The review will report to government in 2011 – well before the next funding period which commences in 2013. The IEUA in conjunction with its state and territory branches will be actively involved in providing input and feedback to the review.

Page 11 professional issues articles have been researched and written by IEUA-QNT Research Officer Miriam Dunn


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The Independent Voice

May 2010

The Independent Voice

May 2010

13

IEUA-QNT members throughout the state celebrate Labour Day 2010 Members and their families marched for the first time under our IEUA-QNT banner at Labour Day events across Queensland to acknowledge the achievements of the labour movement and to make a statement about the success of our recent campaign for professional rates of pay in Catholic schools.

BRISBANE

After 14 months of negotiations, Catholic employers finally recognised the work of experienced teachers in Catholic schools with a fair wage deal, signalling the end of a long campaign for professional recognition for experienced teachers in Queensland Catholic schools. Members marched during Labour Day events across the state, commending the solidarity and resolve of members who took protected action and the work and commitment of the member representatives at the SBU for their work in negotiations.

IPSWICH

Though IEUA-QNT Catholic school members have concluded negotiations, other sectors such as the PMSA are continuing to be engaged in collective bargaining. Labour Day is also an opportunity not only to celebrate the achievements of what working people through their union have achieved in the past, but also an opportunity to make a statement about our aspirations for the future and that the union collective giving workers a voice is here to stay. IEUA-QNT members participated in Labour Day celebrations throughout the state in Barcaldine, Brisbane, Bundaberg, Cairns, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Mackay, Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and Townsville.

TOOWOOMBA

GOLD COAST

BUNDABERG

TOWNSVILLE

Why is it important to acknowledge the achievements of workers on Labour Day?

CAIRNS

BARCALDINE

Mark McCall St Martin’s School “I get a sense of history about Labour Day - it’s been over 100 years of working to achieve better conditions for workers and building on achievements of workers.”

Maria Beswick St Gerard Majella Primary School, Cairns “It’s an important reminder of what union members of the past have achieved. Labour Day celebrates what our country is all about, a fair go for the workers.”

Steve Blacklow Trinity Anglican School, Cairns “It gives us a chance to celebrate the many gains to workers wages, and probably more importantly workers conditions over the decades.”

Katherine Anderson S t P a u l ’s P r i m a r y School, Woodridge “I wanted to make a statement about teacher wage outcomes reflecting rates of pay in other states.”

Pat Atkinson Villanova College “Labour Day is an opportunity to acknowledge the solidarity our Chapter has shown and reinforces the values that are held dear within our culture.”

Alison McMillan Australian Language School “It is important to me that we all come together as a whole and celebrate the achievements of past workers.”


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The Independent Voice

May 2010

ga n i Tak look ser clo t... a

Blogging, Tweeting and Facebooking: Just Fun or Technological Menaces?

In recent times IEUA-QNT have observed a significant rise in the occurrence of questionable internet activities which then affects our members.

These situations can, and indeed have, caused significant personal distress to our members and damage to their professional reputation.

without undue harm; and • ensure that they have a comprehensive process in place to investigate these matters.

Our primary concern is a noticeable increase in the incidence of students creating fan pages on social networking websites and blogs that refer to schools and their staff.

Employers hold a duty of care to all their employees and this duty is breached if they do not do all in their capacity to reduce the likelihood of damage to their employees’ health or professional reputation.

Effective risk management is the key in these situations.

We have had instances of the creation of fan or group pages and personal blogs dedicated to members.

There is much that employers already do to successfully control how students use the internet at school.

These types of activities may start off being quite innocent, and possibly even complimentary in nature.

Unfortunately, the activities of concern to us occur away from school or on mobile devices.

However, we have observed that students are not shy in making comments and posting content which is simply inappropriate and offensive. Some of these incidents have required police investigations and have had serious consequences for students. Despite the seriousness of this situation, there are still employers in our sector who are not responding appropriately. To us, this is simply astounding. We understand the challenge employers face in managing such activities, particularly given the magnitude of the internet and all its technological possibilities. However, the affect of these activities should never be underestimated.

To address this, employers need to implement the following, so that the risk of harm is reduced and their duty of care to their staff is protected: • ensure internet use protocols in their schools in regard to access to social networking internet sites and unauthorised blogs; • ensure codes of behaviour and related policies forbid the publication of school, staff and student names when people engage in activities on personal blogs or social networking websites away from school; • ensure that the provisions of these codes and policies are publicised regularly among the student population and, more particularly, among parents, carers and the wider school community so that the principles become enshrined in the school’s culture; • ensure that they are pro-active, keeping on top of contemporary technologies, so that issues may be managed effectively, quickly and

It must be inherent in the culture of every school and their communities that this behaviour is inappropriate and offenders will face serious consequences. Many of the problems we see may not have occurred if schools had adequate and well known policies and processes established in the first place. Having said that, the resolution of these matters is not always straightforward. The sensitivity and seriousness of the situation should be taken into consideration, as well as factors such as how the information was discovered and how widely known it is. Students can make hurtful, offensive and discriminatory comments which may simply be inflamed if further

attention is drawn to them.

office immediately.

There are occasions when it may be prudent for members to initiate contact with site administrators directly to have content removed.

Similarly, if members are in any doubt as to what they should do, they can contact our union and seek confidential industrial advice.

Success on these occasions may satisfactorily resolve the matter.

It is also important that members suffering personal distress seek professional counselling or medical assistance.

If it is not appropriate to manage the situation directly, or informally, the principal should be advised. Where schools undertake internal investigations, they must treat every instance seriously. All matters involving potential unlawful activity, including matters of possible defamation or breach of copyright, should be referred to the police in the first instance for their assessment. If there is no evidence of unlawful activity, the police will refer the matter back to the school for internal investigation.

This type of internet activity is gaining ground and it will become more serious and more litigious if it goes unaddressed. It is critical that schools respond adequately and effectively and that any policies in place do not just operate superficially, but operate genuinely to reduce risk and harm. IEUA-QNT are currently reviewing our own policies around internet use and cyberbullying and we would like to hear from any members or Chapters that have concerns about the way their school is managing contemporary internet issues.

If the matter is reported to the principal and adequate steps are not taken to address the situation, members should contact our union

Danielle Wilson Industrial Services Officer dwilson@qieu.asn.au

Remember: Protect Yourself Some of our members have been questioned by their employers for making “friends” with students on social networking websites. In order to keep professional distance from students, members must not encourage any interactions with students that

would fall outside professional boundaries. This is not always easy, particularly in where children of members attend their school or where members maybe have been friends with student families away from school.

Most of our employers have codes of conduct which discuss the need to keep professional distance. Members must exercise their judgement very carefully when it comes to any interactions, physical or virtual, between themselves and students.

Focus on Workers Compensation In 2009 the WorkCover Queensland Board made approaches to the Queensland government to amend the current Act and restrict workers’ access to common law claims. According to their auditors, the Queensland Workers Compensation Scheme was in danger of succumbing to the financial pressures compounding from the global financial crisis. The proposal put forward by WorkCover was to deny access to common law claims where the percentage permanent impairment was assessed at less than 15%. This would remove common law claim access for around 90% of claimants.

Currently, the Queensland Scheme provides full access to common law claims. Additionally, there has been no change to the premium of $1.15 per $100.00 of wages since 2007. The QCU affiliates presented a submission to the government outlining their opposition to any restriction on common law access. In April 2010, the Minister for Industrial Relations, Cameron Dick, announced the government’s decision. A large number of recommendations put forward by the QCU were adopted by the government, including:

• no changes to common law access; • auditing unsafe employers with poor safety records; • investigating the introduction of a workers compensation levy system for the construction industry; • reviewing and enhancing return to work and rehabilitation measures; • increasing the employer excess from 65% to 100% of Queensland Ordinary Time Earnings (currently $1132.00); • increasing the premium (from $1.15 to $1.30 per $100.00 wages in 2010/2011 year); and • changes to the act which will tighten up compliance. There were some losses for workers:

• the capping of general damages in line with the Civil Liability Act 2003, as well as capping damages for economic loss, to three times the annual wages calculated in line with Queensland Ordinary Time Earnings; • increasing the onus of proof on workers by requiring them to show that an employer breached a duty to take precautions against a risk of harm that was foreseeable, not insignificant, and in circumstances in which a reasonable person would have taken the precautions; and • allowing the courts to award costs against claimants where cases are dismissed.

them to reject WorkCover’s call to restrict common law access.

The government indicated that it was feedback from stakeholders such as the QCU that convinced

Danielle Wilson Industrial Services Officer dwilson@qieu.asn.au

They also announced their intention to conduct a structural review of institutional and working arrangements in the Queensland workers compensation scheme. IEUA-QNT will continue to closely monitor developments in workers compensation and will continue to represent our members on these important issues.


The Independent Voice

May 2010

15

New BCE teachers sign on to IEUA-QNT New teachers to Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) were given important advice and information on joining IEUA-QNT from union officers at the recent BCE New to the System Induction Day. Many of those who took part in the day took the opportunity to join their union on the day. The induction day was open for BCE school teachers who were previously employed either in the state system, other non-government sector schools, interstate or overseas schools. Xavier Catholic College in Hervey Bay teacher, Peter De Waard, said he has been a union member for years and originally chose to become a member for the security and because it allows him to be part of a larger group of like-minded professionals. “It gives me a broader perspective than just my class or my school (and) has provided me with many job benefits over the years: pay rises, leave entitlements and allowances... due to union representation on behalf of us teachers,” Peter said. “I cannot morally accept these increases if I did not really contribute in some way to the people who gained those for me. I am a member of our union because I don’t have to; I want to.”

ABOVE: IEUA-QNT’s communications officer Lauren Bremner assists Marymount College teacher Aaron Turner become a member on the BCE New to the System Induction Day

Peter’s colleague at the school, Claire Sinclair, said joining a union was important so as to keep up to date with the many issues in the public policy arena that have a direct effect on workers in the education sector.

“It is also important to know that there is a group advocating for me or, if I ever need it, directly for me in a dispute,” Claire said.

“As always, one voice can go unnoticed but many informed voices together can make themselves heard more easily.”

ABOVE: Xavier Catholic College teachers James Way, Stacy Sullivan, Jonathan Dunn, Claire Sinclair, Peter De Waard and Christine Fowler at the BCE New to the System Induction Day

The BCE New to the System Induction Day is held for BCE teachers every year as an information day to help in their first year of teaching in the Catholic sector.

ABOVE: Natasha Coleman and Cheryl Waites of St Mark’s Primary, Jennifer Dasilva of St Mary’s Ipswich and Kerry Simko of St Kieran’s are signed up to IEUA-QNT by IEUA assistant federal secretary Christine Cooper (right) on the BCE New to the System Induction Day

Generation Next is a new national seminar series exploring the unique pressures, needs and healthcare and sociological challenges facing Australian teenagers, adolescents, parents and anyone working with young people.

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A public seminar aimed at understanding the unique health and wellbeing challenges facing generations Y & Z — and how these challenges can be met.

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Generation Next is unique, not only in the relevance of its topics and quality of its presenters, but in its advocating practical solutions. Participants walk away armed not only with expert insights into issues confronting young people, but workable answers to problems. Speakers at Brisbane’s seminar include: Adolescent Psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg; teacher and sportsperson Angie Wilcock; writer, researcher, media commentator Maggie Hamilton; Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia’s Paul Dillon; cybersafety expert Susan McLean; and ambassador for the Butterfly Foundation Melinda Hutchings.

Generation Next 2010 Public Seminar Sunday 20 June • 12.30 – 5.30pm Victoria Point State High School Auditorium, Brisbane Tickets

$

40 online available from our website generationnext.com.au


16

The Independent Voice

May 2010

School officer profile Maun Collins strongly believes school officers have an integral role to play in a school and must be valued and respected to guarantee its efficient running. Playing an integral and hands on role in the arts and creative departments at All Hallows’ School in Brisbane, Maun relishes in her “varied and interesting” role where “no two days are the same.” From organising excursions and workshops to recording student performance assessments and creating DVDs, Maun believes her role is to support teachers “ in whatever way suits them best and always try to help make their job a little easier.” “If I stay organised and discuss priorities with the teachers I manage to get through everything okay. We work together as a team and this is a very positive experience for me.” For almost 20 years as an member of IEUA-QNT, Maun has actively campaigned for the proper recognition of school officers, as she believes more needs to be done to enhance pay and conditions. As a term time employee who is paid only a portion of the year, Maun says it can be difficult to budget despite saving throughout the year; this can create hardship for some families. Maun says she is also concerned with the level of pay school officers receive as many need to be a ‘Jack of all Trades’. “We have skills and knowledge that may

Maun Collins Creative Arts Assistant All Hallows’ School, Brisbane not necessarily come with a diploma or degree, but have been built up over a number of years of experience, hard work and self-education and are not less valuable because of that,” Maun says. Because of this often school officers can feel undervalued. She says respect was needed for school officers as they are “dedicated and professional in our work ethics and attitudes and recognition is needed that our roles in schools are essential to the smooth running of the school and classes.”

enhancements to pay and conditions continue to be made thanks to active union membership of school officers. Maun believes a strong union membership is important to achieve these enhancements which also goes to increasing the level of respect for the role of school officers in schools.

COMMITTEES The IEUA-QNT committees have direct input into the Branch Executive by helping to guide union policy development around member issues and devise strategies regarding the various industrial and professional issues and campaigns. You can join any of the following committees: Education; Equity; Industrial; Member Benefits; Organising and Campaigning; and Publications.

“When employers and employees have mutual respect for each other, they can work together to the benefit of all.”

Driving music innovation for the next generation

“Our role is supportive, yes, but it is also essential and frequently quite complex.”

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Over the years the role of the school officer has evolved as further

Bookings & Enquiries

www.thebeatsbus.com.au

IEUA-QNT

“There truly is strength in numbers and the only way a worker can approach an employer as an equal to negotiate matters of concern is with the strength and the power of their colleagues beside them,” Maun believes.

(07)

3366 8010 / info@thebeatsbus.com.au

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At no cost to you, we help save time and money, without the hassles and headache. Be part of the savings and make the most of this valuable money saving service. Before you make another purchase, remember Union Shopper and challenge us to find you a better deal.

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To find out more FREECALL 1800 177 937 (QLD), FREECALL 1800 351 996 (NT) or email enquiries@qieu.asn.au

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The Independent Voice

May 2010

QIEU art awards capture

17

Guest speaker:

Artist Kym Hart

the artistic side of students and teachers 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 2010. The theme of this year’s awards asks students and teachers to ‘Imagine’.

Awards for Excellence In Art Design 2010 Let your creative mind draw, paint, print, photograph, sculpt or combine media to capture:

IMAGINE

Each non-government school throughout Queensland has received entry forms and information about the awards, with entry forms also available for downloading on our website www.qieu.asn. au. Art is a very important area of learning in our schools and kindergartens, and our union is proud to support students, teachers, practising artists and art in Queensland. QIEU established the awards to promote and encourage students to maintain an interest in art and to foster the talent of students.

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. QIEU’s goal is to promote an interest and awareness of these awards to art teachers. Closing date for this year’s awards is 6 August, with the award presentation and art exhibition evening on Wednesday 15 September 2010 at the Bardon Conference Centre.

Having an internationally recognised artist for a father was a real head start for Queensland-based artist Kym Hart. With his father, Pro Hart’s, incredible ability to teach and the influence of the multi-million dollar art collection adorning the walls of the family home, it is no surprise Kym decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an artist. Kym began painting at a very early age, mainly in Broken Hill, enjoying the ever-changing landscape with the heavy industrial influence of the mines and the tranquillity of the Darling River System, adjoining lakes and billabongs which are prominent in many of Kym’s paintings. Kym paints mostly in oils but he also uses gauche, water colours, etching, monotypes and block printing. He has had the opportunity to meet and work with many famous artists and has exhibited his art in most areas of Australia and in a number of countries. Kym’s paintings are vivid in colour and his style is an intriguing mix of fantasy, surrealism and realism. Kym has painted a vast amount of subject matter and with his ability to paint in so many styles and mediums has won him acceptance in many collections the world over.

Guest speaker: Author and teacher Phil Barry Teachers throughout Queensland are being encouraged to get their school students involved in showcasing their literary talents as part of the 2010 QIEU, ETAQ and James Cook University Literary Competition. Now in its 51 st year, the annual competition gives students the opportunity to be recognised and acknowledged for their outstanding literary works. 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. Teachers are also encouraged to enter into the open category. The closing date for the literary competition entries is 16 July. Winners will be presented with their

awards at a special ceremony held at The Bardon Centre on Wednesday 20 October 2010. The competition is jointly sponsored by the Queensland Independent Education Union (QIEU), the English Teachers’ Association of Queensland (ETAQ) and James Cook University (JCU).

Full time teacher and part time author, Phil Barry studied a Bachelor of Arts and Secondary Education at the University of Queensland, majoring in English and History. It was during this time that the idea of his first novel, The Incredibly Boring Monotonous Family, came to him while trying repeatedly to write an essay after attending too many uninspiring university lectures. He is now forever grateful to those lecturers for providing the boredom that reignited his love of writing.

Guest speaker for the ceremony will be Queensland children’s author, school teacher and QIEU member, Phil Barry.

After completing university and a course in Theology in 2005, Phil gained employment at a Brisbane girls’ college and is now in his fifth year of teaching English and Study of Religion.

Founded in 1959, the Literary Competition is one of the oldest continuing competitions for school students in Queensland.

It was in his third year of teaching, after being resigned to the idea that his book would not get published, that his novel was accepted for publication by Pan Macmillan in 2008.

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.

While teaching still takes up most of his daily life, he does, from time to time, take opportunities to visit local primary schools for presentations and workshops. He still

takes with him his Year Seven writing book which he shares with the students. Now, in 2010, Phil is working on his second book which is inspired by his experiences living and working on a drought-stricken cattle property in Western Queensland. Phil hopes for this book to be published early next year.


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The Independent Voice

May 2010

EVENTS DIARY Catholic Educational Leadership Conference

ECTA Early Conference

Childhood

Jeans for Genes Day

The 5th International Conference on Catholic Educational Leadership - A Beacon of Hope: A light for the future, will be held from 2 to 4 August 2010 at the Australian Catholic University National Strathfield campus in Sydney.

The annual Early Childhood Teachers Association (ECTA) conference is on again in 2010 and aims to inspire, stimulate and provide practical knowledge for educators in all early childhood sectors. The conference will be held on Saturday 26 June from 8:45am to 5:45pm at John Paul College, Daisy Hill, Brisbane and is open to school teachers in all sectors, community kindergarten and pre-prep professionals, childcare and family day care professionals and outside school hours care professionals.

Jeans for Genes Day is turning 16 this year on Friday 6 August 2010.

The conference is tailored to the needs and interests of Catholic educational leaders in schools, systems and networks of religious schools. It provides opportunities to hear some of the foremost thinkers in the field, and to interact with colleagues from across Australia and internationally. In 2010 it is expected there will be around 400 delegates, internationally renowned keynote speakers, delegate papers and a small trade exhibition. Key note speakers at the conference include: • Professor Gerald Grace of the Centre for Research and Development in Catholic Education at the Institute of Education, University of London - addressing the issue of mission integrity drawing on his work as the editor of the International Handbook of Catholic Education. • Professor Nancy Tuana of the Rock Ethics Institute at Pennsylvania State University - sharing her work on moral literacy and leadership. • Mr Patrick Dodson, a key figure in the reconciliation movement in Australia he will reflect on the challenges of reconciliation for educational leaders. • Professor Michael Gaffney of the Centre for Creative and Authentic Leadership at ACU - sharing the outcomes of recent research in Catholic schools and systems around the country. • Dr Chris Branson of the Centre for Creative and Authentic Leadership at ACU - sharing the outcomes of recent research in Catholic schools and systems around the country. • Associate Professor Michael Bezzina from the Centre for Creative and Authentic Leadership at ACU will provide the opening address. To register or for more information please visit the conference website at www.acu.edu.au/leadershipconference2010

National Tree Day 2010 Planet Ark is calling for volunteers to join the campaign and help plant a million new native trees and shrubs this National Tree Day on Sunday 1 August. Celebrating its 15th year in 2010, National Tree Day sees communities work together to protect their natural environment by planting and caring for native trees and shrubs. More than 15 million seedlings have been planted in the event’s history and each year over 300,000 people take part at 3,500 sites around the country. For schools, each year around 200,000 Australian school students participate in a special National Tree Day event just for kids – Schools Tree Day on Friday 30 July. It’s a great opportunity for children to learn about, and make a contribution to, Australia’s natural environment while having fun at the same time. This Tree Day, all schools and their students are encouraged to get on board with Planet Ark and get their hands dirty! Discover why life is better with trees! Visit treeday.planetark.org or call 1300 885 000 to find your nearest site.

The goals of the conference are to: • Provide practical workshops suitable for educators working with a variety of age groups; • Promote networking opportunities and collegiality; • Showcase a wide selection of resources via a trade display; • Stimulate and inspire early childhood educators to reflect on their practice; • Provide professional development in-line with standards required for teacher registration; and • Build capacity and collaboration between early childhood professionals from all sectors. The keynote address will be presented by Professor Tony Attwood. Over the last few years there have been significant developments in the areas of affective education and improving social understanding. The presentation will outline some of the difficulties that can occur when trying to work in collaboration with parents, and some of the issues at home that may be affecting emotions and social behaviour. Professor Atwood will also focus on identifying signs of depression and anxiety in young children and strategies that can be implemented in the classroom to improve self-image and self-confidence. There will be a selection of over 25 workshops and five Masterclasses during the day. Tony Attwood will conduct a Masterclass ‘Strategies for guiding children with aggressive behaviours including Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)’. The structure of the Masterclass will be based on information provided by the participants at the conference. The content will include discussion of why a child may become aggressive and defiant and what is realistically possible within a typical classroom. There will also be two other Masterclass presenters on the day. Pam Linke, well known speaker and author, will present two Masterclasses and address ‘Building resilience in children’ and ‘Bullying – is it relevant to early childhood? What can we do about it?” QIEU member Louis Bradfield, a dynamic and passionate communicator, will present two Masterclasses. Louis will share how ‘play’, under the guise of supposed ‘child centeredness’, has experienced a significant shift away from children and their agendas which he regards as “The Bastardisation of Play”. The second Masterclass ‘‘The Arts’ - Identifying elements of the arts that present children with opportunities to tell ‘their stories’. For more information email info@ecta.org.au

Action Against Bullying Education Series The Minister for Education and Training, with the support of the Queensland Schools Alliance Against Violence (QSAAV), is proud to present a free Education Series for school leaders, teachers, teacher aides, guidance officers, behaviour management staff and parents. Dr Carr-Gregg is a well respected expert and committed

advocate for addressing the issues of child and adolescent well being, bullying and the emerging issues associated with cyber bullying. The Education Series, which includes a breakfast for school leaders, a half-day workshop for school staff and an evening session for parents, will be presented

throughout Queensland. The school leaders breakfast is from 7am-9am, the school staff session from 12pm4pm, and the parent session from 6:30pm-8:30pm. Dates and venues in July and August: Mackay - 19 July Toowoomba - 5 August (breakfast

Celebrate by inviting all students and teachers to wear jeans and register for Jeans for Genes Day and make a gold coin donation towards research to improve children’s health. Jeans for Genes Day, born and bred in Australia, has grown to become one of our most important national fundraising days. This year, schools around Australia are getting together to show their support for children’s health. When students and teachers donate a gold coin on Jeans for Genes Day they are supporting the work of Children’s Medical Research Institute and help their scientists to unravel the mysteries of childhood diseases. So this year, inspire your school community to get involved and register now for Jeans for Genes Day at www.jeansforgenes.org. au/schools.

Red Nose Day Red Nose Day, held this year on 25 June, is the major fundraiser for SIDS and Kids. Funds raised through Red Nose Day activities assists in providing vital services and programs. Schools are encouraged to get involved during the day by selling red noses and other merchandise to raise much needed funds for the charity. Proceeds from Red Nose Day assist SIDS and Kids in providing vital services and programs in our local community. In 1988, when Red Nose Day first started, 479 Australian babies died from SIDS. With Red Nose Day income, SIDS and Kids organisations funded research and produced the SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping health promotion campaign, leading to a drop to 71 SIDS deaths in 2007. To get your school involved in Red Nose Day this year or to find out more information, go to http://www.rednoseday. com.au .

and school staff session); 4 August (parent session) Brisbane North - 6 August (breakfast and school staff session); 5 August (parent session) Brisbane South - 9 August Sunshine Coast - 19 August (breakfast and school staff session); 18 August (parent session) Gold Coast - 20 August (breakfast and school staff session); 19 August (parent session) Mt Isa - 24 August (breakfast); 23

August (school staff and parent session) Rockhampton - 25 August (breakfast and school staff session); 24 August (parent session) Cairns and Townsville have already held their sessions in May. For more information or to register, please visit www. learningplace.com.au/ea/ conferenceservices


The Independent Voice

19

May 2010

Benefits of Fair Trade Schools Fair Trade is an alternative approach to conventional trade. The Fairtrade Certification & Labelling system offers farmers and workers in developing countries a better deal and improved terms of trade–the opportunity to improve their lives, plan for their future and create brighter opportunities for their families and communities. For consumers, Fair Trade offers a powerful way to reduce poverty and assist these farmers in creating a better future through their everyday shopping. The ultimate beneficiaries of the Fair Trade Schools program are farmers and communities in developing countries who benefit from receiving a guaranteed fair and sustainable price for their products, better working conditions, and a contribution toward community development. However, participation as a Fair Trade School also brings direct benefits to participating schools in a number of ways, including: • Brings positive publicity for the school, showing that the school is serious about social responsibility and responsive to its staff,

parents and students; • Provides a tool for the school to help meet environmental and social responsibility goals; • Improves staff morale as staff feel they are contributing to supporting developing county communities through the use and purchase of Fair Trade products; • FTAANZ provides a range of resources to participants, including promotional materials and information, a quarterly newsletter, website resources as well as opportunities to network with other organisations. • Fairtrade Certified products are not only better for the producers, they are great quality too. There are two simple goals which schools need to meet to qualify as a Fair Trade School. The goals aim to increase the awareness and understanding of Fair Trade and the use of Fair Trade Certified products. The two goals for Fair Trade Schools are:

1. Use Fair Trade Certified products within your school • Schools can easily incorporate Fair Trade Certified products into their day to day activities to help them become a Fair Trade School.

Trade Procurement Guide which lists sources of Fair Trade Certified products around Australia, and an online searchable database – see www.fairtrade.com.au.

• Fair Trade Certified tea and coffee should be served in staff rooms, canteens, meetings, and at other events where tea and coffee are used as the first step towards becoming a Fair Trade School.

2. Promote Fair Trade within your school • This can be as simple as putting up a poster on your noticeboard or wherever you are serving Fair Trade Certified coffee or tea publicising that you are doing so – FTAANZ can supply you with a poster and other materials.

• Where schools are using chocolates as part of their fundraising, Fair Trade Certified chocolate can be used in the school’s annual fundraising activities. • Fair Trade cotton can be used in the school’s promotional or regular apparel products, for example High School ‘leavers’ jumpers. • Fair Trade sports balls can be incorporated into the school’s sports equipment. If practical at least one of the school’s sporting teams could use Fair Trade sports balls for training and/or games.” • To help locate Fair Trade Certified products, the FTAANZ website has a downloadable Fair

• Where possible, schools are encouraged to become involved with the local Fair Trade Communities initiative within the local council. If the council hasn’t adopted the program yet, try forming a Fair Trade steering group with other organisations, which can lobby the council to become involved. If the council is already involved, they will be looking for Fair Trade Schools to count toward their targets. • Hold or support an event during Fair Trade Fortnight, by having a Fair Trade Coffee Break, displaying a Fair Trade poster, hosting a

community event, or any other way possible – be creative! • Use the FTAANZ education kit “Fair Trade For All” in your curriculum. It can be downloaded at www.fairtrade.com.au/resources/ other-resources • Consider selling Fair Trade Certified products to staff and parents – why not use it as a fundraiser? Once you’ve completed Goal 1, you can apply to FTAANZ for recognition – they can then help you with Goal 2. To apply, simply complete the application form and return it to FTAANZ. There is no cost involved in becoming a Fair Trade School. For all you need to know and apply visit http://www.fairtrade.com. au/get-involved/school and for more on the big difference making the swap to Fair Trade means for developing country farmers, their families and communities visit www.fairtrade.com.au

Fiji: Repressive one day, outrageous the next Commodore Frank Bainamarama continues to rule Fiji with an iron fist and by unilateral decree rather than parliamentary law, suppressing all opposition through tight controls on the media and public gatherings, and the expulsion of dissenting foreigners. Furthermore, a new action intended to trim the public service is bearing serious implications for the nation’s education system. By a May 2009 decree, the retirement age for all public servants, including teachers, was reduced from 60 to 55, meaning about 3,000 teachers (10 per cent of the teaching force) would retire on their 55th birthdays. On average, this meant a loss of two to eight teachers per school. Teachers are not permitted to work to the end of the school year or term and must retire on the date of their birthdays, thus leaving classes without teachers mid-term. Composite classes have been the means of addressing the issue; however, this is only fractionally less detrimental to the quality of teaching and learning. In some remote island schools, one teacher will be responsible

for up to five classes. Three hundred final-year trainee teachers have been rushed into service and non-education university graduates are even being recruited to address the shortfall. Leadership in schools, too, has been significantly affected because most of the retirees are principals, head teachers and department heads. Band-aid approaches such as fast-tracking the promotion of unqualified or inexperienced staff will most probably only worsen the problem. One would expect that, in a democratic society, citizens would have the right to voice their criticisms of the government’s handling of matters as important as education; particularly citizens who would know what they were talking about. But to prevent any dissent from retired teachers and other pubic servants, a Regulation of Pensions and Retirement Allowances Decree 2009 (Decree 56 of 2009) was proclaimed on 31 December 2009, which enables the Prime Minister to order the cessation of any government pension to anyone expressing ‘disaffection’ toward the government.

And what’s more, the order is unappealable. 2. (1) …the Prime Minister may, by notice in writing, order the cessation of any allowance, salary, pension, gratuity or any other benefit or entitlement under...[various]… the Pensions Act 1983 or any related law on pensions if the Prime Minister is satisfied that the person has, in any way, whether in Fiji or abroad and whether before or after the commencement of this decree, acted or attempted to a) bring hatred or contempt or disaffection against the Government of the Republic of Fiji, or any institution or authority of the Government; or b) undermine the Government of the Republic of Fiji, or any institution or authority of the Government, or, in any way, to prejudice the orderly functioning or operation of the Government or any institution or authority of the Government. 4. No court, tribunal, commission or any other adjudicating body shall have the jurisdiction to accept, hear, determine or in any way entertain, any challenges whatsoever (including any application for judicial review) by any person or body, or to grant any remedy to any person or body, in relation to the validity, legality or propriety of any action, decision or order of the Prime Minister under this decree.

The IEUA executive in condemning these developments considerd Decree 56 a direct attack on the human rights of Fijian citizens and strikes at the most vulnerable of citizens, the aged. The IEUA has raised its concerns with the Australian government and

calling upon it to enter into urgent discussions with the Fijian government. Glen Seidel Secretary Independent Education Union (South Australia)

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20

The Independent Voice

May 2010

Legal Briefs

Andrew Knott, Macrossans Lawyers

Obligations of school staff to report suspected sexual abuse A matter of increasing practical importance for teachers and school officers is the various sources of an obligation to report suspected or actual sexual abuse. The purpose of this article is to indicate the sources of obligations and to provide some practical advise in relation to discharging those obligations. The General Duty of Care It is important never to overlook the fact that the general duty of care developed by the courts may impose an obligation (not only in relation to sexual abuse but more widely in relation to child abuse and neglect). The general duty of care developed by the judges is that teachers and school officers must take, consistent with their own duties and responsibilities, reasonable steps to minimise the risk of harm to students in their care. This may well include reporting known or suspected sexual abuse. An important feature of this area of the law is that the time and resources necessary to make a report are very limited compared to the huge impact that the commencement or continuation of such abuse may have upon a child. In determining what is reasonable conduct by a teacher, or school officer, it is obviously an important consideration that a relatively low level (in terms of time and resources) commitment may have major protective benefits. To discharge this duty, it is important for teachers and school officers to write down calmly, soberly and in descriptive rather than emotional terms what they have observed, or what has been said to them. Teachers and school officers do not need to make a judgment about the truth or otherwise of the allegations, but merely to report accurately what they have seen or heard which may call upon them to make a report. It is always prudent to keep a copy of the report and also to make a note when that report was supplied and to whom. Employer’s Instructions Teachers and school officers of course have an obligation to comply with lawful instructions given to them by their employer. It is common for employers to provide written detailed instructions to their employees as to exactly what circumstances triggering an obligation to notify, who to notify and in what form. Teachers and school officers should be familiar with any such instructions issued by their own employer and comply

with them, again keeping a copy and making a record of that supply. Statutory Obligation For a number of years the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 and predecessor legislation have contained obligations under the heading “Reporting of Sexual Abuse”. The definition of “employee” in both non-state or state schools is “….a person engaged to carry out work at the school for financial reward”. In relation to the independent sector, section 366 imposes the obligation and reads as follows: 366 Obligation to report sexual abuse of person under 18 years at non-State school (1) Subsection (2) applies if a staff member of a non-State school (the first person) becomes aware, or reasonably suspects, that any of the following have been sexually abused by another person who is an employee of the school – (a) a student under 18 years attending the school; (b) a pre-preparatory age child registered in a pre-preparatory learning program at the school; (c) a person with a disability who – (i) under section 420(2), is being provided with special education at the school; and (ii) is not enrolled in the preparatory year at the school. (2) The first person must give a written report about the abuse, or suspected abuse, to the school’s principal or a director of the school’s governing body – (a) immediately; and (b) if a regulation is in force under subsection (3), as provided under the regulation. Maximum penalty – 20 penalty units.

(6) Without limiting subsection (5) – (a) in a proceeding for defamation, the person has a defence of absolute privilege for publishing the information; and (b) if the person would otherwise be required to maintain confidentiality about the given information under an Act, oath, rule of law or practice – the person does not contravene the requirements by giving the information. (7) In this section – director, of a non-State school’s governing body, means – (a) if the governing body is a company under the Corporations Act – a person appointed as a director of the governing body; or (b) otherwise – a person who is, or is a member of, the executive or management entity, by whatever name called, of the governing body. The Education (General Provisions) Regulation 2006 set out the contents

of such a report in Regulation 68 which reads: 68 Report of sexual abuse – Act, ss 365(3) and 366(3) A report under section 365(3) or 366(3) of the Act must include the following particulars – (a) the name of the person giving the report (the first person); (b) the student’s name and sex; (c) details of the basis for the first person becoming aware, or reasonably suspecting, that the student has been sexually abused by an employee of the school; (d) details of the abuse or suspected abuse; (e) any of the following information of which the first person is aware – (i) the student’s age; (ii) the identity of the employee who has abused, or is suspected to have abused, the student; (iii) the identity of anyone else who may have information about the abuse or suspected abuse.

Again, it is important to keep a copy of any relevant record and to note the circumstance of delivery of that record to the appropriate person. General Conclusion These obligations, whether arising from the general law in following instructions, or statutory provision are extremely important. The discharge or such an obligation can in some circumstances have a dramatic impact on minimising or preventing harm and trauma of a very serious and tragic kind to students. Teachers and school officers concerned about the particular obligations imposed on them in particular situations should of course seek appropriate advice, whether from our union or from a lawyer having experience in education law and familiarity with these provisions.

First in our class! 10 year annual crediting rate for the Balanced option to June 2009* QIEC SUPER BALANCED

6.06%

BT Super (Westpac Balanced Growth)

5.50% 5.40% 4.98%

ACSRF Balanced^ QSuper Balanced

(3) A regulation may prescribe the particulars the report must include.

Superior investment returns simply mean more money being credited into members’ accounts.

(4) A non-State school’s principal or a director of a non-State school’s governing body must immediately give a copy of a report given to the principal or director under subsection (2) to a police officer. Maximum penalty – 20 penalty units.

For more information call: 1300 360 507 email: info@qiec.com.au visit: www.qiec.com.au

(5) A person who makes a report under subsection (2), or gives a copy of a report under subsection (4), is not liable, civilly, criminally or under an administrative process, for giving the information contained in the report to someone else.

Superannuation is a long term investment and annual returns and investment strategies can vary. For more information about QIEC Super’s investment options and annual returns, please see our Annual Report, which is available from our website. *Average is the compound average of annual crediting rates for the Balanced investment option over the previous 10 years. ^ACSRF has recently changed their name from CSRF. These comparisons are not to be used as a guide to future performance. No prediction of an actual retirement benefit has been made. These comparisons use today’s dollars and make no allowance for inflation. Distributions have been reinvested. These returns are net of taxes and investment expenses. The 10yr average crediting rates to June 2009 are sourced from SuperRatings Pty Ltd (AFSL No. 311880). Go to www.superratings.com.au. 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.


The Independent Voice

May 2010

Improvements to superannuation

QCT highlights Professional Development for teacher registration The upcoming professional development sessions from the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) will enable teachers to better understand the processes of teacher registration. The sessions throughout term two include a workshop for teachers who are moving from provisional to full registration and another for teachers who are seeking to renew their registration. Workshop for Provisionally Registered Teachers (and in-school supporters) This workshop is an opportunity to gain first hand knowledge of the process for moving from provisional to full registration. Provisionally registered teachers will gain an understanding of the policy and requirements. School administrators and teachers who support provisionally registered teachers will gain an understanding of the process and associated responsibilities. There is no registration fee; however, schools will be required

to cover teacher relief costs or make school-based arrangements for provisionally registered teachers and other practising teachers attending. To register, go to the QCT website at: http://www.qct.edu.au/Interactive/ Events/InformationSessions.aspx and click on the appropriate link of the date/venue which is relevant for you to download the form. The registration form, complete with endorsement from the principal, must be returned to the QCT via fax. Confirmation by email will be provided prior to the scheduled session. Information and Professional Development Session for Fully Registered Teachers about Renewal of Registration and Continuing Professional Development This year marks the implementation of the Continuing Professional Development Framework. Large numbers of fully registered teachers will for the first time need to formally apply to renew their registration this year.

An information and professional development session is provided for fully registered teachers to further their understanding of the requirements for the renewal of registration (including the CPD Framework and recording of professional development) and the role of Professional Standards for Queensland Teachers. To register for this session, click on the appropriate link on the above website and chose the date/venue which is relevant for you to complete the online form. Final confirmation by email will be provided prior to the scheduled session. Remaining session dates and venues: Cairns - 1 June Toowoomba - 3 June Rockhampton - 7 June Brisbane South - 8 June Brisbane North - 10 June Roma - 15 June Mt Isa - 21 June To find out more inforamtion, visit www.qct.edu.au

Shine the spotlight on inspirational teachers IEUA-QNT members Toni Waters from St Francis College in Creastmead and Susan Southey from Springwood Community Kindergarten were awarded an Inspirational Teaching Award in 2009. Now, in 2010, nominations are again open for the NEiTA 2010 ASG Inspirational Teaching Awards – Australia’s only national, independent community-centred teaching awards program that gives Australian secondary students, parents, early childhood and school communities the opportunity to formally thank their hard-working, inspirational teachers, principals and directors. NEiTA – the National Excellence in Teaching Awards – is a pioneer in teaching awards that has worked in partnership with communities across Australia to help raise the profile and recognition of teaching. This year the NEiTA program recognises the range of leadership qualities that inspirational teachers bring both to their roles and the teaching profession with the theme, ‘Great Teachers Lead The Way’. NEiTA’s chairman Terry O’Connell said leadership qualities are vitally important in the makeup of an inspiring and excellent teacher. “‘Great Teachers Lead The Way’ as they guide and inspire their students in learning, provide support and encouragement to parents and colleagues, and forge community connections and exchange,” he said. What are the qualities of inspirational teachers? • Develop in students a strong and longlasting love of learning;

• Inspire students to achieve to the best of their ability; • Encourage student empowerment and selfbelief (resiliency); • Stimulate students’ creativity and innovative thinking; • Create innovative teaching environments; and • Have a positive influence on colleagues and community. Who can nominate? Australian parents, school councils, committees of management, parent associations, secondary student councils, and community organisations. Who can be nominated? Early childhood and school teachers from the spectrum of education settings, and leaders principals, deputy principals, early childhood centre directors, team leaders, and department heads can be nominated for a NEiTA award in the leadership and development, innovation or community engagement categories. Why nominate? To say thank you, to recognise, celebrate or congratulate an inspirational teacher, principal or director. When do nominations close? 30 July 2010 How to nominate? Nominate online or download a nomination form from the NEiTA website www.neita.com.au. Alternatively, contact NEiTA on free call 1800 624 487 or email neita@asg.com.au

21

to benefit Australian workers Australian workers are to benefit from the federal government announcement of a boost to superannuation contributions. A rise in the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) to 12 per cent and a new government contribution to low-paid worker’s superannuation accounts have been welcomed by the IEUA-QNT as positive steps forward for working Australians. In the biggest reform to superannuation since the introduction of compulsory super in 1992, the federal government’s Stronger, Fairer, Simpler - A Tax Plan for our Future will increase the compulsory contribution from the current 9 per cent to 12 per cent gradually by 1 July 2019, with initial increments of 0.25 percentage points on 1 July 2013 and on 1 July 2014. Further increments of 0.5 percentage points will apply annually up to 2019-20, when the super rate will be set at 12 per cent. Workers on an adjusted taxable incomes of up to $37,000 will also benefit with a $500 yearly government contribution from 1 July 2012.

Changes will also be made to concessional superannuation contribution caps for those nearing retirement from 1 July 2012 that will allow workers aged 50 and over with superannuation balances below $500,000 to make up to $50,000 in annual, concessional superannuation contributions. The government has raised the Superannuation Guarantee age limit from 70 to 75 from 1 July 2013 with workers aged 70 to 74 now eligible to have super contributions made on their behalf. As a result of these reforms 8.4 million Australians will receive an increase in their retirement incomes. The rise in the SG and improvements to tax concessions for low-income workers help build on the deal that working Australians, unions and the former Labor government made almost 20 years ago when universal superannuation was established. More information on the Stronger, Fairer, Simpler - A Tax Plan for our Future is available at www.futuretax.gov.au

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22

The Independent Voice

May 2010

Understanding

QIEU Teacher Education Bursaries The QIEU Teacher Education Bursaries are once again being offered to encourage eligible students who are studying for a teaching qualification. 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. In 2009, to celebrate our union’s 90th Anniversary, QIEU offered the bursaries for the first time. Those interested in applying for the bursaries in 2010 must abide by the eligibility criteria. 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 2010 bursaries, please contact the QIEU Brisbane office on FREECALL 1800 177 937 by Friday 1 October 2010.

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, or, postgraduate studies in the field of education. b. Applicants must be a member of IEUA-QNT or have a nominee who is a parent, partner, guardian, or grandparent that is, or has retired as, a financial member of IEUA-QNT/ 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 IEUAQNT/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 second, third and fourth 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.

mental health at work A new full-scale Queensland University of Technology (QUT) study is aiming to confirm and better understand the connection between a persons mental health and work. Members of IEUA-QNT are being asked to provide assistance with this study. QUT have provided recent figures to show that 45 per cent of Australians have experienced mental health problems. This is a large increase compared to previous figures, and may be associated with increased feelings of not belonging or fitting-in. On the positive side, recent QUT studies indicate that feeling accepted and respected at work may provide strong benefits for mental health and well-being. This may be because a person’s work is often the main place for contact with others, so it is important that they are valued and fit in. The new QUT study is now aiming to confirm this connection. QUT appreciate any assistance with this study by IEUA-QNT members. There is also a chance to win a $600 gift voucher or one of 10 $30 vouchers members complete the on-line survey twice, about three months apart. To participate or find out more details, please visit: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx? sm=h8pbLXReFA1DoL9loQQ4dA_3d_3d

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Shen Yun Returns to Brisbane in June Discover the thrill of classical Chinese dance with the show that’s winning the hearts of audiences everywhere. Shen Yun Performing Arts, the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company, is returning to Brisbane as part of its 2010 world tour with an all-new program and, for the first time in Australia, a live orchestra. Shen Yun will play at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC, from 1- 2 June. Shen Yun Performing Arts offers an exhilarating world-class production that celebrates the excellence and grandeur of classical Chinese dance and music. The company brings together over a hundred of the world’s foremost classically trained dancers, choreographers, and musicians. Based in New York, Shen Yun presents traditional Chinese culture as it was meant to be – a brilliant blend of beauty, energy and grace. Dozens of dancers in dazzling costumes move in seamless, flowing patterns. Thunderous drums

shake the stage, while spectacular backdrops take you to another world. See ancient legends of virtue brought to life alongside modern tales of courage. Hear soaring songs by masterful vocalists that will move and inspire. Experience a sense of beauty and enchantment like no other with this unique, thrilling, and unforgettable show. The breathtaking beauty of Shen Yun is not to be missed! Reserve your seats today! Call QTIX on 136 246 or visit qpac.com.au to book online. For more information, or to see a video presentation, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org or contact 1800 123 549. Shen Yun is proudly presented by NTDTV Australia and the Falun Dafa Association of Queensland Inc.

OPPORTUNITY! Work overseas and retain your accrued entitlements. United Kingdom; Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Canada; Colorado, USA! Check out our website www.qieu.asn.au Click on Membership sectors the Teachers then Overseas Exchange Program. Contact Kay on FREECALL 1800 177937 (QLD); 1800 351 996 (NT) or kholloway@qieu.asn.au

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

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The Independent Voice

May 2010

23

Health & Lifestyle Tips Chinese or Japanese Acupuncture - What’s the Difference? Japanese Acupuncture is not so different from its Chinese sibling; they both have the same parents, as all acupuncture practised today stems from classic medical principals first recorded in ancient China over 2,000 years ago. Since the sixth century (when these texts were first introduced to Japan) the two have gone their separate ways, developing their own individual traditions.

Depth of needling Chinese needling tends to be aimed more at the fleshy areas of the body. To get to these areas the needles are inserted generally between 1-5cm. Japanese Acupuncture is concentrating on the area on or just below the skin (with its enormous number of nerves sending messages to the brain this is a very potent area to work with).

Palpation Japanese Acupuncture is much more hands on than Chinese Acupuncture. For a period in Japan, acupuncture was a profession mainly practised by the blind. This created a rich tradition of diagnosing by touch (palpation) which has been passed on to modern practitioners.

Thickness of needles Japanese needles are thinner and sharper than their Chinese counterparts. This gives them a much kinder passage through the skin resulting in little to no pain.

Needle stimulation Chinese needling involves lifting, thrusting, twisting and twirling the needles until the qi (circulating life energy) arrives. The practitioner knows this occurs when the patient tells them that they feel a dull and distending feeling around the needle. In Japanese Acupuncture the practitioner relies on their keen sense of touch to feel the qi arrive. It is not essential at this point for the patient to feel anything at all, but any sensation is usually described as warm, tingling and generally pleasant.

Harmonising the body Often in the modern practice of Chinese Acupuncture the treatment will be solely focused on the individual patient’s problem. In Japanese Acupuncture there is a particular emphasis on first balancing the energy in your body and then dealing with the problem at hand. This results in a faster recovery for the patient as well as leaves them feeling on top of the world after the treatment. Acupuncturist Efrat Sudai is an experienced, professionally trained practitioner of traditional Japanese Acupuncture and Chinese medicine. She provides allied health services at TUH’s Health Care Centre in Fortitude Valley.

Dear Jo I am 50 years old and have been teaching for over 30 years. For many years I have found my job unsatisfying and have dreamed about doing something that interests me more. However, having raised three children as a single parent I never was able to afford a mortgage and consequently am still renting. Apart from my main job I also do tutoring on the weekends, yet I am struggling financially. I feel as though there is no light at the end of the tunnel and I will be teaching until I am too old to do anything else.

mortgage for a lot of people, for a variety of reasons, such as ease of moving with less responsibility for the upkeep of your home. By listing your concerns you are being realistic and pragmatic. It is also commendable and important to pay attention to your dream of “doing something that interests me more”. Focusing on your future possibilities is a very worthwhile activity. Allowing ourselves to dream, to begin to visualise ourselves in roles that are more emotionally gratifying gives us hope and generates positivity.

Well done on voicing these concerns, there are many people who similarly feel that there is no alternative to this ‘nose to the grindstone’ existence. It is commendable that you have raised this question and asked for help. There are no immediate answers that are right for every person in this situation. However, there are some strategies that you might use to ensure that you can continue to function in a positive way; to create change that gives more meaning and happiness to your life.

This often takes a shift in our thinking, but one that enables us to let go of guilt and blame about the past and worry about the future. These three emotions are paramount when we feel depressed or burnt out, but they are wasteful emotions and hold us in destructive holding patterns. So it is worth while seeking support to learn how to change this thinking and replace it with more constructive and freeing thought strategies. Speaking to our friends and family about our hopes and dreams, eating regularly and well, having a walk each day and when possible a nap each day are all very simple but effective tools to assist you to feel more ‘grounded’ and in control of your life and future. You might choose to see a counsellor to help you to learn more about these and other strategies that will open the door to change and a more positive future. Through Teachers’ Union Health Supportline we can both counsel you on the phone and refer you to one of our approved counsellors. Call us on 1800 6555 302 if you would like to pursue this path. Jo

Middle age is a time when we often think that we should be focussing on retirement, and other end of life matters. Our education and belief systems taught us that we will only ever have one career throughout our entire lives. Whilst you are working very hard at two jobs, neither of them giving you very much job satisfaction, and you are burdened by the reality of renting; there are many strengths that present themselves in your letter. Your children are grownup and their reliance on you and your earnings are diminishing. You will, if not now, not need to maintain as big a home. Renting is preferable to having a

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The Independent Voice

May 2010

Simple steps for complex choices Sloan Wilkins, QTCU Financial Planning Emerging markets; Australian shares; bricks and mortar; index funds; gold stocks; exchange traded funds… the list goes on and on. For many, the enormous range of investment choices can seem overwhelming, yet investing doesn’t have to be complex. Consider these 5 simple steps to get your investments on track. 1. Define what you want to achieve and understand what you’re willing to commit What are you actually investing for? If you’re saving for a house deposit, then a readily accessible high interest account will do the trick. If you’re investing to grow your retirement nest egg, then you’ll need something that has higher growth potential without the tax man getting a large share. Incidentally, these two examples are not polar opposites. Even if you are focused on buying a home and are channelling every spare dollar into that goal, you can still maintain a watchful eye over your super fund.

your financial future, particularly inside super, the majority of your options will include managed investment funds. These funds are constructed and managed by professional managers with significant expertise and resources at their disposal to aid their investment decisions – this doesn’t mean that they always get it right incidentally. There are many different Funds Management companies touting their wares to the investing public, so how do you decide who is worthy of managing your investment dollars? Like so many things in life, quality has its rewards. A few things to look for in a quality fund manager are: a stable team of experienced investment professionals; an investment methodology that makes sense to you (if you cannot understand it, give it a miss); and a time proven track record of consistently delivering good returns which exceed the relevant benchmark. Avoid flavour of the month investment funds – just because a new fund happened to shoot the lights out last year, doesn’t mean they’ll deliver this year. Look for consistent performance from your fund in rising and falling markets. 5. Review and Rebalance There is no ‘set and forget’ with investing. To get the most from

your investments over time you need to pay attention to them. Talk with your adviser or super fund at least annually to review your performance and your personal situation. Even if all of your funds have performed well, there is still rebalancing work to be done. Rebalancing involves returning your investments to the original asset allocation. Your investments will get outof-balance during the course of the year because they will all deliver different returns. If rebalancing is not done, you will over time end up with an investment portfolio which is either more conservative or more aggressive than you intended. With the right information and assistance, investing for your financial future can be both empowering and rewarding. Remember it’s your money, so take time out today to invest in your future. This information is general advice only and does not take into your personal objectives, situation and needs, and has been provided by QTCU Financial Planning Pty Ltd, Corporate Authorised Representative of Outlook Financial Solutions Pty Ltd, AFSL 240959. You must therefore assess whether this advice is appropriate to you personally before you act upon the advice.

Next, how much are you willing to commit to investing? Don’t make this decision lightly, as once you’ve decided it becomes a promise to yourself that you must not break until your goal is achieved. ‘Little and often’ is a common investment mantra. It’s all about moderation and finding that middle ground. Don’t cut yourself short by trying to save / invest too much, or the experience becomes toxic and you can feel like you’re missing out on the good things in life. 2. Consider your Investment Risk Profile This means understanding what type of investments you’ll be comfortable holding, and in what proportions. Everyone is different and you shouldn’t necessarily adopt the same investment strategy as a colleague or friend. Talk with your Adviser or your Super Fund, who can educate, assist and guide you in this area. Be wary of simply answering a few risk profiling questions upfront and then being categorised as a Balanced or Aggressive investor. You need information and discussions first to understand the context of the questions before you proceed. As we know, first comes the education and then comes the test. 3. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket The fancy name for your investment mix is asset allocation, but I think that the old adage of not putting all your eggs in one basket communicates this point succinctly. Different types of investments perform and behave differently. If you have all of your money in one investment type, your risk is increased as you are counting on that investment to perform well. By spreading your funds across a range of investment types such as cash, property and shares, you reduce your investment risk and have a much better chance of actually achieving improved returns through this diversification. How much you apportion to each investment type is linked to your investment risk profile. If you’re a conservative investor for example, you may have a higher percentage invested in defensive investments like cash, and less in growth investments like Australian shares. 4. Stick with Quality When considering where to invest for

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