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QUEENSLAND INDEPENDENT EDUCATION UNION INDEPENDENT EDUCATION UNION OF AUSTRALIA – QUEENSLAND & NORTHERN TERRITORY BRANCH BRISBANE 346 TURBOT ST SPRING HILL QLD 4000 PO BOX 418 FORTITUDE VALLEY

Phone: 07 3839 7020 Fax: 07 3839 7021 Freecall: 1800 177937 Email: enquiries@qieu.asn.au Internet: www.qieu.asn.au ABN: 45 620 218 712

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

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ROCKHAMPTON CATHOLIC SCHOOLS

School Calendar 2012 and 2013 CHAPTER BRIEFING No. 1 Dear Colleagues Last year the State Government announced a series of changes to the school calendar for Queensland State Schools. This decision also impacted upon the Catholic sector and our union provided information to chapters on this matter. Our union wrote to all employing authorities and chapters outlining key principles that should be adhered to, including the importance of consultation with staff. Members have advised us however, that within the Rockhampton Diocese, little if any consultation occurred with staff about changes to the school calendar. Instead, a directive was issued on the 2012 school calendar and the scheduling of the professional development days in particular. Employer responses so far Catholic employers in announcements on the calendar changes typically advised that there could be some flexibility in arrangements for 2012 and committed to consult with staff regarding arrangements in future years. Many chapters in the Rockhampton Diocese sought meetings with their principal to discuss flexibility in arrangements; however, Rockhampton Diocese stubbornly advised that there would be no flexibility for the rostering of these days. In instances where principals did consult with staff in their schools and were prepared to make flexible arrangements with their staff, these arrangements were then denied by the Rockhampton Diocese Education Office. Members in the Rockhampton Diocese are understandably concerned and angered that no consultation was sought or permitted on this matter. Furthermore, where Chapters took the extraordinary step of writing to the Director outlining their concerns, these Chapters were informed that, due to little notice given by the State Government, no other arrangements can be entered into. Staff in the Rockhampton Diocese have noted, however, that their State school and independent sector colleagues have been consulted on this matter, and following that consultation a variety of


flexible arrangements have been made at the school level including scheduling of professional development in twilight sessions. Key principles IEUA-QNT would expect an employer to respect some key principles in adopting any rescheduled arrangements as we advised in a briefing at the time of the state government announcement: (1) Professional development should not be scheduled in current vacation periods. Any employer notion that professional development may be scheduled on the 'last Friday of a vacation' should be rejected. (2) It may be possible for professional development to be scheduled in the new second week at Easter by mutual agreement, in instances where this would have been ‘normal work time/term time’ for non-government schools. However, some capacity instead to have twilight sessions scheduled throughout the term clearly has to be an option. (3) Consultation at local level should also occur, to minimise the impact on affected staff. Next steps It is not acceptable that the employer has failed to adequately consult with staff regarding these significant changes in the school calendar. Members are clearly annoyed by the lack of consultation and the lack of flexibility allowed at the school level. Chapter Executive members are requested to hold a Chapter meeting to consider the attached faxback calling on the Rockhampton Diocese to advise Principals that flexibilities may be established with regards to the 2012 professional development scheduled after Easter and to ensure that scheduling in future years allows flexibility at the school level. Kind regards

TERRY BURKE SECRETARY


ROCKHAMPTON DIOCESE SCHOOL CALENDAR CONSULTATION CHAPTER FAX BACK

The Chapter at ___________________________ expresses their concern and disappointment at the lack of consultation around the scheduling of the Easter Professional Development days in 2012. Carried: Yes/No

The Chapter at ___________________________ calls upon Rockhampton Diocese to authorise flexibility at the school level, regarding the timetabling of professional development within the 2012 Easter school vacation period. Carried: Yes/No

The Chapter at ___________________________ calls upon Rockhampton Diocese to commit to consultation with staff regarding the scheduling of professional development days beyond 2012 and to affirm a principle that schools can have flexibility in the scheduling of professional development. Carried: Yes/No

PLEASE FAX BACK TO IEUA-QNT by close of business Thursday, 15 March 2012 Fax: 3839 7021


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