QTU Biennial Report 2011 - 2013
Contents The Biennial Report is produced internally by QTU staff. It offers a concise picture of the extensive activities of the Union over the past two years, and its strategies for the future.
Welcome..................................................................................................... 4 The President’s report................................................................................ 6 The past two years...................................................................................... 9 A campaigning organisation..................................................................... 14 General Administration General administration report.............................................................. 15 Finances............................................................................................... 19 Employee management...................................................................... 20 Trustees’ report.................................................................................... 21 QTU Services Legal services...................................................................................... 22 Industrial advocacy.............................................................................. 23 New educators..................................................................................... 24 Education leaders................................................................................ 25 Research.............................................................................................. 26 Services and welfare............................................................................ 28 QTEC................................................................................................... 29 Women’s section................................................................................. 30 Organisers’ reports TAFE..................................................................................................... 31 Brisbane North..................................................................................... 32 Brisbane South.................................................................................... 33 Central Queensland............................................................................. 34 Gold Coast........................................................................................... 35 Moreton................................................................................................ 36 North Queensland............................................................................... 37 Peninsula and North-West................................................................... 38 Redlands/Logan.................................................................................. 39 South Queensland............................................................................... 40 Sunshine Coast.................................................................................... 41 Wide Bay.............................................................................................. 42 The Union structure.................................................................................. 43 Life Members............................................................................................ 44 Who’s who in the QTU.............................................................................. 46 Strategic plan............................................................................................ 51
Welcome by QTU General Secretary Graham Moloney
This Biennial Conference Report is prepared as a record of the activities and achievements of the QTU over the two years since the last conference in June 2011.
extent of movement in positions is a tribute to the work of union activists and community members throughout the state, and indeed, nationwide.
The past two years have seen an intensity of campaigning by the QTU and its members that is unprecedented, at least in my experience. That level of intensity can be attributed to three sources:
National campaigns do not of course stop there, with the QTU supporting the ACTU’s Secure Jobs, Better Future campaign and campaigning in the lead-up to the federal election in September.
• local campaigns run as part of the Right to Teach/Right to Learn strategy • campaigns arising from an increasingly important federal agenda • campaigns arising from a change in state government.
The necessity for a whole raft of campaigns has arisen from the election of an LNP government on 24 March 2012. A significant campaign was required to secure an acceptable enterprise bargaining agreement without loss of conditions in the second half of 2012. The result was achieved under changed industrial legislation, which makes it more difficult for unions to undertake industrial action and which abolished a number of longstanding terms in awards and agreements.
The Right to Teach/Right to Learn strategy adopted a number of years ago continues to be the basis for localised action by Union members on a range of issues taking in everything from student behaviour to staffing for special needs facilities. A number of notable local campaigns from the past two years, as reported to State Council, are also recorded in this report. The idea of members taking action on their own behalf on a local level and turning problems into campaigns remains a fundamental principle of QTU operations. The strategic plan adopted by the QTU in 2010 predicted the increasing importance of federal government policies and funding on the work of teachers in Queensland schools. This has become increasingly evident. Witness the impact of the implementation of the Australian Curriculum and the problems associated with that and the use of Curriculum to Classroom resources. Undoubtedly the most significant campaign has been that to secure a fairer federal government funding model for schools, what has come to be known as the Gonski campaign. It has been a campaign firstly to encourage schools to provide the submissions which contributed to the final report in December 2011, a campaign to get the federal government to commit to the implementation of the report, including additional funding, and finally a campaign to convince the state government to make an agreement with the federal government. Nationally, it has been the most ambitious campaign attempted by teacher unions in this country. While final agreement remains uncertain, the 4
The QTU played its part, together with other public sector unions, in the campaign against cuts to the public service and the anti-privatisation campaign arising from the the Newman government’s adoption of recommendations of the commission of audit. The QTU is and will continue to campaign on the educationspecific recommendations of the commission of audit, including class size targets, TAFE and teacher housing, and around unacceptable recommendations of the “Great Teachers = Great Results” plan.
Member services While campaigning is essential for achieving members’ objectives through the Union, member services remains a priority of the QTU. I have always regarded characterisation of campaigning versus servicing unions to be a false dichotomy, because members still legitimately expect services from campaigning unions. The QTU continues to offer a legal assistance scheme which we believe is still the best offered by any union in the country. While the name of the firm supplying legal assistance has changed to TressCox, our more than 40 year association with lawyers in the firm, expert in education and employment law, continues. It is a vital part of the service we offer to QTU members.
The Queensland Teachers’ Assist Desk continues to offer excellent information to members in response to the myriad questions that emerge in a teacher’s working life. The QTU is continually looking at new ways to make information more accessIble to QTU members. Add to that the Queensland Teachers’ Journal, the Queensland Teachers’ Education Centre and the services provided through Teachers’ Union Health and Union Shopper, and you will see continuing strong emphasis on providing services to members. The QTU has also been very happy over the last year to re-establish very strong links with the Queensland Teachers’ Mutual Bank and QSuper, to help promote their services to members.
Dealing with the Newman government We have to go back almost 30 years to find a situation similar to the current political situation in Queensland. The government was elected on 24 March 2012 with an overwhelming majority. It offers little or no consultation prior to often extraordinary change proposals, whether contained within pre-election commitments or not. It implements decisions quickly and it has shown its willingness to
legislate to override the conditions of employees and to make it more difficult for unions to represent their members. New situations require, if not new strategies, at least a revision of strategies to achieve the best results. The QTU has been and is adapting to the new situation. This will be taken further in the second half of 2013, with the Union’s quadrennial survey of members and formulation of a strategic plan for the period 2014 to 2018.
125th anniversary The QTU will celebrate its 125th anniversary on 9 January 2014, the day that saw the first meeting of the QTU annual conference in 1889. The QTU is a great union. It will continue to fulfil its mission of defending and advancing the industrial and professional interests of Queensland teachers and promoting public education. It is important to acknowledge and congratulate our members, employees and our dedicated workplace representatives on whose work the QTU’s success is built. Congratulations and thank you.
President’s report by President Kevin Bates, Vice-President Julie Brown and Honorary Vice-President Sam Pidgeon
Addressing the media outside Parliament House, April 2013
A new, but not improved, Queensland Government The biggest challenge facing the Queensland Teachers’ Union and its 44,000 members for many years has been the election of an LNP state government with a huge majority. While there is no reason per se that this should be an issue for a politically non-aligned union such as ours, it has proven to be difficult in the extreme to develop a working relationship. Within weeks, the brutal slashing of public service jobs began, with 14,000 jobs disappearing at last count, and more to come. Government services and funding for longstanding community-run programs, many supporting the most vulnerable in society, also faced the axe – all using the excuse of the interim report of the Peter Costello-led commission of audit which, predictably, painted the blackest of economic forecasts (subsequently brought into doubt by respected economists Professor John Quiggan, Professor Bob Walker and Dr Betty Con Walker).
outside Parliament to send the government a very clear message – teaching conditions are learning conditions, and they’re worth too much to lose. Three rallies were held in three months, the last webstreamed live to members around the state. As the rallies brought increased public attention to teachers’ plight, the QTU balloted members for protected industrial action – under the new and onerous process legislated by the Newman government that required the Electoral Commission of Queensland to conduct the ballot, rather than allowing the QTU to ballot its own members at workplace meetings. There was huge support for work bans, work limitations and a 24hour stoppage – hardly surprising given members’ anger at being treated with such contempt by a new government.
It was in this context that the QTU was negotiating for a new enterprise bargaining agreement for its school-based members.
At the 11th hour, the government made a revised offer that went to member ballot on 3 October; the QTU Executive recommended that members accept the offer that maintained all but one condition in an enforceable instrument, lifted the freeze on new teachers’ pay and delivered a 2.7 per cent per annum pay increase. Members voted overwhelmingly in favour of accepting the new agreement, which came into force from 1 September.
Negotiations for the next EB are due to begin in June 2015.
No EB negotiations are ever easy, with any government, given the significant costs in awarding a fair pay increase to such a large workforce. But generally, there is some agreement from both sides of the bargaining table that EBs are supposed to improve workers’ lot – not, as in this case, attempt to strip away more than 20 conditions in exchange for a paltry pay increase.
The government, through its negotiators, presented a “take it or leave it” offer that attempted to remove conditions such as class size targets, the Remote Area Incentive Scheme and the teacher transfer system from the existing agreements and turn them into matters of “departmental policy”, which meant they could be changed or removed altogether with no consultation, and no warning. Worse, it attempted to freeze the pay of new teachers for three years, for no defensible reason. A member ballot overwhelmingly rejected that insulting offer in June, and within weeks hundreds of members rallied 6
The second rally outside Parliament House, in July 2012
The first budget of the new government delivered a major blow to schools within the context of a massive attack on the public sector generally. Evidence suggests that schools are operating in 2013 with 519 fewer teachers than they would have been entitled to if the state government had not used changes to the allocative model for schools to manifest savings in the education budget. The fanfare about the 2013-14 state budget has proven to be “much ado about nothing”. A purported 6.6 per cent increase in education funding evaporated under scrutiny, leaving about $1 million in new money out of a total budget of $11.4 billion. An allocation of 610 additional teachers to cater for an estimated growth in student enrolments of 10,000 in 2014 goes some way to correcting the damage. What is clear however is that the lowest funded school education system in Australia will remain at the bottom of the funding heap for the foreseeable future.
Celebrating TAFE at the 2013 Labour Day March
TAFE Like the schools sector, TAFE has been hit by a series of changes by the government that have involved little or no consultation and that use questionable economic arguments as an excuse for a relentless pursuit of ideology. In TAFE’s case, that is the imposition of privatisation by stealth hidden behind the veneer of “contestability” in concert with a starvation of funds. In a sign of what has become a relentless but surreptitious attack on TAFE by the state government, a Skills and Training Taskforce, made up mainly of representatives of industry and private providers (competitors of TAFE), was formed to provide a blueprint for the future of TAFE. As with many other activities, the QTU was excluded. Like the Costello Commission of Audit, this process saw a largely pre-determined outcome which mimics the actions of other state governments in marginalising their TAFE systems. Soon after the state election, QTU TAFE members began negotiation of a new EB agreement. In light of the ongoing processes of restructuring, members took the chance to secure an 11-month deal that delivered a 2 per cent pay increase with no loss of conditions. A new TAFE members’ EB is currently being negotiated against the background of the Skills and Training Taskforce recommendations, the TAFE Queensland Bill 2013 and Vocational Education and Training Investment Plan, all of which undermine TAFE’s role as the public provider.
Governing by media A distinctive feature of the new government – besides pushing legislation through Parliament with little notice and even less consultation – has been governing by media. That means that the previously accepted ways of governing, including discussions with major stakeholders before decisions are made, let alone announced, have gone by the wayside. Typical examples have been the announcement of the socalled “Great Teachers = Great Results” plan on 8 April 2013, with its 15 actions including such radical proposals as teacher performance bonuses based on unknown criteria,
and obliging all new principal and deputy principals to take up three-year contracts from 2016. This was closely followed on 28 April by an announcement in the media of sweeping reforms to school discipline, again made with no consultation with the teaching profession and, on 30 April, the government’s response to the Costello Commission of Audit, which included abandoning class size targets. A few days later, on 4 May, Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek revealed in the media the list of eight schools facing closure, and two facing amalgamation. Principals of the schools involved were told only a few hours before the news broke on evening television news broadcasts, and school communities were given no notice at all by the Minister. In an enfeebled defence of such actions, the Minister has said that he has been forced to sideline the QTU and its representation of 44,000 members because it keeps disagreeing with him. Yes, we have and will, every time he and his government make ill-conceived decisions that fundamentally impact on the work those members do every day, and which set the scene for ongoing attacks on the teaching profession in this state. The QTU has redoubled its media effort, faced with this new form of governing. From April 2012, as the new Queensland Government hit its stride, until early May 2013, media coverage that quoted one of the QTU’s spokespeople (and so directly delivered the QTU’s position) reached an audience of nearly 79 million, over print, radio, television and online news. The equivalent advertising space rate – that is, the amount of paid advertising space that would have been needed to reach the same audience – was $6.85m. The QTU’s position has also been delivered to increasing audiences through social media, mainly the QTU’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/QueenslandTeachersUnion) and the @QTUPresident twitter account.
Curriculum Over the past two years, teachers have experienced an increased workload associated with the implementation of the Australian Curriculum. While the QTU welcomed the 7
C2C materials as a resource to support teachers in their implementation of the Australian Curriculum, we spoke out against these materials being mandated for use. DETE changed this position and schools have been making local decisions regarding the extent to which they will use the C2C materials, if at all, to support curriculum implementation. The QTU has advocated that the new ACARA documents, QSA advice and associated C2C materials must be made available early enough to enable teachers to familiarise themselves with both the source curriculum document and, if they are using them, the C2C materials prior to implementation. The QTU continues to monitor the implementation schedule for further ACARA P-10 subjects to ensure that we do not again see onerous expectations placed on teachers, as occurred in 2012 when schools and teachers implemented English, maths and science at once. ACARA has released the senior curriculum, but the state government is yet to announce a position on timelines for implementation. The QTU remains of the view that P-10 implementation must be well advanced before there is a move to senior implementation. The government has announced a major review of senior assessment, reporting and tertiary entrance procedures to take place in 2013/14. The outcomes of this review have the potential to significantly change the way that senior schooling operates in Queensland, and the QTU will be active in representing our policy.
Impact of ICT on workload Over the past two years, teachers have seen an exponential growth in the digital delivery of curriculum, resources, professional development, their school, district, regional and departmental information, and even their pay advices. This has meant that taking home the laptop has replaced taking home unit plans and work programs. Phone calls and emails to the QTU around the mandated aspects of OneSchool, school internet interruptions, C2C excesses and the rush to embrace too many Australian Curriculum subjects have increased markedly. For many of our members. the solutions have had to involve a reassertion of their professional rights. Many members are being asked to do the undoable and 8
have used their local consultative committees to discuss how change can be managed, not only reasonably but also to the greater benefit of their students.
Conclusion Queensland teachers and principals are no strangers to adversity. The very fact that we are able to deliver a world-class education within a system that is chronically underfunded speaks volumes about your dedication and tenacity. We will no doubt face many further challenges in the years ahead, and while your reserves of energy are not limitless, we must never give in to despair. The QTU Presidential leadership team expresses its deep admiration and respect for each and every one of the 44,000 teachers and principals in schools and TAFE for your ongoing commitment to public education and our Union.
Steve Ryan Since the last state conference, the QTU has experienced a major renewal of leadership. It remains for me to acknowledge the important contribution of the outgoing President, Steve Ryan, to the QTU. The significance of this is being recognised by the conferring of Life Membership of the QTU at the 2013 Biennial Conference. When I took up office at the beginning of 2012, I followed a leader of our organisation who had provided 12 years of service at the most senior level through many challenging situations. Steveâ€™s stable and purposeful approach has set the tone for my Presidency by enabling a strong profile within the membership and with the broader education community and the public. I am extremely grateful for the legacy left by Steve and for his generosity in providing support and advice in these interesting times. Kevin Bates, President
The past two years (2011â€“2013)
The two years since the 2011 Biennial Conference have been among the most turbulent and torrid in the history of the QTU, a time of great upheaval and change for state school teachers, their Union and the state as a whole.
But while it may have been tough, QTU members have proved equal to the challenges thrust upon them, standing firm in the face of what sometimes seemed overwhelming odds and emerging victorious. Here are just some of the highlights of a busy two years. 9
The past two years (2011â€“2013)
EB7 In June 2012, the state government made an EB offer demanding that teachers surrender practically every safeguard, defence and protection won during 18 years of campaigning, in exchange for a small pay rise. Also included was a three-year pay freeze for new teachers. QTU members were having none of it. They voted overwhelmingly to reject the offer and endorsed a range of industrial action options, including a 24 hour strike. Membersâ€™ determination to succeed was clear. Across the state, they lobbied their 10
MPs, addressed P&Cs, rallied outside Parliament House or electorate offices and engaged with their local media. The commitment of QTU members eventually forced the state government into backing down. It made a new offer under which all teaching and learning conditions were retained in enforceable industrial instruments.
The past two years (2011â€“2013)
Gonski From the moment the then Federal Education Minster Julia Gillard appointed businessman David Gonski to head a review into school funding, QTU members took the lead in pushing for a better deal for public education. When the Review report was published, recommending billions of dollars in extra funding for all schools and extra loadings based on need for those dealing with the most disadvantaged students, the campaign kicked up a gear. Members rallied at community cabinets and ceaselessly lobbied their local politicians, as well as targeting their local communities with everything from market stalls to apple hand outs. Legislation was finally introduced at the end of 2012, and the campaign to persuade the state government to support it began.
The past two years (2011–2013)
Stand for Queensland When the people of Queensland returned a LNP government with a majority of unprecedented magnitude at the 2012 state election, It didn’t take long for the implications to be felt. Campbell Newman’s new regime quickly followed the established pattern among incoming conservative governments and set up a “commission of audit”, which rather predictably identified a “black hole” at the centre of the state’s finances. The Newman government took aim at the public service, announcing 14,000 sackings, and making anti-union changes to industrial relations legislation. The Queensland Council of Unions launched the Stand for Queensland campaign against the cuts, and QTU members turned out at rallies and marches across the state to show their support for their fellow public servants.
Teaching and learning audits When teaching and learning audit data was handed over to the media, which then used the material to compare schools, QTU members were furious. It was a clear breach of previous commitments around the use of the audit reports, and the Union immediately issued a directive suspending all involvement. In a ballot of QTU members, just over 60 per cent indicated that the audits were useful for informing the development agenda of schools, but more than 75 per cent felt that they should not proceed if the information would be available for publication. An accommodation was reached when the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission stepped in and recommended that changes be negotiated.
C2C What started as an attempt to help schools implement the national curriculum threatened to turn sour at the beginning of 2012, with the department’s Curriculum into the Classroom (C2C) resources leaving teachers feeling frustrated and overloaded. Designed to help schools meet the abilities and needs of their students, its use was never mandatory, but this message did not always come across clearly. In some schools, the belief grew that C2C could not be modified or adjusted or that it had to be implemented in full. The QTU worked with the department in addressing the misinformation and misunderstandings. 12
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The past two years (2011–2013)
State government reforms
It has been a tough two years in TAFE. In late 2012, a review of the TAFE sector by the Ministerial Taskforce for Skills and Training recommended a course of downsizing and corporatisation, leading to mergers, closures and funding cuts for courses not seen as priorities for industry. In response, TAFE teachers intent on defending their system launched the Save TAFE for QLD campaign. On the EB front, in 2013 the department presented a log of claims which stripped the term “teacher” from the agreement, introduced a flat pay scale to three educational roles and attempted to remove key protections and turn them over to policy.
It may have been forced to back down over EB7, but there was no let up in the state government’s onslaught on other fronts. Its first Budget resulted in cuts to staffing which left barely a school in Queensland untouched, and in 2013 it introduced its “Great Teachers = Greats Results” plan, which included performance based pay and fixed term contracts for school leaders. Then came its discipline plan, which introduced the concept of discipline audits, and then the response to the Costello Commission of Audit Final Report, in which the government made it clear that it intends to increase class sizes. As if that wasn’t enough, the government was then forced into admitting that it was considering school closures.
ng ail y e
A campaigning organisation The list below indicates the campaigns which have been showcased at State Council since the 2011 QTU Conference. At the 2013 Conference, several campaigns will be selected from the list to be recognised for their special contribution to achieving the QTU’s strategic goals. Awards will be presented to the coordinator of the selected campaigns in recognition of the importance of campaigning in “winning for members”.
2011 • Craigslea SHS science facilities campaign • Special schools TRS campaign • Northern Tablelands “Keep our principal here” campaign • North Kennedy DRT shortage campaign • EQ Behaviour Services Unit homeless trespassers campaign • Boonah SHS MyHR campaign • Weipa hostel campaign
2012 • Kruger SS Gonski community campaign – “the Gonski Mums” • Redlands/Logan “Engaging federal MPs differently brings rewards” • “Know your working conditions” seminars for primary specialist teachers in Redlands/Logan • Yeerongpilly ECDP facilities campaign • Cairns School of Distance Education C2C campaign • Tannum Sands SHS EB7 “Work wear to work” campaign What do parents say? Mount Ommaney Special School facilities • “As a parent of children at a local state school, I know how important education is for my kids. But it is time that all kids in all schools have the resources they need to achieve campaign their best. That’s why I am a Gonski Mum who wants the federal and state governments to bring in the new funding model so that my kids will grow up knowing that as a community we really do care about the importance of education” Jodi Brown, parent Robertson State School
To find out more and to register your support for better funding:
| facebook.com/igiveagonski • igiveagonski.com.au “Teacher-librarians – the ultimate resource” campaign • “Great Gonski letterbox drop in Moreton” • Wide Bay Area Council MP relationship campaign • Cairns special school campaign • Murray River Upper SS staffing campaign. Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers’ Union, 21 Graham St, Milton Q 4064 - April 2013
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From top: Members at Boonah State High School; celebrating the success of the Weipa hostel campaign; the Gonski Mums; then Member for Yeerongpilly Simon Finn announces victory in the ECDP facilities campaign
General administration report by General Secretary Graham Moloney and Deputy General Secretaries Kate Ruttiman and Barry Welch
EB7 After Conference 2011, the QTU finalised the log of claims for EB7. With negotiations due to commence no later than 1 April 2012, the QTU forwarded its log of claims and a request to commence bargaining prior to the end of the 2011 school year. Given the announcement of the February state election, the first few single bargaining unit (SBU) meetings were conducted during the caretaker period. It was not until June (the month in which the agreement was due to expire) that the QTU had any sense of the EB agenda of the Newman government. Following the initial offer, it became clear that the government was on a slash and burn rampage, seeking to remove conditions from awards and agreements. The government’s offer sought to remove industrial protections around the following key areas: • class sizes • RAIS • teacher professional issues and professional development • staffing guarantees • teacher transfer and the relocations system. Additionally, the offer sought to freeze beginning teacher salaries for three years and to introduce annual performance reviews. At the same time, the government made changes to industrial relations legislation which, for the first time, saw the QTU required to conduct a ballot for industrial action through the Electoral Commission of Queensland. While members supported taking a 24 hour stoppage in support of their claims, the need to take the action was circumvented by a revised offer from the government. The offer, while not increasing the initial offer of a 2.7 per cent per annum pay increase, resulted in Queensland teachers retaining their conditions. In the context of a state government crying poor and with the prospect of a lengthy, uncertain arbitration ahead, the settlement was a victory for Queensland teachers, even though the QTU did not achieve all its original claims. The result is attributable to the campaign capacity – whether
industrial or public – of the QTU and its members. The settlement was endorsed by members during term four 2012 and the agreement was certified on 30 November 2012.
Federal Review of School Funding For the past two years, teachers across the nation have banded together in pursuit of Gonski, the holy grail of school funding reform. The Queensland Teachers’ Union has devoted significant funds and the combined efforts of thousands of QTU members to getting a fair, equitable, and transparent funding system for schools. Having sent in hundreds of submissions to the Gonski panel, QTU members followed up with responses to the panel’s interim report in late 2011. Once the findings of the panel were released in February 2012, the campaigning began in earnest, to: • get the federal government to accept the recommendations • get the state government to sign up to the new funding model • have legislation for the new model passed before Parliament rises prior to the election • ensure that once established, Gonski cannot be dismantled. QTU members, along with community supporters such as the “Gonski Mums”, campaigned successfully to have the federal government commit to implementing the Gonski recommendations. From September 2012, QTU members and school communities across Queensland led the campaign calling on Campbell Newman to sign up to Gonski. They have participated in Gonski rallies, held Gonski events, we’ve even had Gonski t-shirted basketball teams, anything and everything that ensured the message got out. But despite the federal government making its offer to the states in midApril and “Gonski” funding being included in the federal budget, Mr Newman is still being recalcitrant. Hopefully, while you are reading this, legislation to pass the bill embedding the Gonski reforms will be going through Federal Parliament and Campbell Newman will have put 15
General administration report
pupils first by signing up to Gonski. The challenge then will be to keep a new, more transparent, equitable funding system that will ensure every child has access to a high quality school.
about changes to education in the absence of genuine engagement with the profession. The Union has responded to these announcements in a number of ways including, where necessary, seeking the assistance of the QIRC.
In February 2012, Queenslanders voted in a LNP government with a significant majority. The impact of having a government with such a vast majority was soon felt, resulting in a number of key changes in Queensland.
In order to prepare for the outcome of the state election, the QTU undertook a “futures planning” process in August 2011. This looked at scenarios and potential risks for the Union under state governments of all kinds. The process allowed the QTU to ready itself for some of the changes proposed by the new government in 2012, however the lack of consultation and transparency with which the current government operates could not be foreseen.
The government sought to remove conditions from awards and agreements through EB negotiations and has made continual revisions to the Industrial Relations Act. The initial revisions resulted in the QTU having to conduct a protected industrial action ballot through the Electoral Commission of Queensland during EB negotiations last year. It has also made changes that require the QIRC to consider the fiscal policy of the government when arbitrating salaries. The amendments also propose to make invalid any matters of policy currently covered by awards and agreements. Additionally, the government has proposed changes that would restrict unions’ capacity to campaign and require publicly published registers of the earnings and interests of their office holders. The QTU has been active in the joint union campaign “Save Your Say” in response to these proposed changes. The state government also commissioned Peter Costello to undertake a commission of audit, and has since accepted a number of proposals that will significantly impact on TAFE, teacher housing and our industrial instruments. Of note is the transfer of TAFE to a different entity and the cessation of state government funding for the provision of courses. The commission of audit also recommends the transfer of teacher housing to the Department of Public Works and Housing and the removal of “restrictive” provisions from certified agreements, such as student/teacher ratios. The acceptance of recommendations around the reasonableness test for transfers may also impact on QTU members. Over the past 16 months, QTU members have endured a government that is unwilling to negotiate or consult. It has endured a government that has made announcements 16
The QTU organised a further special Executive meeting in May this year to take stock of the actions of the state government. The meeting included Executive members, Officers, Organisers and other QTU employees. The outcomes of this meeting will be considered by Executive and will be used to inform the QTU response to state government proposals and actions.
QTU Strategic Plan QTU will conduct a strategic planning exercise at the end of 2013. As on previous occasions, a major source of information for the planning process will be a large membership survey concerning the operation of the Union. The strategic planning exercise, involving Executive, Trustees, Officers and staff, will consider the current strategic objectives of the QTU as set out in detail on page 51 of this report. The process will look at all areas of the QTU and look toward setting the direction for the QTU in the coming four years.
Staffing The people working for the QTU are one of its most important assets. The QTU has an experienced and professional staff with a relatively low turnover, however 2011 – 2013 has seen a number of changes. 2011 saw the departure of long-serving General Secretary John Battams, who left the QTU to take on the role of full-time President of the Queensland Council of Unions.
General administration report
Deputy General Secretary Graham Moloney filled the role of acting General Secretary and former Wide Bay Organiser Greg Purches moved into the role of acting Deputy General Secretary. In November 2012, Graham Moloney was elected unopposed to the position of General Secretary, Kate Ruttiman was re-elected to the position of Deputy General Secretary and Moreton Organiser Barry Welch was elected to the second Deputy General Secretary position. At the end of 2011, QTU TAFE Organiser Paul Reardon retired and Kevin Bates took leave from his position as South Queensland Organiser while he embarked on his ultimately successful campaign to become President. A number of appointments were made at November Council. Zeb Sugden joined the QTU as South Queensland Organiser, Scott Welch was appointed Wide Bay Organiser and David Terrauds was appointed TAFE Organiser. A number of long-serving officers retired in 2012. Research Officer Lesley McFarlane departed the QTU in July last year and former Women’s Officer Leah Mertens transferred into Lesley’s former role. Penny Spalding became Assistant Secretary, Women’s and Social Welfare Issues and Lin Esders was appointed as Gold Coast Organiser upon Penny’s transfer. Former QTU Officer Jeff Backen returned to the Union at the start of this year, filling the Assistant Secretary role formerly filled by Jim Sykes, who commenced pre-retirement leave at the end of 2012 after 28 years of service. Industrial Advocate Services Officer Louise Comino also commenced pre-retirement leave at this time. Following the election of Barry Welch as Deputy General Secretary, former Sunshine Coast activist and Executive member Meegan Maguire was appointed Moreton Organiser at March Council this year.
Recruitment Recruitment of new members remains fundamental to the ongoing strength of the QTU. In addition to routine recruitment, the QTU concentrates its resources for a number of short recruitment campaigns two/three times each year. In 2011 and again in 2012, the QTU has also placed a particular focus on unfinancial members, contacting them with a view to restoring their financial
status. Engagement with students on teacher education courses and the provision of associate membership is also a vital ongoing strategy, introducing future teachers to the QTU and its work. As a consequence of legislative changes, the role of the school-based Union Representative has expanded to include a review of the membership data at each school. The information provided by Union Representatives helps the QTU keep track of the school locations of its members and assists with recruitment of new educators and other non-members.
Legal assistance The QTU has maintained its association with TressCox (formerly Macrossans) and its network of agents throughout the state to provide legal assistance to QTU members. It remains the best scheme available to members of any union in Australia. The number of legal assistance cases each year remains relatively stable. On a number of occasions during the year, the QTU and TressCox meet to review emerging areas of importance or expense, and the agreement with TressCox is negotiated annually. The legal seminars provided by TressCox are an extremely valuable part of the service provided to members. TressCox also provides the QTU with increasingly vital advice about proposed changes of legislation in the public service generally, in education and in relation to the Queensland College of Teachers, as well as in significant industrial cases (i.e. EB7, TAFE EB).
Financial management The Biennial Report in 2011 stated: “The Union has historically maintained a strong financial position, and with adherence to the aims of the current financial plan, the QTU will be able to continue to protect members into the future.” The QTU continues to hold a strong financial position, however, with expenses incurred around the significant natural disasters in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and the ongoing funding of campaigns such as Gonski and EB7, the QTU entered an operating deficit for the 2012 financial year. The
General administration report
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QTU is currently investigating cost-saving measures to ensure a return to an operating surplus as soon as practical, but will continue to campaign and fight to protect members’ working conditions and salaries and undertake campaigns to promote and protect public education.
QTAD Queensland Teachers’ Assist Desk (QTAD) is currently staffed by four full-time/part-time staff. QTU Internal Officers and Organisers are also rostered to work in QTAD to help with more complex enquiries. In 2011, the internally-developed QTAD software was integrated into the Union’s membership database. This allows staff and officers to more easily search the stored resources on a specific topic, and has proven to be a more efficient method of providing this information to members. QTAD staff also continue to attend professional development activities to enhance their knowledge, which is critical in maintaining a high standard of service for members.
Communications The QTU continues to explore avenues to provide members with the most up-to-date information available. During 2012, the QTU undertook a restructure of its website. Over
the past 12 months, there have been more than 160,000 visitors to the QTU website (www.qtu.asn.au) viewing more than 434,000 pages. Around 23 per cent of the visits are now made using mobile devices – this figure has been steadily increasing over the year. Additionally the QTU launched its Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/ QueenslandTeachersUnion, while the TAFE Division has established its own Facebook page presence as a closed group, called TAFEbook. It is vital that the QTU remain connected to members. Newsflashes, Union Reps Updates and Principals Updates are produced as issues arise. The QTU also produces Temporary Teacher Communiqué (direct emailed to temporary teachers) and Flare (the new educator newsletter) to stay connected with a number of parts of the membership. The Queensland Teachers’ Journal and the QTU website continue to be significant avenues of communication with members. The QTU also maintains a professional library, which is available to all QTU members and has resources related to campaigns, industrial work, legislation, equity and professional development issues.
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The QTU’s continuing objectives concerning finances are to maintain surplus budgets and maintain the current rates of dues as a percentage of member income, while allocating funds for a variety of reserves, including campaign reserve and investments and natural disaster relief funds, as provided under QTU policy. The raw summary of the financial results from the last three years are set out in the table below. Summary of Union’s financial situation 2012
Special expenditure and allocations to/ from reserves
Further detailed information concerning these financial statements can be obtained from the QTU website, or otherwise by request from the QTU office.
Expenditure review The QTU Council in 2012 acknowledged that the QTU would not meet the objectives of the Financial Plan 2010 – 2014 to establish reserves equivalent to two years of members’ dues. This partly reflected the consequences of demands on reserves for natural disaster relief in 2011, as well as anticipated campaign expenditure from campaign reserves. Other sections of this report refer to the unprecedented levels of campaign activity over the last two years. It was also clear that QTU membership had plateaued over a number of years, because of the lack of growth in teacher numbers. Faced with similar circumstances relating to natural disaster relief and campaign expenditures, in 2013 March Council initiated a review of Union expenditure with a view to building the reserves of the QTU while maintaining our campaigning and servicing capacity. This is an ongoing role of the General Secretary and of the Audit Committee of the QTU.
The QTU undertakes its quadrennial strategic planning exercise in 2013, and a new financial plan for 2014 to 2018 will be developed in consequence for Council’s approval.
Union governance The ACTU Congress in 2012 endorsed the establishment of an independent panel to advise unions on governance in the wake of revelations concerning the administration of the Health Services Union (HSU) East. The independent panel provided a report to the ACTU Executive in March 2013, which has subsequently been considered by the QTU Executive. The recommendations of the report are being considered with a view to improving or documenting the governance of the QTU. In doing so, the Executive noted that the vast majority of the recommendations of the independent panel are already policies or practice of the QTU. The QTU already has strong governance and internal controls including: • an Audit Committee, including an independent accounting-qualified member • employment of a Certified Practicing Accountant or equivalent, as the Union’s Finance and Corporate Services Manager • external audit by Ernst & Young • a financial plan and various policies in relation to expenditure, endorsed by the Council or Conference of the Union, as well as a range of operational policies. These will be enhanced as a result of consideration of the recommendations of the independent panel. These changes will also satisfy new provisions in state legislation which, at the time of writing, are still before the Queensland Parliament.
Finance and Corporate Services Manager The Union’s Finance and Corporate Services Manager, Gail Woods, took leave at the end of 2012 after 18 years service to the QTU to take up a position with another organisation. The position has been filled on a temporary basis, pending a final decision concerning her return to the QTU. It is appropriate however, to acknowledge her contribution over that period of time to the strong financial position of the QTU and the professionalism of its operations.
Left: at a staff morning tea at Milton. Right: male employees swear never to remain silent about violence against women on White Ribbon Day
While the QTU continues to acknowledge workplace representatives as the most important people in the work of the QTU, there is no doubt that, like schools, the QTUâ€™s success is also significantly due to its dedicated, professional, hardworking employees, whether employed by the General Secretary or appointed by the Council. There have been significant changes in the management of employees over the past several years. The first steps included the creation of a second Deputy General Secretary position and the Deputy General Secretaries and Finance and Corporate Services Manager assuming responsibility for all employees within the functional areas for which they have responsibility. The second component was the appointment of an HR Manager to improve policies and procedures and to provide support for managers and coordinators in appointing, managing and developing employees. Towards the end of 2011, the then HR Manager, Ed Watts, left the organisation and was not replaced, with the overall responsibility for employee management being taken over by the General Secretary, as part of his overall portfolio of responsibilities. In 2013, the QTU engaged a consultancy to undertake policy development and support in this area. That arrangement was concluded after five months, essentially as a result of the difficulties in adapting commercial policies and practices to Union culture and values. The QTU General Secretary continues to have overall responsibility for this area of Union management.
Coordinators One of the strengths of the management structure, particularly in relation to employees, is the coordinator group. The staff in each discrete section of the QTU report to a coordinator or manager, who in turn reports to the General Secretary, one of the Deputy General Secretaries or the Finance and Corporate Services Manager. The coordinator group was established well over ten years ago. Their experience and collaborative approach, both within regular meetings and outside, is invaluable in ensuring the effective functioning of the Union.
Work health and safety The introduction of nationally harmonised work health and safety laws has also been a particular focus in this area of Union management. The Union has a trained Work Health and Safety Committee, including a Work Health and Safety Advisor who reports directly to the General Secretary. The Committee has been very active in promoting safety, monitoring incidents and recommending actions to mitigate risk. The need still exists for developmental approval of a comprehensive suite of work health and safety policies for the organisation as a matter of risk mitigation. Jeff Backen, whose responsibilities now include the area of work health and safety generally, will assist the other members of the Committee in the development of those policies.
Staff agreement The terms and conditions of administrative officers appointed by the Council are negotiated and agreed with QTU Executive under the rules. A replacement agreement to cover other employees is overdue. The classification structure for those employees is based on that of the Queensland public service and uses the job evaluation methodologies also used in the Queensland public service to determine appropriate classification levels. The long running and continuing dispute in the Queensland public service concerning public services wages has been a factor in the inability to complete a new agreement, as it is difficult for either party to predict the eventual outcome. As an interim measure, QTU employees received a 2.7 per cent wage increase effective on 1 September 2012, consistent with the percentage increase that was secured by school teachers in the 2012 enterprise bargaining agreement. While this represents a shift away from the nexus with the salary rates in the core public service, the Union believes that it is preferable to link salary increases, as is the case with Officers, to the outcomes achieved for members, to which employees of the QTU contribute. The continuation of that policy will be a matter for future negotiations between the Union and representatives of employees.
Left: the QTU Trustees present the 2011 Daughtrey Bequest to then President Steve Ryan. Right: the QTU head office in Milton
Property In accordance with the QTU Constitution and Rules, all real property is vested by the Trustees. The QTU has four Trustees who are elected by and from the State Council of the Union. The Trustees are elected for four year terms, with two Trustees being elected every two years on a rotational basis. A significant part of the QTU assets are property holdings with a net value in excess of $20 million as at 31 December 2012. The QTU owns property in Milton (QTU head office), Townsville, Cairns and the Gold Coast and an investment property in Eight Mile Plains. The QTU has units in QCU buildings in Rockhampton, Mackay and Bundaberg. The Union continues to lease offices in Toowoomba, Maryborough and the Sunshine Coast.
Investment policy 2012/13 saw the achievement of a longstanding objective of the Trustees, to diversify QTU investments beyond property and cash. The motivations for this objective are twofold: • the prudence of having a mix of asset types so that the asset base of the organisation is not at risk from a downturn in one particular class of assets • to seek to achieve a better rate of return for investment of QTU assets.
A detailed QTU investment policy was prepared by Commonwealth Financial Planning Limited and approved by the Trustees to govern the investment of these funds.
GA Daughtrey art bequest The first GA Daughtrey art bequest was purchased in 1958, after the 1956 State Council determined that the GA Daughtrey memorial fund be established for the purchase of original works of art to be presented to the Teachers’ College. George Daughtrey was the second full-time General Secretary of the Queensland Teachers’ Union from 1935 to 1956. The practice of presenting each acquisition to the Teachers’ College continued until 1973, since then new items added to the collection (at QTU State Conference) have been exhibited in Union offices. Trustees last year commissioned the latest piece of artwork from a well known Queensland artist and political identity. It will be the 26th acquisition to be exhibited in Union offices and will be presented to the Union at the Union’s Biennial State Conference in 2013.
Following presentations from three financial organisations with which the QTU has had ongoing relationships, the Trustees endorsed a proposal by Commonwealth Financial Planning Limited. The policy sees the investment of $3.8 million of QTU funds into two reserves: a cash reserve and a long-term investment reserve. The cash reserve of $1.5 million is held in cash and fixed interest bills. The longterm investment reserve of $2.3 million is held in a mixture of cash, fixed interest and funds covering property and infrastructure, Australian equities and international equities. The mix of investments is what is described by Commonwealth Financial Planning as a conservative mix of investments, with Trustees wishing to move in the first instance with reasonable caution around this new method of investing Union funds. 21
Legal services by Assistant Secretary Mark Anghel
Legal seminars were staged in Toowoomba in 2011 and 2012
The key areas of work for the legal section are:
• • • • •
One of the most important messages we have been trying to get across to members is just how valuable the Union’s legal assistance is. This is particularly clear when you compare the limitations of private professional indemnity insurance to the Union’s scheme.
assisting members with legal issues superannuation matters WorkCover claims ill-health retirement education and training members in relation to legal matters • helping members with disciplinary processes • the Queensland College of Teachers.
Investigations The major legal challenge for QTU members is compliance with the code of conduct and student protection policy. Through Union involvement, most complaints are dealt with at the school level, investigated by a principal and resolved within 72 hours. The Ethical Standards Unit now mainly deals with more complex issues, leaving the minor issues for principals to investigate.
WorkCover The QTU provides excellent support for members at various stages of the WorkCover process, from help with the lodging of the initial claim through to review, should the claim be rejected. This also includes representation at medical assessment tribunals and, in some cases, appeals to the Industrial Magistrates Court.
Education and training Andrew Knott and Rachel Drew of TressCox Lawyers have conducted successful legal seminars across the state over the past two years, giving members in rural and remote locations, as well as those in the south east corner, an opportunity to attend and pick up information on current legal issues.
Multiple policies may be required. While many insurers offer “employment claims” policies, not all policies are the same and many do not cover the common types of legal costs and claims that the Union currently funds. For example, many insurers will not cover the legal costs of any type of WorkCover claim. Only very specialised insurers offer insurance for claims for personal injuries (and they are really “litigation funds”, not insurers). Other insurers will not cover any form of penalty or fine, such as workplace health and safety fines. Policies can be re-written from year to year. There is no way to compel the insurer to continue to offer the same benefits or cover. The Union would need to check any new conditions from year to year and broadcast those changes to the membership. Diminishing cover, but without a diminishing premium, is not uncommon. Private insurers retain the right to take over a legal process in some circumstances. The insurer can be entitled to make all decisions about how the claim is to be run or about what offer of settlement is to be made or accepted, irrespective of the wishes of the Union member. Legal costs insurance is common in respect of all types of potential legal proceedings or preliminary matters such as investigations. The QTU, in effect, already provides this cover under its full legal assistance program, namely, where a matter arises out of the employment relationship, members have access to free legal assistance with the Union’s lawyers. The Union’s legal assistance is superior to an employment claims policy because it also provides subsidised legal assistance and reduced fee legal assistance for matters which do not arise from employment.
Industrial advocacy by Industrial Advocate Thalia Edmonds
Big changes to the industrial landscape. The change to the state government has brought significant changes to the industrial landscape in Queensland, affecting a myriad of facets in relation to industrial relations practise. The constant changes to legislation have meant that the QTU has provided a number of submissions to various parliamentary committees seeking to effect the changes. Notably, the QTU has presented submissions in relation to: • the Industrial Relations (Fair Work Act Harmonisation) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2012 - regarding the amendment ensuring that the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission must take into account the financial position of the state and the state’s fiscal strategy, the changes to the requirements for a protected industrial action ballot, and the Minister’s ability to terminate protected industrial action • the Public Service and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2012 - in relation to the sole right for lay practitioners to appear in the Commission • the Public Service Ethics Act 1994 - regarding the provision of training to employees in the event of changes to the code of conduct • the Holidays and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 - surrounding the change to the Labour Day public holiday.
industrial action and the method of counting. In spite of the changes, members overwhelmingly voted in support of taking industrial action, with 91.18 per cent in favour. Finally, a certified agreement was deemed suitable to put to members, 95 per cent of who voted in favour of the agreement. An additional part of the certified agreement is the obligation on both the QTU and the department to revise all memoranda of agreement (MOA), so they can be replaced every three years in line with the certified agreement. This affects all teachers at Independent Public Schools, temporary teachers seeking conversion to permanency, instrumental music teachers, teachers employed at the academies, teachers employed at outdoor and environment education centres and teacher co-ordinators at the Remote Area Teacher Education Program. The changes to the structure of the MOA have secured the entitlements of teachers working under these arrangements. The negotiations around the MOA are ongoing. Finally, TAFE negotiations have begun and the cycle continues ...
Underpinning the constant changes to legislation were the negotiation, conciliation and final settlement of EB7. The initial government position was to remove much of the existing certified agreement into matters of policy. Through lengthy negotiations prior to and during the conciliation period, the QTU and DETE were able to reach agreement by maintaining clauses either in the certified agreement or in other industrial instruments, such as acts, awards, directives and memoranda of understanding. The legislative changes significantly affected the QTU’s ability to apply for protected industrial action, particularly the requirement that at least 50 per cent of members vote, AND that 50 per cent of those who vote must be in favour of the action. Again, the changes to the legislation affected the way in which the questions were put to members, the time frames for taking
New educators by Assistant Secretary Lynn Cowie-McAlister
The 2012 New Educator Network
New Educator Network 2012 (NEN12) The first ever QTEC New Educator Network (NEN) training was held in 2012 (NEN12). Regional Organisers identified two new educators from their respective regions to attend the two day course. The QTU prides itself on a membership focus, always acting in the best interests of members and the public education system, while pursuing a strategy of empowering members to take responsibility for initiating and supporting campaigns pursuant to the Unionâ€™s objectives, and this was at the heart of the NEN training. To align with this, training workshops included public speaking skills, strategies for managing conflict, campaigning and recruitment. The participants were of extremely high calibre. All demonstrated leadership qualities well beyond their years of experience. Mapping of this group has since identified that NEN12s are taking on active leadership roles in their schools, branches and area councils, and some have been elected to State Council. They are also leading campaigns in their schools, branches and regions. NEN13 will be run later this year.
New Educator Campaign Group (NECG) Comprising new educators, activists interested in new educator issues and relevant QTU officers, the New Educator Campaign Group has continued to address challenges facing teachers new to the profession. It is pivotal to the future development of new educator activism. Since 2011, group members have taken on leadership roles around issues pertaining to beginning teachers, such as the 2012 EB, recruitment and the DETE formalised induction program.
Associate student members (ASMs) Associate student membership continues to grow, as does transition to full QTU membership once secured employment is obtained with DETE. All Organisers have regular contact with universities that offer recognised education courses, which allows pre-service teachers to see the QTU as an integral part of their future careers.
QTEC training for new educators
The QTU continues to meet the professional development needs of ASMs, with QTEC running PD opportunities and specific Regional Organisers developing sessions.
New educators New educator recruitment continues to be a major priority and focus. A dedicated new educator recruitment campaign takes place each year, providing a strategic and succinct focus over an intensive two week period. These campaigns have been extremely effective. Flare, the new educator e-newsletter, the new educator sections of the webpage and the Journal, new educator QTEC training and liaison with other new educator organisations, such as the Beginning and Establishing Teachersâ€™ Association (BETA), have continued to develop. These elements continue to morph as a result of technology development and need. Skype meetings are replacing teleconferences and NEN BOOK (Facebook) and other technologies are continuing to be developed and used to ensure continued contact among new educator activists. The AEU New Educator Conference provides our activists with a networking opportunity with colleagues from other states and territories and assists in developing their wider knowledge of the education union movement at a national and international level. It also assists in the development of a national union framework for new educators.
Recruitment Currently, the education sector in Queensland has limited growth. This means that constant recruiting is required to maintain density. The strategies rolled out around new educators, administrators, HODs, HOCs, HOSES, temporary teachers converting to permanency and general and long term members have been critical in maintaining density at approximately 96 per cent. For a union with a membership of over 43,000, this is extremely positive. The next phase will be asking Union Reps to map schools and provide this information to the QTU so as to keep our records and lists as up to date as possible. Union Reps must be congratulated for the amazing recruitment work they do on a daily basis in their schools.
Education Leaders by Assistant Secretary - Education Leaders Paige Bousen
Delegates to the 2012 Education Leaders Conference
There is a fundamental belief within the QTU that the strength of the Union depends on the active membership of both teachers and education leaders. The QTU encourages this by: • creating a culture which supports and recognises the importance of both teachers and education leaders • showing in its actions that all members are valued • being seen to have influence, professionally and industrially. Over the past two years, the Union has been actively engaged in advocating, protecting, listening and providing professional support for our education leader members.
AEU National Principals Committee The QTU sends three representatives from the QTU Education Leaders’ Committee to attend these meetings. There is a representative from the primary (Lyn Winch), secondary (Allan Cook) and special school (Roselynne Anderson) sectors. Lyn Winch is currently the chair of the AEU National Principals Committee.
Education Leaders Committee The Education Leaders Committee continues to meet five times a year to discuss a wide range of issues that impact on education leaders, including the status and working conditions of education leaders, recruitment and selection and relocation for education leaders, as well Independent Public Schools. The Education Leaders Committee also organises a conference for education leaders every year. This year, the title was “United in professionalism”.
the Union, and to propose possible solutions for issues that affect them. Seniors Officers, Organisers and internal Officers regularly liaise with school leaders from across the state to discuss current and emerging issues.
Training Across the state, the QTU has continued to offer industrial relations education training and promotion panel training in both country and metropolitan areas. In 2013 there has been a focus on offering legal seminars for school leaders. There was also a special session on this at the 2013 Education Leaders Conference.
QTU decision making bodies The QTU strongly encourages our school leaders to nominate for major QTU decision making bodies – Executive, Council, Conference and Trustees. Currently, Executive has three principals and one deputy principal, State Council includes nine principals, nine deputy principals and a number of heads of department, heads of curriculum and heads of special education services. The Trustees include two principals and a deputy principal. With the massive changes currently facing our school leaders, from both state and federal governments, now more than ever school leaders need to be united within the education profession and their Union. Celebrating National Public Education Day in Canberra
Principal Union Representatives The number of Principal Union Representatives has continued to grow across the state over the past two years. Principal Union Representatives played a particularly important role in the lead up to the Independent Public School expression of interest process.
QTU principal forums and school leader summits Through both QTU principal forums and school leader summits, we have continued to provide opportunities for school leaders to discuss ideas and concerns openly with 25
Research by Research Officers Dr John McCollow and Leah Mertens
and Teachers’ Journal
Supplement to the Queensl
Professionaline Magaz Volume 27, November
Supplement to the Queensl
and Teachers’ Journal
Professional Magazine Volume 26, November
URLearning, the Waterford West literacy project: Prof. Allan Luke (QUT), principal Di Carter and Dr John McCollow
The Research and Industrial Section of the QTU carries out research, policy development and advocacy work in relation to industrial, professional, funding and organisational issues.
QTU representatives on the QSA board, who continue to lobby for teachers to be consulted in a timely manner and to be provided with adequate resources and access to professional development.
John McCollow is the Research Officer with responsibility for issues relating to education funding, educational organisation, Indigenous education and the education of students with disabilities. He provides support for the QTU Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education committee, Gandu Jarjum, and the QTU Special Education Committee. In term four, 2012, John was seconded to the AEU Federal Office as a project officer. During this period, Meegan Maguire served as acting Research Officer. During 2013, John is acting QTU Industrial Research Officer. Craig Wood is currently acting Research Officer.
The Research Section had concerns with the initial rollout of C2C, which caused a great amount of angst among members. From 2013, the QTU will meet with the department on a monthly basis to discuss a range of C2C, curriculum and other professional matters.
Lesley Mc Farlane worked in the role of Research Officer - Professional Issues until her retirement in July 2012, when Council ratified the appointment of Leah Mertens. Leah now has responsibility for curriculum and preservice and inservice education matters, and works closely with the QTU Professional Issues Committee to provide policy advice to the Executive, Council and Conference.
ARC research projects Australian Research Council projects involving the QTU included “What teachers do with the official curriculum” (a two year study) and “URLearning”, the Waterford West literacy project (a four year study which concluded at the end of 2012). The QTU has joined the University of Queensland, University of Sydney, Woollongong University and Deakin University, as well as the NSW Institute of Teachers, the Victorian Institute of Teaching and the Primary English Teachers Association, to submit a proposal for an ARC linkage grant entitled “Reframing conceptions of 21st century capabilities in pre-service teacher education”. If successful, the QTU will be involved as a partner organisation for the three year study, commencing July 2013.
Curriculum The QTU has continued to advocate for a year of familiarisation prior to any implementation of new Australian Curriculum. The Research Section has worked closely with
The section also provided feedback on the policy curriculum provisions for gifted and talented students, English as a second language or dialect, and the Daniel Morecombe Child Safety Curriculum.
Reporting As a result of sustained lobbying from the QTU, the department finally agreed to remove the A-E rankings for effort and behaviour in student reports to parents from semester 1 2013. Further, the One School reporting template will be modified to remove all reference to A-E in the behaviour and effort column, for all year levels, not just for prep-year 3. This is a significant win for the QTU and thanks must go to Executive, the Professional Issues Committee and State Council, for their tenacity and constant commitment to ensuring a fairer reporting system for students.
Education funding The Gonski Report is, of course, one of the most potentially significant opportunities for public education in Australian history. The Research Section developed the QTU submission, contributed to the AEU submission and provided background briefing materials used for lobbying. The Research Section also developed the annual QTU Budget Submissions and provided analyses of the State and Federal Budgets.
Organisation of education In response to the state government’s Independent Public Schools initiative, the Research Section provided background materials on devolved decision-making in schools. While working as a project officer with the AEU
The 2012 Professional Issues Conference (left) and delegates to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Educators Conference in Cairns
federal office, John McCollow produced a report on charter schools. The publications “Queensland Schools: Key Statistics in Brief” and “Key Queensland VET Statistics in Brief” have been produced annually.
Indigenous education The QTU continues to monitor developments in Indigenous education, including the activities of the National Alliance of Remote Indigenous Schools (NARIS), the Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy (CYAAA), and the department’s Closing the Gap strategy. The QTU and Gandu Jarjum liaise on Indigenous education and social issues with the QCU, AEU, the Queensland Indigenous Education Consultative Committee (QIECC) and Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR), among others. Gandu Jarjum is now a fully Indigenous committee. A successful QTU Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Educators Conference was held in Cairns in September, 2012.
Teacher education In the last two years, internship agreements have been renewed with Griffith, James Cook, Australian Catholic and Central Queensland Universities, University of Southern Queensland and Queensland University of Technology. The internship agreement for the University of the Sunshine Coast will be renewed this year. The agreements are available on the QTU website. The section represents the QTU on the Queensland Consortium for Professional Experience in Pre-Service Education.
Australian Professional Standards for Teachers The Research Section is monitoring the introduction of the new Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, introduced by all teacher registration bodies around Australia this year. While the QCT has introduced the new Australian Professional Standards for Teachers for the purpose of teacher registration and continuing professional development (CPD), negotiations are under way with the department to determine their use as part of the Developing Performance Framework (DPF) cycle.
Teacher registration The Research Section monitors the requirements for initial registration and renewal of registration and is providing input into the Queensland College of Teachers Strategic Plan 2013-2016, which is a legislative requirement.
Special education The QTU and the QTU Special Education Committee monitor and respond to issues relating to the education of students with disabilities. In the past two years, the issues have included: funding/staffing to support students with disabilities, guidance staffing issues, development of a nationally consistent database, TRS in special schools, the RnR trial and issues related to the national curriculum. The QTU has developed a good working relationship with the Queensland Association of Special Education Leaders (QASEL).
QTU professional program The Research Section has continued to organise an annual Professional Issues Conference, with a program featuring contemporary national and international keynote speakers and a comprehensive selection of workshops. This year’s conference will be held on 23 August. The Professional Issues Committee has recommended that the conference be held biennially in the future. A number of twilight PD sessions have been held for members on current professional issues.
Publications The Research Section has produced two editions of the QTU Professional Magazine since 2011, along with a presence for the Professional Magazine on the QTU website.
AEU research work The Research Officers work closely with their AEU federal counterparts and other state and territory research officers on national educational issues, such as NAPLAN, federal funding for schools and alternative pathways for teaching.
Services and welfare by Assistant Secretary Jeff Backen
Teacher Accommodatio Bulletin No. 1
Teacher housing to change hands
Change of ownership
dation, of teacher accommo the future ownership to this ble changes made make a decision about nt seems unable to taken if there are unaccepta While the state governme to consider what action should be members the QTU is asking nt condition. suggest the important employme DETE senior officers Minister Mander and model. new the be part of following elements may tion DETE teacher current all Background Informa of proud and Union has a long • DH&PW takes ownership 1 July. The Queensland Teachers’ and development of teacher accommodation from ent from 1 July at history in the establishm past 50 years. the accommodation Queensland over the million). • DETE leases back accommodation in been involved in (estimated cost $40-45 members have also market rental rates The Union and its with teacher ce and new processes associated local e for future maintenan the decision making • DH&PW responsibl at the local level through accommodation, whether s or, since the 1970s, at build costs. committee ation other million to cover and accommod an additional $20-30 through housing forums market • DETE has to find regional or central office have been involved rent received and the the members its between and QTU the shortfall action, over committees. The , including industrial rental leasing costs. in numerous campaigns nts in teacher its budget to cover to achieve improveme of the $20-30 million from the past 50 years funding • DETE reallocates of the political flavour provides the additional accommodation, regardlessat the time. the shortfall, or Treasury power state government in model – unclear. t announced, the current DETE rental of governmen Future • state LNP nt structures In August 2012, the other stakeholder, DETE tenancy manageme with the QTU or any • Future of current by the without consultation ation currently owned – unclear. that all teacher accommod Training and Employment report was Commission of Audit Department of Education, to the Department of Housing In May 2013 the Costello recommended that: (DETE) would be transferredJuly 2013. Subsequent to this released. The report 1 be and Public Works from on behalf of the management functions has been no attempt n • tenancy and property sector informatio announcement, there provide to or private consult with, outsourced to the with the LNP state government to all state to discuss this issue be applied across policy rate to, the Union. All attempts initiated by the QTU. rental • one been accommodation. state government have government employee and Public Housing for the Minister or Bruce The QTU has met with d model advisers of his predecess letters Works, Tim Mander, addition, Impact of the proposedegree of uncertainty about officers of DETE. In significant Flegg and with senior concerns have Although there is a occur. n and outlining QTU following impacts may and Public requesting informatio the new model, the the Minister for Housing rental leasing been sent to the Premier, and Employment to cover the market for Education, Training • Rents may increase responses Works, the Minister have to pay to DH&PW. neral. There have been costs that DETE will responses and the DETE Director-Ge these but ence, million from other to reallocate $20-30 change of to some of this correspond the • DETE may have details about the proposed the shortfall between cover to contained not budget have members. areas of its from teachers. this will impact on QTU rent income received ownership and how leasing cost and the a make would t d by DH&PW the state governmen be funded and coordinate in late April. The QTU was informed model • Maintenance will accommodation model will be a more responsive decision about the new and it is unclear if this a decision. We are still waiting for than the current one. priority ation will be a high proposed new • Optimisation of accommod not want to fund additional will Key elements of the in all centres as DETE ation. other units of accommod leases on houses or teacher housing modelbeen provided with any has not s with Although the Union the proposal, our discussion | Page 1 of 2 documents regarding No. 1 | 30 May 2013
The QTU has warned that a proposed change in the ownership of teacher accommodation could blow a large hole in the education budget and result in higher rents for teachers.
n Cam Teacher Accommodatio
paign her Accommodation Cam
tion Campaign| Bulletin
In 2012, the state government decided that, from 1 July 2013, the ownership of all departmental teacher accommodatio n would be transferred from the Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE) to the Department of Public Works and Housing (DPW&H). Since the decision was made, the QTU has raised a number of concerns with the state government, but they have yet to be properly addressed.
State government proposal The QTU has met with both the current Minister for Public Works and Housing, Tim Mander, and with advisers to the former Minister, Bruce Flegg, in an attempt to obtain information about the initiative and to ensure the interests of members occupying teacher accommodatio n are protected. Although the Union has not been provided with any documents regarding the proposal, discussions with the Minister and DETE senior officers suggest the following elements may be part of the new model. • DPW&H takes ownership of all current DETE teacher accommodatio n from 1 July. • DETE leases back the accommodatio n from 1 July at market rental rates. • DETE has to find an additional $30-40 million to cover the shortfall between the rent received and the market rental leasing costs.
• Rents may be increased beyond annual CPI to cover some of the above shortfall in funding. • DETE reallocates $30-40 million from its budget to cover the shortfall or Treasury provides the additional funding. • DETE management of accommodatio n structures, eg local accommodatio n committees is to remain in place. • DPW&H is to be responsible for funding new accommodation and refurbishment/ maintenance of existing accommodatio n.
Impact of the proposed model
Although there is a degree of uncertainty about what the final model will look like, the following may occur. • Rents may increase to cover the market rental leasing costs that DETE will have to pay to DPH&W. • DETE may have to reallocate $30-40 million from other areas of its budget to cover the shortfall between the leasing cost and the rent income received from teachers. • Maintenance will be funded and coordinated by DPW&H – it is unclear if this will be a more responsive model than the current one. • Optimisation of accommodatio n will occur in all centres as DETE will not want to fund additional leases on houses or other units of accommodatio n.
What can you do? Cabinet is expected to make a decision about the leasing costs of accommodatio n in April or May. Until then, QTU members in teacher accommodation are being encouraged to contact their local MP or the Premier (email thepremier@pr emiers.qld. gov.au) and tell them that: • rents should not increase to help cover DETE’s leasing costs after 1 July 2013 • if the rents do not increase to cover the leasing costs, DETE should be provided with an additional budget allocation from Treasury to cover the new cost • local management of accommodatio n through local accommodatio n committees should continue • maintenance of accommodatio n should improve without having to increase rents. Should the Cabinet decision have a detrimental impact on QTU members occupying accommodation, the QTU will implement a campaign addressing members’ concerns.
Jeff Backen ASSIStAnt SecretAry (ServIceS/WelfAre)
Vol 118 No 3 | Queensland Teachers'
Teacher accommodation The QTU has a proud history in the establishment and development of teacher accommodation across the state over the past 50 years. Since the 2011 Conference, this has continued, with the Union working with the Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE) to implement the outcomes from the Jim Reay Review, the most significant being the review of DETE teacher accommodation policy and guidelines. The reviewed policy and guidelines received in-principle endorsement of the State Accommodation Committee, Executive and State Council and was set to be endorsed by DETE when, in the second half of 2012, the state government announced that the ownership of all employee accommodation would be transferred to the Department of Public Works and Housing from 1 July 2013. As a result, DETE suspended consideration of the revised policy and guidelines. This proposed change of ownership was not welcomed by the QTU, and the QTU President and the Assistant Secretary have met with two successive Ministers for Public Works and Housing, Bruce Flegg and Tim Mander, to discuss the issue. The State Accommodation Committee and Executive have endorsed a teacher accommodation campaign that will seek to prevent: • any increase in rent paid by members because of the change of ownership • any changes that reduce the involvement of QTU members in the management of accommodation • any greater cost to the department of leasing back existing accommodation at market rental rates.
Managing unsatisfactory performance (MUP) and the board of review The QTU plays a significant role in the monitoring of the implementation of MUP processes at schools and TAFE institutes and provides support for members involved in these processes. Since the 2011 Conference, DETE has implemented two new MUP policies, one for teachers and one for heads of program, heads of school, assistant principals and deputy principals. These were negotiated with the QTU and have been endorsed by the Union.
The department’s board of review, on which the QTU is represented, oversees MUP and probation cases. Any recommendations for disciplinary action arising from the new policies are considered by the board, which also considers recommendations not to confirm appointments arising from probation reports. There have not been any significant problems or concerns with the new policies since their implementation at the beginning of 2013.
Workplace health and safety New workplace health and safety legislation was implemented in Queensland at the beginning of 2012, as part of the harmonisation of legislation in all states and territories. A number of schools have since requested directives not to provide instruction to certain students due to workplace health and safety concerns. This strategy is part of the Union’s Right to Teach/Right to Learn campaign and will no doubt become more prevalent as the state government implements more funding cuts and restricts the Union’s role in resolving workplace concerns.
Jim Sykes: a job well done As a QTU Assistant Secretary since 1984, Jim Sykes has played a significant role in the issues canvassed in this report. Jim has made an extremely valuable contribution to teacher accommodation over three decades and his efforts are evident in the improvements that have been achieved since 1984. We wish him a happy and well deserved retirement.
QTEC by QTEC Coordinator Pauline Gagiero
Delegates get down to work at the 2013 Union Reps Conference (left and centre) and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Educators Conference
Strengthening workplace activism The Queensland Teachers’ Education Centre (QTEC) is responsible for the coordination, planning and delivery of the Union’s education and training program for QTU members. The QTU acknowledges the importance of the role of the Union Rep in maintaining and building membership and as the first point of contact between members and the Union. QTEC offers a wide range of courses and conferences to support them in their role and help them become more knowledgeable, active and effective representatives of the QTU. QTEC also provides training for administrators, Area Council Delegates, Indigenous and TAFE activists and new teachers in all areas of Queensland. All financial members of the QTU are entitled to five days industrial relations education leave per calendar year to attend Union training days and are encouraged to attend relevant courses in their areas.
Union Reps Conference These popular events are held annually as early in the year as possible to provide Union Reps with important information about the Union’s focus for the coming year. In 2012 and 2013, new educator activists from all areas of Queensland were also invited to the conference, with approximately 320 Reps and activists attending both conferences. The theme for 2012 was “Influence and getting our message across”, with an emphasis on EB7, and in 2013, “Strengthening workplace activism with a leadership focus” highlighted the Gonski campaign in the presentations and workshops, with guests including AEU Federal President Angelo Gavrielatos and Jonathan Mill from the ACTU Organising Centre, who provided a very practical presentation on communication and how to address meetings with a clear message.
New Educator Network 2012 In 2012, the QTU established the first group of New Educator Network participants (NEN12). This group of new educator activists attended a two-day training course in September 2012. The purpose of the NEN is to ensure ongoing
activism within the QTU and to provide opportunities for new educators to become more involved in the Union’s new educator strategies and policies.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Educators Conference Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Educators Conferences have been held in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012. All conferences have been very positive and rewarding experiences for everyone involved, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members from all areas of Queensland and the Torres Strait. The conferences are facilitated by QTU officers and staff, and in 2012 members of the Gandu Jarjum Committee played a prominent role in planning the conference program and facilitating the day. In 2012 the conference was held in Cairns and in 2014 it will be held in Brisbane.
Professional development The Union has expanded its PD program and continues to provide training opportunities for all members by offering professional development programs in behaviour management (with Jo Lange), building resilience (adults and students) (with Chris Daicos), leadership and professional issues. Through QTEC, for the past two years the QTU has run a professional development seminar for associate members, held in Brisbane in November. This seminar is conducted by Glen Pearsall, author of several books aimed at providing practical classroom skills for new and beginning teachers.
Conclusion Sincere thanks to Senior Union Reps, Union Reps and activists for their support for the QTEC program. The above events would not happen without their assistance in promoting and encouraging members to participate. I wish also to express my thanks to Emma Hallett (QTEC Assistant) for her hard work and commitment.
Women’s section by Women’s Coordinator Penny Spalding
Delegates to the 2012 Women’s Conference call for fair funding for schools
The introduction of federally-funded paid parental leave in 2011 and dad and partner pay this year provides working families, including teachers, with significantly more time at home with newborns. The leave is in addition to employer funded leave entitlements, and can overlap or be taken in addition to employer leave. Disappointingly, there has been an inconsistent approach by regions to processing leave requests and providing industrially correct advice to teachers across the state. Support for part-time teaching arrangements continues to be hit and miss, with the QTU continually providing support, advice and advocacy to members needing to access parttime work for family care arrangements and health reasons. Despite clear and solid policy on part-time work and a suite of supportive materials to guide applicants and decision makers in regard to part-time requests, there continues to be a degree of ignorance from some decision makers; the myth of “quotas” for schools and a misconception about parental negativity prevails. Fortunately, QTU advocacy, especially for management and school leaders, is often successful. In early 2012, following strong campaigning, the Bligh government introduced special paid leave for exceptional circumstances, specifically for, though not limited to, teachers who are unable to attend work because of family violence and its consequences. Teachers who cannot attend work because of court, housing instability and child care following family violence should approach their principals to seek out this leave. The process to convert long-term temporary teachers to permanent employment was renewed in the 2012 certified agreement – at the time of going to print, the new MOU was still being finalised. From the QTU’s perspective, the new MOU must clarify the arrangements for teachers engaged 30
in or becoming eligible for the process who need to access parental and subsequent family leave arrangements. The Women Teachers and Girls Education Committee (WTGEC) hosted a successful Women’s Conference in 2012, with over 120 delegates from across the state; the largest to date. As a special project, the Committee developed a postcard promoting the QTU’s achievements for women. This year, the Committee, with the support of Executive, hosted a special breakfast for International Women’s Day, held prior to the Union Rep’s Conference. The breakfast was very well attended and local MP Jackie Trad was guest speaker. The departmental program encouraging women in leadership positions (WILD), and the committee supporting it, were terminated by the Newman government. Consequently the very important and necessary work the QTU does to encourage, celebrate and support women taking up leadership positions, in the department and in the Union, continues to be paramount. I would like to acknowledge the tenacious work of Catherine Day, who acted as the Women’s Officer prior to my transfer into this role, and, of course, the tremendous legacy of Leah Mertens, who held the Women’s Officer role for over 17 years.
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TAFE by QTU Organiser David Terauds and acting Industrial Research Officer John McCollow
TAFE members enjoy Labour Day 2013 in Brisbane
Lobbying the Prime Minister at the Petrie Community Cabinet
Since the 2011 Conference, the TAFE Division has been engaged in a significant program of campaigning and bargaining for the retention of jobs and conditions.
be efficiently delivered in contestable markets • p athways to higher education and reskilling • the benchmark for training quality.
The division suffered a significant loss with the retirements of TAFE Organiser Paul Reardon at the end of 2011 and Industrial Advocate/Services Officer Louise Comino at the end of 2012. David Terauds has stepped in to the role of TAFE Organiser and Dr John McCollow is now acting Industrial Research Officer with responsibility for TAFE. They are joined in the QTU TAFE negotiating team by Industrial Advocate Thalia Edmonds, Deputy General Secretary Kate Ruttiman and President Kevin Bates.
Publicly, the department began 2013 quietly given the magnitude of the task of restructuring TAFE. Behind closed doors, and with no employee consultation, the department undertook planning for the TAFE restructure, the reorganisation of funding models and a radically new industrial model for educational employees.
Early 2012 saw the landslide victory of an LNP government. Following months of negotiations, an 11-month certified agreement was finalised covering the period 1 August 2012 to 30 June 2013 and delivering a 2 per cent increase without trade-offs, with the potential for a further increase in line with government wages policy on 1 July 2013. The agreement therefore presents an opportunity to recapture the 1 July operational date for calculation of superannuation entitlements for TAFE members. The 2012 agreement was struck in the context of the review of the TAFE sector by the Ministerial Taskforce for Skills and Training. The parties agreed to delay bargaining around a longer (three year) agreement until the recommendations of the taskforce could be factored into negotiations. Reporting late in 2012, the taskforce recommended radical changes to both TAFE and the training system. These included changes to funding, including full competition, the corporatisation of TAFE Queensland and the alteration of educational staff industrial arrangements. The government agreed in principle to the majority of the proposals, instructing the department to commence the restructuring of TAFE Queensland as a statutory body. This was to be accompanied by the development of a five year plan for vocational education in the state, to be released in early 2013. During this process, TAFE Queensland was assigned the role and purpose of efficiently and effectively delivering: • training responsive to the skills demands of industry and students • the government’s public policy priorities through transparent funding arrangements, where they cannot
Plans began to emerge in April, just before the first enterprise bargaining meeting for a replacement to the 2012 agreement took place. On the 16 April, the TAFE Queensland Bill was introduced to Parliament, outlining the establishment of TAFE as a statutory authority and providing the Minister with sweeping powers over the transfer of employees and infrastructure to the new body. Nine days were given for public submissions on the legislation. At the second enterprise bargaining meeting, the department presented a log of claims which stripped the term “teacher” from the agreement, introduced a flat pay scale to three educational roles and attempted to remove key sections of the award and previous agreements and turn them over to policy. The QTU presented its own log of claims, which emphasised the need for change, the role of the educational professional in VET, clear roll descriptions and substantial changes to systemic barriers to productivity. Negotiations are continuing. During April, the federal government announced a House Standing Committee on Education and Employment inquiry into the role of TAFE, the first study of TAFE and its operation since the Kangan Report in 1974. The QTU contributed to the federal AEU submission and expects to provide evidence at forthcoming public hearings. At the time of writing, the department’s five year VET plan had not been released. However, it is clear that TAFE faces major upheaval, with new competitive funding models to be released and implemented and the industrial arrangements of educational staff to be decided.
Brisbane North by QTU Organiser Fiona McNamara
Members in Kallangur show their frustration at the state government’s refusal to negotiate during EB7
Brisbane North is an active and dynamic part of the QTU. The knowledge and enthusiasm of our more experienced Reps is balanced by a group of new and emerging school Reps. The Brisbane North area works on a well established system of school based Reps, Area Council Delegates, State Council Reps and Senior Union Reps. Every day, Reps in schools advise and assist members through schoolbased issues, with the assistance of QTAD and myself and the internal Officers. It has been extremely pleasing that many Reps have taken the opportunity over the last two years to participate in training at the QTU. The focus of training is to empower Reps to feel confident in their roles in schools. School-based Reps in Brisbane North have also participated in good numbers in the Union Reps Conference, Professional Issues Conference and the Biennial Women’s Conference. These opportunities provide both the skills and knowledge Reps need in an increasingly challenging work environment. These Reps are complemented by an outspoken and strident group of Principal Union Reps who lead from the front. This was particularly evident during the dispute on the implementation of IPS, when principals from Brisbane North lead the campaign against the LNP’s IPS school model. This leadership and solidarity was much appreciated by QTU members on the ground and made a real difference to the final negotiated outcome. Without this leadership, the campaign may not have had such a successful conclusion. The structure and effectiveness of the Brisbane North area is evidenced by the continued high rates of membership. Brisbane North continues to have the best metropolitan recruitment figures and one of the best density rates in the state. The continued excellent recruitment figures are a credit to all QTU members, but particularly to the leadership shown by Area Council Reps, who do the heavy lifting on this in the branches. They take the leadership role in encouraging school-based Reps to approach potential new members, whether they be students, graduate teachers or teachers returning to the profession or entering for the first time. Recruitment is everyone’s job in Brisbane North. Campaigning is one of the strengths of Brisbane North. Union Reps have taken the lead in statewide campaigns for EB 32
and Gonski, and on the ground in relation to behaviour management issues and facilities. LNP state members in Brisbane North were lobbied heavily in relation to EB. Delegations as well as email and telephone bombing were complemented by local protests and information stalls. The capacity of our members to take campaigns not only to our membership but the broader community has been outstanding. We have “gonskied” high and low – letterboxing, writing submissions, street-stalling, handing out apples at train stations, holding community forums and morning teas, taking delegations to community cabinets, leading delegations, and the list goes on. None of this would be possible without the support we receive from the staff of the QTU, and support I receive personally from my support staff Ruth, Wendy and Julie and from fellow Organisers and Officers. As QTU members, we should never forget our core business – which is to provide the children in our schools with the very best education we can – and I am proud to say that the work done by QTU members in Brisbane North has contributed to that goal. Well done! Members at Mitchelton SHS “give a gonski”
Brisbane South by QTU Organiser Brendan Crotty
Left: gearing up for the “Great Gonski Letterbox Drop” Above: an EB7 meeting in Coorparoo
Since the last State Conference, Brisbane South has undergone further changes with the transfer of the Mt Coot-tha Branch to Moreton. As a result, the region is now truly “southside”, covering Brisbane south of the river. The Brisbane South Area Council (BSAC) has again undertaken campaign planning, focusing on: • recruitment and retention of members in Brisbane South • AEU Gonski targeted electorate of Moreton • maximising and supporting Union Reps in IPS and Low SES NPA schools • regeneration of branches through targeted QTEC minimodules.
Recruitment BSAC maintained a focus on recruiting temporary nonmembers (TNMs), with the long-term objective of minimising permanent non-members, as many temporary members convert to permanent employment. This strategy saw 207 TNMs recruited in 2011 and 224 in 2012. Workplace Reps have also begun applying the “advocacy and inquiry” conversation model developed though QTEC to assist with recruitment. This work continues with targeted recruitment visits and workplace mapping.
Gonski in Moreton Significant work has been done in the federal seat of Moreton as part of the AEU’s targeted seats campaign. Activities have included: • visits to local P&C meetings throughout 2012, discussing the benefits of the Gonski panel recommendations • fete and market stalls promoting the Gonski message • visibility and public transport hub commuter blitzes as part of the “Give an Apple for Gonski” activity during Gonski Week in March 2013 • the Brisbane South “Gonski 1+1” campaign, which encouraged members to sign up at igiveagonski.com. au and persuade at least one non-teacher to do the same • regular delegations to state MPs • the “Great Gonski Letterbox Drop in Moreton” where 35 members delivered a tailored Gonski message into 7,444 homes across six suburbs in the electorate.
Supporting Union Reps BSAC has focused on supporting Union Reps in IPS and Low SES NPA schools. This has included: • recruitment of and maximisation of Reps in the three Low SES NPA and five IPS schools in the region • encouraging workplace Reps from those schools to attend QTEC training courses • regular workplace visits from QTU Officers to publicly support workplace Reps • conducting explicit LCC training for Reps, along with State Schools Alliance meetings • sharing information about developments at BSAC with four delegates currently based in an IPS school • providing networking opportunities between workplace Reps and members • regeneration of branches through targeted QTEC minimodules.
Branch renewal For the past two years, BSAC has monitored branch attendances and discussed ways to maximise meeting attendance and member engagement. Branch renewal has been a continual process. There has been an attempt to increase activism, participation and membership engagement across all branches in the region through: • reviewing venue options to make the meeting as relaxed as possible • encouraging activists to take on honorary branch official positions • conducting meetings focused on specific topics, such as LCCs, DPF or Gonski • making the meeting format as casual as possible but encouraging the use of the QTU’s standing orders and meeting procedures to formalise debate around resolutions • trialling QTEC mini-modules to build membership capacity and engagement. This has resulted in the largest number of honorary branch official nominations in seven years and not one branch meeting in 2013 failing to reach a quorum. We will build upon this success. 33
Central Queensland by QTU Organiser Barry Thomson
Left: welcoming Campbell Newman to Rockhampton. Right: QTU Rep Peter Lubke stages a one-man rally.
Increasing member activism and campaigning have continued to be a feature of activities in the Central Queensland region since the last Biennial Conference. The Central Queensland region now maintains a standing lobbying structure which is updated on a regular basis. This structure sees activists divided into lobbying groups covering all state and federal electorates within the region.
Dual sector university proposal As reported at the 2011 Conference, the Central Queensland Institute of TAFE stands poised to become part of Queensland’s first dual sector university through a merger with the Central Queensland University. Despite the best efforts of TAFE members in Central Queensland, the state government has announced an in-principle commitment to the merger. Currently, funding arrangements between the state and federal governments remain problematic, so no practical steps have yet been taken to commence the merger process.
Reviewing how we do business In 2012, the Central Queensland Area Council (CQAC) joined with the Wide Bay Area Council (WBAC) in a joint training day and Area Council meeting. As part of this event, both Area Councils undertook a reinvigoration process, as a result of which a new and more proactive agenda for future meetings was adopted. A key feature of the new agenda is an empowering or workshop session, which at the March CQAC meeting saw the development of a regional workload campaign. The “Say Yes to Work/Life Balance” campaign provides encouragement, strategies and some resources to empower worksites to take steps to restore the work/life balance of members. In 2013, the new look CQAC agenda has provided the incentive and direction for branches in Central Queensland to also revisit their own agenda and direction. As an extension of this redirection, the four branches in and around Rockhampton have this year embarked upon a review of branch boundaries, with a view to realignment in line with shifting populations and local needs. The Rockhampton South and North Branches, along with Keppel and Mount Morgan Branches, have formed a sub-committee to provide 34
recommendations back to the branches for discussion. The intent is to make recommendations, if and where necessary, to Executive for implementation in 2014.
Karen Patterson Award After many years of being presented by CQAC to a deserving QTU activist in Central Queensland, the Karen Patterson Memorial Award has also taken a new direction. Following a CQAC decision in late 2011, the award has now transitioned into the Karen Patterson Memorial Dinner Seminar, an annual event alternating between Blackwater and Emerald. Fittingly, the newly named dinner seminar was first held in Blackwater in 2012, the centre in which Karen Patterson lived and taught. In conclusion, it would be remiss of me not to recognise the retirement of Brendan Cook, long time Rockhampton activist and well known Keppel State Council delegate. Brendan retired at the start of the 2013 school year. His proactivity, companionship and commitment will be missed by the QTU, but having said this, Central Queensland wishes Brendan a most enjoyable retirement.
Celebrating at the Moranbah Teachers Ball
Gold Coast by QTU Organiser Lin Esders
Left: teachers join fellow unionists to “Stand for QLD”. Right: members at Upper Coomera State College “give a gonski”
Gold Coast - getting active Union membership is like gym membership – dues are paid for support and infrastructure, but you don’t build strength unless you get active. QTU members in the Gold Coast area have been building this strength and have been actively engaged in QTU campaigns over the last two years. The focus in Area Council meetings, branch meetings and in school visits has been on how to make a difference via activism. This has included ongoing participation in political lobbying during election campaigns, a number of local rallies and demonstrations outside politicians’ offices, eight bus-loads of members attending rallies outside of Parliament House during EB7 and Gonski rallies, active letter-writing campaigns to local politicians and getting on board with Gonski via letterbox drops, P&C information nights and flyer handouts at local train stations. Local reps and principals have also participated in a local LCC campaign to re-establish strong and functioning LCC processes in schools across the region. A few changes in staffing have occurred over the past two years. In mid 2012, Penny Spalding, the previous Gold Coast Organiser, accepted a position as the QTU’s Assistant Secretary - Women’s and Social Welfare Issues, based in the Union’s Milton office. I was subsequently appointed permanently, having been acting in the role of Gold Coast Organiser from March 2010 while Penny was on maternity leave. Lisa Cooke has returned to our office as a full-time support officer after working part-time for a number of years. Tracey Mayne, who for three years worked part time with Lisa in the Coast office, has gained employment elsewhere. A great loss to the QTU. Gold Coast Area Council grew in early 2011 to include the schools and teachers in and around Beaudesert, but in early 2013 a decision was made to move the Beenleigh branch into Kevina O’Neill’s Redlands/Logan area to “balance” numbers of members and ensure that communities of interest were aligned in different Organisers’ areas. This restructure was finalised in April. The Gold Coast’s loss, in terms of active members and supportive Union Reps and principals, will be Kevina’s gain!
A number of principals forums and “get togethers” have been arranged on the Coast in the last two years, to ensure that the interests of local principals are considered when determining QTU strategic directions and policy. It has also allowed the QTU to represent principals more effectively in discussions with DETE’s regional and central office staff. These forums have included meetings with the DirectorGeneral on two occasions, with the General Secretary of the QTU (John Battams and, more recently, Graham Moloney), QTU President Kevin Bates and Paige Bousen, Assistant Secretary - Educational Leaders. Paige, Kevin and myself have also addressed local secondary principals’ meetings to discuss issues raised by the group, and I have spoken regularly at local QASSP meetings. A special-interest legal seminar was also held for local principals. The local office continues to be utilised by local schools for their own PD training and our QTEC courses are almost always fully subscribed. This has been a boon for local teachers who now can remain on the Coast for most QTU training opportunities. The Gold Coast continues to see many new schools open up and recruitment is an on-going mission. 2013 will see this focus on recruitment heightened to ensure we maintain strength on the Gold Coast. Another area of recruitment which has been of significance on the Coast has been among student teachers. Our associate membership rate at Griffith has increased with over 120 students signing up in one recruitment session in early 2013. It is without a doubt the support of great Union Reps and principals that has allowed the work of the QTU to be successfully undertaken on the Gold Coast. They have shown dedication to the cause in times of increasing workloads and unbelievable educational change. Many thanks to them for their work and commitment.
Moreton by QTU Deputy General Secretary Barry Welch
The Gonski Mums of Kruger SS
Members rally outside the electorate office of Ipswich MP Ian Berry
Over the past two years, members in Moreton have been supported by a number of organisers.
standout) and turned up in force to Parliament House rallies. A significant part of the success of those campaigns lies with the activists in the Moreton area who put in so much effort.
In March 2012, Moreton Organiser Barry Welch was reallocated to the role of coordinating the Gonski campaign in Queensland. Ipswich Special School teacher Steve Leese then took over the role of acting Organiser until the end of 2012. In term one 2013, acting Organiser duties were carried out by Lockyer District SHS teacher Steve Dunne. At State Council in March 2013, Meegan Maguire was appointed as QTU Moreton Organiser and took up her duties at the start of term two. Both acting Organisers worked seamlessly and tirelessly to deliver for members. Recruitment of associate members has continued, with a strong focus on USQ Springfield with presentations to students and stalls at orientation days. A real effort has been made to foster relationships with school communities, with close relationships in particular being built around NPA schools and schools such as Kruger SS. A high point of this has been community involvement in the Gonski campaign, with the advent of the Gonski Mums from schools in the Ipswich area who became a voice heard in all areas across the political spectrum.
With the end of Barry Welch’s tenure as Moreton Organiser, significant demographic changes and the regional placement of some schools, the composition of the Moreton Organiser’s area was changed. As a result of a decision at State Council in March 2013, the Brisbane Valley Branch was abolished and schools from Lowood and south moved into Ipswich West, schools from Hattonvale and west were moved into Lockyer District Branch in Darling Downs and schools north of Lowood were placed under the Wide Bay Organiser. The QTU will miss the work of Minden principal John Mitchell, who has resigned from his position as Ipswich West Council Representative. Thanks to all of those members in workplaces no longer in Moreton for their enormous contribution over an extended period.
The organisers in Moreton have focused on ensuring that services to members and workplace visits were maximised. At the same time, the relationships with members developed by the different Organisers were the foundation for a number of significant campaigns.
While there are many challenges facing all QTU members, the members in Moreton will continue to play an active role in ensuring the future of their Union and of the students they teach.
Moreton Union and community members played a significant role in the Gonski campaign, notably at the Ipswich Community Cabinet in July 2012, where QTU members and the Gonski Mums turned the community forum into a Gonski night.
Labour Day 2013 in Ipswich
Effective campaigns were also run around keeping the Barrett Adolescent Centre open and getting a successful outcome in terms of much needed facilities for Mt Ommaney Special School. Throughout EB7, activists, often led by Senior Area Union Representatives and with the support of the Organiser, have attended delegations to MPs, rallied outside MPs’ offices, sent letters to the editor (with Brenda Lines being a constant 36
The QTU contribution to Labour Day in Ipswich has grown significantly, with the BBQ organised by Andrew Thompson and Steve Leese.
North Queensland by QTU Organiser Julieanne Gilbert
An EB7 rally in Townsville
Townsville celebrates Labour Day 2013
North Queensland region extends from Ingham in the north to Carmila to the south, and west to Hughenden.
supported events organised by the wider union movement ensuring the continuation of a strong union movement within Queensland and the protection of workers’ rights in all industries.
Campaigns QTU members in the northern region have a long history of strong campaigning for local, state and national campaigns. The Right to Teach/Right to Learn strategy has been embraced when developing local campaigns. There have been many successful local campaigns ensuring members’ workplace health and safety conditions are protected, and a range of successful directives and outcomes have also been secured relating to behaviour management and possible unsafe asbestos disturbances in buildings. Members in Mackay successfully campaigned to ensure that “renewal transfers” were deemed an unacceptable practice, eventually securing a statement by the then Director-General Julie Grantham supporting this position. Members from the North Kennedy Branch successfully ran a campaign to improve the number of local relieving teachers being appointed to the district. Due to the large number of boarding schools in the town, there were not enough teachers on the supply list to cover teacher absences. The members secured an agreement on the minimum number of local relieving teachers to be appointed to the centre each year. Brandon SS, although a small school, ran a very well organised campaign in an attempt to maintain its third teacher, which included getting parents involved in letter writing and deputations. By the end of the campaign, every family at the school had made contact with either district office, the Director-General or the Minister for Education, Training and Employment. The whole town was letter-boxed several times.
Political lobbying Each branch has developed networks for political lobbying. Members in all branches were able to contribute to the EB7 campaign with deputations to all state Members of Parliament within their branches. These political networks have continued to grow, and deputations have become a regular campaigning tool. Members have taken advantage of community cabinet meetings when held in the region. Rallies have been organised for the meetings and members have participated in deputations speaking directly to the Minister.
Media The constant campaigning of members generates a lot of local media. Members have given extensive print, radio and television interviews on a range of topics, including class sizes, EB7, the Gonski reforms, state and federal budget announcements and proposed education initiatives attacking the working and learning conditions within our schools. The coordination of many North Queensland campaigns would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of Christina Campbell, who received her well-earned QTU 10 year service award this year. Members meet candidates for the seat of Dawson at a Gonski forum in Mackay
Both Townsville and Mackay have hosted a QCU week of action. On both occasions, members were involved in a wide range of union activities that also involved the United Voice and Together unions. Members also 37
Peninsula and North-West by QTU Organiser Maureen Duffy
Standing for Queensland in Cairns
Giving a gonski in Injinoo
Peninsula and North West activists are to be commended on their ongoing campaign skills, tenacity and enthusiasm in the face of political adversity.
Mapoon, Coen and Hopevale on a QTU Cape Charter, and then to Cairns as a guest speaker about Gonski at the 2012 QTU Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Conference.
Despite the huge workloads associated with the introduction of C2C, Reps have been ceaselessly campaigning on national AEU issues, statewide QTU and QCU issues and local issues since my last report.
EB7 and QCU Stand for Queensland An MUA stalwart commented at a public QCU forum recently that “you can always count on the teachers”. So true - and that was certainly the case in the teacher turn-outs for the Labour Day celebrations in Cairns and Thursday Island, various regional protests and a demonstration against the LNP job cuts in Cairns City Place. On a blazing hot Sunday afternoon in September 2012, QTU President Kevin Bates also joined a large throng of QTU activists, firefighters and Together union members to rally outside the Queensland Community Cabinet meeting at Parramatta SS in Cairns, prior to our delegation to Minister Langbroek regarding EB7 and Independent Public Schools issues. The last state election transformed Peninsula and the North West from a Labor stronghold to a diverse mix of four LNP MPs, two Katter’s Australia Party MPs and one ALP MP. Add this to one federal LNP MP and Bob Katter MP as the Member for Kennedy. We now have an interesting political lobbying challenge, with strategies including Facebook messages, personal delegations, letters to the editor, pickets and a political education forum in Mt Isa.
Gonski We’ve been continuously “giving a gonski”, with every branch planning activities and events such as street stalls, P&C meeting attendance, leaflet distribution/letter-boxing and inviting politicians to Gonski morning teas. These have extended to numerous initiatives by schools and individuals, with possibly the most unique being Larry James “doing my island” for Gonski in the Torres Strait. AEU President Angelo Gavrielatos was a welcome visitor, first to Aurukun, Weipa, 38
Western Cape College Weipa delegates are to be congratulated on the success of their Weipa hostel campaign, which won the Regional Activism category in the 2012 QCU Labour Day Awards. After a very long time and a huge amount of effort, the Cairns special school campaign has reached the stage where a DETE education brief has been completed and a facilities brief is imminent. Every branch has contributed to campaigning on local issues, which have included teacher accommodation, facilities, “Keep our principal here”, rats, behaviour management, resourcing, workplace health and safety and cyclone recovery. In summary, Peninsula and North West activists epitomise the 2013 Biennial Conference theme of “Protecting the Profession: Securing the Future”.
Labour Day on Thursday Island
Redlands/Logan by QTU Organiser Kevina O’Neill
Redlands/Logan members meeting with local MP Craig Emerson
Rallying for EB7
This 2013 report starts similarly to the 2011 report, noting that Redlands/Logan has seen some change in terms of the QTU’s regional structure for the branches that form the organising area. Beenleigh Branch now joins Redlands/Logan, helping to the balance the size of the Gold Coast area, and of course, including Beenleigh in a natural community of interest, that in reality always operated, with the other Logan branches. This change simply strengthens the work we continue to do. The strong activity within Beenleigh, the Logan branches, Gugingin and the Redlands around engagement in Gonski campaigning proves that what won’t change is the drive of activists and members from the Bay to Logan to continue to do the grassroots work that does make a difference.
Going-a-gonski-ing Union Reps worked with their schools to get the funding submissions into the Federal Funding Review in 2010. Then, from the time of the release of the Gonski Report, members have been working within their schools and communities to keep a spotlight on the Gonski agenda. All local members of state and federal Parliament have been visited by teachers who are constituents, and in many cases the MPs were happy to develop a deeper understanding of the impact of changes on their school communities. We held a very successful community dinner at the Glen Hotel with over 90 people in attendance. P&C presentations and engagement at other events became strong avenues for getting out and gonski-ing. QTU activists in the Redlands Branch celebrated getting the Liberal Federal Member for Bowman to give a Gonski in 2012. Such a shift does not occur without building relationships. This was a significant shift in the position of this member and came out of a local strategy of building more grassroots and ongoing relationships with local MPs. Very positive meetings and engagement with the Labor Member for Rankin, Craig Emerson, also occurred over the last two years, including formally meeting with Low SES principal members. Redlands/Logan Low SES National Partnership schools have taken opportunities to strongly engage with the community, with Loganlea members securing a stall at a Waterford shopping centre, Beenleigh activists handing out apples at transport hubs and other Logan activists
supporting the Gonski stalls at the Logan Central Sunday Market and the Jimboomba Saturday Markets.
EB7 Logan and Redlands areas were very strongly represented in the lobbying of Members of Parliament, again focusing on making sure constituent voices were there and, in some cases, bringing parent/community constituents along as well. The rallies at Parliament House were enthusiastically attended, with many Union Reps turning the occasion into a social event by supporting members with travel arrangements and then going for dinner after energetically engaging in the rallies. Two members invited their local LNP Members of Parliament to spend a few hours at school with them, which became a very rich way of assisting the MPs in gaining greater insight into the importance of class sizes and other working conditions.
Activating, educating At the end of 2012, recognising that the budget cuts to flexible staffing would hit primary schools and have a potential impact on specialist teachers, Leah Olsson (Senior Area Union Representative and music specialist) and I developed a specialist teacher seminar which has been effective in spreading the word about specialist teacher entitlements. We’ve run two so far and take up has been strong, with the workshops now occurring in other regional areas as well. The work of local activists in ensuring members get the good oil will be further expanded as we facilitate some after school seminars on basic working conditions and help instrumental teachers and instructors gain a better understanding of their working conditions and entitlements through the development of a similar seminar. Further seminars on local consultative committees and “knowing your working conditions – basic entitlements” are also planned. What a difference this grassroots action makes.
South Queensland by QTU Organiser Zeb Sugden
Flooding returns to the south in 2012
An EB7 rally in Toowoomba
The talent is immense in South Queensland and members are not content to sit on the sidelines when there is so much work to be done in the field. Whether it is Mother Nature, political lobbying, Gonski, EB7 or recruitment, members have dusted themselves off, rolled up their sleeves and got on with the job. Most recently, 2013 began on a sombre note, with the passing of Senior Union Rep and former acting Organiser Gary Quinn, Dalby stalwart and long-time Area Council member Bob Bowie and Life Member Ian McLaren from the Warwick Branch. Each of these members’ contributions to education and the QTU were recognised at both Council and throughout the branches of South Queensland. Not only the region, but the state lost three just, strong and proud unionists. Mother Nature’s repeated attempts to dampen the spirits of members in the region were blown away with courage and the Queensland Spirit. The inundation of flooding resulted in members digging deep to confront the hard times with fortitude and resilience. Members, from the east in the Lockyer Valley, to the west in Roma, Mitchell and Charleville, and to the south in St. George, stood side by side in their clean up efforts. With the direct support of the QTU, members saw the sun shine again. Members in the region realise education is far too important to leave to politicians and have therefore engaged with their local councillors as well as state and federal MPs and Senators. Whether it’s members in the Border Branch attending a community cabinet forum with the Education Minister or Warwick Branch members meeting with Southern Downs councillors, teachers have realised the need for regular dialogue and communication with decision makers. The leadership displayed by Union Reps in schools ensured the Gonski message got out into the community. All 12 branches contributed heavily to the cause, ensuring stories featured in all local media, P&Cs were briefed and both teachers and parents were activated to lobby their local MP. Our grassroot activists realise that silence has never won rights, which is why 300 teachers and principals attended the EB7 rally in Toowoomba. Voices were heard loud and clear 40
by the public as teachers sang poignant songs and roared chants to protest against the government’s original EB offer, members of the public stopping to join in the rally and those in cars vocalising their support. Participants relished the opportunity to applaud and cheer the thunderous roar of car horns. Branch dinners continue to go from strength to strength with members taking the opportunity to hear from Senior Officers, former QTU president Steve Ryan and the solicitors from TressCox Lawyers. The large number of attendants indicates the value members place on the events. On a similar note, Union training days have been a highlight. The region has facilitated a new educators course, level one Union Rep training and the annual two day residential training. All have been well attended and attracted positive feedback. Recruitment continues to be a focal point of Union Reps in the region. In the past two years, the region has come very close to achieving its goal of having no more than 60 permanent non-members. The region also increased in size. Members from nine schools previously in the Ipswich West Branch were welcomed into the Lockyer Valley Branch. On a personal note, and as one of the new kids on the block, I’d like to thank all members in the region for the support, trust and faith they’ve shown me. As the Organiser, I feel privileged to be serving the members of the QTU.
A Union Reps training day
Sunshine Coast by QTU Organiser Terry Evans
Members at Coolum State High School put their hands up for fair funding A Stand for Qld rally in Maroochydore
The Sunshine Coast office and training facility has been a huge success and benefit to members.
the community. In particular, I would like to thank Justine Heino, Cec Kenny and Liz Baker for being Gonski mad.
Not only do members use it as a meeting place but it is also used by community and professional groups. We are also no longer a lonely voice on the Sunshine Coast, as the Queensland Independent Education Union, United Voice and Queensland Nurses’ Union have followed our example and opened offices in the same complex. This has been of great assistance in relation to union support and combined campaigns. The Queensland Council of Unions – Sunshine Coast Branch is able to use our facilities for the benefit of all workers on the coast.
Federal/state activities Since the last state election, QTU members on the Sunshine Coast have embarked on a campaign to educate LNP members as to what teachers actually do in schools and to try to convince them to support public education. Members have proactively sought supportive statements on QTU policies, have organised delegations, lobbied candidates and staged rallies of particular success. In September 2012, we had a rally of over 300 QTU members outside the Attorney General’s office. Members are already in campaign mode in relation to the forthcoming federal election, in which the seat of Longman could be of vital importance.
Training courses for new teachers and empowering our activists and members is vital on the Sunshine Coast. Our training days have seen record numbers attending. This has certainly helped members having to deal with difficult issues in the workplace. Most branches have also begun a process of joint collaborative meetings, which is leading to more input, points of view and solutions.
Thanks I would like to thank all the Union Representatives, Council Representatives, Area Council Delegates, Senior Area Union Reps and activists for all their efforts over the past two years. Their commitment has been invaluable to me, as it has been to the members that they help on a daily basis. I would also like to thank Sharon Hansen for her patience and dedication which has been an asset for members on the Sunshine Coast.
The best-dressed group at the QTU Race Day in 2011
Recruitment From the first day to the last day of the school year, recruitment is a focus on the Sunshine Coast. Recruitment milestones include: • we have over 200 members at North Lakes State College • two new schools opened, Brightwater State School and Mango Hill State School, with 100 per cent membership • we had a very good result in the 2012 recruitment drive. Having a density in excess of 96 per cent is a tribute to Union Representatives and activists who do all the hard work in recruitment.
Gonski Thanks to all those schools that have really embraced the Gonski ideal and conveyed this message to parents and 41
Wide Bay by QTU Organiser Scott Welch
Labour Day in Bundaberg
The years following the 2011 QTU Biennial Conference have seen a raft of changes occur in the Wide Bay, with the region’s QTU activists responding to the many challenges confronted in this time with an enthusiastic and strategic approach, serving to make their Union stronger and more effective.
Campaigning focus Wide Bay QTU activists and members have consistently demonstrated a commitment to campaigning to achieve improved outcomes for schools, students and teachers. Wide Bay activists have been leaders in implementing the following successful campaign initiatives:
EB7 Up to 300 members attended a range of rallies outside MPs’ offices across the region, receiving wide community support and media coverage. Members repeatedly visited MPs’ offices to lobby in support of the teaching and learning conditions threatened in the government’s EB offer.
Gonski Market stalls and various other community engagement events were held across the region. The campaign was promoted in schools and the community through effective communication strategies, including: meeting with P&Cs, distributing written material throughout the school community and holding events in and out of schools designed to raise the campaign’s profile. Members effectively engaged the media to promote the need for fair funding in schools. State and federal MPs have been lobbied continually to urge them to support the funding reforms. Wide Bay QTU members have also sought to address local issues through local campaigning initiatives.
Area Council development The Wide Bay Area Council (WBAC) has evolved somewhat during the past couple of years in order to best meet the new and complex challenges facing the teaching profession. The 42
new Area Council structure empowers WBAC delegates to take a leadership role in campaigning activities within their branches. This structure has allowed and encouraged a greater level of communication and support between branches. One of the important features of this new Area Council model is the empowerment sessions designed to provide delegates with training, skills and resources that will better support them as lead activists in their branches. WBAC delegates have done an exemplary job of embracing this new structure and, in turn, supporting their branches.
Strong branches The maintenance and development of stronger and more active branches has been a real focus in the Wide Bay over the past two years. This has been approached through the implementation of a variety of initiatives, including: • a focus on campaigning • identification and empowerment of future activists • provision of targeted training and information to meet members’ and activists’ needs • invitations to and participation of state MPs, department officers and QTU Senior Officers at branch meetings • social events in branches.
Getting the Gonski message out in Maryborough
Nicole Mathieson (Media Advisor) Sally Haywood (on leave) Ros Hager Gerry Kelly Merry Rattray
John McCollow (acting)
John McCollow (on leave) Craig Wood (acting)
Lynn CowieMcAlister Kelly Creedon (acting)
Industrial Advocate - Services
Cathy Crisp Ivan Isbister Felicity Starr Heather Smith Judy Stoddart
Deborah Martin Megan Rolley Katherine Savatovic
Joan Crump (and Web Manager)
Will Brook Crystal Chapman Jann Marshall
Womenâ€™s & Social Welfare Issues
Mandy Howse (Coordinator)
Legal / Services
services Welfare - industrial research
Deputy General Secretary Member Services
Presidential section Graham Moloney
Sharon Graydon Yvonne Rojas (on leave) Julie Smith Kylie Turner
Jason Duncan Salit Mayshar Rebecca Paton
Crystal Chapman Christine Doss Jasmine Fonua Karen Leary Regina Lui Myriam McManus Julie Pobjoy Tam Tran
Merle Adams Lorraine Dugger Adrian Gibb Jess Lyon
Natalie Aserappa Brian Brash Asitha Peiris Chris Rattray
Maree Best Christine Doss Susanna Kaarilaakso Samantha Williams
Gail Woods (on leave)
finance and corPorate services
Support staff Ruth Low (Coordinator) Wendy Judd Julie Morgan
Scott Welch Wide Bay
Andrew Belford (Publications Officer) Andrea Lie
Peninsular & North West
orGanisers in other Queensland offices
Metropolitan North Moreton
Karen Alldridge Shannon Michaels
orGanisers based in brisbane
Deputy General Secretary - Member Organising
Annette Mifsud Liz Riley
The Union structure
Joining the honour board 2013 Life Membership is conferred under the rules following resignation/ retirement from the teaching service to members for long and outstanding service to the Union.
“John retired as General Secretary of 21 years, after 27 years as an Officer and membership and activism that dates back 34 years. But it’s not merely about longevity, its the contribution he’s made in those roles”
“If ever there was a grassroots member who was the epitome of what we should aspire to be as grassroots activists, Pete Bubbers is that member”
“Peter was a quiet achiever. He proved that, more often than not, negotiation and discussion were the way to go. Careful planning and preparation were definitely his trademark”
“Anybody you talk to in Rockhampton about union issues identifies Brendan as a strong unionist, and he’s synonymous with the QTU”
“Bob was involved in organising the weeklong strike in Moranbah in 1981, efforts that all teachers who have lived in teacher housing since have benefitted from”
“His contribution has been based on the passion he has for the Union, his belief in unionism and the collective, and a very strong sense of what is right”
“Her leadership, integrity, common sense approach and commitment to the task have enabled a productive contribution, not only to the QTU, but also to the broader education community”
“Bruce was one of the most loyal, sincere and genuine activists that I have ever had the opportunity to meet and to work with”
“One of Ian’s great legacies to the QTU is the action he took over a very long period of time to encourage people to get active and involved in the Union”
Mr C B Garland Mr L G Grulke Mr W M Millar Mr J H Ross
Ms R E Don Mr L A Edwards Mr W H Hagan Mr T G Vowles
Ms B O’Sullivan
Mr H M Marsh
Mr E A Drevensen Mr H E Plunkett Mr U S Zagami
Mr J H Trim
Ms K H Dickson Mr J R Harvey Mr E W Wass
Mr W J Bickmore Mr E French
Mr E P Clark Ms C Davidson Mr G Harley Mr R Mackie Mr S Schaffer
Mr L E Sheppard
Mr J A Blair Mr J T Christiansen Mr M L Harnell Mr R H Costello
Mr J Kennedy Mr G Semple Miss R Price
Ms H Wibberley Ms M Parkinson
Mr E Baldwin
Miss V Flannery Mr R Pitt
Mr P J Hellawell Emeritus Prof. A K Thomson
Mr L T Schuntner Mr A R Johnson Ms J L Lock
Mr E W Harmsworth Mr C H Cameron Mr L E Tognola Mr N C Norrie Mr A Anderson
Ms P Bowe Mr C Jentz Miss M Muldoon Mr N Ross Mr K Storey
Mr T Callaghan Mr S Knudsen Mr I McLaren Ms C Smith
Mrs M Doran Mrs M Kelly Mr D Nichols
* Posthumous award for outstand
People who throughout their teaching careers have served as an example to others by the manner in which they have loyally supported the QTU and its policies, and who have been active in promoting its interests are eligible for nomination as life members of the Union.
“Lesley’s personal attributes of persistence, attention to detail, empathy, loyalty and a dogged determination have made her a great QTU Officer, a great mentor and a great friend.”
“He taught all of us that you can stand up for what you believe in and still maintain a sense of humour and a sense of dignity. He’s one of the good guys”
“In all that he did in the Union, he brought a sense of social justice and a sense of purpose, a strong sense that it is up to every one of us to do our bit to ensure we leave behind a great legacy”
“Paul was universally respected, as an expert on TAFE, as an expert teacher, as a great advocate and negotiator, but perhaps more importantly, as a really great guy”
“The best forms of leadership we can have are those on the ground, and I couldn’t think of a better woman leader of the QTU than Pam Ryan”
“Steve has always been somebody who provided very clear leadership, was calm under pressure and lead the Union extremely well”
“Leigh has fought campaigns at a state and federal level, and has always given his all. He has always been willing to take up the fight for the QTU and its members”
“Robert’s constant advocacy within government for the interests of the QTU and its members should be recognised. He never forgot where he came from”
“She spoke and acted as a leader. She had that fire in the belly and a really good turn of phrase that inspired a lot of people to become active participants in statewide and local campaigns”
Mr J Alcorn Ms V Macaulay-Cross Mr T Prindable Mr S Rose Mr P Smith Ms A Tew
Ms A Greenhill Mr G Hall Mr W Jull Mr P Nightingale Ms D Sneddon Mr J Taylor
Mrs E Rose Mr B White Ms G Byrom Mr J Rockett Ms P Faircloth Mr J Lazzarini Mr D Taylor
Mr W Barry Mr T Christinson Mrs M Kreidl Mr A Lucas Mr N Stephen* Mr R White* Mr T Woodford*
Mr D Carney Mr P Day* Mr R Frame Mr M Gillam Mr C Holz* Ms D Pocock* Mr G Scott Ms V Sykes Ms L Threlfall Ms J White
Mr M Bagley Mr D Cowan
Mr A Bevis Mr J Baxter Mr L Cavanagh* Mrs J Coleman Mr F Douglas Mr D Jackson
Mr I Mackenzie Mr J Park Mr P Quinn Mr W Young
Mr J Battams Mr P Bubbers Mr P Campbell Mr B Cook Mr R Creedon Mr F Hardman Ms G Gartside Mr B Litte* Mr I Mackie Ms L McFarlane Mr G Purches Mr G Quinn* Mr P Reardon Ms P Ryan Mr S Ryan Mr L Schelks Mr R Schwarten Ms M Woodford
ding service to the Queensland Teachers’ Union
The Union Executive Senior officers
The QTU’s Senior Officers all have a teaching background. The President, Vice-President and Honorary Vice-President are elected by the members. They preside at meetings of Executive, Council and Conference and are responsible for the implemetation of their decisions. They also handle media and community relations. The General Secretary and two Deputy General Secretaries are elected by State Council and have primary responsibility for the day-to-day administration of the Union.
Mr Bates became QTU President in 2012. Previously Regional Organiser in South Queensland (1994-2000 and 2007-2011) and Industrial Advocate (2000-2006), he is a secondary social science teacher who taught in Biloela, Redcliffe, Kedron and Dunwich. Kevin Bates
Ms Brown was elected Vice-President in 2005 and was re-elected in 2008 and 2011. She was Honorary Vice-President from 1994 to 1997. Formerly a year 2 and year 3 teacher at Helensvale State School, she is also an executive member of the QCU. Julie Brown
Mr Moloney has been in his role (acting and substantively) since 2011. Previously Deputy General Secretary since 1992, he has also been the Union’s Industrial Advocate. He is a secondary maths and social science teacher who taught in Gladstone and Caboolture. Graham Moloney
Ms Ruttiman was elected in 2010. Her Union career began in 1997 when she was appointed Sunshine Coast Organiser, and she became one of the Union’s Industrial Advocates in 2001. She was formerly an economics and English teacher in Middlemount, Kenmore and Lowood.
Mr Welch was elected in 2012, after serving as the QTU’s Moreton Organiser since 1993. At the time of his election, he was also the QTU’s Campaign Coordinator. An English teacher, he taught in Wallumbilla and Dalby.
Deputy General Secretary
Deputy General Secretary
The QTU Executive consists of the Senior Officers, along with 12 serving teachers and a member from the TAFE Division elected by State Council. It manages Union affairs between State Council meetings. Its members chair and occupy positions on many Union committees and outside bodies.
Mr Anderson is a guidance officer at Burrowes State School. Elected in 2006, he sits on several Union committees and is also on the board of the Queensland College of Teachers.
Dr Darben is the coordinator of SPARQ-ed, a DETE / UQ scientific research educational outreach facility. He joined the Executive in 2005.
Ms Anderson is principal of Beenleigh Special School. She is chair of the Education Leaders Committee and a member of the Special Education and Women Teachers and Girls Education Committees. She is also a Vice President of QASEL. She joined Executive in 2009.
Mr Beattie is deputy principal at Victoria Point State High School and was elected to Executive in 2009. He is a member of the Audit and Education Leaders Committees.
Ms Jackson is an Education Manager at The Bremer Institute of TAFE. She was elected to Executive in 2005 as its TAFE representative, and also sits on the TAFE Executive Committee.
Ms Lines is an early years teacher at Redbank Plains State School. She was elected to Executive in 2009 and is a member of the Professional Issues Committee and the Early Childhood Sub-committee.
Elected Honorary VicePresident in 2011, Ms Pidgeon is HOD Junior Secondary and teacher of English at Runcorn State High School. First elected to Executive in 2000, she was re-elected in 2005. She represents the QTU on the QSA governing body and a range of other external organisations.
Mr Leese was elected to Executive in 2013. He teaches at Ipswich Special School and is also a member of the QTU’s Special Education Committee.
Ms Taylor teaches at Jimboomba State School and is a member of the QTU’s Gandu Jarjum committee and the AEU’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Education Committee. She was elected to Executive in 2012. Penny Taylor
Mr Thompson is principal of Ipswich West Special School, and also sits on the QTU’s Special Education Committee. He was elected to Executive in 2012.
Executive members continued
Ms Sugden teaches at Yandina State School. She sits on the QTU’s Women Teachers and Girls Education and Appointments Committees and was elected to Executive in 2006.
The Union Trustees
Allan Cook Trustee
Ms Welch is the Head of Mentoring and Coordinator of the Kelvin Grove Teacher Education Centre of Excellence. She sits on the QTU’s Agenda and Professional Issues Committees and was elected to Executive in 2008.
Brian Pearson Trustee
Ms Winch is the principal of Chevallum State School. She was Honorary VicePresident of the QTU from 2006-2011 and was on Executive between 19931999, between 2002-2006 and was re-elected in 2012. She is a member of the Education Leaders and Professional Issues Committees.
The four QTU Trustees, all teachers, are members appointed by Council to manage the Union’s capital investments and ensure that they earn the best possible returns for the members.
Jenny Swadling Trustee
Maryjane Woodgate Trustee
QTU Officers Services Welfare - Industrial Research
Assistant Secretary Legal/Services
Industrial Advocate Services (Acting)
Assistant Secretary Services
These Brisbane-based officers, again all from a teaching background, provide advice on specific areas of expertise and respond to general enquiries from members. They provide advice to Senior Officers, Executive, Council and Conference, as well as representing the Union in negotiations.
Assistant Secretary Education Leaders
Assistant Secretary Women’s and Social Welfare Issues
Lynn Cowie-McAlister Recruitment Coordinator
Assistant Secretary Services (Acting)
Assistant Secretary Industrial Advocate
Research Officer (Acting)
QTU Officers continued Organisers
Organiser (Brisbane South)
Fiona McNamara Organiser (Brisbane North)
There are 12 Organisers to serve QTU members across the state. All teachers themselves, they attend branch meetings where possible, liaise with district offices and take up membersâ€™ concerns with departmental representatives and administrators.
Maureen Duffy Organiser (Peninsula and North West)
Organiser (Gold Coast)
Organiser (South Queensland)
Organiser (Central Queensland)
Organiser (Sunshine Coast)
Organiser (North Queensland)
Organiser (Wide Bay)
QTU Staff Senior Officers
Secretary to Deputy General Secretary (MO)
Secretary to Deputy General Secretary (MS)
Personal Assistant to President (acting)
Personal Assistant to General Secretary / Coordinator - Senior Officer Secretaries
Personal Assistant to President (on leave)
Secretary to VicePresident
Library and Web Coordinator
Personal Assistant to President
Administration Officer (Human Resources)
Administration Officer - Secretariat
Megan Rolley Librarian
Katherine Savatovic Library Technician
Not pictured Deborah Martin Librarian
QTU Staff continued Finance and Corporate Services
Personal Assistant to Finance and Corporate Services Manager (acting)
Finance Officer (acting)
Travel & Accommodation Officer/Admin Officer Membership
Finance Officer Accounts Receivable (on leave)
Finance Officer Accounts Payable
Travel and Administration Officer
Finance and Corporate Services Manager (on leave)
Administration Officer - Membership
Assistant Membership Manager
Administration Officer - Membership
Administration Officer - Membership
Administration Officer - Membership
Senior Records Officer
Not pictured Merle Adams
Administration Officer - Government
Doreen Ferney Government Coordinator
Printroom Operator/ Administration Assistant - Government
Administration Officer - Government
Secretary to the Executive
QTU Staff continued ICT
Systems and Network Administrator
Systems Analyst / Programmer
ICT Support Help Desk Officer
Administration Officer - QTEC
Madonna Cullinan Research Assistant
Research Services Coordinator
Administration Officer - Research Services
Administration Officer - Research Services
Administration officer - Research Services
Information Support Officer (QTAD)
Information Support Officer (QTAD)
Information Support Officer (QTAD)
Information Support Coordinator (QTAD)
Administration Officer - Townsville
Administration Officer - Organisers
Administration Officer - Gold Coast
Administration Officer - Rockhampton
Administration Officer - Toowoomba
Administration Officer - Cairns
Administration Officer - Organisers
Administration Officer - Maryborough
Administration Officer - Sunshine Coast
Strategic Plan 2010-2014 by General Secretary Graham Moloney
Mission The QTU exists to protect and enhance the working conditions, living standards and professional rights of members and the learning environment of students attending Queensland public schools and TAFE institutes.
Values The QTU prides itself on its membership focus, always acting in the best interests of members and the public education system, while pursuing a strategy of empowering members to take responsibility for initiating and supporting campaigns pursuant to the Union’s objectives. The QTU organisation is based on effective transparent governance and strong leadership, providing an effective voice for the teaching profession in Queensland. The QTU will pursue four fundamental objectives over the period 2010–2014:
Improving members’ salaries and working conditions This is fundamental to any union. The focus areas for the QTU are: • permanency • safe and secure work environment • strong systemic support for teachers and administrators • resourcing • workload • salaries • remote area conditions • special education.
Enhancing the capacity and willingness of members to assert their professional and industrial rights The QTU aims to instil a culture of assertive professionalism in schools. This involves members understanding their professional and industrial rights and responsibilities and being willing and capable of working with their colleagues to protect and extend those rights in local campaigns. It is an extension of the strategy of turning problems into campaigns. A key strategy is Right to Teach/Right to Learn, which provides a framework for campaigns in professional, industrial, health and safety, and staffing and resource areas. This objective also encompasses the continuing development of the Union’s network of school representatives.
Strong membership satisfaction with, commitment to, and engagement with the QTU and its activities The QTU prides itself on its membership density. This flows from a democratic structure that ensures that the Union’s objectives reflect the interests of its members, that members are prepared to engage in its campaigns and that the Union has the capacity to succeed with members. This requires constant renewal as, for example, new issues arise and new methods of communication become available. The aim is to ensure that the QTU is, and is recognised as, the most democratic and representative voice of the profession in Queensland.
Strong influence over state and federal education and training agenda A clear trend is the growing dominance of the federal government over education and training policy through its power over funding. This requires the QTU to develop a greater involvement in politics at the federal level (and at a state level) rather than relying only on industrial strategy. It requires the Australian Education Union (AEU) to have an effective presence at a national level, and it requires the QTU to have an influential voice in public debate and in the national and state authorities where education policy is made.
21 Graham St, Milton Q 4064 | PO Box 1750, Milton BC 4064 Phone 07 3512 9000 | Fax 07 3512 9050 | Email email@example.com | Web www.qtu.asn.au