Collective agreements must protect preparation and correcting time
IEUA-QNT Assistant Secretary Brad Hayes writes about the importance of collective bargaining in protecting planning, preparation and correction time (PPCT) and recent member success in the Catholic and Lutheran sectors.
The ever expanding roles and duties required of school staff have reached critical levels. While the complexity and magnitude of work intensification pressures can sometimes appear beyond our control, members are using collective bargaining to fight back against unreasonable work demands.
The right to minimum planning, preparation and correction time (PPCT) has been an important and hard fought entitlement won by union members over the last 20 years. Members sought the inclusion of PPCT in collective agreements to guarantee a minimum amount of paid time for classroom preparation and correction tasks.
Unfortunately, an unprecedented expansion of administrative and operational demands imposed on teachers threatens to undermine PPCT and erode these valuable entitlements.
Members can win better PPCT protections
Members from both sector employers and single site schools have been engaged in recent collective bargaining campaigns to protect their PPCT.
While the specific mechanisms can vary between schools, the key elements of the member claims generally include:
- A clear definition of the function of PPCT, including the range of duties that may be undertaken within a teacher’s timetabled PPCT;
- A negotiated schedule of PPCT to be developed in advance so that teachers can have direct input into the timing of their PPCT and avoid disruptions to their entitlement; and
- A requirement for employers to replace PPCT that is unable to be accessed by a teacher due to planned school activities.
These initiatives attempt to safeguard a simple concept – that teachers should have guaranteed access to their PPCT entitlement and that the time is actually used for preparing and correcting class work.
Success in Catholic and Lutheran bargaining
Members from Queensland Catholic and Lutheran schools are the latest to secure PPCT protections in their respective bargaining campaigns.
These concerted member campaigns have achieved several enhancements to improve the efficacy of PPCT at the school level.
With the new Catholic and Lutheran school agreement now in place, there are some important steps that these Chapters should take to fully capitalise on their new PPCT arrangements:
- The Chapter should review their new PPCT provisions to become familiar with the opportunities and protections now afforded to their teachers;
- Teacher members should consider the duties that they undertake within PPCT. Are they consistent with the function of PPCT? Do they directly relate to preparation and correction tasks?
- The Chapter should meet to undertake an audit of school activities and identify any clashes with the scheduled PPCT of members that needs to be replaced.
Does your agreement adequately protect PPCT?
Members in systemic schools, grammar schools, independent schools and Christian schools have now successfully campaigned for improved PPCT provisions. Members should be vigilant and continue to pursue the protection of valuable PPCT in their collective agreements.
Contact your union organiser or FREECALL 1800 177 937 to discuss the development of a successful PPCT members’ strategy for your next agreement.
This article was extracted from the November 2016 edition of Independent Voice.