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Home > News > 2020 > April > Collective meetings in the virtual world

Collective meetings in the virtual world

Topics : ChapterChapter eventCOVID-19

teacher_at_desk_web_qual.pngIn the current COVID-19 environment, it has never been more important for IEUA-QNT Chapters to meet to discuss a range of issues that may arise in their workplace. 

IEUA-QNT Assistant Secretary Paul Giles said that Chapter meetings are essential to identify and respond to school level issues and to provide feedback on sector or union-wide issues identified by the IEUA-QNT. 

“The size and nature of your Chapter will determine how this can best occur,” Paul said. 

“Our union has developed a number of protocols which should be used to facilitate the operation of virtual chapter meetings. 

“These protocols are designed in the context of the current situation of social distancing and connecting virtually.”  

Membership and attendance

Financial Chapter members must be provided with notice of the meeting and the opportunity to participate in any discussions. 

Arrangements must consider the various possible work locations and access to technology of Chapter members (working from home, working onsite etc). 

Mode of meeting

Chapters will need to identify the mode by which they will meet, this might occur in person (as is the case of small Chapters) or by using digital technologies such as Microsoft Teams, email, web chat or other platforms.

For those meetings that occur in person, requirements around social distancing and hygiene must be adhered to.

Many schools have already implemented their remote learning programs which include mechanisms for staff to connect - this may be a useful starting point for Chapters. 

Meeting expectations

It is essential that any Chapter meeting, whether in person or in an online space, provides the opportunity for respectful and confidential discussions and an open exchange of views. 

Members should ensure that the discussion remains on topic and absent of any offensive, personal or inappropriate comments. 

Chapter discussions or member comments made in these meetings should not be copied, distributed or shared beyond the members of the Chapter unless otherwise discussed.

Chapter meetings that are conducted online should not be recorded by any party.  

Organiser participation

Where possible, the Chapter’s designated IEUA-QNT organiser should be in attendance to support the member discussions and outcomes. 

Such attendance should be mindful of the mode in which the meeting is occurring.

Meeting preparation

Members should be provided with adequate notice of the meeting and the mode by which the meeting will occur along with instructions for access. 

Chapters should confirm a process for collecting and recording RSVPs and apologies.

Members should also be provided with an agenda or summary of discussion topics, along with any other relevant documentation prior to the meeting. 

Ahead of the meeting, someone should be identified to take notes about the meeting and any outcomes.

It is recommended that members test their technology (including camera, microphone, WiFi, etc) ahead of the meeting and minimise potential disruptions (phone notifications, email alerts etc)

IEUA-QNT virtual Chapter meeting agenda

Each meeting should start with an Acknowledgement or Welcome to Country. 

The Chapter may like to identify a different member to make this acknowledgment at each meeting.

Chapter meetings should have a clear agenda to support efficient and focused discussions.

Our union has a number of resources for conducting virtual chapter meetings : 

•Virtual meeting guidelines

•Template Agenda

•How to construct a resolution

For further information and support contact our union on FREECALL  1800 177 937 (QLD), FREECALL 1800 351 996 or enquiries@qieu.asn.au 

Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.