IEUA-QNT acts in face of Queensland employer inaction
The intention to open Queensland schools in Term 2 on the basis of a home-based learning model with limited student attendance on a school site, raises a number of operational considerations.
Our union has acted swiftly and considered a number of those operational matters drawing on the guidelines issued by the Queensland Department of Education.
These guidelines have been sent to all non-government employing authorities and principals in all systematic schools and we have requested confirmation that these will be adopted from the commencement of Term 2 for the duration of the home-based learning model.
Key features include:
1.Work from home should be facilitated
2.Support staff continue to play a critical role in schools
3.A pool of relief/casual teachers should be retained
4.The new learning model should not require double the work
Facilitating work from home
Clause 4.8 of the IEU guidelines requests that principals facilitate work from home arrangements for those staff who would prefer to do so, especially where social distancing provisions are difficult to establish on the school site.
This would mean that an assessment would need to be made of the level of staffing required for supervision of students.
A roster of attendance of staff may then be established to provide both the needed level of student supervision and the work from home arrangements.
Workload should not double
Clause 2.3 of the IEU guidelines seeks confirmation that there should be no expectation of teachers that separate on-site and separate online learning materials need to be developed.
The learning program should be the same for all students – regardless of their locations, home or at school.
Casual/ Relief Teachers
A pool of casual/relief teachers needs to be available for emergent situations where staff cannot be on-site at school.
This will particularly be the case where provisions need to be made for vulnerable staff to work from home – there will clearly be a need for casual/relief teachers to continue to be employed.
Support staff to continue to play a critical role in schools
While a small number of independent schools took action to stand down staff at the end of Term 1, given the government directives that schools are to remain open (or risk losing federal funding), no school should be standing down any staff.
Schools cannot be expected to deliver this new hybrid model of education without teachers and support staff working together.
Section 5 of the IEU guidelines outlines that support staff will be essential to supporting the home-based learning mode and may be required to undertake a range of duties to facilitate this.
Our union continues to advocate strongly for the protection of all members’ health and safety as well as their livelihoods as the COVID-19 crisis continues.
IEUA-QNT Officers are ready to provide support to any member who needs specific advice via email@example.com or FREECALL 1800 177 938 (QLD) and FRECALL 1800 351 996 (NT)