QTU Biennial Conference 2017


Hundreds of elected delegates from all over Queensland have given up the first three days of their holidays to take part in the 112th QTU Biennial Conference - "Where Industrial meets Professional". The Conference, the QTU’s supreme decision-making body, meets every two years, with the 2017 meeting taking place between 26 and 28 June at the Brisbane Exhibition and Conference Centre. More than 250 elected delegates attended the event. The following is a summary of some of the decisions they made.

QTU Policy and Rules

QTU Conference:

  • amended policy to call for school dress codes to give all girls the option of pants or shorts as part of their school uniform (formal and sport)
  • amended policy to call for department programs on respectful relationships and ensuring every student, educator and community member has acess to a safe and inclusive learning environment.
  • changed QTU rules to reflect current practice regarding funding quotas to branches and Area Councils, and removed the need for Branch Treasurers
  • replaced Area Council AGMs with triennial general meetings, to reflect the triennial election of honorary positions.

Industrial issues

QTU Conference:

  • called on DET to provide professional development to prepare the profession for the roll-out of the highly accomplished and lead teacher classifications
  • called on DET to deliver positive outcomes in the reviews of teacher transfers and relocations, senior teacher and EST classifications, and the trial of incentives under RAIS
  • called on TAFE Queensland to jointly develop advice on programming, permanent employment and consultation and finalise its review of the pilot of various classifications. 

Professional issues

QTU Conference:
called for a union voice to be restored to bodies such as the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority and the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership.

Workload and member wellbeing

QTU Conference:

  • endorsed the QTU Workload and Member Wellbeing strategy, which focuses on workload, workplace health and safety, domestic and family violence, safe and supportive working environments for LGBTIQ+ members, and physical, psychological and financial health
  • supported the training of members in resilience, conflict resolution and assertiveness and the development of resources to address workload issues.

Promotional positions

QTU Conference:

  • endorsed a revised strategy for support and involvement of principals and others in promotional positions, the key elements of which are the Promotional Positions Classification Review, the workload and wellbeing of principals and others in promotional positions, and a re-examination of the promotions and relocation system.

Independent Public Schools

QTU Conference:

  • called on the state government to end the IPS program and to review staffing practices that should be extended to all schools, consistent with the rights of employees and the operation of state schooling as a system.

School funding

QTU Conference:

  • endorsed a ballot of members to boycott any conditions that the federal government seeks to impose which are not acceptable to teachers and principals and/or are not in the best interests of students. 


QTU Conference:

  • endorsed the Union’s campaign for funding certainty for TAFE and guarantees that it will receive 70 per cent of all federal and state vocational education and training funding.

Secure employment

QTU Conference:

  • called for immediate action to reduce the levels of temporary employment by appointments to substantive vacancies
  • called for negotiations on the conversion of school purchase positions to permanency to be expedited
  • called for negotiations to establish a target or targets for agreed maximum levels of temporary employment based on historical patterns of employment
  • called for teachers in their first year of teaching to be appointed on a permanent basis wherever possible.

Human rights and international issues

QTU Conference:

  • asserted that education in schools and TAFE must be provided in an environment that respects and accepts diversity in all its forms.

Teachers’ Union Health (TUH)

QTU Conference:

  • recognised TUH as the health fund for Queensland teachers and challenged members to have a TUH advocate in all schools by the 2019 Conference.

Kate Ruttiman                                                                                                                       Deputy General Secretary (Member Services)

Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 122 No 5, 21 July 2017, p16-17