Back to basics: TAFE for QTU members employed by TAFE Queensland TAFE Queensland Educators Certified Agreement 2016 - January 2019 - Queensland ...


                          Back to basics:
for QTU members employed by TAFE Queensland
       TAFE Queensland Educators Certified Agreement 2016 - January 2019
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This document is issued for general guidance only. It does not constitute professional advice. The issues with
which it deals are complex and the document necessarily deals only with general principles. No reader should
rely on this document for the purpose of making a decision as to action but should seek the appropriate
advice from the Union on the particular circumstances of that reader. The Union accepts no responsibility
for the consequences should any person act in reliance on this document without obtaining the appropriate
advice from the Union.

1. Introduction....................................................................................................................................................... 4
2. Duties and responsibilities of Union Representatives................................................................................... 5
3. Consultation...................................................................................................................................................... 7
4. Dispute resolution..........................................................................................................................................13
5. Basic working conditions................................................................................................................................15
6. Professional issues.........................................................................................................................................20
7. Classifications.................................................................................................................................................25

Appendix 1: Clauses re consultation: TAFE Queensland Educators Certified Agreement 2016...................28
Appendix 2: Notice of programming dispute.....................................................................................................30
Appendix 3: Professional issues – clauses from industrial instruments........................................................36

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1. Introduction

1. Introduction:
As well as informing Union Reps and members, this guide has been developed to assist TAFE managers in
implementing key elements of the certified agreement. Not all parts of the certified agreement are contained
in this guide, however the elements that have been included are the most common issues raised in enquiries.
The QTU seeks to avoid disputes between members and between management and members and to resolve
them informally wherever possible. This guide, by providing advice and ideas about the implementation of the
agreement, is intended to minimise disputes.
While the Union appreciates the pressures on managers to meet objectives with often inadequate resources,
meeting objectives cannot be at the expense of entitlements contained in awards, certified agreements and
subsidiary agreements like MOAs. To do so would be breaking the law and breaching the code of conduct.
The QTU is conscious of an erosion of working conditions that occurred as a result of industrial relations
changes and staffing cuts during the Newman government. Given the changes to industrial law and the
emphasis placed by the Palaszczuk government on consultative measures, the Union will be enforcing
This guide is designed to assist managers, representatives and members in navigating the industrial
instruments. As always the QTU is open to suggestions for additional information to be produced or
clarification needed.

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2. Duties and responsibilities of Union Representatives

2. Role of the Union Rep
Union Representatives are a vital part of the QTU structure. The rules establishing the process for election and
the duties of workplace Union Representatives are contained in the Queensland Teachers’ Union of Employees
Constitution and Rules. Commonly referred to as the Union Rep, the workplace Union Representative is the
representative of the QTU in the workplace and functions as the first point of contact between the members
and the Union. They work with the Organiser in a dual role; firstly, as a key recruiter of new members, and
secondly as a key support and information source for members in helping resolve workplace issues. The
Union Rep is bound to act in accordance with Union policy and the determinations of the decision-making
mechanisms of the QTU: Executive, Council and Conference. Union appointees to the local consultative
committee must be a duly elected workplace Union Representative.

Rights and responsibilities
When a member nominates to be a QTU Union Rep, they take on the responsibilities and rights associated
with the position. The following responsibilities and rights are included in the QTU Union Representatives Kit:
Responsibilities of Union Representatives
• To represent the QTU in the workplace and, when necessary, to be the first point of contact between
  members at the workplace and the Union, particularly in relation to their issues and concerns.
• To work productively with the TAFE Organiser and officers of the QTU
• To recruit new teachers or other non-members into the Union.
• To encourage members to take the first step in dealing with their issues and problems.
• To publicise Union services, particularly the QTU website and QTAD, in order that members can take
  the first step in gaining required information and advice.
• To assist members during meetings related to their welfare, when necessary.
• To organise and lead local campaigns on issues important to members at the workplace as
• To organise and lead membership involvement in QTU campaigns at local and statewide level.
• To conduct workplace meetings as required.
• To provide members with advice and support.
• To attend an introductory Union Representative’s training course and participate in subsequent
• To attend their local branch meetings and to encourage other members to attend.
• To represent the Union on the local consultative committee as required, and to work collaboratively
  with delegates from other unions at the workplace, where appropriate. This includes representing
  the view of the majority of the QTU membership (despite their own personal views) when making
  decisions on proposals that impact on the working conditions and workload of members. QTU
  representatives should have a process by which to effectively represent these views.
• To work with the QTU LCC representatives and provide them with feedback regarding the views of
  the membership.
• To interact with other QTU members, members of other unions and employer representatives in a
  professional manner.
• To act at all times in accordance with the QTU’s policies, procedures, priorities, decisions and code
  of ethics.
Rights of Union Representatives
• To carry out their responsibilities without obstruction and to be treated with respect in accordance
   with relevant legislation, awards, agreements, union policy and union decisions.
• To have reasonable access to equipment such as photocopiers, telephones, computers, email,

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2. Duties and responsibilities of Union Representatives
                                                                                        3. Consultation

   facsimile machines, meeting rooms, notice boards and staff rooms.
• To have access to members to discuss employment-related issues during work hours, mindful of
  members’ employment responsibilities.
• To represent members and to advocate for them to their appropriate supervisor.
• To have timely access to supervisors, to discuss work issues that relate to the welfare of members.
• To, in agreed circumstances, be granted time off work to carry out their Union duties.
• To provide support to beginning teachers and new staff through involvement in the induction
• To be given appropriate support by QTU officers and staff.
• To speak publicly on behalf of Union members at the workplace in relation to workplace union
  issues, after consultation with relevant QTU officers.
• To represent QTU members on the workplace local consultative committee (LCC), as agreed
  between QTU representatives at the workplace.
• Access to paid leave for the purposes of industrial relations education.

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3. Consultation

3. Consultation
Consultation principles and requirements
Clause 17 of the certified agreement provides a clear expectation of what constitutes consultation:
17.1 Consultation principles
(a) Where TAFE Queensland needs to make a decision about matters that significantly impact employees’
employment circumstances, TAFE Queensland is committed to consult with affected employees and the
(b) Consultation will:
   (i) provide affected employees and the Union/s with relevant information in a timely manner
   (ii) allow a reasonable period of time to receive feedback, and take into account and consider, the
        views of the affected employees and the Union/s prior to the decision;
   (iii) provide affected employees and the Union/s with reasons for making a particular decision once
        a decision has been made.
(c) Relevant information may include:
   (i) providing a rationale for a proposed change
   (ii) clarifying the current state
   (iii) a vision for the future state
   (iv) proposed transitional approach from current to future state focusing on identifying employee
The scope of the clause is deliberately broad. If you are unsure whether an issue requires consultation with
effected members, please call the QTU for further advice.

Mechanisms for consultation:
Workplace consultation: local consultative committee (LCC)
What is the LCC and do I have one?
The LCC is the peak industrial forum within the region. Your region must have an LCC. The obligation to
effectively consult with employees and unions is required by the TAFE industrial award, certified agreements,
whole of government policy and legislation.
What does it do?
It serves as the key mechanism to implement the certified agreement, as well as forming a component of the
certified agreement dispute resolution processes. It addresses a broad range of local issues that affect TAFE
Queensland employees, including workload issues.
As a function of implementing the certified agreement, LCCs are required to assess each proposed team-
based working arrangement and approve it in accordance with clause 25.5(h).
The LCC serves as a mechanism for managing workload. In managing workload, the LCC needs to be involved
through activities such as:
• researching workload issues including addressing specific workload issues referred by staff of work
  units, employee representatives and/or management
• developing expedient processes for referral of workload issues to the LCC
• developing strategies to improve immediate and long-term workload issues
• assessing the implications of workloads from a workplace health and safety perspective and
  referring relevant matters to the workplace health and safety committee.

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3. Consultation

It should also look at proposals that will result in change through impacting employees’ employment
circumstances within the region. There is a duty to consult over significant change and under clause 11 of
the award “Consultation - introduction of changes”; where TAFE Queensland decides to introduce changes, it
must notify employees and their unions. The LCC is an appropriate forum to commence such notification and
consultation with employees and unions.
Changes likely to have significant effects on employees include variations to:
• production
• program
• organisation
• structure
• technology.
The term ‘significant effects’ includes:
• termination of employment
• major changes in the composition, operation or size of workforce
• the skills required
• elimination or diminution of job opportunities or job tenure
• alteration of hours of work
• the need for retraining or transfer of employees to other work or locations
• the restructuring of jobs.
The LCC does not remove or supplant management’s responsibility to ensure the good order and conduct of
the region and the effective day to day management of the region.
Who is on the LCC?
The committee is a representative group generally comprised of an equal number of union/employee and
management representatives, which may include the general manager and the director of HR.
Unions will nominate their representatives. There is no capacity for non-union representation on the LCC.
LCCs will be the subject of terms of reference agreed between the parties which will outline the composition.
The terms of reference may be amended from time to time. Generally, terms of reference outline that the LCC
maintains equal numbers of management representatives (selected by the general manager – including the
GM themselves) and union representatives (including the QTU, Together and United Voice) as determined by
the unions (see clause 17.2 Local Consultative Committees of the certified agreement).
How often does it meet?
This will be outlined in the terms of reference, but should be at least once a term. Some LCCs meet once a
month, others twice per term.
As a government agency, TAFE Queensland must keep records of these meetings.
Who chairs the LCC?
This is a matter that should be decided in consideration of the terms of reference and thereafter recorded
in the terms of reference. There is no hard rule. High functioning LCCs have been known to share the role of
chair between the parties on a rotating basis. Similarly, a fixed chairperson can function well.
How are decisions made by the LCC?
The LCC should function as a consensus building forum whenever possible. Matters not resolved at the
LCC can be referred to TQ corporate HR in the first instance and subsequently to the TAFE Queensland
Consultative Committee (TQCC) by either unions or management, in accordance with the certified agreement
dispute processes.

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3. Consultation

What happens to decisions made by the LCC?
If decisions are reached by consensus and do not contravene industrial instruments, then implementation
should proceed as discussed in the LCC.
If consensus cannot be reached, and there is a dispute regarding a majority decision, or the union
representatives dispute the decision reached, matters can be escalated through the dispute resolution
processes to TQ corporate HR and to the TAFE Queensland Consultative Committee, and subsequently the
QIRC if necessary.

Getting organised for LCC meetings
Who sets the dates?
The dates for the LCC are set early in the year and union reps should be invited with calendar invites to the
meetings or ensure that they have the meeting dates inserted into their calendars. TQCC meetings are also
set in advance.
Identifying issues for the LCC agenda
There is generally a call for agenda items in the lead up to the LCC, often a fortnight in advance of the
meeting. Advise staff that the LCC agenda is about to open and ask that potential agenda items be sent within
one week. There may be some items that remain from the previous meeting or that are standing agenda
items. Holding a branch or workplace meeting in the weeks prior to the LCC meeting date would provide an
opportunity to collate issues that can be presented for LCC.
How and by who is the LCC agenda set?
Any member of the LCC can put an item forward for discussion at the LCC by submitting a briefing paper
outlining the concern and actions needed to ameliorate the issues. Remember that the LCC is not the first
step for solving issues. Resolution of matters should have been attempted at the local level prior to escalating
to the LCC.
Do not ‘ambush’
If a matter arises after the agenda has been set and the closing date for agenda items has passed, you can
still advance an issue to the LCC. However, it is impractical to expect resolution of something if no notice is
given. Flagging the matter for the LCC’s attention and possible resolution out of session by subcommittee or
by flying minute may be the best solution. Do not “ambush” in the meeting. This is counterproductive, does not
result in consensus solutions and will put other committee members off side.
Prepare an LCC briefing paper
A briefing paper template may be in use within the region. If not, it is suggested that the following information
should be included, if applicable, in any briefing paper:
• the agenda item (name the issue, section of CA or award or identify it among standing items on the
• the party raising the item (QTU, Together Queensland, United Voice, TAFE Queensland, region etc)
• who will speak to the item (presentations should be limited to 10 minutes)
• who is affected by the issue (team of employees, individual employees etc)
• the background to the issue
• the primary areas of concern
• attempts made to resolve the matter at the local level (e.g. meeting with relevant manager, referral
  to OHS committee, discussions at team meetings etc, email trails).
• If no attempts have been made to resolve the matter at the local level, the reasons why
• what you are requesting of the LCC
• a possible solution to the issue.

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3. Consultation

Consultation and reporting
Unless there are matters flagged as confidential, the minutes of the LCC are available to all staff. They should
be available on the intranet and/or can be circulated once they are confirmed as being accurate. Unless there
is a matter of significant disagreement, generally the minutes should stand as the record of the meeting.
Holding a branch or workplace meeting in the weeks prior to the LCC meeting date would provide an
opportunity to collate issues that can be presented for LCC. If there is significant disagreement regarding
a proposal, it may be necessary to hold such a meeting following the LCC. In accordance with the QTU
Constitution and Rules, the Honorary Branch President can convene a branch meeting, a workplace Union
Representative can convene a workplace meeting.
Other unions
Seeking to discuss issues arising in the agenda with other unions prior to the meeting is advisable. Convening
a caucus of union representatives from the various unions to discuss common concerns or to explain matters
which may require support is a sensible approach.
Union Reps agree to be bound by the QTU’s policies and the decisions of the Executive, Council and
Conference. If a Union Rep is unsure regarding the substance of a matter before the LCC or regarding an
appropriate response to a proposal, it is entirely appropriate to seek clarification, particularly of interpretations
of the industrial instruments or regarding QTU policy matters. Advice can be sought via the Queensland
Teachers’ Assist Desk, from the QTU TAFE Organiser or from other officers of the Union. If the matter is
complex, it is best to allow as much lead time as possible to ensure appropriate advice to be given.
In some circumstances, the TAFE Organiser or another officer of the Union may attend an LCC in an ex-officio
capacity to provide additional advice and support.

Reaching consensus through consultation
Decisions of consultative committees and teaching teams in programming should be made by consensus
where possible.
Achieving consensus can be difficult at times – the following are suggested strategies for reaching consensus
decisions whenever possible.
Be open, transparent and accountable
The whole staff should be aware of any proposal being considered by the LCC.
There should be no “surprises” or “ambushes”.
This requires an investment of time to ensure the process can be considered appropriately.
Have I listened? Have others listened to me?
It is important that all voices are heard during debate/discussion.
Use of inquiry questioning may assist with understanding other people’s perspectives.
Can I commit to supporting a proposal in public and in private?
All members of an LCC need to commit to a consensus decision, otherwise the consultation outcomes will be
Set a timeframe for review of outcomes from proposals (i.e. public and private commitment until the end of
the semester or year etc).
If I cannot agree, what minor change would I suggest to make agreement easier?
Unless a proposal is in breach of an industrial provision outlined in the relevant award or certified agreement,
it should be considered objectively – but if it is in breach it must be rejected.
Union Reps may ballot members to gauge member support for a proposal if it is controversial.

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3. Consultation

Review proposals regularly
Clear timelines for review may allow consensus to be reached more easily.
Time needs to be given to objectively assess the outcomes of any proposal, particularly before renewal of a
team-based working arrangement (TBWA) is considered.
Timing is everything
Organise pre-LCC workplace meetings. This is to ensure member contribution to the agenda as well as to
consider advice regarding management proposals and Union feedback (if sought). Additionally, this will
provide time for Union Reps on the LCC to consider the details and enhance the consensus process.
If you know a proposal may be controversial, allow appropriate time for all parties to give consideration and
don’t rush the decision-making process.

Consultation – state level - TAFE Queensland Consultative Committee (TQCC)
What is the TQCC
THE TQCC forms the peak industrial forum for TAFE Queensland and is made up of representatives of TAFE
Queensland corporate human resources, the QTU and other unions. Other individuals may be invited if they
are integral to advising or resolving a dispute. The TQCC is subject to terms of reference agreed between the
parties and amended by agreement from time to time.
The TQCC has a broad remit and is intended to oversee the implementation of the certified agreement. It
functions as a component of the dispute resolution processes by attempting resolution of matters that cannot
be resolved by the LCC. The TQCC also monitors employment status and receives updates quarterly regarding
permanent, temporary and casual employment.
How do I refer a dispute to the TQCC?
In both dispute resolution processes outlined in clauses 13 and 25.4 of the certified agreement, matters
should be referred to TQ corporate HR for attempted resolution with the Union prior to TQCC being involved.
If a matter cannot be resolved at that level or the parties to the dispute are unhappy with the resolution,
referral should be made in writing to the QTU TAFE Organiser via and it will be referred by the
Union to the chief human resource officer in TAFE Queensland corporate.
The referral must contain an outline of:
• the matter causing the dispute
• the outcome of local level discussions and LCC consideration
• the resolution desired by the employee or employees.
What information will the TQCC use to reach its decision?
The TQCC will consider the information provided in the referral. Detailed referrals are essential. The TQCC may
also seek further information from the referees or parties to a dispute.
The TQCC may also consider the consultation process employed within the institute. This means the
TQCC may consider consultation processes at 17.2(d) of the certified agreement, namely local workload
management issues; specific workload issues referred by staff of work units, employee representatives and/or
management; develop expedient processes for referral of workload issues to the local consultative committee;
develop strategies to improve immediate and long term workload issues; assess the implications of workloads
from a workplace health and safety perspective, and refer relevant matters to the workplace health and safety
committee and areas as required by joint statements between TAFE Queensland and the QTU.
How will the TQCC reach its decision?
The TQCC will agree, by consensus, what actions are necessary to resolve the matter or dispute. It will utilise
information supplied in the referral, but the TQCC may also seek further information.

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3. Consultation

What if I don’t accept the decision of the TQCC?
Should either party to the dispute not accept the decision of the TQCC or the matter is not resolved by the
TQCC, referral may be made to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission for consideration.

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4. Dispute resolution

4. Dispute resolution
There are four processes outlined in the industrial instruments for the purposes of dispute resolution. There
are two in the award and two in the certified agreement.
Three disputes procedures
• The award - clause 7.1 Prevention and settlement of disputes: this applies to working conditions as
   outlined in the award
• The certified agreement - clause 13 Prevention and settlement of disputes: this applies to working
  conditions in the certified agreement, including the implementation of the agreement, with the
  exception of programming matters
• The certified agreement - clause 25.4 Programming Dispute Resolution Process: this process
  applies only to programming issues arising from the clause in the certified agreement.
One grievance procedure
The award – clause 7.2 Employee grievance procedures: applies to matters that are working conditions not
specifically identified in the award or agreement
How do I know whether my issue is a dispute or a grievance/complaint?
Generally, a dispute relates to working conditions while a complaint or grievance may arise because of
someone’s conduct. As a rule of thumb, complaints may align to breaches of the code of conduct, whereas
disputes relate to changes to working conditions, work practices that occur without proper consultation, or
when people are not receiving their working conditions as outlined in the award, certified agreement, joint
statements or policy.

Dispute under the award
Clause 7.1 Prevention and settlement of disputes of the award outlines the dispute resolution process
specifically related to the award. If there’s disagreement as to the interpretation or implementation of the
award, the following applies.
Stage 1 – Discussion between employee and/or Union Rep and supervisor within 24 hours. Not to exceed
seven days.
Stage 2 - If not resolved, employee and/or Union Rep send to next management level for conference of the
parties. Not to exceed seven days.
Stage 3 - if the matter unresolved, refer to chief executive for discussion and appropriate action. Not to exceed
14 days.
Stage 4 - If no satisfactory resolution, the matter can be progressed to the Queensland Industrial Relations
Commission by either party

Dispute under the certified agreement
Clause 13 Prevention and settlement of disputes of the certified agreement outlines the process to deal with
matters arising from the interpretation or implementation of the certified agreement.
This deals with all certified agreement matters, with the exception of issues dealt with under clause 25.4
Programming Dispute Resolution Process.
This means that if there are issues with workload management, employment security, classifications and
salaries, non-attendance time, leave, discipline etc, this is the process that is used.
It’s important to know that the status quo existing before the dispute continues while the procedure is
followed, except in circumstances of imminent risk to health or safety. So – you keep doing what you were
doing unless its unsafe to do so, and when the matter is resolved you either change what was happening or it
stays the same.

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4. DisputeIntroduction

Stage 1 – Matter referred by Union Representative and/or employee/s to management representative for
conference of parties (seven days).
Stage 2 - Written grievance to quick response team (sub-committee of LCC) (two days).
Stage 3 - Complaint escalated to Workforce Relations Unit in central office (seven days).
Stage 4 - Complaint escalated to TAFE Queensland Consultative Committee (seven days).
Stage 5 - If no satisfactory resolution, matter can be progressed to QIRC. Under Section 262 of the Industrial
Relations Act 2016 (Qld) (the act), the Commission is empowered to prevent and/or settle disputes and
determine matters in dispute.

Dispute regarding programming, timetabling, class sizes or planning
Clause 25.4 Programming Dispute Resolution Process of the certified agreement is the process to deal with
disputes arising from educational planning, programming and timetabling of teaching teams.
This process includes resolving issues regarding class sizes, yearly plan, the delivery timetable and team
based working arrangements.
Lack of local consultation may also constitute grounds to lodge a programming dispute under this clause.
Stage 1 - Written complaint to quick response team (sub-committee of LCC) (two days).
Stage 2 - Complaint escalated to Workforce Relations Unit in central office (seven days).
Stage 3 - If not resolved, matter can be referred by either party to the TQCC (seven days).
Stage 4 - If not resolved, either party may refer to QIRC under s.262 of IR Act 2016. QIRC empowered to
prevent and/or settle the dispute and determine matter.
The QTU has created an easy to use “Notice of programming dispute” pro-forma to assist members in the
lodging of programming disputes (Appendix 2).

Employee grievance for other than award matters
Clause 7.2 Employee grievance procedures - other than award matters of the award is a process which aims
for prompt resolution of grievances through consultation, cooperation and discussion. The aim is to reduce
the level of disputation and to promote efficiency, effectiveness and equity in the workplace. The clause has a
broad application and applies to all industrial matters within the meaning of the act.
Stage 1 - Employee informs immediate supervisor of grievance. They attempt solving the grievance (right to
consult Union Representative). Discussion within 24 hours and not to exceed seven days.
Stage 2 - If unresolved, grievance referred to the next in line management who consults the relevant parties
(right to consult or be represented by Union Representative). Not to exceed seven days.
Stage 3 - If unresolved, escalate to Chief Executive if employee wishes to pursue the matter (can notify the
relevant Union). Not to exceed 14 days.
The Chief Executive shall ensure that:
i. employee or their union is given opportunity to present all aspects of the grievance
ii. the grievance shall be investigated in a thorough, fair and impartial manner.
The Chief Executive may refer the matter to another person for investigation who will not be the employee’s
supervisor or manager. The Chief Executive may delegate their grievance resolution powers to a nominated
If the matter is notified to the Union, the investigator shall consult with the Union during the course of the
Where the grievance involves allegations of sexual harassment, an employee should commence the procedure
at Stage 3.

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5. Basic working conditions

5. Basic working conditions
Ordinary hours of duty and work
The ordinary hours of duty for educators covered by the award , exclusive of meal breaks, will be a maximum
of 36.25 hours per week, nine hours per day and five consecutive days or other hours as recorded in the table
The maximum ordinary programmed hours of work for educators will be 32 hours per week, as per the table

             Classification or group               Maximum prescribed ordinary programmed hours of work
                                                           per week                 per week by agreement
(i) Tutors
• Contact time                                                 24                               28
• Non-contact time                                             8                                4
(ii) Teachers and leading vocational teachers
• Contact time                                                 21                               25
• Non-contact time                                             11                               7
The nature of the duties to be performed between 32 hours per week and 36.25 hours per week is at the
discretion of the educator. Such discretion will be reasonably exercised. Where an employee is engaged in a
part-time capacity these hours are adjusted by the relevant fraction.
Spread of ordinary hours
The spread of ordinary hours of duty shall be 08:00 to 21:00 Monday to Friday and 08:00 to 18:00 on
Saturday. Any work performed on Saturday will be by mutual agreement.
Where particular circumstances related to the requirements of a course dictate, classes may be programmed
before 08:00 and up to 22:00.
The ordinary starting and finishing times of an educator or group of educators may be staggered, subject to
agreement between TAFE Queensland and the educator or the majority of educators concerned. Agreement to
stagger starting and finishing times of an educator or group of educators will not be unreasonably withheld.
An educator is required to observe the nominated starting and finishing times for the work day, including
designated breaks, to maximise available working time.

Meal breaks and rest pauses
An educator who works in excess of four hours on any day shall be allowed not less than 45 minutes for an
unpaid break.
All employees are entitled to a paid rest pause of 10 minutes’ duration in TAFE Queensland’s time in the first
and second half of the working day, subject to the following:
• a total of 10 minutes for an employee who works for more than three hours but less than six
  ordinary hours in any day
• a total of 20 minutes for an employee who works for at least six ordinary hours in any day.

Programmed time
In accordance with clause 15 of the award – Hours of duty, TAFE educators work hours are broken into time
spent with students and time spent undertaking tasks required to administer educational activity. TAFE
educators are employed to undertake 36 ¼ hours of work per week. This employment is broken into:
• 32 hours of programmed time
• 4 ¼ hours of discretionary time.
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5. Basic working

Educators may use the discretionary time as they see fit. Educator discretion is to be reasonably exercised.
Clause 3 of the award contains the following definitions.
• Contact time means time spent by an educator teaching/delivering course content
• Non-contact time means time spent by an educator undertaking preparation and performing other
  regional duties.
• Programmed time means a combination of contact and non-contact time.
For a full-time educator, the non-contact time is that which remains from 32 hours after the agreed contact is
For example - teachers
The default including maximum prescribed contact for a full-time teacher looks like this:
36 ¼ hrs – 4 ¼ hrs discretionary = 32 hrs programmed (being 21 hrs contact + 11 hrs non-contact)
The maximum ordinary contact by agreement for a fulltime teacher looks like this:
36 ¼ hrs – 4 ¼ hrs discretionary = 32 hrs programmed (being 25 hrs contact + 7 hrs non-contact)
For example - tutors
The default including maximum prescribed contact for a full-time tutor looks like this:
36 ¼ hrs – 4 ¼ hrs discretionary = 32 hrs programmed (being 24 hrs contact + 8 hrs non-contact.
The maximum ordinary contact by agreement for a full-time tutor looks like this:
36 ¼ hrs – 4 ¼ hrs discretionary = 32 hrs programmed (being 28 hrs contact + 4 hrs non-contact).
For part-time staff, these figures are adjusted pro-rata.
Duties to be undertaken during non-contact time are listed in the certified agreement at Appendix 2 - Educator
Classification Standards. The terms “associated functions” and “incidental duties” are no longer used and the
duties that were incorporated under these terms are now absorbed under the generic term non-contact time.
The duties outlined in Appendix 4 - Functional Responsibilities of a Program Delivery Area Guide in the
certified agreement may also be allocated among educational staff as non-contact time duties, although not
all teaching teams will be of sufficient size to allocate and undertake all of the duties listed.

Overtime and TOIL
All forms of overtime that result in either the payment of overtime rates of pay or the accumulation of time off
in lieu must be approved in advance by the general manager.
No claim for overtime will be approved where an educator elects to work solely for their own benefit or

An educator who receives compensation of overtime for work performed in excess of the maximum prescribed
ordinary contact-time hours of work per week cannot also receive compensation of overtime for work
performed in excess of 32 hours’ programmed time per week, i.e. there is to be no double counting.
For work performed in excess of the 32 hours’ programmed time, an educator may elect to be compensated
by payment of the additional hours at the overtime rate of pay or accumulate time off in lieu on the basis of
time for time.

Overtime rate of pay
Overtime rates of pay represent the contact time hours only, as the hourly rate is inclusive of all non-contact
For work performed on a Saturday, an educator shall be paid at one and one-half times the overtime rate of

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5. Basic working

pay as defined in award clause 18.1(b) and (c).
For work performed on a Sunday, an educator shall be paid at double the overtime rate of pay as defined in
award clauses 18.1(b) and (c).
For work performed on a public holiday, an educator shall be paid at the rate prescribed in award clause 27.1.

Time off in lieu (TOIL)
TOIL is used as an alternative to payment of the overtime rate of pay. TOIL is recognised as time for time
compensation for overtime work performed. It is not only to be accumulated for contact time but all extra
hours of work approved. When an educator is negotiating for the prior approval of TOIL, in accordance with
clause 15.5(b), such time should represent the actual time taken to perform the task/s concerned, including
preparation or other non-contact duties. However, limitations apply in terms of how much TOIL can be accrued
and when unused portions of TOIL will be paid out. The following limitations apply.
• Any unused balance of TOIL is to be paid out at the commencement date of each semester (six
• Where TOIL balances reach 40 hours, then all balances are to be paid out.
Educators are encouraged to avail themselves of accumulated TOIL when teaching/tutoring commitments are
TOIL is paid at the ordinary hourly rate of the educator concerned.
TOIL may be programmed for educators or teaching teams according to teaching/tutoring requirements.

Class sizes
The accepted student/tutor ratio is 15:1, and tutors may be required to conduct tutorial classes for a
minimum of one hour duration.
The accepted student/teacher (including leading vocational teacher) ratio will be as recorded in the table
Description                                                           Ratio
(i) Theory                                                            28:1
(ii) Workshop/laboratory                                              14:1
     (excluding competency based training)
(iii) Butchering and wood machining                                   7:1 or 8:2
(iv) Live work                                                        7:1
(v) Life skills                                                       14:1
(vi) Computing/typing                                                 14:1
(vii) Adult literacy beginners                                        10:1
(viii) Adult literacy intermediate                                    14:1
(ix) English for migrants beginners                                   7:1
(x) English for migrants intermediate                                 14:1
(xi) English for migrants advanced                                    20:1
(xii) Students with specific learning disabilities                    5:1
(xiii) Hearing impaired students                                      7:1
(xiv) Theory for associate diploma and diploma courses                60:1*
* Maximum of 10 hours per week teaching in excess of 30:1
These class sizes may be varied by agreement, after consultation between TAFE Queensland, the employee
and the relevant Union/s, and due consideration of:
• safety hazards or risks to students and employees

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5. Basic working

• limitations in accommodation and/or equipment
• students with disabilities and/or learning difficulties
• the provisions of the Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011
• the conduct of special programs, including: modular training, access programs, community
  education programs and compensatory programs
• mode of delivery.

Temporary teaching: conversion to permanent
After completing two years’ of continuous service in the same role with TAFE Queensland, a temporary
employee will have a review of their status undertaken. The general manager will determine whether the
employee will be converted to permanent status at level.

Casual engagement
Casual teachers and tutors are engaged and employed as casual employees and under the certified
agreement casual employees should not:
• be engaged on a regular and systematic basis
• be engaged for several periods of employment for more than one year
• have a reasonable expectation of further employment with TAFE Queensland.
Most of the conditions of employment for casuals come from the award. The rate of pay for a casual is
increased for working outside of the normal spread of hours such that:
• time and a half is paid for before 08:00 and after 18:00 Monday to Friday
• time and a half is paid for Saturday work
• double is paid for working on a Sunday
• double time and one-half the ordinary hourly rate for a public holiday.
Contrary to section 8.3(a)(ii) in the award regarding casual employee’s maximum hours of employment, clause
15.1(f) it states that casual educators will not exceed 12 hours’ contact time per week.
Unless undertaking emergent teaching due to staff absence, casual educators in TAFE generally have
allocated classes from week to week.
Casual teachers are required to complete non-contact duties associated with their delivery and have an
increased hourly rate to account for this. When working out the casual rate of pay, the teacher level 4 salary is
divided by 42 contact hours NOT 64 programmed hours. To demonstrate the difference:

• a straight hourly rate based on 2017/18FY teacher level 4 fortnightly pay would be:
       Fortnightly pay rate of 2,976.00 divided by 64 programmed hours = $46.5/hour times 23 per cent
       = $57.20
• the casual rate of pay based on 2017/18FY teacher level 4 is approximately:
           Fortnightly pay rate of 2,976.00 divided by 42 contact hours = $70.86/hour times 23 per cent
           = $87.16

Staff meetings
The maximum ordinary programmed time may be extended by up to half an hour per week or one hour
per fortnight by the faculty director to provide for a staff meeting to be held outside the maximum ordinary
programmed time. Any such meeting would normally be held immediately prior to or following contact or non-
contact time or during a lunch break.

Leave types
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5. Basic working

Where an educator has reduced programmed hours in a week due to the application of any of the
entitlements in the following list, time absent will not have to be made up. The original work program remains
in force less the specific absence.
This includes:
• professional development in accordance with clause 37 of the award
• industrial relations education leave
• personal leave
• special leave with pay
• public holidays
• any other leave entitlement in accordance with the award.
If the educator and the general manager agree, the employee may work all or a portion of programmed hours
in which they were absent on sick leave, thereby reducing the sick leave account debit which would otherwise
have been made.
Recreation leave
Teachers accumulate paid recreation leave of four weeks per calendar year. The period between Christmas
and New Year must be taken as recreation leave. Educators can be directed to take accumulated recreation
leave if balances exceed 26 days. It may be taken in conjunction with NAT up to a maximum of eight weeks
total approved absence.
Sick leave
Full-time teachers accrue 10 days paid sick leave per year – this leave accumulates across the years of
employment (pro-rata for part-time employees).
A medical certificate need only be produced when an absence is greater than three days or there is an
identified pattern of absence, a conduct issue or a formal performance process in place.
Accrued sick leave can also be accessed as carer’s leave to care for sick family members.
Long service leave (LSL)
LSL can be accessed as paid leave after seven years of continuous service and is accrued at a rate of 1.3
weeks per year worked. Access to this leave requires six months notice and approval is subject to employer
Paid maternity and adoption leave
An entitlement of 14 weeks PML or PAL is available to the primary caregiver of a child. Conditions apply to the
access to this leave.

Additionally, teachers may be entitled to access the Commonwealth paid parental leave scheme and dad and
partner pay. This payment is made in addition to the PML provided by TAFE. Dad and partner pay cannot be
accessed while on paid leave or when working.
Special leave
This includes two days bereavement leave for each bereavement and five days compassionate leave per year.
This leave does not accrue. Compassionate leave is discretionary and approval must be sought. Other forms
of special leave are also available.
Extended special leave without salary
Applications can be made after 12 months of being employed with the department. Access to this leave
requires six months notice and approval is subject to TAFE’s convenience. The maximum amount of extended
special leave without salary on each occasion is three years.

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Professional issues

6.     Professional issues – including programming, professional
       development, non-attendance time and currency of skills
Programming and timetabling
The certified agreement recognises the professionalism of educators and the primacy of teaching teams
in workload allocation. Programming is to be done in a manner that meets the genuine needs of all
stakeholders: TAFE Queensland, employees, industry and students. The agreement identifies priorities of
workplace efficiency, effectiveness and service delivery, alongside the sometimes contradictory needs of job
satisfaction, improved working life quality and positive assistance in TAFE Queensland operations. There is
agreement that educational programming needs to be both educationally and fiscally sound.
There are two components to the programming process:
1) the establishment of yearly plans for teaching teams
2) individual delivery timetables.
These two outcomes may be taken in a contemporaneous manner and the agreement does not prescribe
the form these instruments take. Whatever it looks like, it must be a TAFE approved document. The certified
agreement does state that they must exist for each teaching team and educator and it identifies what must be
included in the documentation.
To allow compliance with the clauses, on preparation the yearly plan and timetables must be completed and
distributed four weeks prior to a teacher going on NAT. Such a plan and timetable should be for either a six or
12-month period.
Yearly plan
The yearly plan is to be developed by agreement between the teaching team and TAFE Queensland. It must be
done early enough to allow for management approval and other processes, such as marketing, enrolment and
dispute resolution.
The yearly plan must allocate time to the following:
   Programmed time (contact and non-contact, on and off campus and            Non-attendance time (NAT)
         Professional development (including industry release)               Moderation and validation
                             Staff meetings                                           Annual leave
                          Long service leave                                         Public holidays
                   Time off in lieu (where applicable)                 Student orientations and work-integrated
                                                                                   learning activities
                             Project work                                     Other incidental activities
The yearly plan must be flexible and responsive to stakeholder needs by taking into account:
• the maximisation of resources
• realisation of budget efficiency
• equitable distribution of workload
• adaption for unplanned absences
• minimum requirements for student contact, pedagogic soundness and regulatory adherence.
To ensure that the above prescribed factors are met, TAFE Queensland may alter the plan in consultation with
the team and unions. It cannot disadvantage employees in relation to their working conditions, as prescribed
in the award and in the Queensland Employment Standards.
Delivery timetable
Delivery timetables aligning to the yearly plan are to be prepared for each educator in a teaching team through

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a process of negotiation between the teaching team and the manager. The purpose of the delivery timetable is
to allocate programmed time prior to the commencement of delivery.
The delivery timetable allocates reasonable hours and consideration to the full range of duties the educator
is responsible for. An individual educator can request that their personal circumstances be accounted for, but
not matters of mere personal convenience. This should not be unreasonably refused.
It may be that emergent circumstances require a modification of the timetable following its implementation. In
such circumstances, TAFE and the teaching team will confer to establish a temporary operational timetable to
be put in place until a final timetable can be agreed with the educator.
Where an educator undertakes flexible delivery, recognition of prior learning, or other non-traditional delivery
modes that are not compatible with traditional modes of classroom delivery (for example workplace, simulated
workplace or online delivery), the maximum ordinary programmed hours of work will be 32 hours per week
and will not be subject to the prescribed maximums for contact time and non-contact time in clause 15.1(b) of
the award. Any addition to 32 hours will incur overtime
Programming disputes
Issues arising from programming, planning, timetabling and/or class sizes are to be handled according to the
programming dispute resolution process. Please see the section in this booklet regarding dispute resolution.

Non-attendance time (NAT)
The award has brought together all of the previously existing clauses regarding NAT into one section. The core
entitlement in relation to NAT in terms of the award is unchanged:
• entitlement to five weeks NAT each year (pro-rata)
• minimum period is one week; maximum of four weeks at any one time
• can be taken conjointly with rec leave (four weeks) up to eight weeks in any one period
• employees must take a minimum of two periods of NAT per year separated by a maximum period of
  21 weeks
• employees can be directed to take NAT but must have four weeks’ notice
• maximum of two weeks can be deferred to the following calendar year (with approval of GM)
• deferred NAT lapses if not taken within first six months of following year
• balance of unused NAT paid out on resignation (pro-rata).
The award states that there are five weeks entitlement for a completed calendar year of service. There are
no other conditions on the accumulation of the entitlement. However, there are directions on how it must
be timetabled into the academic year. As a guide, the allocation, programming and approval of NAT is to
facilitate the opportunity for employees to prepare all necessary work required prior to the commencement
of education delivery. This does not dictate where an educator must be or what an educator is to be doing. It
simply is a statement regarding the allocation of the entitlement to the year when planning.
The certified agreement clarifies the use of NAT, clearly stating that it is up to educators to decide how to
utilise their NAT. Educators will use their discretion to determine how they will utilise NAT and may choose,
but are not required to, conduct their normal programmed time duties during non-attendance time but must
return to work prepared for delivery as per the preparation clauses.

TAFE educators have a professional obligation to be prepared to teach even after returning from recreation
leave or from a period of sick leave. The certified agreement particularly calls out that educators should be
specifically prepared prior to the commencement of delivery as per the required half yearly or yearly plan and
timetable. This includes:
• uploading all relevant learning and assessment resources
• undertaking all other requirements for the learning management system ready for delivery and

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• organising printing of resources ready for distribution
• confirming packaging rules and requirements of training package/accredited course units being
• confirming planned training activity meets requirements
• reviewing, updating and/or developing course-related information at a qualification and/or unit
  level, including:
   ○○ qualification guide
   ○○ learner guide/s
   ○○ competency based training assessment instruments including benchmarks
   ○○ content delivery schedule/lesson plans
   ○○ learning and training resources
   ○○ unit of study guide/s
   ○○ course orientation materials for existing or future programs
   ○○ prep for workplace learning, including up to date templates:
     • provider risk assessments
     • logbook for vocational placements.

Conducting recognition of prior learning (RPL)
To ensure transparency, accountability and equity in the allocation and programming of RPL duties, a clause
was included in the certified agreement regarding the recording of time allocated or utilised to complete RPL
activity ,whether in the yearly plan or individual timetable.
The certified agreement identifies that RPL as neither wholly a contact time nor non-contact time duty. Rather
it is a complex activity involving the assessment of formal, informal and non-formal modes of learning. This
activity can span both programmed time allocations.
When programming and accounting for the duty, RPL:
• must be recorded separately as RPL in yearly plan and timetable
• must be allocated in no less than 15 minute blocks
• must be agreed in advance where possible
• will not exceed the maximum programmed hrs/wk without agreement
• must be recorded in the yearly plan and timetable.

Currency and competency
The certified agreement contains clauses regarding currency and competency which mirror the requirements
of national VET regulation. Educators are required to:
• possess knowledge of and/or experience in:
   ○○ latest industry techniques, processes and equipment
   ○○ current legislation re industry, employment and workplaces.
• provide training and assessment that reflects current industry practice
• demonstrate current industry skills through documented evidence

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• possess current vocational training, learning and assessment knowledge and skills
• participate in activities to maintain, upgrade and/or develop the way they train and assess.
Educators must possess vocational competencies at least at the level of requirements listed in training
product and at the qualification and unit of competency or module level.

Professional development and industry release
TAFE educators have access to an entitlement of a minimum of ten days per year to be utilised to maintain
currency and competence of both their vocational skills and professional education skills.
The award and the certified agreement both provide detail around the entitlement and responsibilities
regarding professional development in relation to maintaining currency and competency.
The Certified Agreement specifically states that the purpose of the professional development entitlement is
to prioritise activities that maintain, develop and extend Educators’ competency and currency of skills and
knowledge relevant to:
• vocational training, learning and assessment
• current industry skills, including the skills required by training packages and/or accredited courses
  and as identified by TAFE Queensland through industry engagement
• the industry area where training is being delivered and assessed.
Professional development under this definition specifically excludes normal programmed duties of educators,
• moderation and validation
• engagement in extra-curricular activities
• participation in routine core business meetings, planning and preparation
• non-attendance time
• mandatory staff training.
This does not remove educators’ obligations to undertake and complete all mandatory training. Examples of
this might be Code of Conduct induction, or refresher training or the training required to utilise new computer
Educators can be directed to undertake mandated professional development activities.
Clause 15.10 of the award, Absence from duty – educators: where an educator has reduced programmed
hours in a week due to either professional development or industrial relations education leave, the absence
will not have to be made up, the original work program remaining in force less the specific absence.

Team based working arrangements (TBWA)
Team-based working arrangements (TBWA) are subject to a joint statement which was written and agreed by
the parties. The joint statement outlines the process to be followed, the disputes processes and the form in
which a TBWA must appear.
A TBWA can be proposed by management or teaching team but is subject to majority agreement of the team
in consultation with the union/s. Final approval is given by the local consultative committee.
While the TBWA may vary the effect of employment conditions for members, it may only address certain
conditions, limited to:
• ordinary hours of duty
• payment for working ordinary hours (including computed time)
• compensation for overtime
• spread of hours
• meal breaks
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