Education - More permanent hours for long term employees working temporary hours

Posted on November 1, 2021

This week following weeks of discussions with Together, the department confirmed that in term 4 they will be commencing a further process to increase permanency across the department.

Last term a ‘phase 1’ process converted very long term temporary employees to permanent.  This term, the new ‘phase 2’ permanency review will commence for employees who have been working long term additional hours above their permanent hours, as well as those temporary employees with greater than 2 years’ service.  

For years Together members have campaigned and won better permanency rights, in government policy and in legislation.  In your new standalone Education Agreement you won rights for employees working additional hours over their substantive hours to request to have those hours converted to permanent.

Now, the department and Together have agreed to the principles for this ‘Phase 2’ review process that looks to make good on the legislative and industrial requirements to make permanency the default employment position.  

The principles have for this review been agreed and are outlined here:

Phase 2 – Further review of non-teaching school-based employees with 2-4 years’ service:

Commencing Term 4 2021, the Department with the United Worker’s and Together Queensland unions have agreed to commence a review of the following cohorts:

  • long-term temporary hours arrangements for existing permanent school-based staff; and
  • temporary non-teaching school-based employees with greater than 2 years’ service .

This review will be guided by the following principles:

  • Permanent employment is the Queensland Government default employment position;
  • Valid use of temporary and casual employees (less than 12 months) is limited to:
    • genuine backfill of another employee absent for a known period
    • a specific piece of short-term work or project with a known end date
    • meet an unexpected short-term increase in workload
  • where a permanent staff member is otherwise engaged in additional temporary hours, these hours will be converted and included in their total permanent hours;
  • Recurring funding such as Investing for Success (I4S), Administrative Assistant Enhancement Program (AAEP) and school funded initiatives are not valid reasons for ongoing temporary engagements; and
  • Temporary and casual employees should only be engaged where additional hours are unable to be fulfilled by permanent employees.

If you are in these groups you may be able to get your temporary hours made permanent in this ‘Phase 2’ review. 

Due to complexity of data, we understand that the automated process may not identify everyone who would be eligible for more permanent hours. 

Together is able to represent you to make sure you are considered in this process, complete the 2 minute survey below if you want to be considered in the process. 

We have sought assurances from the department that during this process that schools won’t have the opportunity to cut hours in order to reduce eligibility for conversion of temporary hours.  The department will review each instance of reduction in hours to determine if those reductions are legitimate. 

Last term, a group of Together members stayed strong as a union group, stopped their hours being deliberately cut, and won permanency!  If your school is seeking to reduce your additional hours during term 4 please reach out as soon as possible by emailing

Congratulations on another big win for permanency in schools.  We look forward to supporting you and your colleagues in your campaign for permanency.  Please fill in the survey and encourage your colleagues to join Together.

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