Schools:Together Term 2 – Union News

Posted on April 20, 2017

With Term 2 underway there are some important union activities happening. Read on below to find out more.

International Student Coordinators and Home Stay Coordinators – Urgent Back Pay Claims Due next week!

Last year we fought for and won recognition for your work in performing "on-call" and your entitlement to an "on call allowance". You are entitled for back-pay for any on-call work performed for the previous six years prior to November 2016 and now for all the on-call work you do.

To make your claim for back pay you can use this form. Please get in touch with Kate at if you have questions. We have a deadline  to return the forms of next week! Our meeting with the Department is on 27 April. Return the forms no later than 26 April (next Wednesday).

New Administrative Officer and IT Officer Position Descriptions

Our first meeting to work through the new suite of administrative officer position descriptions is scheduled for Thursday 4 May. Remember to have a look at the PDs on our schools website and give your feedback. For IT officers the meeting will be later in May.

We are also seeing inconsistency in pay levels and new position descriptions created at school level which is creating inequality across the Department.

We want to see members rewarded for the work you are doing and making sure you are not underpaid. The new 'standard' Position Descriptions should go a long way to helping you and your school with this and identifying what is higher level work.

The PDs should be ready by the end of this Term.

If you would like to give feedback or be involved in the AO or IT network email

Light Bulbs – What to do?

We are meeting with the Department again today to clarify the confusing advice from Term 1 regarding who can change light bulbs and what the Department expects to make sure you are safe when doing any  work involving electrical fittings like lights.

Remember – your safety is your responsibility first so until there is further clarification only work in a way that you feel safe.

As soon as we have a new Fact Sheet or instruction from the Department we’ll send it out.

Therapists Review

We are expecting the Terms of Reference for an "Attraction and Retention" Review for DET therapists following the persistent lobbying by Together union delegates. This is our opportunity to look at pay levels, progression schemes and other key entitlements.

We are also responding to the report on the recent "Queensland Disability Review".  If you have comments or feedback on the review from a therapist perspective get in touch with Kate at

School Support Staff Recognition week 31 July – 4 August – Let's Celebrate You!

We know you are all STARS in your schools, so lets get ready to shine for School Support Staff recognition week!

Our school support staff work incredibly hard to keep our schools running smoothly. School Support Staff week is a union event where we all get the chance to say "thanks" and acknowledge the contribution that you make in so many different ways to the life of our school communities.

In 2017, School Support Staff Recognition Week will start Monday 31 July – a little earlier than last year. Members and delegates will be organising celebration events in their workplaces. If you have questions or ideas for an event that you want to hold, you can email

This week of celebration for school support staff only exists because of Together members. Your work is valuable and should always be recognised!

Look out for more materials and information coming soon to help you celebrate this special time for all school support staff this year. Check our Schools website too.

Labour Day is coming soon!

Labour Day celebrations are in May 2017. We’re celebrating across the state and we’d love to see you and your family there!

At the different events in cities around Queensland there will be rides, food, drinks, and activities for kids – it’s a great day to get together with your fellow members and celebrate everything that we as union members do. Check out the details of your local event to find out everything you need to know. The Brisbane rally and March will end with the Family Fun Day at the RNA showgrounds on Monday 1 May.

This year we know we have to stand together in support of the people who work on Sundays and rely on their Sunday penalty rates to make ends meet. Taking away penalty rates is a pay cut that these workers can’t afford and don’t deserve. We are standing in support of ALL workers who earn Sunday penalty rates this year – because any attempt to cut penalty rates in any area – whether it’s clubs and pubs, pharmacies, or retail – is a danger to the many different groups of workers who rely on these rates.

Come to Labour Day, help us celebrate and enjoy your holiday in the company of your friends, family and fellow union members!

Visits from your Organisers

Organisers are visiting schools this Term to talk about the review of position descriptions, resources and safety issues. To request a visit to your school email We have a large number of organisers visiting in the week of 22 May – look out for your organisers and please let them know how they can best talk with you and other members and potential members about building a stronger union in your school.

Have a great rest of the first week back!

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