Teachers protest outside parliament
ABOUT 500 education workers protested outside Queensland Parliament on Tuesday afternoon, yelling "shame" as they fought against the potential loss of working conditions.
From 5pm, the Queensland Teachers Union protest began to mass with a number of police fronting Parliament's front gate.
QTU deputy general secretary Kate Ruttiman said the government's bargaining with teachers was about cost cutting.
"We have seen what they want to do," she told the crowd.
"This government needs an education.
"We're the ones to give it to them."
QTU organizer for southern Queensland Zeb Sugden said the fight against the government was not about money, but about ensuring that passionate and competent teachers were available to every school.
He said the government's offer of a 2.7% pay increase comes at the cost of 20 conditions from the current arrangements.Although teachers have been told they simply will be moved from individual contracts and into the department's care, the QTU is wary.
These conditions include class-size targets, the teacher transfer system and a "school-based management guarantee".
That guarantee is what ensures schools of a certain size are given language, music and physical education teachers.
The teacher-transfer system could also be lost from the award, a system that encourages teachers to work in isolated or regional schools because they can transfer after a three-year stint.
The fear is that the Department of Education may scrap some of these assurances without needing agreement from teachers.
"They say they intend on keeping the policies but would like to remove them from the current agreement," Mr Sugden said.
"If that happens and they decide to make a change, there is no negotiation; the government can prescribe exactly what happens."
Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek declined to respond to the protest, a spokeswoman saying his position had already been made clear.In late July, Mr Langbroek said the 2.7% pay offer on the table was fair.
"The teachers I have met with across the state have acknowledged this is reasonable in the current economic circumstances as well as the LNP's commitment to protecting front line jobs."
Mr Langbroek said the EBA negotiations were about conditions and policy matters, which were part of negotiations between the union and the state.