Teachers' union to hold rally
TEACHERS will stage a rally across the road from Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey's office next week as they ramp up their campaign for a new enterprise bargaining agreement.
The rally is to be held at 4pm next Thursday.
Queensland Teachers' Union (QTU) Wide Bay organiser Scott Welch said members wanted to negotiate an agreement with the LNP State Government.
But he said teachers strongly rejected the government's only pay offer because of a requirement to surrender more than 20 working conditions won through enterprise bargaining negotiations and arbitration over the past two decades.
Mr Welch said at this stage there was no industrial action planned because the union was in negotiation with the government.
But he said the union was in the process of conducting a ballot of members on protected action.
"It's a postal ballot of all QTU members across the state," he said.
The process was expected to take up until mid September to complete and protected industrial action could not start before the first week of school in term four if the ballot questions were supported by members.
Mr Welch said industrial action was always a last resort.
But he said the industrial action the union was asking members to support includes bans, limitations and 24-hour strikes.
Education, Training and Employment Minister John-Paul Langbroek said the main reason the government had not been able to reach agreement with the QTU was because of the inclusion of class-size targets in the conditions of the enterprise bargaining agreement.
But he said there were no plans to increase class sizes.
He said doing so would mean a reduction in teachers, which was inconsistent with the government's commitment to revitalise frontline services.
"The government would be very disappointed if the Queensland Teachers' Union decided to pursue industrial action," Mr Langbroek said.
He said the government had put a fair offer on the table.