Queensland teachers push for the right to ignore calls and emails after school ends 

Teachers ask if they can ignore calls, texts and emails from parents, students and even their own colleagues after the school bell rings

  • QLD public school teachers would be allowed to ignore calls after school ends 
  • The ‘digital detox’ deal is being pushed by the Queensland Teachers Union 
  • Push is aimed to ensure teachers have a better work/life balance
  • Union said teachers were on average working nearly double their rostered hours 

Teachers could soon be granted the right to ignore calls, texts and emails from parents, students and their colleagues as soon as the school bell rings.

The ‘digital detox’ deal is being pushed by the Queensland Teachers Union, with teachers asked to vote on the matter by midnight on Tuesday.

The deal is part of a three-year enterprise agreement put forward by the union, and would allow public school teachers teachers in the Sunshine State to ignore any messages or calls after they clock off.

The proposal is aimed at providing a better work/life balance for educators, and if accepted by the union will go to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission for sign off. 

Teachers could soon have the right to ignore calls, texts and emails from parents, students and their colleagues as soon as the school bell rings (stock image)

Teachers could soon have the right to ignore calls, texts and emails from parents, students and their colleagues as soon as the school bell rings (stock image)

‘The Department is committed to minimising digital communications with employees to ensure an appropriate work/life balance is met, whilst accommodating operational needs,’ the enterprise agreement states.

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‘Employees are encouraged to disconnect from digital technologies and communications when accessing rest time, weekends and leave/vacation periods, except in exceptional circumstances.’

Wages for Queensland teachers could also jump by 20 per cent over the next three years, if the agreement goes ahead, to cope with the cost of living.

This could see lead teachers earning $153,000 a year by 2024.

Teachers are rostered on to work 25 hours a week, but the union’s president Cresta Richardson said most are working an average of nearly double this.

‘Tired stereotypes of teachers working nine to three are lazy, disrespectful and frankly not true,’ she told The Australian.

‘Lesson preparation, exam marking, school camps, report cards, student supervision, parent-teacher meetings and a raft of other compliance matters make up an average week. Often holidays and weekends are used to catch up and forward plan.

Queensland’s Education Minister Grace Grace said the enterprise agreement would give teachers in the state ‘some of the best pay and conditions in the country’, and would help encourage more to join the workforce.

The digital detox for teachers has been recommended to be implemented nationally. 

The deal is aimed at giving a better work/life balance for Queensland educators so they can enjoy their time away from the classroom

The deal is aimed at giving a better work/life balance for Queensland educators so they can enjoy their time away from the classroom

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