Our union yesterday lodged a formal dispute in the Fair Work Commission (FWC) against Lutheran Education Queensland (LEQ) seeking an urgent commitment to limit staff attendance on school sites and transition to remote work in the eleven affected local government areas.
While some Lutheran schools had moved to limit onsite attendance, others had failed to confirm the clear health directive that employees should be working remotely wherever possible.
Our intervention made a real and immediate difference.
Following our FWC application, a number of Lutheran schools last night and early this morning confirmed a move to reduce staff attendance and commence remote work.
FWC DISPUTE WAS HEARD TODAY AT 3PM AND AGREED RESOLUTION REACHED
While the immediate response from individual schools was welcomed last night, we today continued our extensive discussions with LEQ to obtain an unequivocal commitment.
The formal dispute was resolved at a conference before the FWC this afternoon with LEQ and our union confirming agreement to the following outcome:
(a) Schools in the 11 LGAs will reduce the number of staff on school sites to only those who are essential; and
(b) Working from home arrangements will apply.
This agreed resolution will provide much needed certainty and clarity for members in Lutheran schools.
Thank you to our Chapter Reps and members who have been in regular contact to help resolve this issue in support of all Lutheran school staff. Please continue to work with your local Organiser should any specific staffing rosters or work from home issues arise at your school.
Read more about our union’s advocacy for safe working conditions for all employees in our recent COVID-19 member advisory below 👇
Excerpts from our recent member advisory – 2 August 2021
Authorities plead for all employers to do the right thing
“If you are in an office today, why aren’t you at home.”
Dr Jeannette Young, Chief Health Officer – Monday, 2 August 2021
The current public health emergency requires immediate and decisive action to safeguard the health and safety of all school staff.
Our union has been in negotiations with employers and liaising with government authorities to ensure best practice safety measures are adhered to.
Latest government directive: lockdown extended to Sunday, 8 August
Government health advice has confirmed lockdown arrangements will continue until Sunday, 8 August in the eleven South-East QLD local government areas.
While the extended lockdown will pose significant challenges for our school communities, we have been here before and the professionalism and dedication of our members is up to the task.
All schools should provide genuine work from home options
Public health advice has repeatedly confirmed the requirement in SEQ to avoid commuting and onsite work attendance in favour of work from home.
“Can they (employees) be working from home? If the answer is yes then that’s where they should be”. “We’re trying to save lives. The rules are stricter this time”.
Yvette Dath, QLD Minister for Health – Monday, 2 August 2021
The Chief Health Officer has authorised workplace attendance by essential workers only in cases where the employee is unable to perform their work remotely.
We know Alternative Education Provisions (AEP) have previously been successfully delivered by teachers working remotely away from their school site.
Our collective support will enforce safe workplaces
As always our COVID-19 Resource Hub will be updated with further advice and resources.