Natural disaster, emergency and pandemic leave in Qld & NT

Where a natural disaster, emergency, and/or further outbreaks of COVID-19 occurs, our union is with our members every step of the way.

Fundamentally, where members have safety concerns in the event of a natural disaster or emergency, such as severe weather, they should follow the advice of emergency services and advise their workplace accordingly.

In Queensland and Northern Territory where a provision exists in your collective agreement, employees can access paid leave if they are prevented from attending their workplace due to natural disaster or emergency such as fire, flooding, cyclonic disturbance or severe storms.

This leave allows employees to ensure the safety of themselves, their family and their property and applies where employees are unable to travel to and from their home or workplace.

Pandemic leave should be available to Queensland and Northern Territory employees in the event an employee is unable to attend work due to implications of COVID-19.

Stringent health and safety precautions remain paramount for all workplaces and employers need to ensure that adequate protections, including PPE, soap and sanitisers are in place for staff and students.

It is essential your workplace has a COVID-19 response plan in place that is communicated clearly to all staff and families.

History has demonstrated the importance of up-to-date and appropriate natural disaster and emergency provisions in collective agreements and national awards.

Members experiencing issues accessing leave in these circumstances should contact your union branch immediately for advice and support.

Braver actions needed to achieve reconciliation

The positive findings of the recently released 2021 State of Reconciliation in Australia Report: Moving From Safe To Brave, published by Reconciliation Australia, are welcomed by our union, but we know there is still much progress to be made.

Reconciliation Australia’s inaugural chair Shelley Reys said Australians should “celebrate the progress outlined in the 2021 report and take action on the data and the crucial focus areas it illustrates”.

“Let’s take an unapologetic, brave stance on racism to propel us faster towards a reconciled nation,” Reys said.

According to the report, action must be taken by individuals, workplaces and schools to consider how unconscious bias can function and how their role includes actively intervening, disrupting and challenging racism.

The report cited the early childhood education sector as being especially critical to achieving this change too, by maintaining Reconciliation Australia’s Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Education program and other initiatives like The Healing Foundations’ Stolen Generations Resource Kit for Teachers and Students.

In 2021, our union will continue to promote the Uluru Statement from the Heart to our members and advocate for a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament.

Read the full report at www.reconciliation.org.au

Free app to build young brains

The Bright Tomorrows app is a free parenting resource developed by the Bright Tomorrows organisation. It provides families with tailor-made tips (called moments) which will enhance their children’s development of key life skills during everyday activities, such as attention and focus, responding to emotions, relationships and communications, planning and routines and taking on challenges.

Details: www.brighttomorrows.org.au

Free professional development for NSW & ACT members

One of the benefits of joining your union is access to free professional development.

IEUA NSW/ACT offer high quality online courses free to all NSW and ACT early childhood members. The 30 courses will be delivered through the union’s partnership with the Teacher Learning Network (TLN).

Here is a selection of topics that might interest you:

  • using technology to support storytelling in early childhood
  • the importance of risky play in early childhood
  • balancing structure and free play
  • bush Kinder – bringing nature to children
  • Reggio Emilia – developing a leadership philosophy, and
  • mental heath for children in early childhood.

  • NESA accreditation

    TLN is working with NESA to meet the new NSW accreditation requirements. All current courses will count as elective professional development (previously teacher identified PD). As we learn more about the new accreditation requirement, TLN intends to have courses accredited against the new priority areas.

    Courses are designed to support you with your work in the learning space with children. The courses are delivered by experienced early childhood teachers who have agreed to share their ideas and their practice with you. Courses have a practical focus. All courses are aligned with APST standards and the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF).

    These professional development courses are available to you at no cost because your union has invested in your professional development. We encourage members to enrol – and also tell your colleagues who are not IEU members that this is another benefit of joining the union.

    All existing IEUA NSW/ACT members may log in to the TLN professional development database at teacherlearning.member365.com. Once you have logged in, you can register for the 2021 live online courses and also complete the recorded on-demand sessions.

    If you experience any problems, contact TLN at admin@tln.org.au or (03) 9418 4992

    Email pd@ieu.asn.au to get added to the database for further details.