Queensland Lutheran Collective Bargaining 10
Negotiations for a new collective agreement covering the working conditions of members in Queensland Lutheran schools is underway now.
After six meetings of the Single Bargaining Unit (SBU), Lutheran Education Queensland (LEQ) are still maintaining an agenda to cut, constrain and control working conditions.
LEQ has confirmed in writing that it wants to see conditions cut from the collective agreement and placed in school-based policies such as:
- Annexure B Formal Review of Unsatisfactory Performance;
- Annexure C Serious Misconduct and Summary Dismissal;
- Annexure D Complaints Handling Policy and Procedures.
IEUA-QNT Industrial Services Coordinator Chris Seymour said cutting these from the collective agreement and putting them in school-based policies means the employer has complete control over the document which they can draft, review and edit at any time after the collective agreement has been finalised.
“It would mean that these provisions would no longer be subject to the industrial protection provided by their inclusion in a collective agreement and could mean procedural fairness and natural justice for all employees is put at risk,” said Chris.
Work intensification remains largely unaddressed
One of the key employee concerns in this round of bargaining has been the need to address workload and work intensification matters.
Our union and employee representatives tabled cost effective strategies for employer consideration that would enable meaningful intervention to deal with workload, but the employer has chosen to ignore these strategies without identifying appropriate whole school solutions to deal with the current workload issues in Lutheran schools.
LEQ has instead confirmed in writing that it wants to see conditions cut from Schedule 7 (Working Arrangements for Teachers) and that this pared back schedule be applicable to all teachers in Lutheran Schools.
Currently Schedules 8 and 9 contain enhanced conditions; however, under the employer claim Schedules 8 and 9 would be cut from a new agreement.
The short-sighted employer proposal has no regard to the impact it would create in terms of workload and work intensification in Queensland Lutheran schools and instead seeks to cut teacher conditions and increase their workload.
LEQ’s rejection to wages leaves Lutheran employees financially worse-off
LEQ’s proposal to offer a 2.5% wage increase backdated to 1 July 2019 is only part of the employee claim and would see employees in Lutheran Schools disadvantaged against their State counterpoints.
All State employees were paid a one-off payment of $1250 on the 1 July 2019 as well as a 2.5% wage increase, but LEQ has rejected this payment, even after the employee team at the SBU suggested splitting the one-off payment over three years ($416 in 2019, $417 and $417 in 2020 and 2021).
LEQ’s rejection of this payment confirms they are comfortable with an offer that would see employees in Lutheran Schools financially worse-off.
Enhanced domestic violence and long service leave provisions
The employer has agreed to the employee claim for paid domestic violence to become a provision within the collective agreement – with negotiation now underway to ensure this provision is for ten (10) days paid domestic violence leave, as per the employee claim, as opposed to the employer’s current offer of five (5) days.
LEQ has also agreed to the employee claim for a new provision which would enable employees to seek re-crediting of long service leave as sick leave after five (5) calendar days should they suffer illness or injury during their long service leave, rather than the current ten (10) days.
School officer discussions underway
Preliminary discussion has been initiated for a review of Schedule 10 School Officer Classifications, in which employees want consideration of appropriate remuneration, classifications, the ability to move between the lower levels (levels 2, 3 and 4) and job security as critical issues for any review.
Discussions are scheduled in 2020 to determine the terms of reference for a working party to look at school officer issues.
Chapter Briefings contain detailed information regarding the latest from the bargaining table – read now.
How to prevent cuts to working conditions
The papers tabled by the employer relating to hours of work for Teachers and changes to the PAR schedule clearly identify an agenda of cuts, controls and constraints.
The suggested removal of sections of the current Agreement that provide employees with a level of confidence that they will be treated and rewarded fairly for their commitment to Lutheran Schools is under attack.
Individual members in Lutheran School Chapters now need to respond to a survey attached to the latest CHapter Briefing which has been emailed to relevant members.
Chapter representatives are requested to encourage members to respond so that employee representatives at the SBU are confident they are fighting for conditions members in Lutheran Schools value and support.
We also encourage employees at Queensland Lutheran schools to join our union to help build our collective voice to protect working conditions in Queensland Lutheran schools.