The action of IEU members in voting NO to LEQ’s proposed agreement stopped that flawed agreement and successfully brought the employer back to the negotiating table last week where they withdrew of a number of their proposed cuts to current working conditions.
This is a significant outcome in our campaign to protect the working conditions of Queensland Lutheran school employees.
However, there is still more to do to ensure the member-endorsed Charter of Resolution is achieved.
Employer withdraws some cuts
One of the most significant issues for many employees was the employer’s plan to cut Annexures B, C and D dealing with the Formal Review of Unsatisfactory Performance, Serious Misconduct and Summary Dismissal and Complaints Handling Policy from the Agreement.
Following the NO vote and further feedback from our union, the employer has now confirmed its withdrawal of these planned cuts.
It is clear, members’ action has brought Lutheran Education Queensland (LEQ) back to the negotiating table with a recognition that some of the employer’s planned cuts must go; however, there is still more to do as LEQ have yet to respond positively to a number of key matters in the member-endorsed Charter of Resolution.
Charter for Resolution informs negotiations
In preparation for the resumption of negotiations, our union consulted extensively with members to determine specific areas of concern and to identify what was needed to achieve resolution.
Member feedback confirmed employees were seeking an agreement which:
- recognised and rewarded them appropriately;
- provided job security and procedural fairness;
- met the test of community standards in terms of the conditions under which they work; and
- provided a one-stop document containing the necessary references that describe their working conditions.
Endorsement by IEUA-QNT Chapters was noted as the basis of the employee claim for the continuing negotiations.
As a result, specific work was undertaken at that meeting regarding school officer working party dates and terms of reference, HALT remuneration, outdoor education matters, and the review of the old state awards for disadvantage.
Matters still under discussion and prioritised for the next meeting of the SBU on 15 October 2020 are:
- Addressing issues relating to employee tenure and job security.
- Reviewing the PAR schedule provision for relevance and revising any areas where employees would be disadvantaged compared to counterparts in other sectors.
- Reviewing the financial disadvantage when it comes to allowances versus substantive salaries and identifying an appropriate remedy.
- Ensuring appropriate respect, recognition and reward all employee groups in the agreement.
Voting down the employer’s flawed agreement and getting LEQ back to the negotiating table has reinforced why we are stronger together when it comes to ensuring that the work of Queensland Lutheran school employees is appropriately recognised and rewarded.
It will also be critical in retaining contemporary conditions which are provided to others in the Queensland education sectors in any new agreement
Some of the proposed cuts are gone but not all.
I would encourage you to have a conversation with your colleagues and invite them to join our union if they have not already so that we can have an even stronger voice as we work in the best interests of employees and our school communities.
Together we can ensure an outcome in these negotiations which achieves the goals of the Charter for Resolution and enables all employees to continue to do what they do best – providing high quality education to the students in our schools.