Queensland Catholic members continue campaign as negotiations remain unresolved
More than 7,500 Catholic school members in over 180 schools across Queensland have maintained their protected action as their employers continue in their failure to show they care about employees’ serious concerns.
The campaign will continue in 2016.
Members have continued their protected action including work stoppages and other measures since September.
In mid-November, authorised members undertook their sixth stop work as their employers continued to reject serious employee concerns about increasing workloads and inequitable wages in this round of collective bargaining.
IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said members were taking the action because they care about the working conditions which enable them to provide high quality education to students in Queensland Catholic schools.
“This action is a clear message to the employers that they need to show they care,” Mr Burke said.
“Instead, Queensland Catholic employing authorities have continued to reject employee claims to address increasing workload levels and the employee claim for comparable wages with comparable interstate colleagues for comparable work.
“Current Queensland Catholic school teacher workload arrangements have been the same since 1992, while longstanding wage inequities also continue for employees despite comparable school funding and fees between NSW and Queensland Catholic schools.
“It’s untenable that experienced teachers at the top automatic step in Queensland Catholic schools are currently paid $6,700 less a year simply because of their postcode,” Mr Burke said.
The employers have also confirmed their outright rejection of the employee claim to provide school support staff who work term time with the community standard of four weeks paid annual leave.
“This is despite the fact that their counterparts in Catholic schools in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania all receive four weeks paid annual leave,” he said.
Mr Burke said Catholic sector members had received tremendous community and media support with the 3Rs community petition receiving over 2750 signatures to date and over 400 news stories appearing in Queensland and national media.
“Members have also taken their campaign to the community via radio and print ads as well as an ‘An Open Letter to Queensland Catholic School Parents’ published in The Sunday Mail,” he said.
Mr Burke said the employers’ persistent delays meant there was no likelihood of ballot for Catholic members before the end of the year.
“Despite employee representatives having gone into every fortnightly SBU meeting ready to resolve the negotiations, every fortnight, the employers have not been in a position to resolve these negotiations,” he said.
“As such, the negotiations and in turn members’ protected action will have to continue in 2016 until Queensland Catholic school employers finally show they care,” Mr Burke said.
For more on the campaign and to sign the 3Rs community petition in support of Catholic school members go to www.3rs.org.au