Catholic employer position would worsen wage inequity; member ballot continues in support of employee claim
Queensland Catholic school employers have failed to listen to the legitimate employee claim to provide comparable wages to that of a major interstate Catholic employer, namely NSW Catholic Diocesan.
Instead the employer position would increase the financial disadvantage suffered by experienced Queensland teachers at the top salary step.
Members cannot accept any wage offer which does not adequately recognise, respect and reward the professionalism of employees in Queensland Catholic schools.
Chapters across the state are now undertaking a full member ballot in order for members to consider actions to support the employee claim including a formal protected action ballot.
Wage claim seeks to address inequities
Queensland Catholic teacher wage structures are tired and inadequate and it is critical that these inequities are addressed in this round of collective bargaining.
Queensland Catholic employers have not disputed employee analysis of current funding arrangements which clearly shows that total government funding – both state and federal - as well as student fees are not dissimilar for NSW and Queensland Catholic schools.
In fact the employer representatives at the Single Bargaining Unit (SBU) meetings have stated that it is not a matter of affordability when it comes to the employee wage claim.
Despite this they have instead proposed a wage offer of 2.2% that, based on 2016 rates, would see a Queensland Catholic school teacher in just their first 10 years of service earning a staggering $22,758 less than their equivalent colleague in NSW over the same time period.
It is not only teachers who face financial disadvantage due to the employers’ failure to listen – the employee claim for a minimum wage increase of $31 a week for low paid workers has also been rejected.