New Anglican agreement passes ballot in overwhelming majority - employer attack on conditions avoided
Employees across Queensland Anglican schools have endorsed the latest collective agreement at ballot having stared down an attack on conditions from their employer.
The proposed new Anglican Collective Agreement has seen a raft of unfair employer claims avoided and a number of improved conditions thanks to the collective efforts of members in the sector.
IEUA-QNT Assistant Secretary Brad Hayes said member action was successful in forcing the employer to withdraw contentious issues such as the freezing of PAR allowances, a reduction in PAR release time, a requirement for professional development in an employee’s own time, the introduction of barriers to teacher pay step progression and lower wage increases to school officers and services staff.
“Instead the proposed agreement contains a number of significant positive changes to the future working conditions of Anglican school staff,” Mr Hayes said.
The enhanced conditions include:
- Wage and salary increases.
- Employee career structures and recognition including annual progression for school officers and the development and implementation of a Lead Teacher position.
- Recognising the balance between work and family in terms of flexible work arrangements, paternity leave and Hours of Duty.
- Long Service Leave arrangements including the opportunity for employees to access a period of LSL at half pay for double the period of time.
- Workplace policies and procedures including professional development, employee counselling and discipline procedures and induction support for graduate teachers.
One important provision in the agreement is the entitlement to a small back pay calculation for school officers and services staff to 1 January 2015. This back payment will restore parity with the increases for teaching staff.
Mr Hayes said that 92% of employees who participated in the ballot had voted to accept the new agreement.
“In terms of comparisons with other school sectors, the wage increases and operative dates in the agreement will maintain the wage premium that Anglican employees have enjoyed over Queensland education employers.
“Our union will be working with members to ensure that all other new entitlements are adhered to by Anglican school employers,” Mr Hayes said.
The initial focus will be member engagement in the development of the new Lead Teacher classification and payment along with ensuring that members apply for the new Teaching and Learning Initiative Allowance given the expanded eligibility of teachers who can now apply.
Mr Hayes said members will also be keen to monitor the implementation of the revised teacher hours of duty arrangements and the use of the hours of duty guidelines now included in the agreement.
“The SBU employee representatives, Chapter representatives and union members are to be commended for their efforts in this round of bargaining. Their contribution has meant that the new agreement contains numerous benefits that would otherwise not have been obtained from the employer,” Mr Hayes said.