Queensland Catholic school term time employeees denied community norm
An entitlement for paid four (4) weeks annual leave is a community norm across Australia yet this is currently denied to term time staff in Queensland Catholic schools. This matter can and must be addressed in this round of bargaining.
Already placed in a precarious position due to the nature of their employment, school officers and services staff deserve wage justice in line with the community standard and the conditions of their colleagues in other Catholic schools around the country.
QLD Catholic employers must follow other states
School officers in Catholic schools across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia all have access to four (4) weeks annual leave as part of their respective collective agreements. This provision is either explicit, as is the case in SA and Victoria, or the result of leave calculation provisions, as per the NSW agreement, which provides NSW school officers with four (4) weeks or more annual leave dependent on their classification. An explicit provision for four (4) weeks annual leave for school officers has also been included in the recent Tasmanian Catholic collective agreement, now at ballot with members.
Catholic employers across the country ensure their term time employees have access to this community standard.
It is time for Queensland Catholic Education employers to show their school officers and services staff the same respect.
Benefit for term time employees cannot be denied
Securing this provision for school officers and services staff would incur a relatively minor cost for employers but would provide these employees with a significant benefit and recognition of their contribution to the school community and the education of students. For a school officer at Level 3 Step 1 employed 10 hours a week, receiving four (4) weeks annual leave would mean an extra $271.72 per year (including leave loading) in addition to their weekly gross wage of $250.53. For school officers employed 20 hours a week, the additional sum for the year would be $543.45 (including leave loading) on top of their weekly gross wage of $501.10.
The time has come for school officers and services staff to no longer be disadvantaged when it comes to annual leave due to the nature of their employment.
Next steps: collective voice needed to achieve justice
Chapters in Catholic schools are currently considering and endorsing resolutions calling on Catholic Education employers to make the just and fair provision of four (4) weeks annual leave for term time employees as part of this round of collective bargaining.