Catholic employers continue shameful attitude to wage justice for term time school officers
Queensland Catholic employers have continued in their outright rejection of the community standard four weeks of paid annual leave for term time school officers.
Our union secretary Terry Burke said the employers’ attitude to providing wage justice to their term time staff was particularly shameful.
“These employees are some of the lowest paid in Queensland Catholic schools, yet the employers refuse to acknowledge the significant contribution they make to their school communities.
“Queensland Catholic school employers claim providing this would be ‘unfair’ yet their counterparts in Catholic schools in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania all provide these staff with four weeks paid annual leave.
“The reality is this would be a small additional sum of money for employers but would mean critical additional dollars every week for these employees and their families.
“No person committed to social justice can sit idly by when the lowest paid employees are denied simple wage justice,” he said.
Employers tell independent umpire they will not be moved on this issue
Employers are so steadfast in their refusal to address the issue of wage justice for term time staff that they informed independent umpire, the Fair Work Commission (FWC), that nothing would change their position.
In an attempt to address the employers’ interpretation of relevant industrial provisions, employees had sought the assistance of the FWC in a mediation meeting on 11 November.
The employers sent representatives to the FWC meeting – but that is all they did; the employer representatives stated at the outset that no matter what was said at the FWC meeting, nothing would change their position. Given the inflexibility of the employers’ position, the FWC concluded the meeting.
Employers remain wedded to an unjust and unfair position for term time staff who by definition will never have the opportunity to work a full year to access a four week annual leave entitlement enjoyed by other Australian workers.
Unless there are significant changes in the employer position, members will escalate the campaign and action at the commencement of the new year.