Catholic school employees to stop work for sixth time
Over 7,500 members in over 180 Catholic schools across Queensland are authorised to stop work for a sixth time as their concerns regarding increasing workloads and inequitable wages remain unaddressed.
Members in authorised Catholic schools (including the Darling Downs, Wide Bay as well as Central, North and Far North Queensland) except those operated by Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) will stop work on Monday 16 November 2015 from 8:30am until 9:00am while members in authorised Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) schools (across Brisbane, the Gold and Sunshine Coasts) will stop work on Tuesday 17 November 2015 from 8:30am until 9:00am.
Our union Branch Secretary Terry Burke said the action will be taken by teachers and other school staff who will not be available for work between 8:30am and 9:00am which includes scheduled classes.
This is the sixth time members had stopped work as negotiations over their working conditions remained unresolved.
“With their employers failing to show they care about the significant issues of increasing workloads and inequitable wages, Queensland Catholic school employees remain determined to show how much they care by continuing their stop work action,” Mr Burke said.
“Queensland Catholic school employers claim they have made significant changes to their position – this is not correct.
“The employers have not changed their position and continue their rejection of key employee claims when it comes to:
- dealing with teachers’ ever-increasing workloads
- addressing the longstanding wage inequities of Queensland teachers compared to interstate counterparts
- providing the community standard of four (4) weeks paid annual leave to term time support staff.
“These are critical matters when it comes to the future of Queensland Catholics schools and the employers are failing to recognise this,” he said.
Mr Burke said that the negotiations remain unresolved rested squarely with the employers.
“Employees were ready to begin negotiations in February 2015 yet the employers delayed this until April 2015.
“At the first negotiation meeting, over seven months ago, employees tabled elaborate proposals to address workload concerns and inequitable wages, and for seven months the employers have failed to show any serious consideration towards these issues,” he said.
Mr Burke said the employers’ outright rejection of the community standard of four weeks paid annual leave to school support staff who work term time 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,” he said.