Catholic school members stop work for fifth time; meanwhile Commission dismisses employer application to limit protected action
On Thursday, 5 November thousands of members across the state took stop work action because they care about the future of Queensland Catholic schools. Meanwhile, their employers’ attempt to limit the protected action of members has been dismissed by the Fair Work Commission (FWC).
Protected action in authorised schools therefore continues with bans on attendance at meetings of staff and bans on duties during scheduled non-contact time (other than those directly related to planning, preparation and correction).
At the SBU meeting held concurrently with the stop work, employers again showed that they have little care about employees' concerns. Employers have refused to make a significant intervention on employees’ increasing workloads and inequitable wages. Employers also reaffirmed that they completely reject the claim for wage justice for term time school officers.
Fair Work Commission dismisses employer application
After hearings held on 4 and 5 November, the employer application to stop employee protected industrial action has been dismissed by the Fair Work Commission (FWC).
The FWC stated that, based on the material provided by the employers in support of their application, it was of the opinion that the industrial action which was occurring (specifically the bans on staff meetings and on certain duties during ‘non-contact time’) was protected industrial action.
Employers continue to reject key claims
At the SBU meeting on 5 November, Queensland Catholic employing authorities:
- rejected any substantive employee proposals to deal with their workload levels – only Diocesan schools conceding to include activities associated with the appraisal of other employees in “other duties”. (RI schools reject even that.)
- rejected the employee claim for comparable wages with comparable interstate colleagues for comparable work – instead tabling an amended but incomplete provision which at best plays at the edges of the employee claim.
- tabled a provision for a new allowance (approximately $1000) for employees in their third year at ET5 - far removed from the employee claim to make ET5 an incremental step.
- would only allude to a yet to be tabled employer position on the review of teacher classifications.
- reaffirmed their position on poverty wages in certain boarding schools.
- rejected (other than BCE) employer support for Counsellors to maintain their professional standards.
The employers also used the SBU meeting to confirm their outright rejection of the employee claim to provide term time school officers with the community standard of four weeks paid annual leave.
Further SBU meeting
A further SBU meeting will be held on Tuesday 10 November. The employers were unable to table their full position in regard to wage classification review at yesterday’s meeting. Employers expect to table their position at the 10 November meeting.
A full briefing will be provided to members following that meeting for consideration by Chapters.
Meantime the bans continue in support of the employee claim. Members are commended for their ongoing support of the campaign.