Do Queensland Catholic employing authorities care?
Next week’s SBUs an opportunity to address
Queensland Catholic employers’ demonstrated lack of care for their employees’ concerns has been further underlined this week with the employers seeking to challenge and confuse employees’ industrial right to participate in authorised protected action.
Rather than deal with the substance of the employees concerns regarding workload and comparable wages, the employers have attempted to create uncertainty and confusion regarding the employee work bans.
Employing authorities have shown they just don’t care about their employees concerns.
Work bans are authorised protected action
Employees in designated schools have been authorised by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to undertake a number of protected actions including the banning, for an indefinite period, of any duties during their scheduled ‘non-contact time’ other than preparation directly related to the teaching of students and the assessment or marking of student work.
The non-contact time ban applies to all that time scheduled within a teacher’s timetable that is identified as “non-contact time” (not including Middle/Senior Leader release). This means that a teacher participating in the protected action cannot, for example, be required to answer emails, attend administrative meetings or undertake supervisions or covers during their timetabled release. This action remains in place and should be continued by authorised employees indefinitely.
Employees have been authorised to take this protected action in support of their claims in this round of collective bargaining because the employers have so far shown they just don’t care about employees’ concerns.
Negotiations resume next week
Catholic employing authorities now have the opportunity to show that they do care about the legitimate employee issues on the table in this round of collective bargaining. Next week’s SBU meetings are an opportunity for the employers to show they care about employees’ issues and to put forward meaningful proposals to resolve these negotiations.
In particular, Queensland Catholic employers need to show that they care about their employees when it comes to:
- Addressing employee workloads and teachers’ hours of duty including measures to avoid loss of PPCT.
- Providing comparable employee wages for comparable work with a comparable interstate Catholic employer
- Implementing contemporary classification structures for experienced teachers
- Guaranteeing wage justice for term time school officers with the provision of four (4) weeks paid annual leave
- Compensating employees for expenses incurred when undertaking school activities, camps or excursions
- Enhancing the professional recognition and employer support of School Counsellors and Career Counsellors
- Offering School officer professional development opportunities
- Ensuring contemporary wages and conditions for Boarding Staff and Services Staff
Protected action continues
As members wait to see if the employers really do care at next week’s SBU meetings, those in authorised Chapters will continue their protected action in order to send a clear message to the employing authorities that it is time for employers to show care for their employees and their legitimate workplace issues.