Chapters across Queensland endorse protected action
Employers continue to reject legitimate claims
Protected action commences 14 September
Over 6,300 members in 173 Catholic schools across Queensland are now authorised to take protected action in support of employees’ legitimate claims in this round of collective bargaining.*
In total 87% of those members who voted endorsed the protected action ballot.
Unfortunately, the onerous nature of the provisions of the Act, whereby 50% of members needed to vote for the ballot to be valid, means that members in some Chapters have been denied the opportunity to take protected action.
Members in Chapters which have endorsed protected action now have the authority on behalf of the sector to send a clear message to employers that it is time to RECOGNISE, RESPECT and REWARD employees.
Protected action will commence on an escalating basis across the state from the week beginning Monday 14 September.
Members are receiving community support for the action including from respected Queensland journalist and commentator Madonna King in her recent Brisbane Times column - A note home to teachers: Strike and make it count.
Protected action endorsed as claims continue to be rejected
Employers continued their rejection of employees’ legitimate claims at this week’s Single Bargaining Unit (SBU) meetings.
The protected action ballot outcomes mean members in authorised Chapters can now take legitimate action in support of employee claims which include:
- comparable wages to comparable interstate colleagues
- measures to address work intensification
- wage justice for term time school officers
- contemporary classification structures for experienced teachers.
Protected action to commence last week of term
Employees must give five (5) days’ notice to employers of any protected action and with the upcoming school holidays members will need to commence protected action in the week commencing Monday 14 September.
The provisions of the Act mean that if the action is not taken in the week commencing 14 September, it cannot be taken at a later stage.
Taking action from the 14 September will validate the taking of further such action in Term 4 should the employers maintain their current positions.
An application has also been made under the Act for a 30 day extension for the taking of a full-day stop work.
The notice provided to Catholic employers yesterday (Thursday 3 September) is for the following protected actions:
The designated times for the 30 minute and 60 minute stop work cannot be changed. Employees who normally finish after 3:15pm (Wednesday) or 3:30pm (Thursday) must return to work and complete their work day.
All members of our union in the authorised Chapters are legally protected in taking the designated actions if they are union members on the day. Employees who are not union members are not legally protected and remain available to the school to be directed to undertake student supervision.
For Chapter members on camp or other off-site activities during the final week of term, the action should still occur with most members taking the action while ensuring others remain in supervision of students to meet duty of care responsibilities if non-members are not available to undertake such duties.
Members do not need to tell their employer they are taking action. It will be up to employers instead to ask who is available for duties rather than asking who is not available for duties. It is important members are aware that in undertaking the stop work actions, their employer is prevented by legislation from making payment for such time.