Employers have no plan to resolve negotiations - community campaign underway
Queensland Catholic employers made it clear they have no plan to resolve these negotiations following a further SBU meeting on 9 March 2016.
Instead they continue their attitude of indifference over employees’ ongoing concerns regarding the protection of quality education in Queensland Catholic schools.
Rather than propose a possible resolution to the employee claims, employer representatives asked employees for a strategy to reach an agreement.
It is apparent employing authorities and their representatives have little understanding of the deeply felt concerns of employees that the wage disparity is addressed, a significant intervention is made into workload, and term time school officers have an entitlement to four weeks annual leave.
The employers’ continued inaction, inability and incapacity means members continue their campaign with the campaign broadening to a wider community campaign.
Chapters are asked to schedule a meeting in their 30 minute uninterrupted break on Wednesday 16 March to consider these developments and undertake a series of support activities to the broader community campaign.
Employers have no plan
At today’s SBU meeting, the employer representatives provided no plan to:
- recognise that employees require adequate time to do their work to a high quality;
- recognise employees’ professional commitment with professional rates of pay; and
- recognise the contribution of term time school officers with the community standard of four weeks annual leave.
They have no plan to resolve these negotiations except that of ignoring the legitimate concerns of employees.
Instead of taking action to support and protect quality education in our schools, the employers appear determined to try to wait and hope that these concerns will go away.
These employee concerns will not just go away because they are about issues fundamental to the quality of education provided in our schools.
They are concerns about longstanding issues which have been left unaddressed by the employers for over a decade.
Members know that taking action on these serious issues cannot wait any longer.
These are the negotiations in which the employers must provide significant intervention when it comes to increasing workloads and the ongoing wage disparities faced by employees.
These are the negotiations in which the employers must show respect to term time school officers through the provision of four weeks annual leave – just as their Catholic education counterparts have done across the country.
The employers will have another opportunity to take the action needed to show that they are committed to protecting the quality of education in our schools at a further SBU meeting on Wednesday 23 March.
Employees propose clarification of nature of planning, preparation and correction time
Employing authorities have been consistently unable at the negotiating table to assure employees that the nature of planning, preparation and correction time (PPCT) will be protected from encroachments to attend meetings and the like.
Employee representatives, on the basis of member feedback, today tabled a clause for insertion in the relevant provision which would better define the nature and purpose of planning, preparation and correction time (PPCT).
Rather than appreciating the good sense of such a provision, employer representatives unsurprisingly claimed that the proposed words were adding to a clause that they thought ‘was already agreed’. This was clearly not the case because the current clause still under discussion had yet to be satisfactorily resolved as making a significant intervention into the workload issue.
Fair Work Commission processes
Further discussions regarding possible parallel considerations conducted by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) will take place Friday 11 March and members will be updated regarding that process.
This process, if it occurs, is essentially a facilitation by the Commission to explore the respective positions and identify possible resolutions upon which the negotiating parties might agree.
Chapters take campaign to community
In line with members’ endorsement to broaden the community campaign, Chapters are asked to schedule a meeting on Wednesday 16 March to undertake activities to highlight to parents our shared concern to protect quality education in our schools.
The Chapter meeting scheduled for 16 March 2016 will not be a protected action stop work. Instead, Chapters are asked to meet in their scheduled 30 minute uninterrupted break during the day.
The meeting will also be an opportunity for Chapters to consider activities in the face of the continued indifference shown by the employers.
Materials to assist Chapters in these activities will be forwarded early in the new week.
As part of our community campaign, an Open letter to parents of Queensland Catholic school students was published in last weekend’s edition of The Sunday-Mail. A copy of the letter is available here.
On behalf of all members, our union will undertake broad communications across the state expressing our shared concern with parents for protecting the quality of education in our schools and seeking their support in our campaign.
Chapters’ support of this activity will be another crucial step in engaging parents and the community to help protect quality education in our schools.