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Home > News > 2016 > March > Members maintain campaign to support quality education

Members maintain campaign to support quality education

Glaring omissions and misrepresentations
characterise employer “fact” sheet 

What is right and true carries its own power

Chapters have now met across Queensland taking further action to support high quality Catholic education. As part of the member endorsed broad community campaign, Chapters have forwarded correspondence to their regional Parents and Friends (P&F) Council pledging support for quality Catholic education and seeking their support for our 3Rs campaign – Recognise, Respect and Reward.

Employing authorities, clearly feeling the pressure and in what has become characteristic of their approach in this round of negotiations, have produced a “fact” (sic) sheet for distribution to staff and to parents. Not surprisingly the employer document is filled with omissions, misrepresentations and objective inaccuracies.

This table provides the information relevant to the real status of the matters under negotiation.


The employer campaign to belittle the claims of employees has reached a new nadir of wretchedness and become almost fanciful in its nonsense.

The member campaign for its part is well founded in a concern for quality Catholic education and members know that what is right and true carries its own power.

Parents share a concern to support quality education

Teachers and support staff in Queensland Catholic schools share a concern with parents to support high quality education in our schools.

Knowing this, members will maintain their campaign until the employers take the action necessary to recognise, respect and reward their employees and support quality Catholic education in our schools.

As part of the campaign, Chapters across the state met to forward correspondence to their regional Parents and Friends (P&F) Council seeking their shared support.

The correspondence sent by Chapters provided details of employees’ concerns so that parents can develop an informed view regarding the campaign.

This is especially important given the employers have recently included in newsletters to parents commentary regarding the 2.5% wage offer.

The campaign also continues in the community with a new round of 3Rs radio ads running this week until Sunday, 20 March. The ad can be heard on 97.3FM and 4KQ in Brisbane, MIX-FM on the Sunshine Coast, SEA-FM in Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Mackay, Cairns and the Gold Coast, 4TO in Townsville and HOT-FM in Toowoomba. Listen to the radio ad here.

Further publication of an open letter to parents is planned. 

For members wanting to share a copy of the recent Open letter to Queensland Catholic school parents (as published in The Sunday-Mail) through their social media accounts – a copy is available via the IEUA-QNT Facebook page and our Twitter page. Sharing this letter as well as our 3Rs community petition is another direct action members can take to inform the community of employee concerns and what they can do to help support quality education in our schools.

Employers’ continue offensive and inaccurate claims

The employers are continuing their silly and nonsense claims regarding the level of employee support for our campaign demonstrating yet again either an incapacity to read the Fair Work Act (FWA) or a deliberate attempt to create mischief.

Employers claim that the number of employees on strike last month are a minority of the workforce.

The facts are:

  • Under the Fair Work Act only union members in schools authorised to take strike action are legally protected to take the strike action.
  • Over 8500 union members were authorised and legally protected under the FWA to take the protected action; over 4300 members took the action.
  • This represents over 50% of the members authorised to take the action.
  • Depending on the employer head count they are using (between 17,000 and 23,000!?) it would have been illegal for 8,500 to 14,500 of their employees to take the action.

The work stoppage was well supported by members and the campaign is supported by members and non-members alike. 

Any attempt by the employers to infer that employees who were not authorised to take the action under the FWA, should break the law by illegally taking stop work action in order for them to be considered as supporting the claim is both offensive and disrespectful to Catholic employees across the state.

What is right and true

The employee claim is fundamentally about supporting quality Catholic education. Employees in the Catholic sector know that they need adequate time to provide the high level of education they want to give to their students. And employees intrinsically understand that professional commitment must be recognised, respected and rewarded with professional rates of pay. 

Employer attempts to sully and dismiss the employee claims have now become their stock response with no vision and no leadership for Catholic schools.

The employee campaign for its part is right and true – and that carries its own power.

Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.