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Home > News > 2016 > March > Members share a concern with parents to protect quality education in Queensland Catholic schools

Members share a concern with parents to protect quality education in Queensland Catholic schools

Members – teachers, school officers and services staff – share a concern with parents to protect quality education in Queensland Catholic schools.

That is why members are taking the action they are and continuing their industrial campaign as outlined by member Donna Spillane at the recent stop work rally in Brisbane – highlights from Donna’s speech can be viewed here.

Only with adequate time can employees provide the high level of education they want to give to their students.

Only through the provision of professional wages can the professional commitment of employees be recognised, respected and rewarded.

Queensland Catholic school employers need to support quality education and address the issues of increasing workloads and the ongoing wage disparity of teachers.

Parents want quality education protected

Members have been heartened by the level of community support they have received in their campaign thus far – especially from the parents of their students.

Parents recognise and respect the work that teachers do. Parents know as well as members that if teachers are to do their core role of teaching to a high quality, then they need adequate time in which to do it.

Without recognition of that fact and without serious intervention by the employers, the quality of education provided in Queensland Catholic schools is being placed at risk.

Parents also understand that the professional commitment of teachers needs to be recognised with professional rates of pay.

With experienced teachers in Queensland Catholic schools currently paid almost $7000 less per year than their Catholic school colleagues interstate, the employers need to recognise that the ability of our schools to attract and retain teachers and to maintain their professional commitment is at risk.

The employers also have to recognise and respect the work of term time school officers with provision of the community standard of four weeks annual leave – recognising their fundamental place within, and contribution to, their school communities and student learning.

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This Open Letter to Parents was featured in the Sunday-Mail on 6 March 2016. Click here to view in larger resolution.

Parallel negotiation process through the FWC

While SBU meetings will continue next week, senior members of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) have offered to assist our union and the employers to enter a different forum for negotiation – one convened by officers of the Fair Work Commission.

It is not appropriate to impute the role of FWC will take in this forum but our union representatives will ensure members’ considered and well-founded views on the matters in dispute will find a hearing directly with the employer decision-makers rather than their representatives, which has been the case throughout the SBU negotiations.

Employers still need to learn the 3Rs

Parents recognise and respect the work of members across the state. It is time for the employers to recognise, respect and importantly, reward the professional commitment of their employees.

Members have endorsed a community campaign. A further action day is scheduled for Wednesday 16 March to tell the employers it is time to recognise members’ critical concerns; to respect the professionalism of their employees; and to reward them by providing adequate time to do their work and rates of pay which reflect their professionalism.

At risk is the future quality of education in our schools. Employees know this. Parents know this. It is time for the employers to understand this too.


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