Lutheran employer fails to address inequitable workloads and wages
As collective bargaining negotiations continue, Queensland Lutheran school employees have rejected their employer’s “insulting” 2.2% wage offer which would leave employees the lowest paid in the Australian Lutheran sector.
IEUA-QNT Industrial Services Coordinator Chris Seymour said in addition to wages, members concerns regarding, work intensification matters and Leading Teacher 3 classification remained key issues in this round of bargaining.
“It seems the employer is maintaining its attempt to further disadvantage Queensland Lutheran employees when it comes to wages.
“The most recent SBU saw little change in the employer wage offer and their continued rejection of the employee claim for comparable rates of pay with South Australian colleagues,” he said.
“Shamefully, the employer is trying to compare their wage offer to the yet undetermined Queensland state school wage outcome and the Queensland Catholic employer wage schedule instead of attempting to look at a comparable employer, namely the South Australian Lutheran sector.”
Mr Seymour said the employer had reiterated their view that employees in Queensland Lutheran schools should accept being the lowest paid in comparison to their colleagues in interstate Lutheran schools.
“This comes despite increasing employer expectations in terms of professionalism and similar workloads to that of employees in Lutheran schools interstate including South Australia,” he said.
Employer can afford to pay
“Detailed employee analysis presented at the previous SBU has already revealed the employer can afford to pay the employee wage claim of 3% given Lutheran schools in Queensland receive the same funding as their South Australian counterparts.
“The employer is simply choosing to refuse to properly remunerate staff with fair and contemporary salaries.
“The onus is now on the employer to rethink their position and address wage parity - not cling to outdated pay structures that have been in place for a decade.”
Mr Seymour said employee representatives had also tabled clauses seeking to clarify and increase planning, preparation and correction time (PPCT).
“Again employees are seeking comparable provisions when it comes to workload as received by their interstate Lutheran sector colleagues,” Mr Seymour said.
“South Australian Lutheran teachers are given 25 per cent of their time for planning, preparation and correction (PPCT).
“Queensland employee clauses have also tabled a provision to restore PPCT lost to planned and unplanned activities such as swimming carnivals.
“Unfortunately, the Lutheran employer in Queensland still believes employees should undertake more of their PPCT work in their own time and has rejected improved definitions and protection of PPCT.
“Given the tabled employee position, the employer has now committed to looking at whether a teacher should be compensated for lost PPCT and will respond at the next SBU meeting,” he said.
Leading Teacher 3 classification
Mr Seymour said the employer continued to diminish the employee claim surrounding Leading Teaching 3 after stalling for eight months.
“The employer claim that consultation with principals is continuing is wearing thin given this has been ongoing since October last year,” he said.
“Members also have serious concerns over the significant additional duties required for this role while no discounting of contact time is given in order to undertake these duties.
“What is equally concerning is the onerous application process for LT3.”
Member action needed
Mr Seymour said it is imperative for members to continue to encourage their colleagues to build a sense of collective action around these key issues of concern.
“This is an important round of bargaining for Lutheran schools and active participation is vital in order to secure wage justice for employees working in the sector,” he said.
Members in Queensland Lutheran schools who would like to be involved in the negotiations should contact Chris Seymour on (07) 3839 7020.