Union support secures continuing position after 15 years on contract
With the assistance of our union, a School Officer member in the Queensland Catholic sector has finally secured continuing status after almost 15 years on successive fixed-term contracts.
A highly-skilled and dedicated employee at her school, the member had continued to be denied the security of a permanent role by her employer despite numerous applications for continuing status.
After receiving another rejection for her application for continuing status last year, the member sought the assistance of our union.
Her latest application, which outlined in detail her contributions to the school community, ongoing professional development and numerous letters of commendation, had been rejected by the employer with no reason given.
With the assistance of her Chapter Representative, local Organiser and the IEUA-QNT Industrial Services Team, arguments were put to the employer that the use of rolling fixed-term contracts was in breach of the current collective agreement in that:
- An employer should only employ an employee on a fixed-term contract where there is an identifiable short-term need.
- Such short-term needs include covering the position of an employee who is on leave, enrolment fluctuations, or short-term funding.
Given the provisions of the agreement and her work history at the school, the decision regarding the member’s application was reversed by the employer and she was moved to a continuing position.
Without the members’ ongoing persistence to rightfully secure continuing status and the assistance and support of our union, this situation would have been unlikely to change.
Employees who are on a fixed-term contract should know why they are employed on such a contract.
The fixed-term nature of the contract and the identified short-term need should be outlined in the employee’s letter of offer.
For employees who have been employed on a fixed-term contract for a number of years, serious consideration should be given to applying for continuing status.
To obtain assistance with such applications or for further information on fixed-term contracts including concerns regarding the reasons for such contracts or the continued use of such contracts over a number of years, please contact our union in the first instance to speak with our Industrial Services team.