C&K seeks to cut entitlements; rejects comparable teacher wages
With negotiations for a new collective agreement underway, C&K have again failed to confirm a commitment to comparable rates of pay for teachers effectively putting the professional standing of Queensland early childhood education teachers at risk.
IEUA-QNT Senior Industrial Officer John Spriggs said maintaining comparable teacher wage rates with those in the State and Catholic sectors is essential to maintain the professional standing of teachers in the sector.
"At the most recent collective bargaining meeting, C&K have not only rejected the claim for comparable rates of pay, but also extended their proposal to freeze employee access to the superannuation co-contributions scheme with a proposal to fully abolish the scheme for all C&K employees by 2021," Mr Spriggs said.
"The amount of redundancy pay provided to staff is also on the cutting block – with C&K determined to reduce the amounts provided, even to the most long-serving staff, he said.
Mr Spriggs said the current employer position was particularly shameful given that the majority of their workers are women.
“Off the back of Equal Pay Day, it is appalling that C&K’s position is one which only serves to devalue the work of its employees and place them at disadvantage,” Mr Spriggs said.
“Fundamental to the recognition of the value of early childhood education is the recognition that early childhood teachers deserve wages which are comparable to those received by other teachers,” he said.
“C&K employer representatives have made statements to the effect that the rates of pay for teachers in primary and secondary schools are generally not the correct ‘benchmark’ for early childhood teachers,” he said.
"This position from C&K puts the professional standing of early childhood education teachers under direct threat.
“In terms of the superannuation co-contributions scheme, C&K has proposed that this be closed to any employee (either existing or new) who does not currently make such a contribution from 1 July 2016.
“If that wasn't bad enough, C&K then wants to see the whole scheme terminated in less than five years.
“The superannuation co-contributions scheme provides critical extra dollars into employees’ superannuation – something which was hard fought for and won by employees in the sector.
"It is a provision that exists for State and Catholic sector teachers and all other major education employers in Queensland.
“With Industry Super Australia data showing that the average gap in super balances at retirement for women versus men will grow to around $170,000 by 2030 – any move to reduce C&K employees’ provisions in this area is alarming and shows just how little C&K values it staff.
"On top of cuts to superannuation provisions, C&K has also proposed that redundancy entitlements be reduced.
"Any employee with 10 or more years’ of service would have their severance payment reduced.
"For an employee with 12 or more years’ of service, C&K have proposed that the severance payment be reduced from 16 weeks to 12 weeks.
“Instead they propose to cut them, placing their employees behind the wages paid to rest of the education sector and removing current provisions that are fundamental to valuing the work of all C&K staff.
For more on the current C&K Branch Centre collective bargaining negotiations go to www.qieu.asn.au/candk