Parents and employees pay price for Catholic sector lack of planning
Parents and employees paying the price of employers’ lack of foresight; Catholic school fee increase claims ignore employers' lack of strategic planning.
Claims by Catholic school employing authorities that school fee increases are required due to “Gonski 2.0” have been labelled as "a cover for lack of strategic planning" by our union.
IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said the claims were of no comfort to any parents now being called upon to pay higher fees but were a consequence of these schools now needing to make up a shortfall in comparison to previous funding they received at a more beneficial School Resourcing Standard (SRS).
“It’s also no comfort to any of our members who are being made redundant,” Mr Burke said.
“We are critical of these employing authorities for not seeing the obvious fact that their preferential funding arrangements would not, and could not, continue.
“Catholic employers in this situation should have made fee level decisions and decisions about employee numbers in a phased way, over time.
“This lack of obvious foresight has meant sharp and dramatic changes for fee-paying parents and for our members’ employment,” he said.
Mr Burke said it was important to understand what had in fact been cut.
“What has been cut is the benefit to some of these schools of being funded by the Federal Government at a School Resourcing Standard (SRS) other than their actual SRS,” Mr Burke said.
“These Catholic schools, which are now making announcements of higher fees and employee redundancies, have been enjoying a higher level of funding per student because along with all other Queensland Catholic Schools they were funded at a particular level.
“These schools will now be funded, like every other Australian school, at their actual School Resourcing Standard (SRS) level.
“Catholic schools were allowed to, and can continue to, pool the funding they receive notionally at an individual school level.
“Catholic authorities then reallocate these monies on the basis of their needs-based formula.
“Catholic employing authorities haven’t done us the courtesy of explaining how the pooled funding will now be reallocated.
“Seemingly these affected schools now contribute a lesser amount into the pool but it’s not clear how their reallocated amount from the pool will be affected because of the lesser contribution.
“One can presume that if this sum of money they are contributing to the pool is less now they will, in turn, get less out of the pool.
“Fee increases to parents and redundancy for our members is the result of the employers' lack of foresight and planning,” Mr Burke said.