Carinity Education staff to vote on protected industrial action after employer attacks working conditions
Teachers and school support staff working in Carinity Education schools in Brisbane, Rockhampton, Gladstone and Hervey Bay will vote on taking protected industrial action following an employer attack on their current working conditions.
IEUA-QNT members made application to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) for a protected action ballot after their employer put forward a list of proposals in the latest collective bargaining negotiations which would:
- cut key conditions including maternity leave, superannuation co-contributions, long service leave and redundancy provisions;
- significantly increase the hours of work expected by staff – in turn adding to workload pressures and leading to a greater likelihood of employee burnout.
Organiser Richard Pascoe said Carinity Education had also proposed scrapping Senior Teacher and Experienced Teacher classifications, meaning the most experienced teachers would find themselves disadvantaged compared with other teachers in Queensland and other states.
“In addition, employer representatives have as yet failed to present a wages offer despite the negotiations starting in June this year,” Mr Pascoe said.
“Carinity Education’s proposal is nothing short of a direct attack on the working conditions of employees in their schools and on the education profession as a whole.
“In tabling such proposals, Carinity Education has shown their complete lack of understanding of the education sector and the working conditions required for educators to provide quality education to their students.
“This is very concerning given a key mission of Carinity Education, an outreach of Queensland Baptists, is to engage and educate disadvantaged and at-risk youth.
“Carinity Education should be looking to enhance and protect current working conditions in order to attract and retain staff that understand the complex needs of students – not cutting them.
“Disturbingly, employer representatives have stated their belief that their school employees cannot reasonably compare themselves with colleagues in either the state or non-government education sectors.
“Through its words and actions Carinity Education has revealed it wants to create a two-tiered system where its staff aren’t afforded the same respect and working conditions as their counterparts in other independent, Catholic and state schools.
“IEU members have maintained their rejection of any cuts to current working conditions throughout the negotiations but their employer has failed to listen.
“This has left IEU members at Carinity Education’s four Queensland schools with no other choice but to vote on taking protected action in order to have their concerns addressed by their employer.
“Whilst members want to minimise disruption to their schools, they also recognise the impact a poor agreement would have on the quality of education and services provided to Carinity Education students as well as the negative impact on employees’ personal and family lives,” Mr Pascoe said.
Voting in the protected action ballot will begin soon with the outcome expected in early November.
Click here for more on the Carinity Education negotiations.