Carinity teachers strike over cuts to working conditions
Teachers and support staff working at two Queensland Baptists’ outreach schools in Sunnybank and Hervey Bay stopped work on 30 August 2018 over planned cuts to their working conditions.
Staff at Carinity Education Southside (Sunnybank) and Carinity Education Glendyne (Hervey Bay) took strike action for the third time in protest of their employer’s planned cuts to community standard working conditions.
Independent Education Union (IEU) Organiser Richard Pascoe said school staff, including teachers, were not be available for work for four hours on 30 August 2018, which included scheduled classes.
Mr Pascoe said the action came after 12 months of failure by the employer to listen to key employee concerns over its plan to cut community standard working conditions.
“These employees have now voted twice against the employer’s plan to cut conditions – the last vote being rejected by over 75% of staff who voted.
“An employee offer to take this dispute to the Fair Work Commission in order to resolve the situation was also outrightly rejected by employer representatives at a recent meeting.
“Despite the clear concerns of its own staff and their attempts to resolve the situation, the Queensland Baptist Church, through its outreach Carinity Education schools, is now putting the education of some of our most disadvantaged youth at risk.
“The actions of their employer left teachers and school support staff at Carinity Education Southside and Glendyne with no choice but to stop work given the seriousness of the situation for them and their students.
“We are now calling on Jon Campbell as CEO of Carinity and a Director of Baptist Care Australia to show leadership and reflect the Baptist church’s stated Christian values of care, compassion and respect by stepping in and agreeing to have this matter decided by the independent umpire, the Fair Work Commission.
“This would enable us to resolve the issues at hand and allow members to go back to providing quality education to their students so that they may find and pursue their dreams – as is the mission of Carinity Education schools,” Mr Pascoe said.
Carinity Education’s planned cuts to community standard working conditions for employees include the stripping of superannuation provisions, long service leave and redundancy provisions.
Mr Pascoe said that while taking stop work action is a last resort for staff, Australia’s current broken industrial laws had left them no other choice.
“We have a workplace system in this country that is clearly broken when an employer can ignore the serious concerns of its employees and continue to push an agenda of cuts which only serve to put the futures of their staff and students at risk.”
Despite claiming the word Carinity to be “derived from the words ‘care’ and ‘affinity’” representing its purpose of “always striving to create experiences where you feel a sense of belonging”, Mr Pascoe said the experience of the last 12 months for staff has been the exact opposite.
“There has been absolutely no care shown to Carinity Education school staff in the last 12 months and now, this lack of care is being extended to students.
“Given the impact this situation may have on these students, many of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds, our union has written, for a second time since this dispute began, to Queensland Baptist Pastors across the state to let them and their parishioners know firsthand what is at risk for students and staff in Carinity Education schools,” Mr Pascoe said.
Read more about Carinity Education bargaining at www.showyoucare.com.au