Anglican members win employer commitment to $101k wage benchmark; campaign continues to address remaining issues
In their ongoing campaign for a Better Balance for Queensland Anglican school staff, members recorded a significant win late last year with the employer committing to the benchmark top step teacher wage of $101,000 in 2018.
The offer matches the wage outcome achieved in 2016 by IEUA-QNT members in Queensland Catholic schools, which established a new state wage benchmark for experienced classroom teachers. Queensland state schools as well as a range of other non-government schools have since adopted this benchmark.
While members welcomed the revised employer wage offer, concerns remain over the employer's proposed wage offer for the remaining teacher classifications as well as teachers holding Positions of Added Responsibility (PAR) and non-teaching staff.
In the lead up to the $101k wage outcome, Anglican school members wore stickers promoting the Better Balance: It’s about time! campaign in their schools to show employers that they will not be left behind on wages and workload conditions compared to their Queensland counterparts.
An open letter to parents was also distributed to ensure they were aware of the issues posing a real threat to high quality education in Anglican schools, and to call for solidarity among the wider community.
IEUA-QNT Assistant Secretary Brad Hayes said member actions such as these have been successful in forcing the employer to propose the new wage offer.
“After significant effort by members during recent negotiations, the employer has begun to acknowledge members’ concerns that Anglican school wages are lagging behind those of other Queensland schools,” Mr Hayes said.
Campaign continues on unresolved employee issues
The member campaign has made a real difference, but there is more to do to ensure the new agreement provides a better balance for all school staff.
Members will reignite their campaign when negotiations resume this term.
Workload remains as a key issue for members as the employer continues to fail to provide any confirmed changes to hours of duty or workload relief.
“While the employer position includes a long-term review of hours of duty and possible school-based trials of alternative models, the call by members for immediate help with workload pressures continues to be ignored.
“Employees need workload relief now,” Mr Hayes said.
Other remaining employee concerns include:
- Wage increase dates: the employer proposal would result in a period of 18 months without a wage increase for staff.
- Teacher salary disparity: while the offer to match the $101k benchmark is welcomed, other teacher classifications remain up to $3,500 behind per annum.
- Financial penalty and uncertainty for PARs: members have strongly rejected the employer proposal to 'freeze' PAR allowances for 3.5 years.
The campaign will continue until members’ key concerns are heard.
“A better balance for employees is critical to the success of our schools and the continued high quality of education provided to Anglican school students,” Mr Hayes said.
Follow the campaign at www.betterbalance.org.au