Members fend off holiday time grab
Members at a Queensland independent school have faced a serious attack on their holiday time with the employer directing staff to attend work during this period.
The employer had issued a direction by email and at meetings of staff which would require staff to attend work during the scheduled 12 week school holiday break. The employer also included this direction in a handbook issued to all staff.
Among the directed activities to be completed in holiday time was rewriting of school syllabus and exam materials, making arrangements for the setup of staffrooms and meeting with parents and school leadership.
The school’s collective agreement clearly reinforces that the 12 week break is scheduled holiday time for employees.
After identifying the issue, members arranged an off-site meeting to share their concerns.
Following this meeting, members organised a delegation to meet with the principal and highlight the fact that this attempt to direct staff to attend work during the scheduled holiday period contravened the school’s collective agreement.
As a result of members’ action, the employer rescinded the direction.
IEUA-QNT Assistant Secretary/Treasurer Paul Giles said given the current industrial climate members had to be vigilant about ensuring their workplace entitlements were upheld.
“With the current state of our industrial rules, we have seen repeated attempts by employers to attack or diminish workers’ entitlements, whether by attempting to formally wind back conditions or by failing to meet their obligations, such as in this case,” Mr Giles said.
“Member vigilance is essential in ensuring that the conditions members have fought for over many years of collective bargaining are respected and upheld.
“Unions are currently working together in the Change The Rules campaign to win greater protections for workers’ entitlements and ensure they are able to bargain more effectively.”
“Members should show support for this campaign and also, at a local level, work within their Chapters to ensure entitlements are properly implemented and working conditions are protected.”
If you have any concerns about your workplace’s collective agreement or your entitlements at work, contact our union for support on FREECALL 1800 177 938.