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Home > News > 2018 > November > Claims highlight key issues for QLD Catholic school members

Claims highlight key issues for QLD Catholic school members

IMG_6424.jpgWith members having considered and now endorsed the Queensland Catholic log of claims, our union will target insecure work as a key issue of concern in the upcoming negotiations. 

Negotiations in the sector will commence in the new year; however, preparations have well and truly begun in our union, with member consultations across Queensland bringing critical insights to the development of the now endorsed log of claims. 

An unprecedented level of member feedback was compiled from the Catholic school area meetings, Chapter consultation discussions and online member surveys conducted in Term 3, 2018. Subsequent member endorsement of the log of claims has confirmed our position on key issues.

PHOTO: IEU members at the recent Brisbane area meeting discuss key issues faced by Catholic school staff.

What matters to members

Members will be negotiating for improvements in a number of areas in the agreement, including:

  • Striking a better work-life balance for staff through improvements to provisions relating to: Planning, Preparation and Correction Time (PPCT); before and after school activities; continuous hours of work; support in dealing with new programs and initiatives; transition to retirement support; contemporary hours of duty; professional school officer support regarding student supervision; and cultural leave for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members. 
  • Careers that you can count on for school officers through: guaranteed entitlement to quality professional development; career recognition and remuneration; recognition of professional duties and responsibilities; locality allowance extended to all staff; and annualisation of salary. 
  • Measures to address insecure work including: criteria to ensure only genuine fixed-term appointments are made; an audit to investigate fixed-term contracts and conversion to continuing positions; certainty of hours for part-time employees.
  • Positions of Senior Leadership and Middle Leadership issues including: remuneration levels and career recognition; formalisation of positions; protection of release time; and confirmation of substantiative salaries for all Senior Leaders. 
  • Fair pay for all school staff including: annual wage increases; modernised superannuation arrangements; equitable remote area incentives; Highly Accomplished Teacher (HAT) and Lead Teacher structures; and guidance counsellor salaries (other than BCE). 
  • Reclaiming, protecting and promoting our teaching profession through: genuine consultation with education practitioners; community respect for our profession; and learning support practices.
  • Clarity of agreement and technical updates including modernisation of parental leave arrangements and improved technical clarity in other matters. 

Members start action to address insecure work

Fighting back against insecure work for all employees, as well as putting an end to fluctuating hours for school officers, are two of the key issues members want to see addressed in the next collective agreement. 

While fixed-term contracts should only be used in cases of an identifiable 

short-term need, the feedback from members, both teachers and school officers, includes shameful tales of the use of such contracts rolling over multiple year periods: the most egregious being fixed-term contracts for fifteen consecutive years.

Meanwhile, for those school officers with continuing status, many are employed on a term-time basis and have their hours varied at the beginning of each year with no guarantee of how many hours they will receive the following year. 

Members are calling on Queensland Catholic employers to match the dedication and commitment of their employees by providing job security when it comes to the proper use of fixed-term contracts as well as providing certainty for school officers by confirming their hours for 2019 before the end of the 2018 school year.

For the latest updates on Queensland Catholic collective bargaining click here.

Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.