Wages attacked in kindy takeover
The take-over of a Brisbane kindergarten has seen staff forced to choose between a serious cut to wages or giving up their jobs.
When Centacare – a Catholic agency providing community support services – announced it would take-over Our Lady of the Rosary Community Kindergarten in Kenmore, one staff member was immediately told she would no longer have a job.
Three remaining staff members were offered new contracts on reduced weekly hours at wage rates well below their existing entitlements.
Despite representations from our union, Centacare refused to match existing wages and working conditions, leaving staff with no choice but to sign a sub-standard contract for 2019 (with two days’ notice) or give up their jobs.
Members at the kindy decided not to sign the substandard contracts.
IEUA-QNT Organiser Craig Darlington said the kindy take-over was manufactured within the Brisbane Catholic Diocese.
“Staff were told by the local parish that the Archdiocese had ruled that a community kindergarten could not operate on Catholic property and their lease would not be renewed,” Mr Darlington said.
“As a result of this decision, members faced being employed under sub-standard wages and conditions – well below their current rates and conditions.”
Mr Darlington said the situation was showed how badly broken Australia’s industrial rules really are.
“The Our Lady of the Rosary Community Kindergarten has been successfully operating for over 18 years, yet our broken industrial rules allow unscrupulous employers to manufacture take-overs and lower workers’ wages and conditions.
“In this case, staff would have been essentially performing the same job in 2019 as they were in 2018 for significantly less pay.”
“Our members are to be congratulated for taking an honourable, principled decision to reject this erosion of wages and conditions,” Mr Darlington said.
Our union’s industrial team will now work with members to ensure they receive all of their entitlements.