Langports members no closer to first agreement
After 14 months of negotiations, IEU members at Langports English College in Brisbane are still no closer to having their first collective agreement, as the employer refuses to budge on key member claims.
IEU representatives have now attended two conferences in the Fair Work Commission (FWC) over the past month, but the results of these conferences have been very limited and highly frustrating for members, with the employer providing little resolution.
The key claims member have been fighting to address during negotiations include:
•Fair wage increases
•Recognition for paid marking and preparation for casuals
•Fair dispute resolution provisions for employees
Teachers in the ELICOS industry are some of the most casualised, insecure and underpaid workers in the education sector in Australia, with many of these vastly experienced teachers earning less than a first year graduate in a Catholic school.
Langports is also refusing to recognise the preparation and marking their casual teachers perform and have continuously stated that they will not offer a wage increase which is higher than the bare minimum of the Award.
In May, Langports English College in Brisbane became the first employer in the Queensland Education sector to lock teachers out without pay, simply for taking protected industrial action.
The protected action, which involved wearing a 3R’s Recognise, Respect, Reward badge and taking a 30-minute stop work action, resulted in members being locked out for up to three days without pay.
There has been no consideration by the employer of the negative effects this is having on the teachers and their families, the students or the culture within the workplace
Our union launched a GoFund Me page to assist Langports members with the financial consequences of being locked out by their employer, which raised over $3,500.
The teachers at Langports have been overwhelmed by the extensive signs of solidarity they have been shown and are extremely thankful for the ongoing support as their negotiations continue.
Langports teachers are currently not taking any protected industrial action whilst the FWC conferences continue, allowing both parties to negotiate as a sign of good faith and respect for the Commission.
However, the threat of an extended lock out for members who partake in further protected action at Langports still looms, demonstrating the stark imbalance of industrial power employers have over employees.
Our union will soon be attending a third conference with the employer in the Fair Work Commission.
We will keep members informed of any outcomes or if any future action is planned.
To read more about our “Langports, learn the 3Rs” campaign, visit our website www.qieu.asn.au/campaign-updates/langports-learn-the-3rs/.