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Home > News > 2019 > December > Collective bargaining brings enhancements for Christian Community Ministries school employees

Collective bargaining brings enhancements for Christian Community Ministries school employees

hands_2.jpgIEUA-QNT members at eight Christian Community Ministries (CCM) schools across Queensland move closer to wage parity with others in the state’s Christian schools’ sector.

Wage and salary increase, enhanced non-contact time provisions for primary school teachers, the annualisation of salary for non-teaching staff as well as access to Long Service Leave in one-week increments are included in the proposed new agreement.

The proposed enhancements in the new agreement would move CCM employees working conditions closer to reflecting standards operating in other Christian schools and the broader educational sector.

Wage increases 

As part of the collective bargaining negotiations, employees had been seeking to negotiate wage increases that would bring staff at the eight Queensland CCM schools closer to parity with other Christian schools.

Currently, the wage rates in CCM schools are significantly behind other schools in the sector.

Member activism has resulted in the employer offering teachers a 6 per cent wage increase in 2020 (3 per cent in January, 3 per cent in July), and then a 3 per cent increase (1.5 per cent in January, 1.5 per cent in July) for the following three years. 

Non-teaching staff would receive an increase of 3 per cent (1.5 per cent in January, 1.5 per cent in July), each year over the four years of the agreement.

These increases will substantially reduce the wage gap previously experienced by CCM employees and employees in other major education sectors. 

The new agreement will also see the introduction of levels 9 and 10, in the non-teaching structure – resulting in salaries of up to $105,106 by the end of the agreement.

Non-contact time provisions

The existing collective agreement provided preparation and correction entitlements that are markedly different to other Queensland schools and did not adequately deal with the expanding role and duties of teachers.

As a result of strong employee advocacy during the negotiations, primary school staff will now be able to access 30 minutes of non-instructional time for every 200 minutes of instructional time – providing parity for primary school teachers with their secondary school counterparts.  

Secondary teachers will continue to receive the equivalent to 15% of their teaching contact time as non-instructional time. 

In all other comparable schools, teachers are provided with a non-contact time entitlement calculated at 20% to support teachers with their preparation and correction duties.

Annualisation of salary for non-teaching staff

IEUA-QNT member advocacy in this round of bargaining has also seen CCM reconsider and reintroduce the annualisation of salary for non-teaching staff members. 

A significant win for school support staff working in CCM schools.

Long Service Leave

An enhanced provision in the proposed new agreement will also see employees able to take their Long Service Leave in one-week blocks.

Member strength remains crucial 

While significant enhancements have been secured for members in CCM schools as part of this round of bargaining, sadly the employer was resolute in its position not to consider a range of additional provisions that would have ensured employees a full set of contemporary working conditions.

These provisions included increased non-instructional time as well as additional maternity, paternity and domestic violence leave provisions as well as the introduction of additional employer superannuation contributions, contingent upon employees making voluntary co-contributions – consistent with long standing arrangements in the majority of other Queensland schools.

Whilst providing a clear benefit for all employees, enhanced superannuation contributions are particularly important for female employees who, on average, will have significantly lower retirement incomes than their male colleagues.

Member strength at a Chapter level will now be critical over the next few years to build IEUA-QNT membership in CCM schools to ensure an even stronger voice on these issues in the next round of bargaining.

Christian Community Ministries (CCM) in Queensland

  • Dalby Christian College
  • Chinchilla Christian College
  • Groves Christian College 
  • Livingstone Christian College
  • Staines Memorial College
  • Warwick Christian College
  • Whitsunday Christian College
  • Endeavour Christian College 

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