Members subjected to first lockout of Queensland teachers
Teachers at Langports English College have been subjected to employer lockouts during negotiations for the College’s first collective agreement.
The employer action is the first time teachers in the Queensland education sector have been locked out by their employer.
IEUA-QNT members have been locked out on multiple occasions in recent weeks as a response to their protected industrial action, which included the wearing of badges and denim clothing as well as a 30 minute stop work meeting.
After the 30 minute stop work meeting on 28 May, teachers who participated were locked out for 3.5 days, without pay.
Members are continuing to act collectively in support of their fair industrial claims, which include fair remuneration, paid preparation and correction time and access to the independent umpire to resolve disputes.
Our union rallied alongside these members and other supporters on Monday, 10 June 2019, ahead of their bargaining meeting, calling on Langports to listen to members’ fair claims.
IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said members’ claims were essentially about the very words written on the badges they had worn, for which their employer locked them out, recognition, respect and reward.
“It’s time for Langports to learn the 3Rs,” Mr Burke said.
“Instead of concerning itself with disproportionate lockout action, the employer should focus on recognising the contribution of teachers in providing quality education.
“Langports should respect employees by listening to their fair bargaining claims and reward teachers with fair remuneration and working conditions.”
What are employer lockouts?
Lockouts are a permitted employer response to employee protected industrial action under the Fair Work Act.
The only requirements of the Act placed upon employers is that lockouts must be ‘causally connected’ to employees’ protected action and appropriate notice must be given.
The Act does not require employer lockouts to be ‘reasonable, proportionate or rational’.
Lockouts are more frequently observed in blue collar industries.
Langports’ action is the first time teachers in the Queensland education sector have been locked out under the provisions of the Act.
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Negotiations at Langports have been ongoing for more than a year, with the employer seemingly determined to delay negotiations.
The employer’s actions, particularly in the form of lockouts, have left members feeling frustrated and undervalued.
“Lockout action causes financial and emotional stress for teachers affected – it also disrupts student learning," Mr Burke said.
“Members at Langports are to be commended for their solidarity thus far in the campaign and can be assured that the support of all IEUA-QNT members is behind them.”
Click here to visit the Langports, Learn The 3Rs campaign page.