Members take action over workload crisis: 196 Queensland Catholic schools authorised to strike today
Over 7000 Queensland Catholic school teachers and support staff from 196 Catholic schools across Queensland were authorised to take strike action today (Tuesday 19 November) as part of protected industrial action.
The strike action – a 30-minute stop-work – was undertaken by Queensland Catholic school members from 9:00am.
IEUA-QNT President Andrew Elphinstone said he was joining the stop work action alongside his colleagues.
"As Catholic school employees, we never take the option of industrial action lightly, but after 6 months of frustrating negotiations we have no choice," Andrew said.
"I have attended every bargaining meeting this year as an employee union rep. I have seen first-hand the repeated employer rejection of our concerns.
"They just don’t get the reality of what it’s like to work in a Catholic school.
"We need more time and resources to help deal with workload pressures and we expect our employer to recognise our work by providing us fair wage outcomes that at least match state schools."
IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said members from Catholic schools across Queensland were taking the action in order for their voice to be heard on issues related to workload and wage parity.
“The failure of Queensland Catholic school employers to have a plan to deal with the work intensification of their teachers has left our members no other choice but to take this action,” Mr Burke said.
“We need real measures to address this crisis facing our teachers in order to protect the quality of education in our schools.
“It is the professional and personal lives of our teachers at stake.
“Queensland Catholic school employers can’t continue to bury their head in the sand when it comes to the impacts of workload – for both the staff and their schools,” he said.
Mr Burke also called on the employers not to walk away from a 30-year commitment to wage parity through the provision of a $1250 one-off payment to all school staff.
Work bans remain ongoing
The strike action is occurring in addition to a range of work bans now authorised in these schools and which remain ongoing across Queensland, including banning attendance at meetings, supervisions and employer requests for data.
“IEUA-QNT members will use the 30-minutes tomorrow to discuss what is needed to ensure their voice is heard on these significant issues and whether the campaign needs to escalate further,” Mr Burke said.
“Further strike action is not ruled out at this stage.
“Our members want to resolve these matters and it is now in the hands of the employer to do so.
“Failing that, our members will continue their protected action until the issues of workload and wage party are addressed,” Mr Burke said.
Further information about the Queensland Catholic campaign can be found at www.qieu.asn.au/onevoice