Major attack on QLD Lutheran employee working conditions
After six meetings of the Single Bargaining Unit (SBU), Lutheran Education Queensland (LEQ) are still maintaining an agenda to cut, constrain and control working conditions.
LEQ has confirmed in writing that it wants to see conditions cut from the collective agreement and placed in school-based policies such as:
- Annexure B Formal Review of Unsatisfactory Performance;
- Annexure C Serious Misconduct and Summary Dismissal;
- Annexure D Complaints Handling Policy and Procedures.
IEUA-QNT Industrial Services Coordinator Chris Seymour said cutting these from the collective agreement and putting them in school-based policies means the employer has complete control over the document which they can draft, review and edit at any time after the collective agreement has been finalised.
“It would mean that these provisions would no longer be subject to the industrial protection provided by their inclusion in a collective agreement and could mean procedural fairness and natural justice for all employees is put at risk,” said Chris.
Work intensification remains largely unaddressed
One of the key employee concerns in this round of bargaining has been the need to address workload and work intensification matters.
Our union and employee representatives tabled cost effective strategies for employer consideration that would enable meaningful intervention to deal with workload, but the employer has chosen to ignore these strategies without identifying appropriate whole school solutions to deal with the current workload issues in Lutheran schools.
LEQ has instead confirmed in writing that it wants to see conditions cut from Schedule 7 (Working Arrangements for Teachers) and that this pared back schedule be applicable to all teachers in Lutheran Schools.
Currently Schedules 8 and 9 contain enhanced conditions; however, under the employer claim Schedules 8 and 9 would be cut from a new agreement.
The short-sighted employer proposal has no regard to the impact it would create in terms of workload and work intensification in Queensland Lutheran schools and instead seeks to cut teacher conditions and increase their workload.
LEQ’s rejection to wages leaves Lutheran employees financially worse-off
LEQ’s proposal to offer a 2.5% wage increase backdated to 1 July 2019 is only part of the employee claim and would see employees in Lutheran Schools disadvantaged against their State counterpoints.
All State employees were paid a one-off payment of $1250 on the 1 July 2019 as well as a 2.5% wage increase, but LEQ has rejected this payment, even after the employee team at the SBU suggested splitting the one-off payment over three years ($416 in 2019, $417 and $417 in 2020 and 2021).
LEQ’s rejection of this payment confirms they are comfortable with an offer that would see employees in Lutheran Schools financially worse-off.
How to prevent cuts to working conditions
The papers tabled by the employer relating to hours of work for Teachers and changes to the PAR schedule clearly identify an agenda of cuts, controls and constraints.
The suggested removal of sections of the current Agreement that provide employees with a level of confidence that they will be treated and rewarded fairly for their commitment to Lutheran Schools is under attack.
Chapters now need to convene a meeting to consider rejecting the employer cuts and call upon the employer to engage with the employee representatives to resolve outstanding matters in the employee claim.
For additional information on Lutheran sector bargaining visit www.qieu.asn.au/lutheran.