Queensland Lutheran school already slashing PAR positions
Faith Lutheran College, Plainland is already looking to cut Position of Added Responsibility (PAR) positions, in a restructure that highlights the cuts and controls evident in the Lutheran Education Queensland (LEQ) agreement which hasn’t yet gone to ballot.
The principal of the school in question contacted our union in mid-June to notify that 31 PAR positions would be cut to “around 16 or 17”, with the appointments to be offered by 18 September 2020 but not coming into effect until 1 January 2021.
Our union is seeking urgent clarification as to whether this means the appointments will be made in accordance with the provisions in the un-balloted employer proposal, or under the current agreement.
Cuts and controls happening before ballot
IEUA-QNT Organiser Craig Darlington said our union is also seeking clarification on a number of points including position descriptions, duties, length of tenure as well as whether the school was accepting external applicants.
“Members are anxious and stressed about their sudden lack of job security,” Craig said.
“They are suddenly having to reapply for their own position, and dealing with the possibility of losing it altogether, under provisions that have yet to be balloted on by staff or approved by the Fair Work Commission (FWC).
“The school has also said there will be no Pastoral PAR positions in the new structure, only Curriculum positions. However, each Curriculum position will have Pastoral responsibilities.”
“In a further shameful move, the employer hasn’t provided clear details about the restructure and has proposed that some of the new positions might be advertised externally, thus increasing the number of displaced staff.”
This pre-emptive and significant restructure proves that Lutheran Education Queensland’s (LEQ) proposed agreement would create a new reality of cuts, controls and constraints for employees and, in this case, is being implemented before employees have even been balloted.
Quality education at risk
Craig said it calls into question why LEQ are doing this after their employees worked tirelessly throughout the disruption that COVID-19 brought to schools – flipping their profession on its head for remote learning in a short period of time.
“It also puts a serious question mark on the future of quality education in Queensland Lutheran schools,’ Craig said.
“How will LEQ attract the best teachers and support staff when all other major sectors offer far superior working conditions and remuneration?”
Under the proposed employer agreement, LEQ will:
- Cut length of tenure for new PARs to only three years. A PAR will then need to reapply for the position in open competition.
- Cut the set formula and minimum requirements for PAR points (pay and release time) and give control to individual Principals. If these positions are cut and constrained, it will inevitably see teachers taking on the workload without the pay or release time.
- Cut the section that identifies PARs who work in areas other than curriculum and pastoral areas – such as careers counsellors.
- Constrain the salaries for PARs which will be significantly less than the substantive salary on offer in an equivalent position in Queensland Catholic schools.
Members VOTE NO to protect working conditions
IEUA-QNT members in Queensland Lutheran schools are set to VOTE NO to the inadequate employer-proposed agreement in order to protect working conditions and the future of quality education in Queensland Lutheran schools.
Members continue to call on LEQ to stop the cuts, controls and constraints and to come back to the negotiating table via an online petition.
A further urgent member meeting will take place this Thursday, 23 July -RSVP by emailing email@example.com with your name and school or membership number as well as any questions you and/or your Chapter may have regarding the cuts, controls and constraints LEQ are seeking to impose.
Further information on why members are uniting to VOTE NO as well as comprehensive overviews of what the proposed agreement will mean for you as an LEQ employee can be found here.