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Home > News > 2020 > September > Clear problems with school officer structure: solutions needed

Clear problems with school officer structure: solutions needed

middle_leader_bw.jpgThe Joint Working Party (JWP) to review the school officer classification structure in Queensland Catholic schools has commenced.

Our union continues to advocate for the long overdue and significant review of school officer classifications.

IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said our union had tabled an initial analysis at the JWP highlighting the many deficiencies of the current structure.

“It’s clear that urgent and major change is needed,” Mr Burke said. 

“The current employer response has demonstrated that yet again it will be up to our union and the action and energy of members to drive any real change.”

What our union is doing

An essential ‘term of reference’ underpinning the review is an assessment of the strengths and deficiencies of the current structure. 

This analysis then informs the investigation of other possible models and the areas that need to be addressed.

Our union has provided a detailed examination of the current model available here.

Mr Burke said that as school officers know all too well, while many problems can be readily identified, there are few positives inherent in the current structure.

“Our team is currently researching other models that may provide more accurate recognition of modern school officer roles and enhanced careers,” he said. 

“The examination of alternative structures will be a priority item for discussion at the next meeting.

“We have also tabled a set of underpinning principles which are appropriate for any new classification structure.”

What employers are doing

The employers have not tabled an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the current classification structure, have made minimal comment on our analysis and little comment on the set of underlying principles we tabled.

For their part, the employers have so far only identified the classification structure in the largely irrelevant Educational Services (Schools) General Staff Award for consideration.  

“While members will consider any viable alternative, significant concerns exist in relation to the Award structure,” Mr Burke said. 

“The Award, intended as a national minimum safety net that is well below the wages and conditions of our collective agreement, contains an inferior structure. 

“It would lead to significant disadvantage in terms of classifications based on qualifications, more limited pay step progression and potential for lower classifications for some positions.

“Employers have yet to provide a detailed rationale to support their view that the Award structure would provide an improved model. 

“We await such evidence,” Mr Burke said.

Get involved and stay involved

Stay up to date with the latest news via the Careers You Can Count On campaign page. 

Our collective success doesn’t happen without collective strength. Talk to your school officer colleagues about the importance of this review and their vital place in our union.

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