Member action makes Lutheran Education Queensland withdraw cuts
IEU member action in Lutheran Education Queensland (LEQ) schools has made the employer back down from their flawed proposed agreement and brought them back to the negotiating table, where last week they withdrew a number of their proposed cuts to current working conditions.
IEU members successfully voted NO to LEQ’s flawed agreement which would have cut, controlled and constrained working conditions and placed the future of quality education at Queensland Lutheran schools at risk.
IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said this was a significant outcome in our campaign to protect the working conditions of Queensland Lutheran school employees.
“However, there is still more to do,” he said.
“There are still a number of significant member concerns that LEQ need to address to resolve these negotiations.”
Employer withdraws some cuts
One of the most significant issues for many employees was the employer’s plan to cut Annexures B, C and D – which are provisions protecting Formal Review of Unsatisfactory Performance, Serious Misconduct and Summary Dismissal and Complaints Handling Policy - from the agreement entirely.
Following the NO vote, the employers had to listen to the voices of employees through feedback provided by our union and have now confirmed its withdrawal from these planned cuts.
“It is clear that members’ action has brought LEQ back to the negotiating table with a recognition that some of their planned cuts needed to go; however, LEQ have yet to respond positively to a number of key matters in the member-endorsed Charter of Resolution,” Mr Burke said.
Charter for Resolution informs negotiations
To prepare for the resumption of negotiations, our union consulted extensively with members to determine specific areas of concern and to identify what was needed to achieve a successful resolution.
Member feedback confirmed employees were seeking an agreement which:
- recognised and rewarded them appropriately;
- provided job security and procedural fairness;
- met the test of community standards in terms of the conditions under which they work; and
- provided a one-stop document containing the necessary references that describe their working conditions.
Endorsement by IEUA-QNT Chapters was noted as the basis of the employee claim for the continuing negotiations.
As a result, specific work was undertaken at that meeting regarding school officer working party dates and terms of reference, HALT remuneration, outdoor education matters, and the review of the old state awards for disadvantage.
Matters still under discussion and prioritised for the next meeting of the SBU on 15 October 2020 are:
- Addressing issues relating to employee tenure and job security.
- Reviewing the PAR schedule provision for relevance and revising any areas where employees would be disadvantaged compared to counterparts in other sectors.
- Reviewing the financial disadvantage when it comes to allowances versus substantive salaries and identifying an appropriate remedy.
- Ensuring appropriate respect, recognition and reward all employee groups in the agreement.
Member action makes the difference
Voting down the employer’s flawed agreement and getting LEQ back to the negotiating table has reinforced why we are stronger together when it comes to ensuring that the work of Queensland Lutheran school employees is appropriately recognised and rewarded.
It will also be critical in retaining contemporary conditions which are provided to others in the Queensland education sectors in any new agreement
Some of the proposed cuts are gone but not all.
Our union encourages members to have a conversation with their colleagues and invite them to join our union if they have not already so that we can have an even stronger voice as we work in the best interests of employees and our school communities.
Together we can ensure an outcome in these negotiations which achieves the goals of the Charter for Resolution and enables all employees to continue to do what they do best – providing high quality education to the students in our schools.