‘Union Action is Unreasonable’ – QCEC

04/11/2015

The Queensland Catholic Education Commission has described the Independent Education Union’s announcement of further stoppages by members at some Catholic schools tomorrow (Thursday 5 November) as unreasonable.

“This action is not justified in response to a bargaining process that continues to make progress and be conducted in good faith. It is not in anybody’s best interests,” Executive Director Dr Lee-Anne Perry said.

Dr Perry said employers have continued to listen to the concerns of employees and have further amended their position on a number of workload issues.

“Catholic school employers have shown themselves, over a long period of time, to be responsible employers who want to deliver a fair package for their staff.

“These stoppages place an extra burden on staff and school administration that everyone can do without,” she said.

Dr Perry said the 3.25% pay increase being sought by the Union is completely out of step with current market conditions.

She said the facts on wages for teachers and staff are indisputable:

  • Catholic school employers are offering a 2.5% increase annually over three years.
  • This matches teachers in State schools who have, from 1 September this year, received the equivalent of a 2.5% increase.
  • The most experienced classroom teachers in Queensland Catholic schools have access to the Experienced Teacher 6 allowance. Combined with the proposed 2.5% wage increase, these teachers will be earning over $93,000 per annum, which is more than experienced teachers currently earn in NSW Catholic schools.
  • NSW Catholic school employees have recently accepted a 2.27% wage increase in the first year of a two year Agreement and a 2.5% wage increase in the second year.

Dr Perry said the 2.5% increase, including back pay, can be paid as soon as the agreement is successfully balloted.

“Time is running short. However, I am hopeful this will be able to occur before Christmas,” she said.

Dr Perry said employers have been advised that industrial action in the form of stoppages between 8.30am and 10.30am may take place at around 180 of Queensland’s 298 Catholic schools on Thursday 5 November.

“While this action is not expected to cause major disruptions to student learning, each school will continue to communicate closely with families as necessary.

“We are blessed with great staff across the Catholic sector and employers remain committed to negotiating a fair and responsible outcome with employees,” Dr Perry said.

Single Bargaining Unit negotiation meetings also continue tomorrow, Thursday 5 November.

Visit www.eb8.qcec.catholic.edu.au for all details about Enterprise Bargaining 8.