Industrial update for support staff
Agreement negotiations in Catholic systemic schools continue; IEU has received a comprehensive without prejudice response from the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER) on behalf of the 11 Catholic Dioceses.
The response included a wages offer for support staff in NSW and the ACT for a pay increase of 2.5% per annum over a three - year agreement, with proposed increases payable from 1 January each year and backdated to I January 2017.
The limited aspects of the Union’s claim where CCER has made some concessions include the following:
• Review of Permanency Provisions: The Dioceses accept there is a need for improved arrangements for offering permanent hours to members engaged on recurring fixed term appointments. CCER has indicated a willingness to reduce the qualifying period from four years to three years, but has yet to provide details of the other proposed improvements.
• Clearer regulation and coverage in the EA for IT staff in schools:
While a classification for Information Communications and Technology (ICT) staff. And this has been included in a draft received from CCER, the details has yet to be agreed. CCER proposes that ICT staff to be classified in the School Administrative Service stream in Levels 4-6, while the Union seeks the inclusion of additional ICT levels above the existing Level 6. In its recent response CCER advises that the Dioceses do not support the insertion of additional classification levels above Level 6 for ICT staff – notwithstanding that they acknowledge that existing Senior ICT staff presently receive such higher rates of pay.
Nearly all the other aspects of the Union’s claim in relation to support staff have been rejected. Notwithstanding this, the Union continues to pursue its longstanding claim for increased long service leave entitlements for support staff to achieve parity with the entitlements of teachers.
The Union is continuing to meet with CCER to further press claims on behalf of support staff members. Concurrently the Union is also meeting with the Catholic Dioceses independently on local matters to work towards reaching an agreement (albeit predominantly in relation to matters affecting teachers). The IEU council at its March meeting approved the taking of necessary action, including industrial action in pursuit of the claim.
Keep an eye on www.ieu.asn.au, as well as the school’s Union notice board and emails, for further updates as negotiations continue.