News Extra: Catholic Systemic Schools – Update

IEU receives draft enterprise agreement

For the first time in over 12 months of negotiations, the IEU received a draft Catholic Systemic Schools Enterprise Agreement (EA) late on Monday 6 March 2023 from Catholic Employment Relations (CER). We received the “without prejudice” document, just five minutes before the deadline agreed at the Fair Work Commission, following the union’s notification of a dispute regarding the bargaining delays.

Only a draft

On the agreed timeline, dioceses have until Wednesday 15 March 2023 to make any corrections or comments on the CER draft. The IEU will then be able to raise our issues in the conciliation before the Fair Work Commission.

What does it look like?

Key issues the IEU has identified so far are set out below.

Length of EA

Employers are still proposing an EA that would be in place until mid 2026, at the earliest. This is nearly three years longer than the award applying to teachers in government schools.

Teacher pay increases

Employers are committing to match increases in NSW and ACT government teacher pay rates. However, it is unclear whether the operative date would be the same and whether new classifications or lump sum payments paid to teachers in government schools would be matched.

Support staff pay rates

New higher rates based on pay parity with government schools will only come into effect when the new EA is made. The Dioceses of Armidale, Bathurst, Canberra and Goulburn, Lismore, Maitland-Newcastle and Wollongong have still refused to agree to pay parity for primary schools of under 400 students. This will impact administrative staff in 194 schools – they will continue to be paid substantially less than their government school counterparts.

Improved permanency for support staff

Our claim for improved permanency has only been met in part and key elements remain in dispute.

Broken Bay

In a surprise move, Broken Bay Diocese has withdrawn from the main EA – but foreshadowed it will re-join the EA if a particular clause is included. The IEU is seeking to clarify their position and we have written separately to members in Broken Bay.