Message for Broken Bay/Sydney Catholic Systemic schools that voted yes
PROPOSED PROTECTED ACTION
ATTENDANCE BALLOT SCHOOLS
The AEC agreed to conduct an attendance ballot in 69 schools across NSW and the ACT and a resounding 97% of these ballots were successful. This was an amazing outcome given the timing (early in Term 4) and the number of absent members due to leave, part-time etc. There were also a number of problems with the roll. The YES vote was strong in all schools including the two that missed out on the quorum.
If your school participated in the postal ballot, you will be aware of some of the myriad of problems that arose during this process. Slower delivery from Australia Post meant that it was difficult for members to receive and return ballots within the time frame. The AEC was unable to process the large volume of complaints and members were disenfranchised as a result of this. Multiple ballots arriving to homes during the same time frame also confused the issue.
Still many schools were successful in reaching the quorum and we praise Reps and members for this achievement. Schools with disappointing outcomes will be invited to re-ballot and we are exploring private providers with email ballot options. As with attendance ballots, outcomes in both successful and unsuccessful ballots were dominated by YES votes.
DEFENDING YOUR RIGHTS AT WORK
It must be remembered that the delays in industrial action are a result of the attempt by Catholic employers to deny the long recognised right for workers to withdraw their labour as a last resort. While we won our case in the Fair Work Commission (FWC) for this right, this occurred many weeks after members’ motions to commence the process. Further, central to this dispute is the right to arbitration which Catholic employers suddenly ceased to support during a case in March this year.
The Union remains highly disappointed that Catholic employers are taking such a position on workers’ rights, despite the advocacy for industrial action and arbitration by Church leaders since the late 19th century.
Secretary Sally McManus addressed the IEU AGM on the ‘Change the Rules’ campaign. For her views on the Catholic dispute, visit https://www.ieu.asn.au/news-publications/news/2017/october/mcmanus-its-time-change-rules
The Union made direct overtures to the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER) to discuss settlement of all outstanding matters in late August, but the employers declined to engage in such a discussion. Instead they continue to threaten members with no pay rises and a non Union agreement.
The Union thanks you for your support of this campaign and for your vote in the Protected Action Ballot. We urge your participation in the proposed stop work. Your support will greatly assist the Union in achieving a fair and rapid outcome.