Supporting the independent education community

News release: Catholic schools staff plan industrial action


Catholic school teachers and support staff across NSW and the ACT are planning a series of rolling stop work actions to defend their right to a fair hearing in front of the industrial umpire.

Negotiations between the Independent Education Union (IEU) and the Catholic Commission of Employment Relations (CCER) for a new enterprise agreement for NSW and ACT Catholic systemic schools have stalled because the CCER is refusing to recognise the power of the Fair Work Commission to arbitrate on industrial disputes.

If there is a dispute between employees and the employer, the employers want the power to veto the industrial umpire making a ruling on the matter.

This leaves the union without the ability to enforce many conditions in the enterprise agreement and work practices agreement.

“I find it ironic that we are engaged in a dispute about how disputes are settled,” IEU Secretary John Quessy said.

“It seems to me that once again the Catholic church is doing its best to avoid any scrutiny by an outside body,” Quessy said.

The industrial action is planned for later this school term.

For more information see:


Further comment: John Quessy, Secretary NSW ACT IEU mobile 0429 919 315


ACT: Berna Simpson, Organiser NSW ACT IEU mobile 0417 435 776

Lismore: Steve Bergan, Organiser NSW ACT IEU mobile 0437 674 037

Newcastle: Therese Fitzgibbon, Organiser NSW ACT IEU mobile 0427 936 072

Parramatta: Pam Smith, Organiser NSW ACT IEU mobile 0418 297 409

Media contacts: Sue Osborne 8202 8900, or Bronwyn Ridgway (a/h) 0433 373 109

IEU represents 30,000 teachers, principals and support staff in Catholic and independent schools, early childhood centres and post secondary colleges in NSW and ACT.

Read the full news release here