Supporting the independent education community

IEU Reps Update : Catholic Systemic Schools

Protected action endorsed

At the meeting of 18 March 2017 IEU Council authorised the calling of protected industrial action including part and full day stop work action, on a diocese by diocese basis.

Pay and Conditions

Key outstanding issues being centrally negotiated with the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER), include the following:

  • percentage pay rises for teachers and support staff to match those in NSW and ACT public schools - a general commitment has been made to match public sector increases for teachers in NSW and for support staff in NSW and the ACT; no offer has been made at all for ACT teachers

  • improved long service leave for support staff - IEU’s claim has been rejected

  • improvements in permanency for support staff currently employed in recurring fixed term appointments
    - not agreed.

    A range of other matters, including improved recognition of service in the teachers’ standards classification structure and rates of pay for IT support staff, are not agreed.

    These key issues have not been resolved.

Teacher Workload and Work Intensification

CCER has not made any commitments to address the Union’s teacher workload and work intensi cation claims. Notwithstanding that CCER referred these matters to the dioceses for negotiation, CCER wrote to the Union on 17 March 2017, responding to our claims. Whilst implying that dioceses are sympathetic to some of the issues raised by the Union, CCER has not proposed any way forward nor any protections for teachers that are enforceable and the correspondence was generally dismissive.

CCER’s position is:

  • Regarding the regulation of meeting times, CCER indicated that “dioceses are satisfied that their current arrangements are working well”.
    This is far from true in reality.

  • In relation to our claim that RFF in primary schools should be enforceable and guaranteed to be used for professional purposes as determined by the teacher, “the dioceses have indicated their preference to retain the current arrangements in respect of release from face to face teaching”. In relation to our claim for guaranteed release for required observations of teacher colleagues, “the arrangements in regard to release for teacher performance and development are working well across dioceses”.
    The Union disputes this assertion.

  • In relation to maximum class sizes for primary classes and secondary practical classes, CCER has rejected caps on class sizes, stating the onus is on the individual teacher to raise any concerns with the CEO office.
    This is totally dismissive of our claim.

On most other issues, the position of CCER is that “dioceses wish to retain current arrangements”.
The current arrangements are the problem!

Contrary to the negative position put by CCER, the Union has had constructive discussions with several dioceses which we anticipate could address aspects of our claim and some dioceses already meet aspects of our claim. Given that the dioceses collectively are rejecting common regulation in a single Enterprise Agreement, then Council determined that the Union should pursue individual diocesan Enterprise Agreements to achieve our claims.

Protected Action on Diocesan Basis

Given the variation in progress between dioceses on our workload claims, Council called on Union Of cers and the Executive to commence the steps to take protected industrial action including part and full day stop work action, prioritising the dioceses where the least progress has been made.

Union Of cers are continuing to meet with dioceses and will report to the Union Executive in early April. Executive will determine the dioceses in which protected action ballots will be scheduled from the beginning of Term 2. Members in the relevant dioceses will be advised immediately.

As these ballots will occur school by school, Union Reps are urged to check the list of IEU members for your school. Only members listed for your school can vote in the protected action ballot for your school.

If your Chapter has not yet voted on the Motion contained in the February NewsExtra, please call a Chapter meeting to consider the Motion and advise the Union of the outcome on the vote. Member support and engagement is crucial for a successful resolution to this campaign.


Authorised by John Quessy, Secretary, Independent Education Union of Australia NSW/ACT Branch
The Briscoe Building 485 - 501 Wattle Street ULTIMO NSW 2007
P 02 8202 8900 | F 02 9211 1455 | E |


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