Supporting the independent education community

Catholic schools video update 5 transcript

This is update number 5 for Catholic schools. Today is September the 20th.

As you move towards the end of an exhausting term I want to provide some important information about Protected Action Ballots that are about to occur.

Protected Action Ballots are the way we get permission to have Industrial Action in your particular school. It is the way the law works in Australia.

For most schools, there will be a postal ballot, but for about 60 other schools, there will be attendance ballots held at their school in the first fortnight of Term 4. These schools are listed on the website and Reps have been notified.

All Union members can vote and I urge you all to do so. For a ballot to be successful we need a majority to cast a vote and a majority of those need to be in favour of industrial action.

The ballot is conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission and postal ballots will begin to arrive at your home in the last week of the holidays.

When you get your ballot please follow the instructions carefully. There are three questions and I’m asking you to vote YES to each of them.

When you complete your vote post it back to the AEC immediately. Mail delivery can be unpredictable and your envelope MUST be returned by Friday October 20. So, don’t delay having your say.

I want to also advise you that at the same time this ballot is happening there is also an election to fill a casual vacancy on the Union Executive. You will be receiving a ballot for that as well. So, look out for that material as well but make sure you vote in both.

The Union has worked very hard to negotiate aa good Agreement with significant improvements. Not everything we wanted has been agreed by employers but we need what we have got to be enforceable.

We need to be able to arbitrate any dispute which can’t be resolved by discussion and conciliation. We hope we never need to use it, we seldom do, but like insurance we absolutely need to know that it is there to protect what we have achieved.

Arbitration is the umpire and provides an incentive for employers and the Union to resolve disputes without asking the umpire to step in. If you don’t have an umpire to give a ruling then any dispute remains unresolved.

Teachers and support staff working in Catholic schools in every other state have consent to arbitration. It is only our Catholic Employers who want the power of veto. They want this despite what Catholic social teaching says about the benefits of arbitration.

When Pope John Paul II was in Australia in 1986 he spoke to factory workers and said:

“Australia has a long and proud history of settling industrial disputes and promoting co-operation by its almost unique system of arbitration and conciliation. Over the years this system has helped to defend the rights of workers and promote their well-being, while at the same time taking into account the needs and the future of the whole community.”

What has changed?

When you get your ballot, vote YES.

Again, I thank you for listening.