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News release: 98% ‘yes’ vote for Catholic schools agreement

Teachers and support staff in Catholic schools in the ACT and NSW have overwhelmingly backed a new enterprise agreement, with a resounding 98% voting in favour of its adoption.


The new enterprise agreement is the result of a tough 18-month dispute between the IEUA NSW/ACT Branch and employers, which included two stop works.


IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Secretary John Quessy said the ‘yes’ vote showed IEU members had a clear understanding of the importance of union solidarity, and the right to a fair hearing by the industrial umpire.


The new enterprise agreement enshrines access to the Fair Work Commission for arbitration, something that was challenged by the employer, and includes work practices agreements which allow teachers and support staff to spend more time with students and less time on data collection and input, meetings and emails.


The agreement includes a 2.5% pay rise for 2017, 2018 and 2019 in NSW and in the ACT teachers received 1.5% in April, with an additional pay rise to come in line with public schools.


“This settlement is testament to the strong resolve of our members, we expected extremely strong support from member feedback at chapter and sub branch meetings but this result exceeded our expectations,” Quessy said.


“The turning point was when members rejected the proposed enterprise agreement that would have denied them the right to arbitration.


“Their united voice was finally heard by employers. We now have a strong agreement upon which we can keep building.”