Supporting the independent education community

Bargaining Update: Catholic systemic schools


EA negotiations continuing for Catholic Systemic Schools


IEU representatives met with the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER), representing the Dioceses, twice in November to discuss our claim. Unfortunately, the Union does not envisage that a settlement is possible before the end of term.



Dioceses have offered the following:

  • to match percentage pay rises applying to teachers in NSW and ACT government schools
  • faster transition of teachers still on the incremental pay scale to the standards pay scale - this would benefit teachers employed before 2014 who are on a step lower than Step 10 on the incremental pay scale (Step 7 in the ACT)
  • 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave.




The Union is discussing with CCER:

  • improved access to permanent positions for long term temporary teachers
  • recognition of 12 months unpaid parental leave as teaching service for the purpose of salary progression (this exists in NSW government schools)
  • recognition of service as an accredited teacher in early learning services as teaching service in schools
  • duties of casual teachers to be in line with those of other teachers.

Support Staff

The Union is meeting on 5 December to discuss specifically with CCER the application of the pay rises achieved by support staff in government schools to the existing Catholic Systemic Schools Enterprise Agreement classification structure. Employers have identified this as a threshold issue in the negotiations and have expressed concerns about the cost. Long service leave improvements for support staff and measures to improve permanency for learning assistants are also key issues.


Outstanding Issues

Dioceses have not agreed to a number of our claims or have only responded in a preliminary manner. The Union hopes that greater clarity on support staff pay rises may allow progress to be made on other issues. These include pay rises for primary Assistant Principals and improved incentive arrangements for teachers in remote schools in line with those in place in government schools.  The Union is also pursuing improved arrangements for payment of maternity leave for teachers on temporary contracts (to reflect provisions in government schools) and payment of employer superannuation contributions for a period of up to twelve months of both paid and unpaid parental leave.


Employers have rejected our claims for emergency disaster leave and cultural and ceremonial leave (for employees of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent) but we are hopeful they may review this position.


Our claim for improvements to reportable conduct procedures is also being reviewed.



The Union is meeting Catholic Education Archdiocese of Canberra & Goulburn on Wednesday 11 December for further discussions of our claim. Of particular concern is that the Archdiocese has not agreed to match in full pay rises received by teachers in ACT government schools – for example the one-off payment of $750 and improvements in superannuation.



The Union has met with most dioceses to discuss work intensification and how to address this through changes to Work Practices Agreements. A key issue is our claim that employers provide more release from face to face teaching.



The Union will continue to meet with employers in coming weeks and in February. We are committed to achieving an outcome as soon as possible without compromising the important elements of our claim.



Your member support is crucial for the success of our claim. Please encourage any colleagues who are not yet Union members, including support staff and casual and temporary teachers, to join the Union.

Thank you for your support in 2019 and we look forward to your continuing support in 2020 for this campaign.