Supporting the independent education community

News release

Stop stand downs of support staff in independent schools


The union has been advised that a small number of independent schools are considering standing down
support staff without pay in Term 2 because of COVID-19.

THE UNION IS CALLING FOR AN IMMEDIATE STOP TO ANY SUCH STEPS.

“In light of the government’s recently announced job-keeper wage-subsidy payments, there may be no reason to
stand support staff down,” IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Secretary Mark Northam said.

Businesses will be paid a wage subsidy of up to $1500 per fortnight per employee, under a Federal
Government plan to keep Australians in work during the coronavirus crisis.

“Staff must not be stood down while these plans are still evolving. The union is seeking for all staff in
schools and early learning centres to remain fully employed, even while schools and centres are operating
with reduced numbers of students,” Northam continued.

“There is no shortage of work to be done. Schools need to creatively explore ways to ensure school sites
remain safe for the staff and small numbers of students who attend and to enhance online learning provided
to students.

“Support staff are already playing a valuable role in assisting teachers to provide online learning and
maintaining contact with students and their families. Schools cannot be expected to deliver a new hybrid
model of education without teachers and support staff working together.”

All awards and enterprise agreements require the employer to consult with employees and the union about
potential stand-downs.

“It is not clear that schools will need to stand down employees in the current situation and they must
consider all the issues before taking any drastic steps. Schools delivering online education are NOT shut. We
are calling for an immediate halt to any threatened stand-downs,” said Northam.

“Teachers and support staff should not hesitate to call the union if they are concerned about work health
and safety at their school, their requests to work from home, or their employment rights. Our latest updates
are on our website and Facebook page.

Further comment:
Mark Northam, IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Secretary mark@ieu.asn.au
Media contacts: Monica Crouch (02) 8202 8900 monica@ieu.asn.au, Bronwyn Ridgway (a/h) 0433 373 109
bronwyn@ieu.asn.au

The IEUA NSW/ACT Branch represents over 31,000 teachers, principals and support staff in Catholic and independent schools, early childhood centres and post secondary colleges.
Authorised by Mark Northam, IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Secretary