Supporting the independent education community

Bargaining update for Model B and Model C Catholic independent schools

The union met with the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER) on Thursday 21 May to discuss new enterprise agreements for teachers and support staff in approximately 30 Catholic independent schools covered by Model B and Model C Enterprise Agreements. As relevant members would be aware, the current agreements expired at the end of 2019.

CCER put a number of proposals verbally to the union and we are awaiting written confirmation of the exact proposals. In general terms, and as reported by some schools, the proposal included the following:

  • a two year agreement with increases of 2.5% in 2020 and 2.28% in 2021
  • recognition as teaching service of overseas teaching, and teaching in early education centres (limited to service after 2020)
  • introduction of a Proficient Pending classification, that will assist experienced teachers moving from interstate or overseas.

CCER did not agree to:

  • additional pay increases for support staff, to reflect increases in government schools
  • measures to address teacher workload, including guaranteed release for early career teachers and their mentors or supervisors
  • other changes to teacher classifications to match provisions in government schools for recognition of unpaid parental leave as service (also agreed in principle in Catholic systemic schools).

Schools have also flagged:

  • the introduction of junior rates for some support staff classifications, which would mean that employees under 21 years of age would be paid less
  • changes to portability of long service leave at Oakhill College, that would make it harder for employees to transfer leave on resignation.

The union has requested clarification of the employer position on all of these issues.

A key outstanding issue is the disputes procedure. All other Catholic schools in NSW and the ACT have a disputes procedure that permits the Fair Work Commission to resolve disputes brought before it. At this stage CCER has not agreed to this. Under the current clause in the enterprise agreements, the Fair Work Commission may only make recommendations that are not binding on schools.

When the union receives the employer proposal in full, we will advise members in more detail of our response.