Supporting the independent education community

NewsExtra: URGENT Enterprise Agreement Bargaining Update (Catholic Systemic Schools)

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In late 2021 the IEU sent Catholic dioceses in NSW and the ACT a detailed claim on behalf of teachers and support staff that had been endorsed by members. This claim was also set out for members in a NewsExtra in early February. Read February 2022 NewsExtra

As you will recall the key demands are:

  • pay teachers what we’re worth
  • give support staff a fair deal
  • let teachers teach – cut paperwork
  • allow time to plan – reduce the teaching load by two hours per week
  • end staffing shortages.

What has happened?

After a slow start to negotiations the union has met twice with representatives of the dioceses, on 2 February and 23 February 2022. The representatives include two staff members of Catholic Employment Relations (CER), who are coordinating negotiations for employers, and representatives of three dioceses.

At the first bargaining meeting we discussed the claim in general terms. At the request of the employers, we subsequently provided a detailed written rationale for each element of the claim and, in relation to many of the items, actual draft wording. At the second meeting, after we had provided the detailed document, we spoke to part of the claim. Unfortunately, we did not get a chance to address other key elements such as support staff pay rates, long service leave for general employees and improved job security for special needs and learning support assistants.

The next bargaining meeting was scheduled for 10 March 2022 but was cancelled by CER for technical reasons relating to the issue of the Notice of Employee Representational Rights by dioceses.

We have not yet received any commitment from employers to meet any element of our claim.

What next?

The union is frustrated at the slow progress of negotiations – and we are sure members are too. The union’s Council is meeting on Saturday 19 March 2022 and will consider the next steps in this campaign.

We will advise all members early next week of the steps we are asking members to take to achieve the outcomes we need. Your IEU Organiser will be in touch to arrange a school visit to discuss these issues with members – please watch for information on this campaign. Invite your colleagues who are not members to join the union.


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