Let’s end bargaining ban for independent school staff 

Tuesday 15 November 2022 

Let’s end bargaining ban for independent school staff 

Hundreds of teachers and support staff in independent schools in the ACT and all over Australia do not have the democratic right to bargain for better pay and conditions at work. 

Under the current industrial relations rules, only independent school employers can bargain for multi-employer agreements. The Secure Jobs, Better Pay bill proposed by the Federal Labor Government, would give teachers and support staff collective bargaining rights. 

ACT Senator David Pocock wants to delay the passage of this legislation until after Christmas. IEU members from independent schools will attend’s Senator Pocock forum *** tomorrow to ask him why. 

“All teachers and support staff in ACT schools should be able to have their say about their pay and conditions, including the right to protected industrial action,” Angela McDonald, IEU ACT Vice-President, and teacher at St Thomas Aquinas Primary School, said.  

“When bargaining is delayed, we have few ways of getting the employer back to the table, leaving staff relying on the goodwill of schools for any pay rise,” Alex Thompson, history teacher at Canberra Grammar School, said.  “Under the current rules we cannot get assistance from the Fair Work Commission if bargaining breaks down, because the schools are offering a multi-enterprise agreement” .   

“We are glad to be teaching in a college that stands for social justice and fairness, but under the current industrial relations system, there is no fairness for teachers and support staff. It’s unlikely we would ever take industrial action, but we should have the right to do so in bargaining for a better deal. Employers can act collectively, we should have that right as well,” David Caton, teacher at Daramalan College said. 


IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Acting Branch Secretary Carol Matthews 0418 272 902 
Media: Monica Crouch 0411 645 751 

The IEUA NSW/ACT Branch represents over 32,000 teachers, principals and support staff in Catholic and independent schools, early childhood centres and post-secondary colleges. 

Authorised by Mark Northam, Secretary, IEUA NSW/ACT Branch