In mid 2014 the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER) agreed in principle on behalf of Catholic dioceses that rates of pay and conditions for support staff would be maintained or improved.
This was a reversal of their original position of massive pay cuts for new support staff of between $6,000 and $17,000 per annum, abolition of automatic progression between Level 2 and Level 4 for support staff and a threat to existing Levels 5 and 6 clerical positions. However we are not out of the woods yet.
In late 2014 the CCER proposed a new classification structure that would bring all support staff (including for example school secretaries, school assistants and outdoor and maintenance staff) onto the one pay scale but with the different positions ranging between different pay levels.
It was stated that this was not intended to reduce pay rates of current or future staff. A number of negotiating meetings were held between the Union and the CCER at the end of 2014.
Although we have made progress, we have not reached final agreement on either the definitions of the classifications nor the way in which staff (in particular maintenance and outdoor staff) will transfer to the new scale and progress up the scale.
The CCER proposed EA combines the award and the different agreements that currently apply to support staff, maintenance and outdoor staff and cleaners and bus drivers. Existing conditions vary between the existing documents and the Union wishes to ensure no one is disadvantaged by the change.
Outstanding issues include the arrangements for working during pupil vacations for maintenance and outdoor staff, the entitlement to additional payment when performing higher duties, broken shift payments for cleaners and bus drivers, allowances (such as first aid, health care procedures and mileage allowance) and the arrangements for long term temporary employees on annual appointments to achieve permanency.
Preservation of entitlements
The Union is committed to maintaining and improving existing conditions for all support staff. The CCER has indicated they intend to release draft documents to employees at the end of March. We will provide a comprehensive analysis of these proposals from the point of view of support staff as soon as we receive them.