After 14 months of negotiations, the Union is finally in a position to recommend a ‘yes’ vote to the new Catholic systemic schools enterprise agreement (EA).
The protracted negotiations have resulted in an EA that protects existing conditions and provides salary increases and benefits for all staff.
IEU General Secretary John Quessy said the EA that members will be presented with “looks nothing like the original employer proposal of April last year”.
Mr Quessy said the employers’ original document, which offered diminished conditions, had been withdrawn thanks to the resolve and determination of the IEU membership.
The Union had been able to campaign vigorously against diminished conditions due to the support and unwavering resolve of the membership.
‘Yes’ vote recommended
“On behalf of the officers and Executive, I want to thank and congratulate members on the stand that they have taken and their unwavering tenacity. Your persistence has won the day. We can confidently recommend a ‘yes’ vote in the upcoming ballot.”
The IEU is now involved in the final drafting of the 250-page document and employers will provide access to this proposed agreement shortly.
After such a long wait members can rightly expect time to consider its contents and the Union has recommended a vote be conducted early next term however we hope to see new pay rates and back pay flow before the term break.
The new EA includes a pay rise of 2.27% backdated to the beginning of January 2015, with a further increase of 2.5% from January 2016 for teachers in NSW. For teachers in the ACT, employers will match the offer in government schools, this includes 1.5% pay rise backdated to October last year and a 1.5% pay rise from April this year with ongoing increases of 1.5% each six months.
General employees will receive a pay rise of 2.27% from 1 July 2015. The 2.5% increase in 2016 will be brought forward to January to bring the payment dates in line with teachers.
Guaranteed support for graduate teachers and their mentors as well as other protections for teachers seeking accreditation are new features of the proposal.
Built in protection
There is protection built in for support staff wages and conditions for both existing and new staff, with maintenance of the current arrangements for payment of higher duties for those acting in a higher classification.