The Union is making progress in the negotiations for a new enterprise agreement to apply to NSW and ACT Catholic systemic schools.
NSW teachers and support staff in NSW and the ACT should have received pay rises in January 2017 and teachers in the ACT should have received increases from the beginning of April. The Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER) has agreed that pay rises will be back dated, but members are still waiting for their money.
The Union met with CCER at the end of May to discuss the issues in the central bargaining.
Improved recognition of service
A major obstacle has been the fact that changes to the teacher standards classification structure in NSW government schools had not been finalised. The Union has now obtained a copy of the improvements finalised in May to apply to teachers in government schools. These include provisions for recognition of overseas and interstate service and improved recognition of child rearing. The IEU is holding urgent discussions with the CCER about the translation of these guidelines into the new proposed enterprise agreement for Catholic systemic schools.
At our recent meeting we also discussed the proposed rates of pay and classifications of IT staff, improved long service leave for support staff and improved permanency for support staff on recurring fixed term contracts. At this stage CCER has not agreed to the improved long service leave and has not made any significant offer to improve the current provisions for employees on recurring fixed term contracts. We continue to discuss these issues.
Other outstanding issues
Other outstanding issues include the Union’s desire to protect the long standing right of the Union and our
members to refer disputes to the Fair Work Commission for conciliation and, if required, arbitration. We are also seeking to protect members’ right to inspect files where there have been reportable conduct allegations. The Union has also sought clearer rules about teacher performance and development processes.
Work practice issues
The Union has been meeting with dioceses separately to enhance existing protections and improve entitlements to:
• RFF in primary schools
• smaller class sizes and improved support for large classes in primary schools
• limits on meeting times
• improved protection for members by policies on emails and data collection
• reduced practicum classes in secondary schools
• explicit support for teachers seeking Proficient status, and
• teacher performance and development – guaranteed release for classroom observations.
Although the Union has made good progress with most dioceses, at this stage significant issues are still not resolved in some dioceses. The Union is pressing all dioceses to attend to these issues as a matter of urgency. If the issues are not resolved to our satisfaction, we will need to report in detail to members in the relevant dioceses about the problems and, if members wish, commence an industrial strategy to resolve them.