Seeking best deal for Adventists

The North NSW Seventh Day Adventist Conference has commenced bargaining for three new enterprise agreements for employees in their nine schools.

These were presented to the employees at meetings in late October and early November. They have been drafted to align with the enterprise agreements that are being rolled out by the Sydney Conference.

Many of the terms and conditions in the proposed teachers’ agreement are inferior to those applying under the current North NSW agreements and the industry standards.

The Union met with CEO Dean Bennett and Jamie Roan, HR manager, on 9 November to address member concerns regarding the draft agreements.

Key aspects that were discussed included portability of accrued personal leave, improved paid maternity leave to match the industry standard of 14 weeks, payment of pro-rata long service leave on termination after five years of service, and reinstating clauses from the previous agreement that were more beneficial or simply clearer. The Union also proposed a more streamlined classification structure for teachers that reflects the one that applies in Catholic and department schools.

The Union has redrafted aspects of the teachers’ draft agreement document to reflect these discussions and has forwarded it for consideration.

Despite the meeting being positive, the SDA has not given assurances they will accept proposed changes and improvements. We are hoping to have some further discussions in the coming week

The draft Support and Operational Staff Agreement is in nearly identical terms to the current EA. However there are terms of the agreement that provide for conditions inferior to those applying to the teachers (for example paid maternity leave and long service leave) which the Union will seek to address.