Going to chapter meeting pays off

Christmas came early for a number of teachers in Sydney Catholic Schools following one member’s query about their eligibility to ‘jump’ Step 10 following the introduction of the new 2017 NSW and ACT Catholic Systemic Schools Enterprise Agreement (EA).

The beginning of 2018 saw Union organisers meeting with IEU chapters across the state to inform members about changes to their conditions that would be implemented once the 2017 EA was approved by the Fair Work Commission.

During one such meeting, one IEU member was pleased to hear that she, along with other teachers who were on Step 10 in July 2017, may be eligible to jump to Band 2 Level 3, back dated to 1 July 2017.

A preliminary assessment of her work history and confirmation of her accreditation Proficient with NESA prior to the implementation date supported this move.

Our member was advised by the Union that she would be back dated to July 2017 for the move from Step 10 to Band 2 Level 3 and would also be entitled to move to Band 2 Level 4 from July 2018.

The Union advised her to keep an eye on her payslip when the EA was approved to ensure she ‘jumped’ up a salary level.

However, after the EA was approved in August and the retro payments for salary increases and new progressions were finalised, our member found that she did not progress to Band 2 Level 4 as expected. She then contacted the Union.

An assessment of Clause 16.2 (a) (xii) along with a further analysis of her work history found that the clause had not been applied correctly by the employer.

The Union then contacted Sydney Catholic Schools directly, outlined the reasons for our assessment and requested a review.

The review found that our member was indeed entitled to have a move from Step 10 to Band 2 Level 3 back dated to 1 July 2017. Further to this she was also entitled to progress to Band 2 Level 4 from 1 July 2018 with an entitlement to a significant amount of back pay which will be paid by the end of November.

When told of our success in having her classification reviewed our member told us that without IEU presence in her school she would not have been aware of this issue and wouldn’t have been able to resolve it herself.

The discovery of the incorrect application of the clause resulted in Sydney Catholic Schools reviewing the classification for all teachers in the diocese who were Step 10 from 1 July 2017. As a result of the review six teachers were found to have not progressed correctly and received back pay as a result of their reclassification.

It just goes to show how important those chapter meetings are for ensuring that members keep up to date with changes to conditions.

If you think you may have missed out on jumping from Step 10 to Band 2 Level 3, contact your organiser for clarification.

We look forward to meeting more members throughout 2019.

Donna Widdison