Your resolve pays off

Thanks to the solidarity and strength of the IEU membership, the Catholic enterprise agreement dispute has been resolved in favour of teachers and support staff.

Members now have the agreement they deserve, with the right to access the industrial umpire preserved into the future, and with all previous conditions (no trade-offs) retained, with extended benefits to members in certain areas.

Work Practice Agreements have been the subject of much negotiation and as this edition goes to print, agreement has been reached with the dioceses of Broken Bay, Lismore, Maitland-Newcastle, Sydney Catholic Schools and Wollongong.

More certainty

These documents provide clarity at a diocesan level and give more certainty about meetings, class sizes, briefings, RFF provisions and a multitude of important issues directly related to the role of a classroom teacher.

Importantly for early career teachers the specific quantity of support in terms of induction and mentoring is provided.

All members should check their payslips to ensure receipt of back pay (2.5%) in January. At this point it is anticipated a vote for the agreement members wanted will take place in early April.

A further pay rise of 2.5% will flow post formal settling of the agreement which will be backdated from the first full pay period in January 2018.

Members now have the agreement they deserve.

More for support staff

Support staff will now be paid overnight camp allowance. Support staff are being called upon to accompany students on camps more frequently and this allowance will acknowledge that role.

Further, the calculation of permanent hours for support staff will now take place after three years rather than four. This enhances the mechanism to determine what proportion of weekly hours are deemed permanent.

IT support staff (excluding those covered by agreements pertaining to Catholic Schools Office staff in Maitland-Newcastle and Canberra-Goulburn and those employees who work across a system of schools – generally office based) employed by a school will now be formally recognised in the agreement. This settles a long standing complexity.

Recognition of overseas teaching experience (at least three years) will assist members moving through the standards model. Teachers with a Masters level degree (moving through the Standards model) will have their additional degree recognised as five year trained status.

Child rearing recognised

Importantly, child rearing will be recognised on the basis of one year of service for each continuous three years of child rearing to a maximum of four years. Significantly, the provision covers the period immediately prior to commencing employment as a teacher or between periods of employment as a teacher.

Teachers (largely those who commenced work in 2012/2013), straddling the incremental steps and revised standards model, will skip the old step 10 and move to Proficient Level 3. This adjustment (from 1 July 2017) will assist a situation where members were caught between an old and a new method of progression.

Carol Matthews
Assistant Secretary