A female teacher in a regional Catholic college recently gained a permanent position despite objections from the parish priest, thanks to support from her IEU Rep and the Union.
The member had been employed in a full time temporary position for 2018. She applied for the same position when it was advertised as 'full time permanent' for 2019 and gained an interview for the position.
However, during her interview, the principal advised her that the position was to be full time temporary position because none of the applicants had met the selection criteria.
When she questioned the principal stating she applied for and was being interviewed for the advertised full time permanent position, his response was a shock.
The principal informed her that the parish priest held a view that she did not fulfil the criteria for the permanent position as she did not attend the school parish for weekend mass on a regular basis.
Throughout her time at the school, the teacher had been actively involved in the school’s religious program. But as she lives outside the school parish, she attends Sunday mass in her own local parish. With great support from the head of faculty, the school’s IEU rep and chapter members, the issue was raised and then pursued by the Union.
The organiser contacted the diocesan office to raise concerns and advise that the appointment process was in breach of the terms of engagement for temporary teachers under the Catholic Enterprise Agreement.
The initial response from the diocesan office was that the member had applied for a temporary position as advertised and there was no breach. They were unable to support this want any documentation or even a notice of the temporary nature of the position, yet refused to challenge the parish priest’s decision.
The Union advised the employer that a dispute notification was being prepared and the Union was ready to take the matter to the Fair Work Commission if there was not a change in the employment status of our member.
The member has now been granted the full time permanent position that she applied for and is most thankful that she is a member of the Union.