Backpay success for teacher

The IEU has assisted a teacher in a Catholic independent school retrieve a salary underpayment of $23,517, with $2144 in unpaid superannuation.

Upon changing schools, the teacher noticed she was on a higher salary, and wondered why she had not received that salary at her previous school.

With the Union’s assistance she realised her previous teaching experience had not been properly taken into account by the previous school.

When the union wrote to the school its first response was to blame the member, “never brought any pay inconsistencies to our attention”.

The school needed much encouragement from the union, but agreed to the backpay eventually.

Member’s money recovered: $31,968

A western suburbs teacher recently received $31,968 in unpaid wages plus $3012 in unpaid superannuation.

On engagement as a full time teacher in March 2013 (the member’s first teaching assignment after graduation) the school was provided with a copy of the member’s five year trained qualifications.

However, the member was classified as four year trained with pay starting at a level below the one that should have applied. Step increments were also not paid when due, and were mostly paid around nine months late.

Luckily, the union was approached and was able to rectify the misunderstanding, and retrieve the backpay for the member.

The IEU Zone

If you haven’t signed up yet for The IEU Zone, you’re missing out on:

  • free on-demand professional development
  • blogs with diverse and interesting information about working in education, and
  • interactive forums where you can connect with other Union members.

There are five limited time PD courses available right now on The IEU Zone. Understanding Student Anxiety and the four mini courses of Behaviour Management will be retired from The IEU Zone on 31 December 2019. Act quickly to catch them before they’re gone forever!

Also be sure to look at our other courses including voice care, various accreditation and Standards topics, book clubs, debates and much more.

In addition, check out the member education section to catch up on Union news and meetings you may have missed.

If you haven’t yet created your account with The IEU Zone: It’s free for all of our Union branch’s members to join click here.

First IEU President for South Coast Labour Council

Congratulations are in order for IEU Organiser and newly elected President of the South Coast Labour Council, Tina Smith.

Tina is the first President of the SCLC to come from the IEU in the Council’s 91 year history!

Tina has been part of an active and vocal IEU contingent in numerous campaigns and events in #Uniontown (Wollongong). Alongside her new team of Assistant Secretaries, Mick Cross from the MUA and Duncan McDonald from the Teachers’ Federation, we are sure she will continue to do fantastic work representing workers in her new role.

Next year’s IEU PD

Good news! In 2020 the IEU’s online courses will be able to accommodate 500 participants each time, meaning that it’s very likely members will be able to book the course of their choice and not encounter a waiting list!

We’ve upgraded our service from 100 to 500 participants every time, quintupling our ability to provide opportunities to our members.

The ability to service more members at once also means that we’ll be able to offer a greater diversity of course topics.

Currently we’re seeking suggestions from members for course topics that will assist members to conduct their jobs safely, including identifying key stress points that impact members’ wellness, and PD that will help improve practice thereby reducing workloads.

In the past, the Union has run courses on inclusivity, student anxiety, voice care, difficult conversations, behaviour management and cyber safety to address stressful issues in the workplace and offered courses such as smarter assessment and accreditation information to reduce workloads.

If you have ideas for professional development that focuses on our members’ safety, wellness and reduction in workloads, please email

Principals EA bargaining

The IEU looks forward to working with principal members to gain the best possible EA in the Catholic sector and to protect and advance the industrial, professional and wellbeing interests of all principals.

The IEU’s Principals’ Sub Branch met on 2 November and reiterated its strong support for the Union’s enterprise agreement (EA) claim for Catholic systemic principals.

Principals continue to emphasise workload and wellbeing issues for themselves and their staff, including the impact of compliance requirements and data collection and management.

Union wins Special Education Allowance

Teacher members at St Mary’s Flexible Learning Centre and the Wollongong Flexible Learning Centre have recently started receiving ongoing payment of the Special Education Teacher Allowance for teaching classes of students with a disability.

This great outcome started as an enquiry made by the St Mary’s Flexible Learning Centre chapter representative Michael Loudoun. IEU Organiser Ann-Maree McEwan made a written representation to the employer pointing out that the high percentage of young people attending the centre requiring ‘substantial’ or ‘extensive’ adjustments according to definitions in the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with a Disability (NCCD) 2019 guidelines warranted payment of the allowance.

The union has been informed that the payment had started along with back pay from the beginning of 2018.

The Edmund Rice Education Australia’s decision to pay the allowance acknowledges that teachers in flexible learning centres are teaching young people who have complex and special requirements that expand the traditional perceptions of disability.

The allowance is payable to principals and teachers. For teachers it is currently $3171 per annum and for principals $2579 per annum (dependent on the number of teachers supervised).