What’s coming up for IEU members?

Bushfires have impacted a considerable number of members. Sadly this has included the loss of houses and other property such as vehicles and outbuildings.

The union will be providing support to these members.

Specifically, the most recent bushfires have affected the following towns in the Canberra- Goulburn Archdiocese: Batehaven, Moruya, Broulee, Bega, Pambula, Bombala, Cooma, Batlow, Adelong, Tumut, Braidwood and Gundagai. All Saints Primary School Tumbarumba in the Diocese of Wagga Wagga was also affected. All of the schools in these towns were however operational for the commencement of the school year.

The Scots College Glengarry Campus in Kangaroo Valley suffered damage to staff residences and student dormitories and the school is relocating the program in Term 1 and early Term 2 as a result. St Peters Anglican College Broulee is another independent school that was affected.

In terms of specific assistance, the union will be providing professional development – Responding to Bushfire Trauma. The course will deal with wellbeing for members and importantly to provide assistance to students recovering after a bushfire. Details of this professional development are on the IEU website.

Catholic negotiations continue

Negotiations for Catholic systemic schools enterprise agreements (EAs), Catholic independent schools and independent schools multi-enterprise agreements are underway.

Negotiations commenced in late 2019 across the three groupings of schools. Catholic independent schools (Model B and C) discussions will continue with the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER).

The union is claiming up to five days paid leave per year for employees unable to attend work because of natural disasters, in line with conditions applying to employees in Queensland Catholic schools.

Catholic independents

While indicating that pay rises for Catholic independents will be equivalent to those (yet tobe agreed) in Catholic systemic schools, CCER (on behalf of the schools) has indicated that they won’t agree to regulate any aspect of teacher workload, for example, limiting the number of ‘extras’ per term and the number of meetings per term. The union will be pressing for such developments.
Catholic systemic negotiations (both teachers and support staff) in the 11 Catholic dioceses across NSW and ACT will resume in early February.
Teacher workload and its impact is the key feature, as is long service leave equity for support staff. Additional time release is part of the solution. The union is having some success in enhancing RFF in primary schools and seeking a day’s release per term for professional duties in secondary schools.

The union notes the practice of a day’s release was in operation in the second half of 2019 in the Wagga Wagga Diocese and is already part of Victorian agreements.
A positive of additional release would be the opportunity to create meaningful temporary year long positions for those teachers providing the additional release.

Independent schools

The existing Multi-Enterprise Agreements (MEAs) do not expire until 31 January 2021. Meetings are scheduled with employer representatives in Term1. Additional information and the development of a comprehensive claim will be sent to members in due course.

Mark Northam