The union is currently in negotiations with the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER) for new enterprise agreements (EAs) for teachers and support staff in about 30 Catholic independent schools. The current EAs expired at the end of 2019 so, like the Catholic systemic schools, a pay rise has been due since the beginning of 2020.
The employers wrote to the union on 1 June to confirm their position and met with the union on 11 June.
They have offered a two-year EA with pay increases of 2.5% in 2020 and 2.28% in 2021 (reflecting the State Government increases for teachers). They have also offered some improvements in the teacher classification structure, which would assist teachers moving from interstate or overseas or who have experience as a NESA accredited early childhood teacher.
What they left out
CCER did not agree to many of the union’s claims. Schools have argued that they are under cost constraints at the moment because of fee waivers to parents. However, even items of low or minimal cost have been rejected.
The union strongly put to CCER at our meeting on 11 June that schools need to reconsider, at a minimum, our claims for: •guaranteed support for early career teachers and their mentors or supervisors
- changes to teacher classifications to match provisions in government schools (that is, for limited recognition of unpaid parental leave and child rearing as teaching service)
- emergency disaster leave of five days per annum
- cultural and ceremonial leave
- a disputes procedure clause in the EA permitting the Fair Work Commission to arbitrate a dispute when the dispute is unable to be resolved at school level or by mediation.