In 2019, the Public Service Association used the Pay Equity Framework to achieve significant wages outcomes for administrative and support staff in NSW public schools. Given the undeniable similarities between the two sectors and the historical nexus of wage comparability, the union is seeking flow on aspects of the public schools outcome within Catholic systemic schools to ensure parity between the sectors is maintained.
The IEU has reached an in-principle agreement in negotiations for the new Catholic Systemic Schools Enterprise Agreement that covers teachers and general employees in Catholic diocesan schools throughout NSW and the ACT.
Although part of the IEU claim, the parties were not able to settle on how to incorporate the public sector outcome at this time. However, as part of the settlement, the parties resolved to undertake a comprehensive review and assessment of the classification structure and comparative wage rates of Catholic diocesan support staff with their public sector counterparts.
Joint Working Party
A joint IEU/CCER Working Party has been agreed to as part of the settlement.
The task of the working party is to establish equivalency between Catholic systemic schools and those of employees in the NSW government school sector as defined in the Crown Employees (School and Administrative Staff) Award 2019. Unlike our enterprise agreement, which covers a wide range of general employee roles, the Crown Employees (School and Administrative Staff) Award 2019 only applies to the administrative and education support roles.
School operational staff – such as cleaners, maintenance staff and canteen employees – are employed under a different award in the public sector and were not part of the significant changes made last year. Therefore, these roles are not within the working party’s considerations.
Terms of reference
The terms of reference for the joint working party include a definite timeframe as a way to ensure the matters are addressed and fully considered before the next round of bargaining commences. In the lead up to the working party commencing in Term 4, the IEU’s Support Staff Advisory Committee has implemented a staged plan for our members to be consulted and participate in the process.
We’ve held a series of virtual meetings organised around each of the relevant occupational categories.
In these meetings we’ve: provided an account of negotiations around the support staff claim for parity; discussed in detail the Public Sector Award outcomes and how they match up to the corresponding roles in Catholic diocesan schools; and set out the how the joint working party will function.
There is work to be done to ensure the joint working party has accurate and complete information and how it can be engaged to support this process.
In the next stage of the consultation, members will have an opportunity to participate in a series of survey and job analysis exercises, as well as detailed interviews to assist with preparing statements and material for the Joint Working Party. We will then seek expressions of interest from members who may wish to be directly consulted by the working party or nominate to be a member of the working party.
The meetings have been really well attended so far, with more than 135 members logging in. Despite its short comings, Zoom has enabled us to include members from across NSW and the ACT at the meetings. It’s exciting to see members’ willingness and enthusiasm to be part of this process.
If you were unable to participate in the meetings but would like to be involved in the next stage, please let us know through one of the following:
• call your IEU organiser
• call Carolyn Moore at the union office: 02 6623 4700
• email your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org