Support staff, we need your help

The IEU needs to hear from support staff in Catholic systemic schools about their roles so we can develop a claim for pay parity with Department of Education employees.

The ongoing challenges for a reasonable living wage for support staff, and parity with the department schools, has been taken on for Catholic systemic support staff with the establishment of the CCER/IEU Support Staff Joint Working Party.

The working party has 10 members, made up of five representatives from the employers and five representatives from the IEU (including myself). The IEU representatives include two industrial officers and three IEU members working in the areas of Aboriginal education support, administration and learning support.

Initially I was a bit anxious about the process, as I didn’t want to get bogged down and bamboozled with legal jargon. However, I left the first meeting in February feeling optimistic.

Having the advantage of three of our representatives working within the sector gives us a decided advantage, along with our two grounded, well informed, industrial officers.

There is a significant amount of work to be done prior to each of the next four meetings. The first step, possibly the most important, is to start an interview process with members working in all aspects of school support.

This information will form the building blocks for our claims. I appeal to all members to be a part of this process by contacting your IEU organiser or email Carolyn Moore to give an account of your role within the school you work in.

This is not an onerous process when compared with the possible benefits in the long run.

At the moment this only applies to Catholic systemic school support staff. It doesn’t cover school operational staff such as cleaners, maintenance staff and canteen employees, (whose counterparts in the public sector are under a different award), or independent schools. But any favourable outcomes should flow on to all school support staff in NSW. Hopefully, this is a starting point for parity across the board.

Carolyn Collins
Vice President School Support Staff