Time for employers to talk seriously about support staff

The IEU has been seeking additional pay rises for support staff in Catholic systemic schools since 2019.

The pay claim is based on the increases negotiated by the NSW Public Service Association for its members in government schools in settlement of its pay equity case before the NSW Industrial Relations Commission. This settlement occurred in August 2019.

Catholic dioceses refused to match these increases as part of the current 2020-2021 enterprise agreement but did agree to participate in a working party to review the pay rates. This work has now finished but there has been no commitment by employers to address the pay disparities found by the working party.

Employers do not have an excuse to drag their feet any longer.

The union’s claim for the next enterprise agreement (the current agreement expires at the end of December 2021) also seeks to increase long service leave for support staff to remedy the disparity in long service leave after 10 years’ service between teachers and support staff. The temporary nature of many learning support positions is also a major concern.

The union will need to demonstrate strong support from members for our claims in order to get employers to the bargaining table. Our support staff members will have to take a leading role in this campaign if we are to be successful in our claims on their behalf.

Please encourage your support staff colleagues to join the union and encourage them to be actively involved in chapter meetings and planning of our campaign for the next enterprise agreement in 2022. We thank our support staff members for their support in getting us this far.

Carol Matthews
Acting Secretary