Members in Catholic systemic schools have reported some quite bizarre exchanges with local diocesan staff who have been sent out to workplaces to ‘explain’ the alleged enterprise agreement to those who would be covered by it. It is sad but not surprising that in many cases our members know much more about the issues than those attempting to present information. It’s always been difficult to spruik a shoddy product and so it is with the contentions these folks have been sent to sell.
The Archdioceses of Canberra and Goulburn, and Parramatta dioceses (and others) have declared that an agreement is finalised. This is simply untrue. There is no agreement. The most recent draft provided to the Union was dated 17 February and emailed to the Union in June and a further document emailed on 25 August. Unless employers have been negotiating with themselves to finalise something, this statement is one of many inventions. Touting falsehoods and misinformation is certainly not in the spirit of good faith bargaining but perhaps even worse are the half truths told by some in answers to member questions.
In answer to a question about access to arbitration one presenter answered, “you will still have access to arbitration under the agreement we are proposing” but conveniently did not go on to add “as long as the employer agrees”. Our members see through this nonsense and such misrepresentations can only intensify the distrust that is yet again growing towards local employers.