Delay on pay rises in Catholic systemic schools

Members will recall the current enterprise agreement (EA) for teachers and support staff in NSW and ACT Catholic systemic schools expired at the end of 2016.

The Union is seeking pay rises for teachers and support staff in NSW and ACT, reflecting public sector outcomes. A key focus of our claim is also the protection and improvement of working conditions, which are central to the working lives of our members.

Pay rises

Pay rises were due to NSW teachers and support staff in NSW and the ACT from January and for teachers in the ACT from the beginning of April. Although the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER) has now agreed that pay rises will match those in NSW and ACT government schools and will be back dated, members are still waiting for their money.

Central bargaining

Key outstanding issues in the central bargaining include improved recognition of service for teachers under the new standards model, improved long service leave for support staff and improved permanency for support staff on recurring fixed term contracts. CCER has rejected our claim for improved long service leave and we are waiting for their response on the other issues. These issues must be resolved as soon as possible.

We are also seeking to protect the long standing right of the Union and our members to refer disputes to the Fair Work Commission for conciliation and, if required, arbitration. This right has been challenged by one diocese, with CCER support.

Bargaining with dioceses

The Union is continuing to meet with all dioceses to discuss the workload and work intensification components of our claim. The Union will not settle our claim unless we have substantial progress in working conditions. At this stage we do not have agreement with any diocese on all the key aspects of our claim, although we have made significant progress with some dioceses and all dioceses are now engaging constructively with our claim. Our negotiations have focused on:

clear protection for RFF in primary schools

smaller class sizes and improved support for large classes in primary schools

limits on meeting times

improved protection for members by policies on emails and data collection

reduced prac classes in secondary schools

explicit support for teachers seeking proficient status

teacher performance and development guaranteed release for classroom observations (including planning time and feedback).

Detailed reports will be sent to members on a diocesan basis.

Next steps

The Union has written to CCER urging a speedy resolution of all matters as we consider this delay is unacceptable. We will also be urging dioceses to address all outstanding work practice matters as soon as possible.

We will inform IEU Reps and members of our progress.

Carol Matthews
Assistant Secretary