Catholic dioceses: Casual pay dispute

The IEU is in dispute with Catholic dioceses concerning the rate of pay for casual teachers.

Some casual teachers have suffered a pay cut as a result of employer interpretation of the new 2015 NSW and ACT Catholic Systemic Schools Enterprise Agreement (the EA).

Under the new EA casual teachers are paid on the standards structure with pay rates based either on the Graduate band (equivalent to the Step 5 incremental rate) or the Proficient Level 1 rate (equivalent to the Step 9 incremental rate).

Most casual teachers received a pay increase because an experienced casual teacher is now entitled to a Step 9 pay rate whereas the previous maximum was Step 8. Specific deeming provisions were also included for teachers who are pre 2004 and not required to be proficient in accordance with BOSTES requirements.

The EA also contains a general savings clause which provides that no employee will receive a pay rate that is less than they would have otherwise received immediately prior to the start of the EA. The Union’s view is that this protects casuals who might otherwise receive a pay cut, for example because they were paid on the old Steps 6-8 but are not yet proficient.

Catholic dioceses are arguing that notwithstanding the clear wording of the clause, they are entitled to reduce the pay of these teachers.

The Union will be seeking chapter support for affected casual teachers and referring the matter to the Fair Work Commission.

Carol Matthews
Assistant Secretary