Claim for members in Catholic systemic schools

Carol Matthews
Assistant Secretary

The IEU’s Annual General Meeting of Council on 22 October unanimously endorsed a pay and conditions claim on behalf of members in Catholic systemic schools. The current enterprise agreement (EA) has a nominal expiry date at the end of 2016 and the claim relates to the 2017-2019 EA.

Members will recall that in the last bargaining round (2014-2015), the dioceses tried to remove existing protections of working conditions, whether contained in enterprise agreements or diocesan workload agreement. Members strongly opposed these changes and as a result of a protracted industrial campaign we were able to maintain and improve existing conditions.

A key focus of our 2016 claim is the protection and improvement of working conditions, which are central to the working lives of our members.

Pay claim

The Union is seeking a minimum pay rise of not less than 2.5% per annum over three years for teachers and support staff (3% for teachers in the ACT).

Conditions claim for teachers

The Union’s conditions claim on behalf of teachers includes the following:

  • experienced teachers who have had a five year break in service (for example because of family responsibilities) or who have worked interstate should not be penalised under the pay structure and should be deemed to be Proficient for pay purposes (irrespective of BOSTES requirements)
  • a wider range of teaching service should be recognised – for example teaching service in early childhood services and overseas teaching service the school year in Catholic schools should be no longer than in government schools, and
  • Union reps and other on Union Chapter committees should be entitled to one day’s leave per year for trade union training leave.

Teacher workload claims to be included in the EA

The IEU is also seeking to protect key workload conditions, including the following:

  • meetings – a maximum of 10 hours per term of meetings and a limited number of defined briefings in all schools
  • maximum class sizes – current arrangements for caps on class sizes (or sizes of instructional groups) should be included in the EA
  • maximum hours of face to face teaching in secondary schools and guaranteed two hours per week release time in primary schools should be protected
  • teacher performance and development, observations and planning – release time to be provided for peer observations of other classes, planning and feedback
  • emails – teachers and other staff should not be expected to read or respond to emails outside normal working hours
  • release time to support teachers to achieve Proficient status should be explicit, and
  • an additional promotions position to manage accreditation, support and induction in each school.

Support staff claims

The Union’s claim on behalf of general employees includes:

  • increase in long service leave to provide parity with teachers after 10 years of service
  • review of the permanency provisions to provide greater security of employment for staff on recurring fixed term appointments
  • improved access to professional development
  • payment of an overnight allowance for staff required to attend overnight camps
  • inclusion in the EA of specific rates of pay and conditions for IT staff and boarding house staff, and
  • improved access to higher classification levels for school support staff with higher levels of skills or responsibility

Chapter support

Detailed information about the claim has been sent to members in schools – members are urged to meet to endorse and comment on the claim. Call your IEU organiser if you have any queries.