Join the campaign

Carol Matthews
Assistant Secretary

The current enterprise agreement (EA) for teachers and support staff in NSW and ACT Catholic systemic schools has a nominal expiry date at the end of 2016.

The Union has claimed a minimum 2.5% pay rise for NSW teachers and NSW and ACT general employees on 1 January 2017. We are seeking 3% for teachers in the ACT, in line with the 1.5% in April and 1.5% in October that teachers in ACT government schools will receive.

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

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

The Union will not settle our 2017 pay claim unless we have substantial progress in working conditions.

Conditions claim

Members have endorsed a comprehensive conditions and workload claim for teachers and added some additional comments. In particular, members have referred to secondary practical class sizes, the conditions of VET teachers and strong support for the teacher/librarian role. In some dioceses elements of the claim are already established in work practice agreements, in other dioceses there is further to go in order to achieve these basic protections.

Support staff have raised the creation of a new Level 6 role in regional schools below 400 students (currently a Level 5 position outside the metropolitan area).

The original claim endorsed by the Union’s AGM in October has been circulated to all schools and is available on the Union’s website.


Notices of Employee Representational Rights were circulated by dioceses on 21 November. Our first bargaining meeting with the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER) on behalf of the dioceses was on 24 November 2016.

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.

The Union had sought meetings with diocesan directors, given their closer knowledge of staffing and work practice conditions applying in schools, to discuss our working conditions claim. Following a direction from CCER, directors cancelled the scheduled meetings but the Union is hopeful that the meetings can be rescheduled shortly.

The Union will be keeping members regularly updated on the progress of bargaining.

Media reports suggest that bargaining is well underway in government schools between the NSW Teachers Federation and the NSW Department of Education and Communities. The Union will be seeking to make substantial progress before the end of the year and at the start of 2017 to ensure our members do not lag behind.

Chapter support

If your Chapter has not already met and voted on the Union’s claim, please do so as soon as possible. Detailed information about the claim has been sent to members in every school. Call your Union organiser if you have any queries.