Catholic independent schools:

New agreement wins for teachers and support staff

New multi enterprise agreements will bring favourable outcomes for teachers and support staff in 35 Catholic independent schools.

Salary models

These separate agreements for teachers fall into one of three categories depending on the salary model being adopted: Models A, B or C. Similarly, support and operational staff agreements fall into either Model A, B or C, although the salary outcomes are identical in all categories for support staff.

Schools which follow the AIS (Australian Independent Schools) Standards (three Band) Model known as Model A will have a four year agreement: 2017 to 2020 with salary increases of 2.3% in February 2017; 2.5% in 2018; 2.5% in 2019 and 2.5% in 2020.

IEU considers this a reasonable outcome in current low inflationary economic conditions. Support staff in Model A schools will also receive increases of a minimum 2.5% in each year of this four year period along with higher increases for some classifications of employees, notably maintenance and outdoor staff and nurses.

Although it has a stand alone enterprise agreement, Santa Sabina College has also adopted the Model A structure and salary outcome for its staff.

About 10 schools now known as Model C have been traditionally aligned with outcomes in the government and Catholic systemic sectors and have adopted a three year agreement with salary increases of 2.5% from 1 January 2017, 2018 and 2019. There is a further important change to the salary structure which establishes a modified Standards model similar to that adopted in government or systemic schools which recognises levels of teacher accreditation for Graduate, Proficient (five steps) and Highly Accomplished Teacher (HAT).

Transitional arrangements will apply in 2017 for existing teachers to transfer to the new scale. Annual percentage increases also apply to coordinator and assistant principal rates and to casual rates. Support staff will receive increases of at least 2.5% per annum over the three year agreement.

The Model B Agreement similarly introduces a revised Standards structure and will apply to schools which have traditionally set salary rates at levels between the two described above, including the EREA/Christian Brothers schools and other schools which have retained an ST1 salary classification for many years.

IEU successfully negotiated improved salary rates at the new Graduate level and ensured more favourable outcomes for current teachers with Senior Teacher 1 (ST1) classification and for those who would have had access to ST1 in future years. The minimum top rate in Model B schools from February 2017 is $101,848 per annum with some schools including St Augustine’s College Brookvale, Chevalier College Bowral, Rosebank College Five Dock and St Mary’s Star of the Sea Wollongong maintaining a higher rate for current ST1s. Higher Step 13 rates apply to St Patrick’s College Campbelltown and St Augustine’s Brookvale.

In all Model B schools the annual percentage increases are 2.3% in 2017, 2.5% in 2018 and 2.5% in 2019. The three year agreement for support staff provides for a 2.5% increase in salary and allowance rates per annum during the life of the agreement.

Personal/carer’s leave

The Union had anticipated that Catholic employers would seek to include the same changes for sick and personal/carer’s leave for teachers which have been introduced as a package of measures in Catholic systemic schools and many AIS independent schools in recent times.

However, in this round they have not sought to change the existing arrangements for teachers covered by these agreements. The Union successfully sought a small change around evidence of illness requirements changing from after the first two days of absence to following the first three days of absence in a year. Registered health practitioners are now able to provide evidence as well as doctors. Support staff will also be able to provide evidence of illness from registered health practitioners.

Other issues

The Union successfully sought changed wording to enhance the provision of support and mentoring for Graduate teachers in gaining accreditation at Proficient status and to create more certainty around timeframes while undertaking this process. Individual school chapters assisted by Reps and organisers will continue to pursue relevant issues such as establishing email and communications protocols, teacher performance and development structures and models, professional development requirements and the like over the coming years.

The IEU would like to thank all its members who are working in Catholic independent schools for their support in achieving these new MEAs.

Liam Griffiths
Assistant Secretary