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 NSW Government has agreed to a 2.5% pay rise from January in 2017, 2018 and 2019 for teachers in public schools and there is also an agreement in place in ACT public schools. The Union’s claim for teachers in NSW and the ACT reflects the increases in government schools - 2.5% each year from January in NSW and 3% in two instalments in the ACT. We are seeking a 2.5% increase for support staff.
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.
The Union will not settle our 2017 pay claim unless we have substantial progress in working conditions.
Conditions claim endorsed by members
Members have endorsed a comprehensive conditions and workload claim for teachers and support staff. 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. The claim includes workload conditions such as limits on meetings and maximum class sizes in primary and secondary schools, and work intensification issues such as unreasonable expectations that teachers answer emails outside working hours, additional release for teacher performance and development, stopping ever increasing demands by employers that teachers produce new data on their students and limiting excessive programing requirements, among other matters.
Bargaining has been extensive
The Union commenced bargaining with the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER) on behalf of the dioceses on Thursday 24 November 2016. We also met with the CCER and diocesan representatives specifically on 14 December to discuss our support staff claims. CCER has advised that the Union should discuss the teacher workloads claim and work intensification issues directly with dioceses.
The Union met with most dioceses in December and throughout January. The NSW Teachers Federation has reached agreement with the NSW government on a new three year pay deal and some other improvements in conditions. The IEU will be seeking to finalise agreements with the CCER and dioceses early in Term 1 on both the pay claims and the conditions claims.
It is now urgent that dioceses and the CCER respond to the Union claims to ensure our members get fair pay rises and achieve long overdue improvements in conditions.
Chapter support is essential
The IEU will be sending a detailed report to members in all NSW and ACT Catholic systemic schools and asking members to consider how they can best support the Union’s claims. Please do not hesitate to call your IEU organiser if you have any queries.