February - March 2015

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On the state of current politics and leadership spill talk

Simon: We cannot continue to be a country that votes parties out, rather than vote for the better party. We need a party with a clear vision, a pathway. Sadly, there is little in the way of opposition, either in this state or federally.

On current Catholic negotiations

Mary: No more going backwards IEU! You are our Union. Stick up for teachers and support staff. We are happy to play all day out in the field, but we need you to go in to bat for us. Some nifty bowling spells wouldn’t go astray either.

On Catholic underfunding in schools

Louise: Our Catholic school is bursting at the seams. Our parents are tax payers too.

On adhering to Catholic values as a Catholic school teacher

Lindy: If you don’t want to adhere to the teachings of the Catholic church, teach in the state system. Simple as that.

Stephen: thought industrial relations were about wages and working conditions. That has always been the case. But it appears that CCER wants to tell us how to live our lives. There is no place in industrial relations for that in my view. I have worked in Catholic schools since 1986 in the Parramatta Diocese. I am a Leader of Learning of 15 years in a senior Catholic college and have always supported (and modelled) the Christian ethos of the school. I am sure my colleagues would agree with that. But to insert explicit lifestyle choices into a legally binding workplace agreement? This is Stone Age stuff and needs to be treated with the contempt it deserves. No wonder the institutional church is struggling for congregations. This is the 21st Century and good people will not accept this. A ‘no’ vote on this in a workplace agreement is certain. There is nothing wrong with the Gospel values for life and work but there is a lot wrong with those who want to impose by law their lifestyle choices.

Leonie: I am a member and can see both sides of this. The concept of a Catholic school is predicated on support for the Catholic values and mission with which the church wants to evangelise the world. So there needs to be a symmetry between what is preaches and what it practices as embodied in its personnel. But teachers are entitled to privacy and freedom. Anti-discrimination prevents advertising for practicing Catholics only or firing those who do not toe the party line. There is a deep conflict here as it seems as Catholic schools cannot be faithful to their God-given mission and employ people, to be points of its delivery, whose private lives and often classroom preaching run counter to Catholic values. Unless of course it just wants to be a cheap private schooling system that operates as a business. ‘Sumthinsgottagive’.

On ACTU calls for greater working rights for mothers

Lolyta: Women’s rights are children’s rights too. I had to come back to work with a three-month old to keep my job because of no rights to negotiate. I would have given anything to buy another three months at home

Lys: All good, but it has also created a generation that can’t get a full-time permanent job because there are only part-time maternity leave positions available.