Negotiations underway for new agreements in Catholic independent schools

Negotiations are underway for new agreements for teachers and support staff in NSW Catholic independent schools (CIS). Meetings commenced late last year and employers have recently provided pay offers for the range of schools or groups of schools in the Catholic independent sector. The Union is currently meeting with IEU Chapters to discuss the proposals relevant to each school.

The employers seek to move all schools under one agreement for teachers and one for support and operational staff. Currently there are a number of agreements that apply to teachers in different lists of schools. Pay rates vary, but almost all share identical conditions.

Unlike the approach of the Catholic employers to negotiations for Catholic systemic schools, CIS employers have indicated their wish to maintain conditions and move rapidly (by the end of March) to finalise agreements.

Negotiations were difficult with the Association of Independent Schools (AIS) and have been highly contentious in the Catholic systemic sector. The Union acknowledges the more cooperative approach in current discussions with Catholic independent schools.

Pay increases

Employers have proposed different pay increases for teachers in different schools, based on their current rates. Schools with pay rates currently reflecting those paid in AIS schools, for example, have offered pay increases in line with recent Multi-Enterprise Agreements (MEAs), that have been made across the independent school sector.

Some schools are seeking to shift their alignments and this will deliver greater salary increases. This is the case for schools with proposals to move to the AIS ‘Standards’ or ‘3 Band’ model for the first time.

List D schools, except for St Gregory’s College, Campbelltown and Oakhill College have offered 2.27% in 2015 and 2.5% in 2016, in line with increases that apply in government schools and those offered in Catholic systemic schools.

In the case of St Gregory’s and Oakhill, the Union has persistently pressed for outcomes more in line with like Catholic independent schools. Members may remember the longstanding dispute at St Gregory’s College.

The Union now welcomes the proposed increases for these schools.

Support and operational staff

The current offer for support and operational staff is a 2.25% pay rise in 2015 with a .25% one-off superannuation payment and a 2.3% salary increase in 2016 with a 0.2% one-off payment. The Union has concerns about various classifications and proposed increases. We have also sought the inclusion of IT staff in the agreement.

What’s next?

Further negotiations have been scheduled to deal with employer proposals and the Union claim. The Union is seeking meetings in all schools to discuss employer proposals and to consider the pay offers that apply to each school.

The Union is eager to resolve all matters as soon as possible so that backdated pay rises can occur. If your Chapter has yet to meet or you wish to discuss these issues, please contact your Organiser.

Gloria Taylor
Deputy Secretary