Cuts to working conditions: teachers vote 'no'
An employer attempt to cut working conditions has seen staff vote ‘no’ in 300 Catholic schools across Queensland, according to the IEU.
Queensland Catholic school employees in Religious Institute schools recently approved an enterprise bargaining offer which secured an 8.75% increase in payments in 2023, including wage and superannuation increases as well as cost of living support.
However, employees in Diocesan schools have not supported the new terms of their proposed agreement, with 51% of voters rejecting the agreement.
Independent Education Union – Queensland and Northern Territory (IEU-QNT) Branch Secretary Terry Burke said employees had sent a clear message to their employers.
“Queensland Catholic school employees in the five Dioceses (Brisbane, Cairns, Rockhampton, Toowoomba and Townsville) have voted to stop the cuts to their current rights at work,” Burke said.
“These employees have also voted to make it clear to their employers that they must hear our voice on the critical issues facing staff in Queensland Catholic schools.
“Employees want action from their employers on unsustainable workloads.
“Employees also want their employers to provide wage justice through a contemporary wage scale for school support staff,” he said.
These employers are now entitled to make application to have the agreement approved by the Fair Work Commission; it would come into operation seven days following the Commission’s approval.
“While the result is disappointing for Diocesan schools after months of negotiations, employers intend to have further discussions with the IEU-QNT in October,” said a spokesperson for Queensland Catholic Education Commission (QCEC).
“The union distributed misleading information to employees about the terms of the proposed agreement as part of their ‘vote no’ campaign.
“Employers of Religious Institute schools will now make application to the Fair Work Commission to have the agreement formally approved so that benefits can flow to employees as soon as possible.”
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