Work bans start at St Joseph’s as part of industrial action
MORE than 7000 Queensland teachers and support staff from 195 Catholic schools have commenced work bans after failing to negotiate with employers over workload and wage parity.
This will include banning staff meeting attendance, duties during scheduled meal breaks, supervision lessons or cover periods, playground/transport supervision (with the exception of real safety risks for students) and employer requests for data collection or analysis.
A teacher strike has been avoided after a meeting between the Independent Education Union of Australia and Catholic school employers but the work bans would go ahead.
St Joseph’s Stanthorpe principal Andrew Kendall said while they will participate in the action, it won’t be to the detriment of students.
“This action is part of negotiations towards an enhanced Enterprise Bargaining Agreement and may range from withdrawal from attendance at staff meetings and other partial work bans,” Mr Kendall said.
“However, it does not involve strike action.
“The education and wellbeing of students remains the primary concern of all schools.
“The industrial action is not expected to interfere with classroom teaching at this stage and
alternative arrangements will be put in place should that be necessary.”
He said the school would notify parents if anything was to change.
“Negotiations with the union will continue in good faith with the goal of reaching a
resolution in the near future,” he said.
Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland and Northern Territory Branch Secretary Terry Burke said while they’ve had some positive discussions, critical employee concerns regarding workload and maintaining wage parity with the state sector remain unresolved.
“Our members are ready to resolve the negotiations and as such have tabled a further position which would address these remaining critical employee concerns.
“The onus is now on the employers to finalise these negotiations and until they do so, the work bans authorised to take place in 195 Queensland Catholic schools will continue.”
Mr Burke said strike action could not be ruled out at this stage.
“Taking strike action is an absolute last resort for employees and would only be the result of the failure of Queensland Catholic school employers to address these remaining, significant staff concerns.”
A further negotiation meeting with Queensland Catholic school employers is scheduled for Wednesday, November 27.