Catholic school union members given nod to stop work

MORE than 7500 Catholic school union members in more than 180 schools across Queensland are authorised to stop work at the start of the school day tomorrow.

Independent Education Union of Australia - Queensland Branch Secretary Terry Burke said the action will be taken by teachers and other school staff who will not be available for work between 8.30am and 10.30am which includes scheduled classes.

"This will be the fifth time Queensland Catholic school employees have taken stop work action as their employers continue to reject serious employee concerns about increasing workloads and inequitable wages," Mr Burke said.

"Our members are committed to providing a rich school experience, but they need adequate time to focus on their core role of educating their students."

"Current Queensland Catholic school teacher workload arrangements have been the same since 1992."

Meanwhile the Queensland Catholic Education Commission has described the union's strike announcement as 'unreasonable'. 

Executive director Dr Lee-Anne Perry said the 3.25% pay increase being sought by the union is out of step with market conditions. 

Catholic schools are offering a 2.5% increase annually over three years, matching an agreement made with state schools earlier this year. 

But Mr Burke says the pay is not equitable to what teachers in comparable schools in NSW schools are paid.

"It's untenable that experienced teachers at the top automatic step in Queensland Catholic schools are currently paid $6,792 less a year simply because of their postcode," Mr Burke said.

Mr Burke said legislation does not require employees to inform their employer that they are taking the action meaning it will be the responsibility of the employers to undertake necessary provisions for the supervision of students during this time.

A further negotiating meeting would take place between employees and employers on Thursday just after the stop work action by members.


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