The biggest attack in 20 years on Catholic school teachers and support staff working conditions has been slammed by the union representing these employees.
Independent Education Union – Queensland and Northern Territory (IEU-QNT) Branch Secretary Terry Burke said Queensland Catholic school employers were seeking to ballot employees on a document that cuts many long-held working conditions.
The move comes despite recent statewide strike action by over 4000 IEU-QNT members in over 100 Queensland Catholic schools.
“Members took the strike action because the employers had failed to hear their voice on the critical matters currently faced by teachers and school support staff in Catholic schools,” Mr Burke said.
“Now, not only do the Catholic employers want to close their ears to the problems but their response has been to seek to punish staff with an agreement that actively cuts working conditions.
“It’s an unprecedented and genuinely shameful move by Queensland Catholic school employers.
“We are not aware of any other Catholic school employer in Australia taking such punitive action against their staff by seeking to strip current working conditions.
“At the same time, the employers are telling their staff they will not receive any back pay unless they vote ‘yes’ to the proposed document.
“Such threats and intimidation are rarely seen in the corporate sector – let alone by Catholic Church employers.
“If they are treating staff this way, the very people who are front and centre of a student’s school journey – we question what this is saying to parents of Queensland Catholic school children about the employers’ concern for their staff.
“We are calling on the employers to withdraw the proposed document and return to the negotiating table.
“If not, IEU members will be voting ‘NO’ to this flawed and incomplete document, voting ‘NO’ to any cuts to current working conditions and voting ‘NO’ to threats and intimidation by employers that purport to value the working rights of their employees,” Mr Burke said.
The Independent Education Union – Queensland and Northern Territory (IEU-QNT) represents more than 17,000 teachers, school support staff, principals, early childhood education and VET and RTO employees across Queensland and the Northern Territory. www.ieuqnt.org.au
Laura Wise, IEU-QNT Communications Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org / 0419 653 131