Catholic school employees to stop work tomorrow
OVER 6600 Catholic school union members in 178 schools across Queensland, including Rockhampton, are authorised to stop work from 11am until 1pm tomorrow.
Independent Education Union of Australia QLD & NT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said the action will be taken by teachers and other school staff who will not be available for work during this time which includes scheduled classes.
Mr Burke said the industrial act does not require employees to inform their employer 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.
"Taking protected action during school time is a last resort for employees but the untenable position of Queensland Catholic school employers when it comes to workload and wages has left them no choice," Mr Burke said.
"Members will no longer accept a situation where a Queensland Catholic school teacher in their ninth year of teaching earns just over $84,200 compared with the NSW rate of $91,000.
"That's currently $6,792 less a year for Queensland teachers at the top of the automatic incremental step just because of their postcode," he said.
Mr Burke said recent statements from Queensland Catholic employers had sought to confuse their employees and the community about the real wage disparity faced by Catholic teachers in the state.
"Queensland Catholic school employers have been comparing apples to oranges and giving us a lemon when it comes to the reality of teacher wages.
"Recent employer advice talks only to the highest classification currently available in Queensland and one which is not automatically accessible to teachers.
"If they were to do a comparison of this teacher classification against the highest NSW Catholic teacher classification - and not the top automatic incremental step as they have been doing - then the reality of the wage disparity between Queensland and NSW Catholic school teachers is starkly revealed," he said.
Rockhampton teacher and IEUA-QNT member Karyl Young said employees also remained concerned about the lack of care shown by the employers when it comes to addressing significant issues related to teachers' ever-increasing workloads.
"Employees' very real worries about workload must be addressed - not just because of the effect on them but because of the ultimate impact on the quality of education their students receive in Queensland Catholic schools," Ms Young said.