Catholic schools announce strike

Catholic schools announce strike
Thousands of Sydney teachers will stop work tomorrow after Catholic employers failed to respond to their union’s attempt to negotiate for almost a year.

The Independent Education Union (IEU) announced that the industrial action will take place tomorrow morning – a move that will impact 242 schools.

In addition to stopping work, teachers and support staff in Archdiocese of Sydney Catholic systemic schools will take to the streets to highlight their cause.

The industrial action is part of rolling stop works in schools across NSW and the ACT that will continue through to next week

The IEU says the enterprise agreement covering Catholic schools expired in December 2016, and members have yet to receive the agreed pay rise of 2.5% while they fight for their rights to arbitration.

IEUA NSW/ACT branch secretary, John Quessy, said the right of the union to take disputes to arbitration by an independent umpire was “a basic worker’s right” being denied by employers.

“We’re not sure why they are singling out Catholic schools in NSW and the ACT. Without the right to arbitration, enterprise agreements are compromised,” he said.

“While we are loathe to take any action which disturbs students’ education, it’s crucial that employers cannot stop the Union seeking a hearing at the Fair Work Commission.”

Quessy said it was “rather ironic” that the union is having a long-running dispute to “fight for the right to resolve disputes quickly and fairly”.

The stop work will begin at the start of duties and finish at 12.30pm. Only members covered by Protected Action Orders will participate in the action.

Related stories:
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Teachers set to strike over workloads