Six thousand teachers prepare to strike

More than six thousand members of the Independent Education Union have voted in favour of two days of industrial action following ballots across Queensland.

The action will affect 173 schools and follows a breakdown in talks between the IEU and Queensland Catholic school employers. The union says that the employers have failed to listen to its members’ concerns over working rights and conditions.
The three issues at the centre of the action according to the union are:
  • Queensland Catholic school teachers at the top step of the automatic scale currently receive $6,792 less per year than their equivalent counterparts in a NSW Catholic Diocesan school.
  • Queensland Catholic secondary school teachers have not received one additional minute of planning, preparation and correction time (PPCT) in 23 years.
  • Term time school officers in Queensland Catholic schools are denied four (4) weeks paid annual leave in line with the community standard and their counterparts in interstate Catholic schools.
However Dr Lee-Anne Perry, Queensland Catholic Education Commission executive director says that a 2.5 per cent pay increase was recently offered by the employers, which was rejected by the union. She told The Queensland Times "We believe this is a fair and responsible increase taking into account current market conditions, including the capacity of families to pay school fees.”

Brisbane teacher Andrew Elphinstone said it was time for the employers to recognise employees’ legitimate concerns, respect their professionalism and reward their contribution to the quality of education in Queensland Catholic schools. “Queensland Catholic school employees are being asked to do more with less,” he said.

The action will take place next Wednesday (16th Sept.) for 30 minutes and Thursday (17th Sept.) for one hour, at the end of the school day.