Gympie’s Catholic teachers in 30-minute stop work action
STRIKE action in the form of a 30-minute stop work will be undertaken at Gympie’s three Cathoolic schools from 9am next Tuesday.
A statement from the Independent Education Union says Gympie schools involved are St Patrick’s College, St Patrick’s Primary School and the Flexible Learning Centre.
More than 7000 Queensland Catholic school teachers and support staff from 197 Catholic schools are authorised to take the strike action as part of protected industrial action for better conditions, including job security.
This is in addition to a range of work bans now authorised in these schools and which remain ongoing across Queensland, including banning attendance at meetings, supervisions and employer requests for data.
The Union statement said the strike action comes after the failure of Queensland Catholic school employers’ to put in place meaningful interventions to deal with the work intensification faced by teachers as well as the employers’ rejection of a one-off payment of $1250 to all staff which is critical to maintaining wage parity with the state sector.
IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said members across the state were “feeling the professional and personal impacts of workload and work intensification and yet the employer has no plan to deal with this insidious issue”.
“We are talking about the health and well-being of our teachers and school support staff – without a plan to care for them the employers are putting the future of quality education in our schools at significant risk,” Mr Burke said.
“At the same time, the employers effectively want to throw out the window a 30-year commitment to show professional respect to their staff, through professional rates of pay.
“Maintaining wage parity with the state sector is critical as the one-off payment of $1250 is part of the wage outcome in that sector just as much as the percentage increases.
“Given this, our union has said explicitly to the employers that we are open to the timing and nature of the payment.
“However, until the employers agree to make this payment and put in place meaningful interventions to deal with the work intensification faced by the staff in their schools, IEUA-QNT members across the state will continue their protected industrial action,” he said.
Mr Burke said taking any strike action was an absolute last resort for employees, but the failure of Queensland Catholic school employers to deal with these significant issues for school staff had left them no choice.
“Our members remain ready to resolve these matters and are happy to meet with the employers every day until we do – we’re concerned with an apparent lack of urgency on the part of the employers despite the significance of these issues for their employees and the future of Queensland Catholic schools,” Mr Burke said.
IEUA-QNT represents more than 17,000 education professionals across Queensland and the Northern Territory. www.qieu.asn.au