Thousands of Catholic school staff to stop work tomorrow

14 August, 2023

Thousands of employees across 34 Queensland Catholic schools will take protected industrial action tomorrow, Tuesday 15 August 2023.

IEU-QNT members will stop work for five-minutes from 8:30-8:35am and undertake a range of “work bans” throughout the day.

The action will take place at some of Queensland’s most prestigious Catholic schools including All Hallows’ School, Lourdes Hill College, St Joseph’s Nudgee College, St Patrick’s College (Shorncliffe) and Marist College Ashgrove (full list of all schools taking action tomorrow below).

Key issues remain unresolved

IEU-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said union members were taking protected industrial action in support of reaching an agreement in collective bargaining negotiations with Queensland Catholic school employers.

“Employers are behaving as if collective bargaining negotiations are over, despite this very clear message from their employees that there are key issues outstanding,” Mr Burke said.

“Employers have said they will soon ballot their proposal to set wages and conditions in Queensland Catholic schools for the next four years, but they have no ‘in-principle’ agreement with IEU-QNT members,” he said.

Mr Burke said IEU-QNT members could not support a proposal that leaves key bargaining issues unaddressed.

“Members are not convinced employers are addressing key issues in schools,” Mr Burke said.

“They are taking the action as part of a campaign to address the workload crisis that is seeing teachers leave the sector in droves.

“IEU-QNT members also want respect shown to their school support staff by employers paying them contemporary wages for the work they do,” he said.

Mr Burke said under the work bans on 15 August, IEU-QNT members will:
• not perform any work unless they are wearing a campaign sticker;
• not attend staff meetings (except meetings regarding student welfare);
• ban any duties or activities during scheduled meal breaks;
• ban supervision or cover periods;
• ban playground or transport supervision;
• ban any duties to comply with employer requests for data collection; and
• ban all communications outside of 8:30am to 3:30pm.

“IEU-QNT members are also authorised under the protected action to have discussions or make statements explaining why union members are taking action,” he said.

Intimidatory behaviour by employers

Mr Burke said IEU-QNT members had shown enormous determination to take protected action in the face of pressure from employers.

“The behaviour of Queensland Catholic school employers during these negotiations can only be described as intimidatory.

“They have refused to listen to employees’ concerns, discouraged union members’ protected action at every opportunity and are now trying to ballot a proposal that IEU-QNT members do not support.

“IEU-QNT members’ protected industrial action is about getting a better outcome for Catholic school staff, students and communities.

“Our union urges employers to re-consider their approach to these negotiations and return to the bargaining table with proposals to address employees’ outstanding concerns,” Mr Burke said.

Full list of the 34 schools where IEU-QNT members are taking action tomorrow:
• Albert Park Flexible Learning Centre, Brisbane
• All Hallows’ School, Brisbane
• Deception Bay Flexible Learning Centre, Deception Bay
• Gympie Flexible Learning Centre, Gympie
• Ignatius Park College, Cranbrook
• Inala Flexible Learning Centre, Inala
• Iona College, Wynnum West
• Lourdes Hill College, Hawthorne
• Marist College Ashgrove, Ashgrove
• Mount Alvernia College, Kedron
• Mt St Michael’s College, Ashgrove
• Noosa Flexible Learning Centre, Sunshine Beach
• Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School, Toowoomba
• Rockhampton Flexible Learning Centre, The Range
• St Anthony’s School, Toowoomba
• St Edmund’s College, Woodend
• St Francis De Sales School, Clifton
• St James College, Brisbane
• St Joseph’s College, Toowoomba
• St Joseph’s Nudgee College, Boondall
• St Joseph’s School, Chinchilla
• St Laurence’s College, South Brisbane
• St Mary’s College, Toowoomba
• St Mary’s School, Warwick
• St Monica’s School, Oakey
• St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe
• St Patrick’s College, Townsville
• St Patrick’s School, Allora
• St Saviour’s College, Toowoomba
• St Saviour’s Primary School, Toowoomba
• St Thomas More’s Primary School, Toowoomba
• St Ursula’s College, Toowoomba
• Stuartholme School, Toowong
• The Centre Education Programme, Kingston

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