FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Queensland Catholic school employers become first in Australia to threaten lockout of staff
7000 teachers and support staff would be locked out creating chaos for Catholic schools across the state
Over 7000 teachers and school support staff could be locked out of their schools indefinitely if Queensland Catholic school employers enact their threat made last Friday (22 November 2019) – creating chaos for the operation of Catholic schools across the state.
Under industrial legislation, locking out an employee means they would need to immediately leave the school site – effectively removing over 7000 teachers and school staff from their classrooms and onto the street.
Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland and Northern Territory (IEUA-QNT) Branch Secretary Terry Burke said Queensland Catholic school employers have become the first Catholic school employer in Australia to threaten to lockout their teachers and support staff.
“Queensland Catholic school employers have now resorted to threats and bullying tactics in an effort to force an outcome regarding current collective bargaining negotiations,” Mr Burke said.
“That threat is to lockout staff – meaning they would be denied entry to school sites and prohibited from doing any work on school grounds,” he said.
Mr Burke said Queensland Catholic school employers had issued the threat last Friday (22 November 2019) as part of a 'take it or leave it' offer to their employees in regard to a new agreement.
“Employers have said that should school staff fail to stop the work bans they are currently undertaking as part of legal protected industrial action by 5pm on Wednesday, 27 November 2019, then employees continuing to undertake the work bans (which include banning attendance at meetings, supervisions and employer requests for data) would be locked out from Friday, 29 November 2019,” he said.
Mr Burke said Queensland Catholic school employers would forever have the infamy and shame of being the first Catholic education employer in Australia to threaten a lockout of their employees for taking legally authorised protected action.
“IEUA-QNT members are shocked by the threatening behaviour of their employer in a school environment where bullying and threats are not only not condoned but explicitly prohibited,” he said.
“That Queensland Catholic school employers would resort to such shameful tactics goes against the very ethos of what a Catholic school represents.
“IEUA-QNT members are urgently meeting today (25 November 2019) and tomorrow (26 November 2019) to discuss their response to the employers’ threatening and offensive offer.
“As teachers and school professionals, they know bullying behaviour and threats of harm cannot be ignored – and just like in our schools, in the face of bullying a measured and considered response is appropriate.
“That Queensland Catholic school employers would resort to such threats and intimidation clearly shows they have run out of ideas and that they are inept and incapable of identifying real responses to employee concerns over workload and wage parity.
“Employees for their part do have meaningful and considered proposals to resolve the negotiations and the employers need to listen to their employees’ measured consideration regarding solutions to address these critical issues,” Mr Burke said.
The full list of 196 Queensland Catholic schools authorised to take protected industrial action is available here.
IEUA-QNT represents more than 17,000 education professionals across Queensland and the Northern Territory. www.qieu.asn.au
For further information or interviews contact:
Laura Wise, IEUA-QNT Communications Manager via 0419 653 131 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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