Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Strike action possible for Wide Bay Catholic schools as work bans commence next week

Over 7000 Catholic school teachers and support staff from 195 Catholic schools across Queensland have voted to take protected industrial action – including the ability to strike.

Across the Wide Bay region, hundreds of teachers and support staff from 10 Catholic schools (see list below) are authorised to take the action.

The move comes following the failure of Queensland Catholic school employers to address concerns regarding workload, insecure work and wage parity with the state sector.

As a result, protected industrial action in the form of work bans will commence from Thursday, 7 November 2019 in the authorised schools.

These work bans will take the form of:

  • Banning attendance at any meeting of staff (except meetings regarding student welfare, and staff and student safety).
  • Banning duties during scheduled meal breaks.
  • Banning supervision lessons or cover periods.
  • Banning playground/transport supervision (with the exception of real safety risks for students).
  • Banning employer requests for data collection or analysis.

Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland and Northern Territory (IEUA-QNT) Branch Secretary Terry Burke said the protected action had been endorsed by 90% of members who voted.

Mr Burke said despite negotiations starting in March this year, Queensland Catholic school employers had failed to listen to the voice of employees when it came to:

  • Real measures to address the workload and work intensification faced by teachers in Queensland Catholic schools.
  • The wide-spread prevalence and impact (both professionally and personally) of insecure, contract-based work for both teachers and school support staff in the sector.
  • The need to maintain the 30-year wage parity Queensland Catholic schools have had with the Queensland state sector through the provision of a $1250 one-off payment to all school staff.

Mr Burke said while taking protected action was an absolute last resort for employees, the failure of Queensland Catholic employers to address these significant staff concerns had left them no choice.

In February 2016, thousands of IEUA-QNT members in Queensland Catholic Schools took a one-day strike as part of protected industrial action in similar circumstances.

Mr Burke said members taking similar strike action before the end of this year was possible should Queensland Catholic employers continue their untenable position.

“Queensland Catholic employers have the opportunity to resolve these matters at a meeting next Wednesday (6 November 2019) and prevent any protected action from taking place,” Mr Burke said.

“IEUA-QNT members are hoping the employers will take this opportunity to listen to the voice of their employees when it comes to protecting quality education in Queensland Catholic schools,” he said.

The full list of 195 Queensland Catholic schools authorised to take the protected action is available here.

The 10 Wide Bay region Catholic Schools authorised to take the protected action:

Shalom College (Bundaberg)

St Joseph's School (Childers)

St Joseph's School (Gayndah)

St Mary's Catholic College (Kingaroy)

St Mary's Catholic Primary School (South Bundaberg)

St Mary's College (Maryborough)

St Mary's Primary School (Maryborough)

St Patrick's Catholic School (Bundaberg West)

St Patrick's Primary School (Nanango)

Xavier Catholic College (Eli Waters)

About

IEUA-QNT represents more than 17,000 education professionals across Queensland and the Northern Territory. www.qieu.asn.au

(ENDS)

Contact Details

For further information or interviews contact:
Laura Wise, IEUA-QNT Communications Manager via 0419 653 131 or lwise@qieu.asn.au

Disclaimer: ConnectWeb and AAP Directories, a division of Australian Associated Press are not responsible for the content of this Media Release