More industrial action on the cards
Members in all Catholic systemic schools in NSW and the ACT have received correspondence from the Union urging them to vote ‘no’ to an employer Enterprise Agreement(EA) that has not been approved by the IEU.
The Union understands that it is now the Catholic employers’ intention to commence the EA ballot on orabout 5 December.
The Catholic Commission of Employment Relations(CCER) has refused to negotiate with the Union on the issue of arbitration despite overtures on our part to settle this dispute.
The IEU has reviewed the last employer EA draft and we continue to have significant concerns about technical errors and serious problems with the content.
Many of the dioceses are in a sudden rush to recommence and finalise Work Practice Agreements(WPAs). While we are seeing some progress, outstanding matters remain in most dioceses.
In any case, without the right to arbitration, the EA will be more difficult to enforce and WPAs will be impossible to enforce.
New Protected Action Ballots
As this Newsmonth goes to print, 110 Catholic systemic schools will be voting on the re-ballot for protected action. Most of these schools missed attaining the 50% required participation rate, although a strong majority of members voted ‘yes’ in the ballot. This occurred largely due to problems in the postal ballot. Some members never received their ballot papers and others received them too late. The re-ballot is electronic and hopefully will involve a more manageable voting process for members. Once successful, these schools will be the next group to roll out industrial action, including stop work.
The Union again urges Catholic employers to back pay members prior to the end of this school year and to meet with the Union to resolve outstanding matters including arbitration.
The IEU congratulates the many members who were able to participate in the recent morning stop work, rallies and marches that are highlighted in these pages of Newsmonth.