In what is a first for the IEU, Al Noori Muslim School Greenacre has refused entry to an IEU officer seeking discussions with members.
After multiple reports from members, the IEU notified school management of the intention to visit the primary campus of Al Noori on 11 April.
School management refused entry via an anonymous email account identifiable only as ‘Human Resources’.
According to members, this is the same email used to communicate with staff regarding employment issues.
In order for the visit to proceed, the IEU sought to activate right-of-entry under section 484 of the Fair Work Act, enabling the organiser to enter the premise for the purpose of holding discussions with one or more employees.
Notification was sent to the school with the appropriate notice period of 24 hours.
On the morning of 11 April, the IEU organiser was refused entry by an unknown man purporting to be security.
The organiser subsequently advised the school that the IEU would be forced to explore options of enforcement, which could include notifying the Fair Work Ombudsman for investigation, lodging with the Fair Work Commission, and/or lodging with the Federal Court, and that fines of up to $6,600 apply to the school or individuals for each refusal of legitimate entry.
The IEU again sought entry to the meal or break area of the primary campus of Al Noori on 10 May.
The school again said IEU entry was “non compliant” but ironically the “school will allow you entry as it is very transparent and has nothing to hide”.
The IEU organiser entered the primary campus of Al Noori on the morning of 10 May and was subsequently escorted by security personnel to the primary library.
The organiser was asked to remain in the library. Security then remained at or near the entry of the library in what appeared to be a tactic of intimidation towards staff seeking to meet with the organiser.
Staff contacted the organiser electronically and were excited by the Union’s success getting into the school, but also distressed at the tactics of the employer.
These tactics have ironically caused increased interest in Union activity among staff at the school.
The IEU is in contact with members and all staff via email and will be returning to the school and enforcing the right to enter the meal or break area following the end of Ramadan and Eid festivities.