The current enterprise agreement (EA) for teachers and support staff in NSW and ACT Catholic systemic schools has a nominal expiry date at the end of 2016.
The Union has claimed a minimum 2.5% pay rise for NSW teachers and NSW and ACT general employees on 1 January 2017. We are seeking 3% for teachers in the ACT, in line with the 1.5% in April and 1.5% in October that teachers in ACT government schools will receive.
A key focus of our claim is the protection and improvement of working conditions, which are central to the working lives of our members.
Members will recall that in the last bargaining round (2014-2015) the dioceses tried to remove existing protections of working conditions, whether contained in an enterprise agreement or diocesan workload agreements. Members strongly opposed these changes and as a result of a protracted industrial campaign we were able to maintain and improve existing conditions.
The Union will not settle our 2017 pay claim unless we have substantial progress in working conditions.
Members have endorsed a comprehensive conditions and workload claim for teachers and added some additional comments. In particular, members have referred to secondary practical class sizes, the conditions of VET teachers and strong support for the teacher/librarian role. In some dioceses elements of the claim are already established in work practice agreements, in other dioceses there is further to go in order to achieve these basic protections.
Support staff have raised the creation of a new Level 6 role in regional schools below 400 students (currently a Level 5 position outside the metropolitan area).
The original claim endorsed by the Union’s AGM in October has been circulated to all schools and is available on the Union’s website.
Notices of Employee Representational Rights were circulated by dioceses on 21 November. Our first bargaining meeting with the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER) on behalf of the dioceses was on 24 November 2016.