Win for casual teachers

I’m so glad the Union was able to resolve it so quickly. It’s a fantastic outcome.

Long term casual teacher Robin Bell-Griffin said it was a real shock when she received a pay cut that took her back to new graduate level salary.

The pay cut happened under the new Catholic systemic enterprise agreement, which said casuals who did not have accreditation at Proficient would be paid at a lower rate.

The change affected quite a number of casual teachers: about 70 in the Parramatta Diocese alone.

Thanks to swift action by the Union, the issue has been rectified and no casual teachers will be worse off.

Robin has been teaching since 1999, always as a casual, and in 2004 she took a break to have her three children.

“I have been a casual on appointments and blocks for the flexibility it gives me with my family commitments.”

As a result she “slipped though the net” and has been trying to get her accreditation done for the last four years.

“In that time I’ve expanding my subject areas, by doing extra study at UNE Armidale online.”

Robin felt the pay change was done “very quietly’ by the Catholic Schools Office, and when she realised the significance of it, she contacted the Union.

“They told me they had already started negotiations on this one, and that they wanted to ensure no one should be made worse off by the changes.”

The Union took the dispute with Catholic employers to the Fair Work Commission, with a settlement reached quickly (details see page 3).

“This has been a big thing for me. If it weren’t for the Union taking action it would have had a serious affect on a lot of casual teachers.

“The Union was conscientious, quick and efficient.

“I’ve never heard of anybody being dropped down to a lower level of pay, to levels as if they were fresh out of uni.

“It’s unfair for someone in my situation who has worked so hard, has postgrad qualifications, has expanded my subject areas and been teaching for so long.

“I’m so glad the Union was able to resolve it so quickly. It’s a fantastic outcome.”

Sue Osborne