Schools unhappy with teacher ‘stimulus’ payment
UNION demands for a one-off payment for Queensland's Catholic school teachers could cost employers up to $25 million.
Work bans are in place across almost 200 Queensland schools, after negotiations over a new enterprise bargaining agreement between the Independent Education Union of Australia and employers were unsuccessful last week.
The union has sought a wage deal which would include a $1250 one-off payment to match that set to be received by teachers and school staff in public schools.
Queensland and Northern Territory branch secretary Terry Burke said the payment was "fundamental" to maintain wage parity with the state sector.
"Our union has said explicitly to the employers that we are open to the way in which they make the payment and the time it takes them to make this payment," he said.
"However, without the payment, employers are effectively throwing out the window a 30-year commitment to show professional respect to their staff, through professional rates of pay."
With about 20,000 staff - including 12,000 teachers - in the Catholic education sector in Queensland, it would cost employers at least an extra $15 million and as high as $25 million to their wage bill.
Catholic school employers have argued the one-off payment was "akin to a government stimulus payment", rather than wages, and it was not reasonable or appropriate for Catholic employers to commit to the same payment.
Brisbane Catholic Education communications manager John Phelan said schools were managing the work bans - which include union members not attending staff meetings, or performing certain duties such as playground supervision - and that there had been no impacts on student learning or safety.
Mr Burke said until the payment, along with interventions to deal with workloads, were put in place, protected industrial action would continue.
The next negotiation meeting between the union and Catholic school employers is scheduled for November 27.