Kevin Bates
QTU President

President’s comment, 6 September 2012

Teachers united

More than 6,500 of our colleagues in 150 Catholic schools are undertaking a full-day stoppage today (6 September) as they continue to try and get a fair deal from their employers.

Gold Coast Catholic schools’ strike day is 11 September.

The Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland and Northern Territory branch (IEUA-QNT) has been bargaining on behalf of its members since February, but has been meeting obstacles similar to those facing the QTU.

Catholic teachers have received an offer of a 2.7% wage increase – which they point out is the lowest percentage increase since 1995 – but only on the condition that they accept diminished employee entitlements.

One of the most concerning claims being made against Catholic teachers is a change to their Experienced Teacher 6 (ET6) provision to allow employers to revoke an employee’s ET6 classification on yearly appraisal – with no appeal mechanism available to the employee.

Another is the requirement for employees to be subjected to directed medical assessments with no detail around procedural fairness or even the reasons for this claim.

As IEUA-QNT Secretary Terry Burke has said – it’s not just about the money, Catholic employers show no respect for staff.

IEUA-QNT members have been overwhelmingly supportive of QTU members and our EB7 campaign, with representatives at each of our three Brisbane rallies.

Senior Officers of the QTU will be addressing strike meetings today to give our full support to teachers struggling for a fair deal in the Queensland Catholic education system. (More information about the IEUA-QNT campaign is available on the QIEU website).

Kevin Bates
QTU President