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Community & Business

19 June, 2022

Catholic teachers strike for pay rise

In a call to be paid their worth, around 18,000 teachers and support staff across 540 Catholic diocesan schools, committed to a full day stop work industrial action last month.

By Emily Middleton

The first full-day stoppage since 2004, on May 27, teachers from St Joseph’s Catholic School gathered with peers in Dubbo to rally in support.

"At our school we endeavor to provide a quality Catholic education for all our students” said Lisa Harvey, Independent Eudation Union (IEU) representative at St Joseph’s Catholic School.

“While it was unfortunate that industrial action was needed on May 27, members felt that if we are to continue to provide the very best for our students, then the amount of paperwork, time for planning, staff shortages and fair pay needed to be addressed."

Catholic school teachers and support staff have been joining the union in support of its five key claims:

• Pay teachers what they’re worth (an increase of 10 per cent to 15 per cent over two years),

• Give support staff a fair deal (pay parity with colleagues in public sector schools),

• Let teachers teach – cut paperwork,

• Allow time to plan (two more hours release from face-to-face teaching per week),

• End staff shortages.

“Teachers and support staff are dedicated professionals who rarely take industrial action,” said IEUA NSW/ACT branch secretary Mark Northam.

“But uncompetitive salaries, unsustainable workloads and crippling staff shortages have pushed them beyond their limits.”

The IEU, which represents 32,000 teachers and support staff throughout NSW and the ACT, is eagerly awaiting the handing down of the NSW budget on June 21.

Premier Dominic Perrottet has only recently (June 6) announced a three per cet pay rise for all public sector workers, however this does not meet the IEU’s call.

“We call on all 11 dioceses to make a realistic pay offer to teachers to meet our claim of a 10 per cent to 15 per cent increase over two years,” said IEUA NSW/ACT branch president Christine Wilkinson.

“No other Catholic employer among the 11 dioceses has matched this move. “Employers need to understand how strongly our members feel about these issues.

“Salary justice and substantially better conditions are crucial.”

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