reps and members update - IEU NSW/ACT Independent Education

Daramalan College, Marist College and St Edmund’s College
19 March 2015
As members would be aware, the Union has engaged in negotiations with the Catholic
Commission for Employment Relations (CCER) since mid 2014 for a new multi-enterprise
agreement (MEA) to apply to teachers in the three ACT Catholic Congregational schools,
Daramalan College, Marist College and St Edmund’s College.
After consultation with members, the Union agreed in late 2014 to modest pay increases:
2.1% increase from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2014
2.25% increase from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2015
2.5% increase from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2016.
The last pay rise received by teachers was in July 2013.
The schools had previously sought to reduce sick leave accrual, so that it accrued throughout the
year rather than at the commencement of each year of service. This proposed change was
withdrawn by schools in February this year, following strong opposition by members to the
The only issue now outstanding is the current desire of the schools that a new ethos provision be
included in the proposed multi-enterprise agreement. There is no such provision in the three
current enterprise agreements and this issue was raised by the CCER for the first time on 28
November. We immediately advised the CCER that our members were concerned about this
change and we would need to consult with them about the inclusion of such a provision.
On 6 February 2015, the CCER advised the Union that the inclusion of such a provision is a “key
threshold issue for Catholic employers in both Diocesan and Independent Catholic Schools”. The
Union offered on 5 February, 10 February, 3 March and as recently as 16 March 2015 to meet with
the principals of the three schools together with our Union Reps in an attempt to resolve this
issue. The CCER has not agreed to any request for a meeting. However on 18 March, in response
to a Union letter of 16 March, the CCER wrote to the Union proposing a different version of the
ethos clause:
Role of Employees
Employees are required to support this mission, and the teachings and ethos of the Catholic
Church’s work in schools. This requires that they:
a) Acknowledge and accept that their work in Schools is part of the mission of the Catholic
b) Agree in the performance of their role to uphold the mission, teachings and ethos of the
Catholic Church in Catholic Education.
c) Will avoid any influence on students that is not consistent with such mission, teachings or
This clause does not intend to prescribe every aspect of the role of employees relating to the
mission, teachings and ethos of the Catholic Church. Nothing in this Agreement prevents an
employer specifying other terms relating to the mission, teaching and ethos of the Catholic
Church in contracts of employment, policies or guidelines.
The Union considers this clause is totally unacceptable because it commits employees whilst
leaving schools at liberty to impose more onerous requirements outside the Agreement. Such
one-sided provisions are unprecedented in agreements negotiated by the Union.
The Union requests that Reps call a Chapter meeting of teacher members to inform members of
this disappointing development in the negotiations. The Union cannot continue to support the
making of the Multi-Enterprise Agreement with the inclusion of such a clause.
The Union is instead seeking endorsement from members for the making of a single enterprise
agreement for each school, with content similar to the proposed MEA but without the ethos
clause. This approach will permit the Union to seek to commence good faith bargaining with each
school and if necessary, notify a bargaining dispute to the Fair Work Commission to obtain the
assistance of the Commission in finalising such an agreement. If this is unsuccessful in resolving
the dispute, the Union could, on behalf of members, commence the steps for members to take
protected industrial action. The Union is requesting that Reps organise this meeting of teacher
members ASAP and no later than Friday 27 March.
Proposed Motions:
This Chapter of
expresses our dismay at the
recent proposal by schools of an unacceptable ethos clause in the proposed MEA and the
ongoing delay in pay rises. This meeting calls on our principal to immediately withdraw this
Further this Chapter authorises the Union to take all steps necessary to secure our terms and
conditions, including withdrawing from the proposed MEA. If this matter cannot be resolved by
other means, the Chapter expresses our willingness to take protected industrial action.
Please fax or email the results of these motions to the IEU Canberra office by FRIDAY 27 MARCH
(Fax 6273 3710 or email [email protected]). Please do not hesitate to call your IEU Organiser for
more information.
Authorised by John Quessy, General Secretary, Independent Education Union NSW/ACT
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