Teachers reject enterprise agreement after strike action
TEACHERS and support staff in Catholic schools have rejected an enterprise agreement in a ballot declared this week.
The Independent Education Union campaigned strongly against the proposed agreement, and in the end 87 per cent of participants voted "no".
It follows a series of rolling stoppages coordinated by union in November and December.
There were 15,968 teachers and support staff in 11 Catholic dioceses who voted, and a resounding 14,031 voted down the Catholic employers' non-Union EA.
At issue was the refusal to guarantee access to arbitration by the Fair Work Commission in regard to any future disputes about the EA and other agreed conditions.
The Union argued that the proposal put the rights and working conditions of staff at risk in Catholic systemic schools.
"This is a very solid result and we hope that Catholic employers are listening to the voice of their employees," said union secretary John Quessy.
"While I'm very pleased with the no vote, this is not the end of the matter and we still need to thrash out an EA which is acceptable to our members."
IEU is seeking to reopen a dialogue with Catholic employers.
"If employers have the best interests of their staff at heart, they'll return to the bargaining table to negotiate a reasonable agreement," Mr Quessy said.
"Members have shown that they are willing to take strike action, and employers should have no doubts about whether they will continue to, if their right to arbitration in particular is not upheld."
Although the dispute is not over pay, a 2.5% pay rise was settled nearly a year ago, but has yet to be paid.