Teachers strikes at Marist Emerald, St Joseph's Clermont

INDUSTRIAL action over pay disputes will be carried out at the Marist College Emerald, and at Clermont's St Joseph's Catholic Primary School.

The proposed industrial action includes two scheduled work stoppages one on Wednesday, September 16 for half an hour at the end of the school day and one on Thursday, September 17 for one hour at the end of the school day.  

Catholic Education Director, Leesa Jeffcoat, said that parents in all schools will be advised via letter, email, school newsletters and websites of arrangements being made in their respective schools.  

"Arrangements may vary from school to school and within regions but we are confident there will be sufficient supervision for students to minimise, as much as is possible, disruption to students' learning" Miss Jeffcoat said.  

Miss Jeffcoat said that Catholic Education in this Diocese has wonderfully gifted and dedicated teachers and she highly values and deeply appreciates the outstanding contribution they make to provide a quality, faith based education for each and every student enrolled in Catholic schools.  

"I am absolutely committed to ensuring that our teachers and all our staff in Catholic schools are fairly and justly remunerated for their professionalism and commitment.

"We have been negotiating in good faith with the Independent Education Union for some five months now and we have listened with great respect to their advocacy on behalf of their members."  

The strike action stems from the Independent Education Union rejecting a 2.5% wage increase.

Miss Jeffcoat said that Catholic Education had offered teachers and staff the wage increase but but it had been rejected by the Union.

She said that it is worth noting that state school teachers have from September 1 received a 2.5% wage increase (pro-rata over the next 10 months).  

"We believe that the 2.5% wage increase offer made by Catholic Education to staff is fair and responsible in the current economic climate and takes into consideration the capacity of families to pay school fees whilst at the same time appropriately recognizing and rewarding staff for their professionalism and their significant and much appreciated contribution to the ministry of Catholic Education" Miss Jeffcoat said.  

"I completely respect the right of staff to take this industrial action and they can be assured that we will continue to negotiate with the Union in the sincere hope that a resolution acceptable to all can be reached in the very near future.

"This will allow for back pay to be paid and for other outcomes already agreed to as a result of the negotiations thus far to be put in place" Miss Jeffcoat said.  

"Parents can be assured that Catholic Education will be doing all it can to minimise the impact of this industrial action on students and families and we are grateful for their understanding and cooperation. I encourage parents to contact their respective Catholic Schools for further

"I encourage parents to contact their respective catholic schools for further information."   

Parents have been advised the action ranges from staff members not attending staff meetings to one-hour work stoppages on the two days from 2.45pm and 2.30pm respectively at the Marist College Emerald.   Students will remain supervised.  

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