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Schools and staff on verge of agreement

"The in-principle agreement is a fair outcome for our staff who provide outstanding learning opportunities for young Queenslanders in Catholic schools."

Catholic school employers and employees are on the verge of a new enterprise bargaining agreement after months of negotiation.

Teachers, school officers and service staff have received a letter from Brisbane Catholic Education advising that employers and the Independent Education Union of Australia had reached an in-principle agreement.

The news follows a long negotiation process that included industrial action in parts of the state, culminating in a full-day strike by some employees.

In last week’s letter, staff were advised that a ballot would be likely in term 3 on the proposed agreement.

“The in-principle agreement is a fair outcome for our staff who provide outstanding learning opportunities for young Queenslanders in Catholic schools,” the letter explained.

“It is also an agreement that recognises the distinct nature of Queensland’s Catholic education sector.”

The four-year agreement includes:

  • wage increases of 2.5 per cent per annum, back-dated to mid-2015. This rate would increase to match the percentage of any higher increase awarded to public sector teachers in their next EB agreement
  • several one-off increases to the base amounts paid in many teacher classifications, to be paid from 1 July 2016.
  • a review of the teacher classification structure.

The in-principle agreement followed negotiations by employers and the union overseen by the Fair Work Commission. The parties were now working to finalise an agreement to be presented to staff.

Employers said the back pay would be “processed as soon as practicable” if the upcoming ballot was successful.

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