Supporting the independent education community

Workforce NSW reports: Catholic schools set to strike

Media has successfully covered the current arbitration dispute between IEU and CCER, Workforce NSW today reports:

Catholic systemic teachers look set to instigate rolling strikes in September over an alleged failure by employer Catholic Commission of Employment Relations (CCER) to recognise their right to arbitration.

Assistant secretary of the Independent Education Union (IEU) NSW/ACT Mark Northam told WFNSW this morning, teachers were incensed by the CCER's unwillingness to confirm an enforceable right to arbitration in the current enterprise bargaining round. The problem stems from the interpretation of the word "may" in the existing agreement, ie may access arbitration. The union argues the term is vague and unenforceable. The union is preparing a protected action ballot of its 18,000 members from next week over the issue. If supported, industrial action including half day stoppages could get underway in late September.

CCER executive director Tony Farley told WFNSW the existing dispute clause had "worked well for the past seven years". "It is provocative and destructive for the union to be raising unnecessary issues at the time when the sector is under enormous funding pressures," Farley said. He said the 11 dioceses across NSW and ACT were united against the proposed change.