Teachers and support staff at Carroll College stopped work on the morning of Thursday, November 2 to fight for their right to arbitration.
The strike is a last resort as Catholic employers have failed to respond to the Independent Education Union’s attempt to negotiate for almost a year.
The enterprise agreement covering Catholic schools expired in December 2016, and members have yet to receive the agreed pay rise of 2.5% while they fight for their rights to arbitration.
Independent Education Union NSW/ACT Branch Secretary John Quessy said the right of the union to take disputes to arbitration by an independent umpire was a basic worker’s right being denied by employers.
This right is available to Catholic school staff in other states, and staff in Catholic run hospitals and aged care facilities in NSW and the ACT.
“We’re not sure why they are singling out Catholic schools in NSW and the ACT,” Mr Quessy said. “Without the right to arbitration, enterprise agreements are compromised.”
“While we are loathe to take any action which disturbs students’ education, it’s crucial that employers cannot stop the Union seeking a hearing at the Fair Work Commission.
“It’s rather ironic that we are having a long-running dispute to fight for the right to resolve disputes quickly and fairly.”
The strike began at the start of duties and finished at 12.30pm. Only members covered by Protected Action Orders participated in the action.
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