07 Sep 2016

CESA Media Statement

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Media Statement – September 7 2016

Catholic School Employers seek fair deal for teachers and school families

Catholic teachers will participate in industrial action tomorrow, as the Independent Education Union continues to reject an offer for improvements in pay and work conditions. Schools will remain open despite the action.

Catholic school employers and the Independent Education Union (IEU) have reached a $28 million agreement to implement a 2.5 per cent annual pay rise for teachers over three years.

However, the IEU has rejected the Catholic School Employers’ offer of:

  • A reduction in Student Contact Time (SCT) of 11 hours per year – available at times of more intense workload such as school report writing
  • And a further reduction of 6.5 hours per year in yard duty, teacher meetings and briefings.

“The union is putting pressure on us to reduce workload even further. While we are committed to working with teachers to support them in dealing with workload pressures, the reality is that non-salary benefits still cost money,” says Michael Kenny, Assistant Director, People and Culture.

“There’s no such thing as a ‘free lunch’ – their suggestion to swap lunch and recess duty to other non-teaching staff will still have costs. 

“Likewise we cannot reduce relief teaching loads without paying someone else to do the work.

“We greatly respect and value our teachers. We know they work hard. We’re committed to easing workload pressures and our current offers do just that. However, we just can’t stretch as far as the IEU wants us to.

“We need to balance the needs of our staff with ensuring that we offer affordable school fees for South Australian families. Teachers and school families both deserve a fair deal.”

“The union has questioned our expenditure on facilities and resources – the reality is we need to look after the needs of our students as well as our teachers. We’re not going to apologise for being committed to supporting students to grow and learn and to providing the high quality resources, facilities and programs our students deserve.

“Our priority is clear. We remain committed to working towards reaching a resolution that is in the interests of teachers, students and families.”

Fifty per cent of Catholic schools will be affected by Thursday’s rally and none will close as a result of the industrial action. Parents with any concerns about how the action will impact their school are encouraged to discuss them directly with their school principal.

Spokesperson: Michael Kenny, Assistant Director, People and Culture, Catholic Education South Australia
is available for comment.

Media contact:  Jenny Brinkworth  Director, Catholic Communications, Ph: 8210 8147  M:  0438 727 677

 Catholic school employers seek fair deal - media statement - CESA -September 7 2016.pdf

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