STRIKE ON: Another protected action work stop has been organised by the IEU-QNT branch for Thursday, between 8.30am and 10.30am.
STRIKE ON: Another protected action work stop has been organised by the IEU-QNT branch for Thursday, between 8.30am and 10.30am. Megan Pope

Fifth strike since term three end for Catholic teachers

STRIKE action for Catholic school educators continues on Thursday, but this time only one Fraser Coast school is expected to take part. 

Brisbane Catholic Education spokesman John Phelan said no staff at St Mary's Catholic Primary School would be involved this time.

The work stop is on between 8.30am and 10.30am on Thursday and Xavier Catholic College is expected to be affected.  

This is the fifth work stop organised by the Independent Education Union Queensland and Northern Territory branch since the last week of term three.  

The protected action has been carried across Catholic schools in Queensland.  

Xavier Catholic College grade four teacher and union member Peter De Waard said the Queensland Catholic school system had failed to care about issues facing its staff.  

"We are taking this action because we care about the working conditions which enable us to provide high quality education to students in Queensland Catholic schools," Mr De Waard said.   

"It's time Queensland Catholic school employers showed that they care too."  

Xavier principal Kerry Swann said it was a difficult time for the teachers.  

"(The teachers) show dedication to the kids, but they do have to look after their remuneration," he said.  

"We have rescheduled the day so student classes are made up for later on."  

"School lessons start at nine, but the students will be grouped together during the work stop and given high quality audio visual programs to watch."  

Mr Swann said one parent complaint about the strike action at the school had been drawn to his attention.  

As the discussions between the union and sector continue, Mr Phelan said he hoped the issue would be resolved soon.

"We are happy to pay staff the 2.5% increase immediately, and backdate it to July...we'd really like to give our staff the extra money before Christmas," Mr Phelan said.  

But union branch secretary Terry Burke said the position of educators continued to be untenable.  

"Current Queensland Catholic school teacher workload arrangements have been the same since 1992," Mr Burke said.  

"The employers seem set on keeping their teachers working under these outdated conditions which fail to recognise that teachers' roles have evolved and expanded over the last 20 years.   

"Long standing wage inequities also continue for employees despite comparable school funding and fees between New South Wales and Queensland Catholic schools.   

"It's untenable that experienced teachers at the top automatic step in Queensland Catholic schools are currently paid $6,792 less a year simply because of their postcode," Mr Burke said.     



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