Union organiser for Wide Bay and Central Queensland Richard Pascoe is not happy.
Union organiser for Wide Bay and Central Queensland Richard Pascoe is not happy. Tegan Annett

Carinity 'bewildered' by strike action at Hervey Bay school

UPDATE:  A spokesman from Carinity Education said the organisation was negotiating in good faith and seeking a new agreement which supports staff and students alike.

"We are bewildered why industrial action is required as staff conditions will not change unless a majority of staff vote in favour of the changes," the spokesman said.

"Only a minority of staff - just 25% across the schools - voted for this industrial action.

"Carinity remains grateful for the dedication of our staff and the work they have done for many years supporting young people in their communities.  

"We are on track for employees to have their say and vote on the proposed agreement before the end of the school year.""

EARLIER: Teachers at  a Hervey Bay's Carinity Education Glendyne have voted to take strike action later this month after negotiations broke down regarding work conditions.

Independent Education Union Central Queensland Organiser Richard Pascoe said Carinity Education employees had been left with no option but to take the action in light of the employer's "take it or leave it" position on proposals which he claimed would create second-tier teachers in Carinity Education schools.

The workplace action will also be carried out at Carinity Education Southside in Brisbane and Carintiy Education Gladstone.

Mr Pascoe said employee's remained concerned over Carinity Education's proposals to scrap top-tier teacher classifications, meaning the most experienced teachers could be earning up to $8000 less per year than their state and Catholic school counterparts.

He said conditions would also be stripped from the current collective agreement, including job share, redundancy provisions and access to the First Aid allowance for school support staff.

Mr Pascoe said the agreement proposed by Carinity would significantly increase the hours of work expected by staff in leadership positions and limit employees' access to contemporary leave conditions such as natural disaster leave and domestic violence leave.

He said despite employees raising a variety of concerns at a meeting on Thursday, Carintiy Education was "pressing ahead" with its plans to cut conditions

Strike action will start from noon on November 17.

Mr Pascoe said industrial act6ion was a last resort for employees.

"Our members are taking this action because they care about the schools in which they work - they do not want to see the quality of education provided to their students put at risk," he said.

"They are also taking this action because they fundamentally oppose Carinity Education's proposal to create second-tier teachers.

"Teachers who have the same qualifications and who make the same professional judgements as those of teachers at the Catholic and state schools down the road but who Carinity Education believes aren't worth the same wages or conditions.

"It's simply unjust and unfair and our members will continue to campaign against any attack on current working conditions," he said.

The Chronicle has contacted Carinity Education for a response.

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