Latrobe Valley's Catholic teachers and staff marched on head office in Warragul in Victoria yesterday to protest against the stance taken by their employers in a 20-month industrial dispute, reports the Latrobe Valley Express.
Despite more than 70 separate meetings between parties since the expiration of teachers' last enterprise agreement in December 2011, which escalated into Fair Work Commission conciliation on July 26, an agreement remains elusive.
Lavalla Catholic College teaching veteran and Independent Education Union member Anne English said "I'm retiring at the end of the year and there's no guarantee this will be resolved before then."
However with Catholic teachers guaranteed pay parity with their public sector counterparts, negotiations cannot be finalised until a long-term pay dispute between the State Government and public school teachers is resolved.
Diocese of Sale director of Catholic education Maria Kirkwood said while both sides were feeling the pressure of the EA dispute, she believed negotiations were moving positively.
"I can understand there are frustrations about not reaching agreement, but both sides need to compromise here, which I think they can do because we have a very professional workforce and I am confident there will be outcome," Ms Kirkwood said.
Photo: Lavalla Catholic College's Anne English, Chris Rea, Pru Scholtes and Siobham Lawler are among more than 1900 primary and secondary teachers and support staff in Gippsland fighting for a new agreement