Canberra region Catholic teachers to vote on strike action

Major action pending

Up to 1400 teachers and staff in 48 Catholic schools in the Canberra region will vote on industrial action from tomorrow after they receive ballot papers from the Australian Electoral Office, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

Catholic school employers in the Canberra and Goulburn region returned to the negotiation table with the Independent Education Union yesterday morning over an enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) the union has labelled 'disrespectful and insulting.'

A school in Tumut has already received its papers from the Australian Electoral Office, according to union organiser Berna Simpson.

The ballot will be open until 10am on August 12 and, if it is successful, strike action will take place in the weeks following, according to the union's Canberra-Goulburn organiser, Lyn Caton.

Association of Parents and Friends of ACT Schools will hold its general meeting on Wednesday night. President Charuni Weerasooriya said the possibility of the strike would be discussed. 

Earlier in the month, the union requested ballot papers for approved industrial action from the Fair Work Commission.

The Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn's Canberra schools include Marist College, St Edmund's, and St Clare’s, as well as Catholic schools in Goulburn, Queanbeyan, Cooma, Gundagai, Young, and West Wyalong.

A Catholic Commission for Employment Relations spokeswoman said the organisation was looking forward to continuing discussions with the union on a range of matters and was hopeful industrial action could be avoided in the ACT.

FULL STORY Catholic teachers to vote on strike action, union says

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