Riverina Catholic teachers might strike

Ind Education Union 2

Catholic school teachers in the western Riverina are going to a ballot and possible strikes over a proposed statewide schools restructure, the ABC reports.

(split here)

The Independent Education Union is planning strikes against what it is describing as an attack on wages and conditions.

The union's Gloria Taylor says the new enterprise agreement threatens to increase face-to-face teaching hours and class sizes.

She says members in the Wilcannia-Forbes Diocese, which covers schools at Hillston, Hay, Deniliquin, and Balranald, have voiced their opposition to the proposal.

If leadership in schools is unstable through the situation or people are aggrieved, all of that plays out in terms of how parents and students react to what's going on.
Independent Education Union's Gloria Taylor

'If leadership in schools is unstable through the situation or people are aggrieved, all of that plays out in terms of how parents and students react to what's going on,' she said.

'So it does need to be corrected and I think it will ultimately be because of the strong position taken by members in the area.

'All of these things seem to be about freeing things up, and they also wanted one set of circumstances that would apply from Broken Hill to Sydney metropolitan to Wagga Wagga.

'So they're also applying a kind of lowest common denominator approach to what they've put in this agreement.

But the Executive Director of the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations, Tony Farley, says strikes are not necessary this early on.

The teachers, the staff in the schools, are the only ones that can change the current agreement because they vote on it. So they're in control of the process and what we're doing is saying let's just sit down and talk it through, because there are going to be lots of ideas, we're going to listen and we're going to come up with something we can all agree on.
Catholic Commission for Employment Relations Executive Director, Tony Farley

He says it is a draft proposal that will be worked through in close consultation with unions and staff.

FULL COVERAGE

Catholic school teachers raise concern about restructure claiming class sizes are threatened (ABC News)

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