Teachers from three Catholic schools in Shepparton in Victoria protested yesterday morning outside Notre Dame College to alert the community to the crisis they say they are facing. Source: ABC News.
The Independent Education Union Victoria Tasmania is representing the affected school staff in ongoing negotiations with Catholic Education Sandhurst to reach a new enterprise agreement.
Teachers took to the street to voice their frustrations about their working conditions and pay, more than 450 days since the existing enterprise agreement ran out.
Notre Dame English and religious education teacher Jacinta Cosgriff has been working in the profession for about 35 years and said she had never faced challenges like those she was currently dealing with.
Ms Cosgriff said the huge effort required of teachers during the pandemic, combined with the financial strain of rising inflation and wages that were “going backwards”, was the last straw. She said mental health issues and burnout were common problems among school staff.
In a statement, Catholic Education Sandhurst chief executive Paul Desmond said CES respected the decision of its staff to take action and recognised and deeply valued their professionalism and dedication.
“I assure you that CES Ltd is committed to negotiating in good faith in a responsible and transparent process as we work together towards a just agreement with our valued staff,” he said.
“We aim to allocate resources in ways that deliver the best outcomes for students and families, while fairly and responsibly rewarding staff.”
Along with CES, the Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools, Diocese of Ballarat Catholic Education Limited, and Catholic Religious Institute and Ministerial Public Juridic Person Victorian Schools are currently in negotiations for a new enterprise agreement.