All posts by ccer

Relief from Face to Face Teaching

Question: In the proposal, would the changes to RFF be dictated by the Diocese or the local needs of the school’s staff?

Answer: The RFF clause in the proposal has been redrafted to recognise some of the shifts in which individual teachers are accessing and using this time. It does not seek to limit this time and we think there needs to be a robust discussion about our proposal, genuine concerns about its possible application and how we can reach some sort of agreement that meets all the interests on the table.  As to who this is decided by, this is the level of details that will be worked through as we move through the negotiation process.

What does this propose for meal breaks for teachers?

Question: Why is it that the 30 min minimum break requirement has been removed?

We agree that all teachers need an uninterrupted meal break during the school day. However, we are not convinced just prescribing a 30 minute lunch break will always result in the best outcomes for teachers, and believe the timing and length of that meal break is best worked out in a consultative way at a school level. The intent of this proposed provision is not to take away a condition, but to enable schools to consider a range of factors in rostering breaks, such as school timetabling, supervision requirements, staff preferences for breaks and other local considerations.

Lead and Highly Accomplished Teachers

Question: Would a Lead and Highly Accomplished teacher receive the two allowances or is it one or the other?

Answer: The Proposed Agreement provides for an annual allowance of $7080 (from 2014) for Teachers accredited as Highly Accomplished and an annual allowance of $14,158 (from 2014) for Teachers accredited as Lead Teacher.  The  Employer’s proposal is that teachers who are accredited at the Highly Accomplished Standard will receive the Highly Accomplished allowance, and teachers accredited at the Lead Standard will receive the Lead allowance. (i.e it is one or the other, not both). These allowances will be paid to teachers who are formally accredited as having reached these standards with the relevant teacher accreditation authority (e.g. the NSW Institute of Teachers or the ACT Teacher Quality Institute).

It is important to note that this is just an initial proposal, and there will need to be further consultation about teacher classification structures and the best way to recognise and reward teachers performing at a higher standard.

Conditions around professional learning activities

Question: Why are you proposing that professional learning activities may occur during pupil vacation periods, after school hours and on weekends?

Answer: We know many teachers are already working towards their own development and growth during school holidays.  As such, the change reflects a choice many teachers are already making. The new proposal does not preclude professional development being done during the school term.

Teachers already work very hard…

Question: Teachers already work very hard out of school hours and many balance this with family commitments.  Considering this, why are you proposing to write into the agreement a new requirement that all teachers are expected to be on the school site at a minimum of half an hour prior to the first scheduled activity of each school day and to remain on the school site half an hour after the final scheduled activity of each school day?

Answer: It’s our understanding that this is a general practice within schools that is not contested. This expectation has been articulated for the purposes of clarity and to support the overwhelming majority of teachers.


Removal of Work Practice Agreements

Question: Why are you proposing to remove the important provisions contained within the Work Practices Agreement such as maximum class sizes, cap on meeting time  per term etc. and replace it with ‘expectation’ that schools will work with staff?

Answer: This proposal is driven by the understanding that one size does not fit all schools. This is specifically dealt with in section 39.4 of the proposal, which emphasises the importance of genuine collaboration on workload that does not leave teachers isolated and reliant on basic prescriptions that don’t necessarily take account of their specific circumstances.

How can you ensure bargaining among so many groups of staff?

Answer:  We know that creating efficiencies across Catholic Schools is important to you – and by consolidating a number of existing agreements, we’re moving to a more effective, efficient and streamlined administration process.

The single agreement is custom-designed to be flexible, allowing for decisions about your arrangements to be made at the local level, in consultation with you.

We’ve also made sure it’s in plain-English, so it can be read and understood by all staff.

Employers propose a fresh approach in Catholic Schools

Today, the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER) presented the IEU with Catholic Employers’ proposal for a new Enterprise Agreement to apply to the majority of staff working in Catholic Systemic Schools in NSW and the ACT.
The proposed Agreement is Catholic Education’s response to the changing education landscape in Australia today and to what you’ve told us are your priorities and concerns.

Most importantly, it’s the beginning of a conversation that we would like to have with you and the IEU about the future of our schools. Click through here to find out more about what we’re proposing. Over the coming weeks, you will have an opportunity to find out more about the proposed Agreement from your school Principal. You can also engage with the conversation on the Foundations for Excellence website.


What you’ve told us

Catholic employers have indicated to the Independent Education Union (IEU) that we will respond to the IEU’s 2014 claim on behalf of school staff on 7 April. Dioceses are working through our response to the claim in the context of the Commonwealth and State Governments’ agendas in regard to funding, curriculum and teaching standards.

We are committed to responding to the IEU claim in a way that directly reflects staff concerns about rapidly changing learning environments, the importance of professional learning and development opportunities and the need for collaborative work environments which provide practical support.

To ensure we’re reflecting your views and priorities in facing these challenges, in 2013 we decided to speak to you – Catholic school staff – about the changing nature of teaching and learning. Click through to find out what you told us.

We encourage you to become involved in discussions about these issues both in terms of the enterprise agreement negotiations and as part of the ongoing discussion in your school communities.