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Second stop work for Catholic schools staff

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Education officers, professional officers, psychologists and administrative staff employed at the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Schools Office (CSO) engaged in a second round of protected industrial action following further restructure announcements by the diocese this week.

The one hour stop work meeting will took place at 3.30pm on Wednesday 4 December, when members held a protest rally outside the CSO.

On Monday, just three working days after members had engaged in stop work action on 20 November, the diocese announced that staff employed as administrative officers in the secretariat would cease to be covered by their enterprise agreement as of February next year.

IEUA NSW/ACT Secretary Mark Northam said that “union members are devastated that church representatives are stripping employees of  enterprise agreement coverage in the middle of bargaining for a new agreement.

“The church teaches that bargaining should be conducted on a collective rather than individualistic basis to ensure equity and justice, but in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese the church is moving employees from collective agreements onto individual contracts against their wishes,” Northam said.

“We know the importance of collective bargaining in ensuring equitable outcomes, and so does the church. It is understandable that union members would expect the church to uphold its own teachings and values. Members have made it clear that they want to remain on an enterprise agreement and church representatives have continued to ignore their pleas. 

“The decision to use administrative means to forcibly remove people from an agreement and arbitrarily strip them of conditions and entitlements is unacceptable”. 

IEU members have vowed to continue to take action until such time as the employer guarantees enterprise agreement  coverage for the life of the agreement.

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