CATHOLIC school teachers are still fighting for better conditions five months after their state counterparts settled their workplace agreements and almost two years after negotiations began.
About 100 teachers and administration staff from North East schools rallied in Wangaratta yesterday afternoon to place pressure on their employers, the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria and the Catholic Education Office.
They want better superannuation, long service leave protection and automatic progression through pay categories.
Their previous agreement expired more than a year ago and Wodonga Catholic College teacher and Independent Education Union representative Andrew McKenzie-McHarg said it reflected their employers’ “utter disrespect” for teachers and support staff.
“We’re here to demand respect and demand some dignity,” he said.
“We have proven we are entitled to this.”
Wangaratta’s St Bernard’s Primary School teacher Glenys Jackson said CECV wanted to have high quality staff.
“But it’s only under certain conditions,” Ms Jackson said.
“How do they repay us? By not giving us what we’re worth.”
The teachers and administration staff at yesterday’s rally outside the Catholic Education Office in Ryley Street waved banners reading “Jesus loves me. My employers don’t” and chanted “Do this deal and get it done”.
They came from Wodonga, Myrtleford, Wangaratta, Yarrawonga, Chiltern, Rutherglen, Benalla, Beechworth and Wangaratta.
Catholic schools hold separate enterprise bargaining agreements with the Catholic Education Office, but their wages are linked to the state system, so they get the same pay rates at the same time as public school teachers.
Catholic school teachers are still without an agreement despite state teachers successfully negotiating a new workplace agreement in April.