Catholic Schools Teaching Staff Agreement Negotiations

25 February 2016

February 2016 update on Catholic School Teacher Hours of Work Dispute

Many members are very aware that the workload dispute your union commenced in the second half of last year has not been resolved.

The IEU lodged an application with the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission, the WAIRC, disputing changes many schools had made to Teacher Hours of Work (i.e. longer hours of course).

These changes had been made without consultation with teaching staff and the IEU despite the Enterprise Agreement specifying that there must be consultation in regard to proposed major change.

In our Application 52 Primary Schools were identified as working excess hours.

The IEU made every effort to resolve this dispute in meetings with CEWA and in Conciliation Conferences with CEWA held at the Industrial Commission. The issue wasn’t resolved.

In support of our members your union has to take this further.
In the view of our members and the IEU unilateral changes to working hours are not legitimate.

To progress the matter the IEU has now made application for the WAIRC to interpret the relevant clauses in the Enterprise Agreement and arbitrate on the matter.

We have made this decision based on sound legal advice.

In our application we were required to name a specific school that will be the first school the WAIRC deals with; that school is Good Shepherd Lockridge.

The outcome will be relevant to all 52 named schools that in our view are in breach of the Consultation Clause and Workloads Policy.

The IEU will keep you updated as we progress this matter.

Additionally we are now hearing this year that a number of secondary schools have made significant timetable changes in 2016, compared to 2015 timetables.

Following each report we will investigate further and if members are so inclined enter into discussions at the school level.

Please do not hesitate to contact your IEU Organiser or the IEU if you have any queries on any of the above.

Unrelenting teacher workload pressures cannot continue. Your union is determined to persist and to resolve this dispute.

17 December 2015

End of year update on IEU Dispute with CEWA on Teacher Hours of Work - Workload

As school breaks at the end of the year this highly significant matter of Teacher Hours of Work - Workload remains unresolved.

Since we last wrote to you in mid November activity and negotiations have taken place but have NOT been successful in progressing the issue.

  • The IEU and CEWA representatives met by teleconference on 16th November.
  • A Conciliation Conference was held with CEWA at the WA Industrial Relations Commission. This was an attempt to find a resolution with the assistance of an experienced Commissioner.
  • IEU and CEWA representatives met in early December.

    At that meeting the IEU reminded the CEWA representatives that the 5 student free days at the end of Term 4 was implemented in 2012. There was a clearly stated purpose: ‘to complete educational and administrative tasks, including finalisation and dissemination of reports. Teachers may attend professional development with the agreement of the Principal’.

    It was disappointing but predictable that there was no positive movement from CEWA.


FROM HERE: The IEU has accessed expert legal advice and we will be further progressing this dispute early in 2016.

We knew that this wasn’t going to easy – but that is the very reason we started this battle.

The IEU Executive as your elected representatives are totally committed to supporting members on this issue.

Unrelenting teacher workload pressures cannot continue.


12 November 2015

Update on IEU Dispute Application with CEWA regarding TEACHER WORKLOADS

Earlier this term we notified you that on behalf of our teacher members in Western Australia Catholic schools we had notified a Dispute with the Industrial Relations Commission (WAIRC).

In brief the Workloads Policy specifies “the maximum teaching week will remain 27.5 hours per week of scheduled class time, inclusive of morning tea but exclusive of lunch.”

Despite this being so clearly stated unfortunately in recent years many schools have extended the maximum teaching week for their teachers, in some cases by up to 150 additional minutes a week. This is a breach of the Workloads Policy. The Policy can be changed only if the IEU agrees, which we have not done. Of the 38 schools we listed in our Application to the WAIRC many were approximately 50 minutes over the maximum allowable.

This is simply not acceptable; many members were saying that their workload was excessive and they were struggling, they are overloaded. Quality education and student learning suffer when staff are overworked and overloaded.

Since 24 September when the IEU Dispute Application was lodged with the WAIRC we have been very actively pursuing this matter. Since that date there has been a Conciliation Conference between the IEU and CEWA held at the WAIRC; a meeting between the IEU and CEWA and continuing negotiations by email and teleconference.

At this point in time we feel that a positive outcome can be achieved through negotiation. However should this prove not to be the case the IEU will take up the issue at a school level, i.e. between the IEU and the Principal for each school that is breaching the stipulated maximum teaching week.

We will keep members informed as this develops. The IEU is hopeful that this issue will be able to be progressed significantly during the next few days.

21 September 2015


The IEU is pleased to inform members that TODAY in-principle agreement has been reached with Catholic Education WA.

Back pay will be paid in the next pay cycle for payroll schools, commencing from 28 September 2015.
We would expect that non-payroll schools will pay the back pay at approximately the same date.

Salary increases agreed upon are:
-    2.75% backdated to 6 December 2014
-    2.5% from 6 December 2015
-    2.5% from 6 December 2016

   8 Dec 2013   8 Dec 2014  6 Dec 2015 6 Dec 2016
Step 10 Teacher Salary   $95,458  $98,083  $100,535 $103,048
Senior Teacher  $100,291  $103,049  $105,625 $108,265

Importantly this round of negotiations has resulted in NO diminution to teacher’s working conditions.

Based on our member’s Log of Claims the IEU has successfully negotiated a number of improvements in teachers working conditions.
These include:

  • Five working days of Paid Paternal Leave
  • For the first time, access to all accumulated sick leave for personal ill health or injury
  • Paid Study Leave
  • Relief Teachers being provided with improved access to professional development opportunities
  • An extra % loading on any additional hours that part-time teachers work
  • More flexible provisions for Christmas vacation travel back to Perth for teachers working in remote areas

Family Domestic Violence Leave

Importantly the IEU and CEWA reached agreement on a new provision to support teachers who are affected by the Family Domestic Violence. The support this provision offers will make such a difference to our friends and colleagues who need support at this difficult time in their lives.

Congratulations and thank you to members for your constancy and determination to maintain salary parity with state school teachers and edge forwards in regard to parity of conditions. Once the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement is finalised the IEU will conduct a ballot of members as per usual process.

15 September 2015

Progress update – negotiations for the Catholic Education Teachers Agreement

The last few weeks has been a period of active and intense negotiation on key claims put forward by the IEU for inclusion in the revised Agreement.

Your IEU bargaining team met with the CEWA negotiators on 18th August and again this afternoon, 15th September. In between meetings negotiations have continued apace, such is our determination to resolve all outstanding matters in our members Log of Claims.

The parties are very close to finalising almost all matters on the table. There is one very significant outstanding issue on which we are still to reach agreement – the addition of a new clause for those experiencing Family or Domestic Violence.

By the end of this week, Friday18th September CEWA will have responded to the clause that we have put forward.  The addition of this entitlement for the first time in the WA Catholic Teachers Agreement will be a milestone reached, if CEWA agrees.

We are hopeful that an education system that is committed to delivering quality education, is shaped by Gospel values and sees itself as transformative, will also be a compassionate employer.

Matters that have been agreed upon recently are:
•    An extra % loading on any additional hours that part-time teachers work
•    More flexible provisions for Christmas vacation travel back to Perth for teachers working in remote areas
•    Access to ALL accumulated Sick Leave for personal ill-health or injury (currently capped at 13 weeks).

Be on the lookout for our next communication – it is very likely that will inform you that ‘in-principle’ agreement has been reached on all matters AND include notice of the date you can expect to receive a 2.75% salary increase backdated to December 2014.

10 August 2015

Catholic Education Teachers Agreement Negotiations

On Friday 31st July the IEU bargaining team met with the CEWA negotiators.
Significant progress was made both in relation to a large part of the IEU Log of Claims and the matters CEWA had brought to the table.

-    In -principle agreement was reached on some  matters
-    progress was made on others; and
-    in relation to matters where there is no prospect of success there will not be continuing discussion

In-principle agreement was reached on:  
A.    Five days of paid partner leave; and
B.    Easier access to short periods of Long Service Leave.

We consider that some progress was made on:
A.    recognition of Masters Qualifications
B.    Cultural training
C.    Annual increments for part time teachers; and
D.    IEU delegate training leave

Matters that will not continue to be discussed include:
A.    Workplace Flexibility
B.    Extra time release for Graduate teachers
C.    Secondment
D.    Additional support for early Childhood teachers upgrading their qualifications
E.    Camp Allowance
F.    Meal Allowance
IMPORTANTLY the Workloads Policy review will commence in September and the IEU will nominate an IEU officer and two members of the IEU Executive to participate in that.
We will be putting a lot of time and energy into this.  Increased and intensified workload is THE major issue for teachers in Catholic schools.
We will shortly be producing and making available to all members who request a summary list of all matters on the IEU and CEWA Log of Claims.

This will show:
Substantially Agreed
Rejected and Finalised

The next Bargaining meeting will be on the 18th August.  The matters to be discussed have now been reduced to seven or eight matters.
We expect that this will be the final substantive meeting and the drafting and finalisation of the new Agreement will take place during August-September.
Another important Industrial matter that your Union is dealing with is our pending dispute application on Catholic schools who have timetabled teachers to work hours in excess of the Workloads Policy requirements.

As many of you would realise organisers have been working with members to gather accurate information on this significant workload issue.
The IEU intends to lodge this dispute with the WA Industrial Relations Commission during the week commencing 10th August.  We anticipate that there will be between 20 - 30 schools included in that dispute application.


27 July 2015

Catholic Teacher Salary and Agreement negotiations

As you commence your work in term 3 we again ask that you and your colleagues wear your ‘We’re worth it’ badges in the week beginning Monday 27th July.  

The IEU will be meeting with the CEWA representatives on Friday 31st July.  This is a significant meeting as ALL matters on the IEU Log of Claims that have not yet been discussed will be dealt with. Some of these issues are: camp allowances and professional learning for early childhood teachers.

There are 2 more negotiating meetings scheduled in August and September.

You will remember from our previous update that the CEWA negotiators indicated that once in-principle agreement was reached on matters being discussed they would move on salaries.

CEWA has restated this position in the ‘CEWA TEACHERS ENTERPRISE BARGAINING JULY UPDATE 2015.’ CEWA states “that salary increases will be paid once in-principle agreement is reached” rather than having to wait until the new EBA is registered with the Commission”.

This means that Teachers are still waiting for their pay rise months after Teachers in State Schools received their increase!

You will recall from our previous email that your union wrote to Dr Tim McDonald on the 3rd July requesting that the pay rise be paid immediately on the basis that good faith bargaining was in progress.

Disappointingly to date we have not received a response to our letter to Dr Tim McDonald confirming their position or otherwise as stated above. This is disrespectful.

Please have your badges ready to wear all next week and encourage your colleagues to join you to show your support.

3 July 2015

We have today written to the Director of Catholic Education, Dr Tim McDonald, to express our concerns and put forward strongly that the 2.75% salary increase be paid as early as possible in Term 3.

Click on the link below to download the Letter to CEWA.

IEU Letter to Tim McDonald CEWA


3 July 2015

Catholic Teacher salary and Agreement negotiations

This communication on the cusp of your well-deserved school holiday recovery period is to update Members on the progress of the negotiations for a new Catholic Education Teachers’ Agreement.

We are pleased to be able to convey that the attitude of respectful discussion and goodwill that was evidenced by CEWA negotiators at the meeting held in June continued at the negotiating meeting held this week.

'In-principle' agreement was reached on a number of matters included in the IEU Log of Claims; including clauses on Study Leave and access by Relief Teachers to Professional Development sessions held at schools.

Significant progress was made in discussion about many other matters such as the Remote Area Package and Incremental Progression for Part-Time teachers.

Dates were confirmed for three more Negotiating meetings in July, August and September.

These meetings are widely spaced because the CEWA negotiating team are required to consult with their 'Consultative Group' between Negotiating meetings. This group is composed of Principals. Whilst your Union appreciates that CEWA has the right to set up a mechanism that works for them this two-step system certainly does prolong negotiations.

Unfortunately though there is not great news on the salary increase front. The CEWA negotiators indicated that once in-principle agreement was reached on matters being discussed they would move on salaries.

As can be seen from the dates listed above this would mean the salary increase is at least three months away.

Your Union considers that a delay of this magnitude is not acceptable.

Based on that conviction we have today written to the Director of Catholic Education, Dr Tim McDonald, to express our concerns and put forward strongly that the 2.75% salary increase be paid as early as possible in Term 3.

11 June 2015

During the last few weeks many IEU members have been vocal in expressing their disquiet that teachers in Catholic schools have not received a salary increase since December 2013.  

Many teachers have been openly discussing their concerns about the delays in the bargaining process.

A great many of you have worn the “I support Catholic School Staff” stickers and the ‘WE’RE WORTH IT’ badges.

Close to 2,000 teachers have signed the IEU petition on incremental progression for part-time teachers and promotional positions.

These actions have made a difference.

It was most pleasing to note that the CEWA negotiating team entered into discussions.
Significant progress was made at the negotiating meeting that took place earlier this week. A salary increase of 2.75% backdated to December 2014 has been agreed upon, the commencement date to be determined.

There was discussion on substantive issues from the IEU Log of Claims and an open and robust exchange of views. Some of the key points discussed are as follows:

  • It was agreed that the Promotional Positions clause will be retained as is. A working party will review this clause in the near future and your union will have input on that process and suggest membership.
  • Remote Area Package and Parental Leave were discussed at length. Both parties will send through further comment.
  • Many other matters from the IEU Log of claims were discussed (e.g. additional release time for early career teachers, improved incremental progression for part time teachers), and some progress was made. Both parties will exchange further comments on these issues prior to the next meeting.
  • Further meetings are set down for Wednesday 1st July and Friday 31st July.

It is important that members keep applying the pressure on CEWA and the CEWA Consultative Group by wearing badges. This will ensure that there is no misunderstanding about your determination to achieve a fair salary increase and reasonable improvements in conditions of employment.

Members in country areas can request badges by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 9373 1000.

Please forward this email to your colleagues so that they are aware of the latest update.

I also encourage your colleagues who are not yet Members to join the IEU.

More members = a stronger voice in the negotiations.


May 2015

Catholic Schools Teaching Staff

Improving your Salaries and Conditions through an Agreement - Flyer


25 May 2015

Regretfully we have to inform Members that although the CEWA has responded to our letter of request for your 2.75% pay increase this response has given us no joy.

They have noted the request but in their words ‘a decision has not as yet been reached on this matter’.

They have agreed to meet with your representatives on 9th June 2015.

It is our intention that the salary increase be discussed at that meeting.

Once again we have requested from CEWA information on the other matters that we would like to negotiate for inclusion in the new Agreement.

Thanks to the many Members and your colleagues who have signed the ‘Part-time Increments and Promotional Positions petition’. This is solid collective action.

Members have been asking what action they can take to put pressure on CEWA. We will contact you about this sometime next week.

We welcome your feedback and comments on Facebook – please click here.


18 May 2015

In view of the lack of progress on the CEO EBA negotiations, with the CEO postponing meetings, the IEU has written to the CEO asking that teachers be paid the 2.75% pay increase, backdated to 6th December, that State School teachers have received.

Further, that this increase be paid immediately and apply to all salaries and allowances.

The IEU believes teachers in Catholic schools are worth the salary increase, and entitled to it now!

We have asked for a response from the CEO by this Friday.

We’ll keep you posted.

We welcome your feedback and comments on Facebook – please click here.


15 May 2015

The CEO has postponed yet another meeting, this one scheduled for next Wednesday, 20th May.

No reason offered and proposing a date 4 weeks away and 10 weeks since the last meeting.

The IEU presented your claim in October last year. At a meeting on 15th December the CEO rejected the majority of your claim and presented their own, which included:
•    Removal of Promotional Positions from the EBA;
•    A complete review of the Parental Leave clause and
•    A complete review of the Remote Area package.

Other than a meeting early in April, there have been no further meetings, nor has the IEU received any indication of what the CEO has in mind for these matters, despite repeated requests.

The IEU is considering its position and will update you further next week.

The Petition
There is still time to ask your colleagues to sign the petition calling for annual increments for part-time teachers, and rejecting the proposal to remove Promotional Positions from the Agreement.


2 April 2015

The meeting between the CEO and IEU on Thursday 2nd April, was very slow going indeed!

The CEO maintains their position that there will be reviews of the following clauses:

  • Promotional Positions to be removed from the EBA, and reviewed; The CEO states the majority of Teachers agree with them on this. That’s not what you told us, so the IEU has stated the removal of Promotional Positions from the Agreement is not acceptable to Teachers.
  • Parental Leave provisions to be reviewed; The CEO maintains its position that they are not seeking reductions to provisions however despite our requests have not provided any information about what they do want.
  • Remote Area Package to be reviewed and redrafted; The CEO maintains they are not seeking reductions. You told us you wanted RAP provisions improved to match State School Teachers.

Annual increments for part-time Teachers:
You would recall the IEU’s claim is for part-time Teachers to receive annual increments. The IEU outlined the difference between salaries for part-time State School Teachers and Catholic School Teachers. That is, over a ten year period a Catholic School Teacher who is 0.5 FTE earns $47,758 less than a State School Teacher.

Some progress was made on the following:
Workloads Policy:
The CEO did agree that the Workloads Policy would be reviewed however did not provide details of their position.

Sick Leave:
The IEU provided a draft clause and there was some discussion about the CEO’s view in terms of requiring a Teacher to attend a Doctor of their choice in this situation (remember they want a trade-off). The IEU does not agree with this proposal as is and so there will be further discussion.

Provision of information between the parties:
The IEU has forwarded requested information to the CEO and we await the information we requested from them.

The Negotiating Process:
So after the third meeting with the CEO little progress has been made despite our best efforts!

School Visits:
IEU Organisers are visiting schools to provide further information and seek your feedback and support.

The State Schools Teachers’ Agreement:
The State School Teachers’ Union Agreement with the Government was listed for hearing with the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission on the 16th April. Once it is registered State School Teachers will receive a 2.75% salary increase back dated to 6th December 2014. 

In the meantime we welcome your feedback about the update.


19 December 2014

The Catholic Employers rejected 50% of your Union’s claim at the meeting on Monday 15th December, and the tone of the meeting was not encouraging.

Although in some cases “If the IEU can provide further information on how this will operate and be to the benefit of Catholic schools and the “flourishing child” then happy to reconsider”.  We asked for the criteria around the “flourishing child” (CEO punctuation).

Agreement to some matters:
The CEO agreed to the same percentage salary increases at the same time as the State system, but limited to the life of the Agreement.

They agreed to two other matters, one being that the notice period for taking short periods of Long Service Leave (a week or less), be reduced.  Although even then, they propose changes to the wording in a way which we believe reduces your entitlement to actually take the leave.

The other is that the limit of 13 weeks Sick Leave in one year be removed, if there is a trade-off.

The CEO proposes:
•    Promotional Positions to be removed from the EBA, and reviewed;
•    A “complete review of the Parental Leave provisions”, which they refer to as the Gold Standard, even though it is substantially the same as in State schools;
•    A review and redraft of the “whole Remote Area Package”; and
•    No Agreement to your claims around workloads or changes to the Workloads Policy.

These are substantial entitlements with a long history of negotiations, and your Union is cynical about the CEO motives in introducing 3 major ‘Reviews’.

Nevertheless, your Union said that while there could be a review of:
•    Promotional Positions (which was agreed in the last EBA but not concluded); we do not agree to remove Promotional Positions from the EBA;
•    Parental Leave; and
•    The Remote Area Package; and

The IEU intends to pursue a Review of the Workloads Policy, and that the outcomes from all those Reviews be included in the EBA.

This means that there will be 4 working parties set up in Term 1 to conduct and complete the reviews expeditiously, with it being the Union’s intention that those outcomes will be part of the negotiations and any registered EBA.

The State Schools Teachers’ Agreement:
The State School Teachers Union have reached an in-principle Agreement with the Government, which includes a 2.75% salary increase from 6th December. State School Teachers will vote on this in Term 1.

The Negotiating Process:
Your Union presented your claim for improvements to the CEO 17th October 2014.

We met on Monday 15th December 2014 to hear the CEO’s response to your claim, and they outlined their proposals.

Each party will consult with their members, and will meet again towards the end of February 2015.


29th October 2014

On Friday, 17th October the IEU sent to the Director of Catholic Education the CLAIM for improvements in your salaries and conditions. The claim was based on your responses to the survey; thank you for those. We also asked for a first meeting of the negotiators, which was held last Friday, 24th October.

At that meeting the CEO negotiators asked us to indicate “the more important matters” however we stated that Teachers feel very strongly that while there is (mainly) parity with the salaries of our State School colleagues, there are many conditions where we lag, and Teachers expect the gaps to be closed.

We have asked for a further meeting on 24th Nov, at which the CEO will respond to your claim and PRESENT THEIR OWN CLAIM.

We don’t know what more the CEO will be asking from you.

Your union membership is your strength if you want to keep and improve current salaries and conditions.

Please encourage your colleagues to join their union online today.

Watch this space for future updates regarding the discussions about improving salaries and conditions for Teachers.