Qld Catholic teachers plan overtime strike [CNAU]

Mar 2, '10 5:00 pm
Queensland Catholic school teachers are threatening to withdraw from activities outside normal working hours for a week from Monday over a pay claim.


“Outside normal working hours” is usually code for “extracurricular actives”. I happen to know full well that teachers are not paid for that time and that it’s all voluntary on their part. They can’t be forced to do that which they are not paid for.

Cue the conservative’s crying “the teacher’s are threatening my kid’s education!!!”

Teachers are on salary. At least, they are in WA. They are paid $X per annum, not $X per hour. This means that they do not get paid for their overtime, just like everyone else who is on a salary.

Do not forget that they get paid for all the school breaks plus 4 weeks annual leave, plus 17.5% on top of their 4 weeks leave in what is called ‘leave loading’. All up, they get 13 weeks paid vacation/term break every year. This is around 10 weeks or 2 1/2 months of each year that we do not get any school related work out of them. They’re away on holiday.

I think that pretty much makes up for not getting paid for overtime.

I work at an independent school. We are covered by an Independent School Teachers’ Award which is a union agreement giving us the minimum conditions under which we may employ teachers. We pay over-Award rates because we are remote and want to attract quality teachers.It is still less than what the Catholic schools pay. Around 80% of our budget is taken up by teacher’s salaries. There is no money to pay them any more and still be able to provide all the other things a school needs in order to operate. If we have to pay them more, we will have to lay off staff. It is the only place left in the budget that isn’t pared to the bone. I’m sure the Catholic schools are in the same situation.

Teachers’ contracts specify that extracurricular activities are part of the job they are expected to do for the Annual Salary which they receive.

Professionals do not have unions to represent them, yet teachers do. So, what are they, tradespeople or professionals?

Teachers in Australia sure get better deals than teachers here. Teachers here just get a salary, not any vacation nor overtime pay. They don’t even get a paycheck during the 2 months in the summer anymore (the pay is just split over 10 months instead of 12).

They threatened to do that to our teachers here. It did not go over well (it got dropped from negotiations).

The unions are for negotiation and benefit purposes. Even with a union, it took our teachers a bunch of time just to get extended health benefits not covered by our provincial health plan (dental, vision, and prescription drugs being the big ones).

Heck, the most powerful union in the whole province is the nurses. They’re definitely professionals too.

Australia is a Worker’s Paradise. The Labor Party, which is the political arm of the ACTU, Australian Council of Trade Unions, is in government right now, so unions are calling the shots on labour laws. It is really hard to get fired. There was a case recently that went to a Fair Work Australia Unfair Dismissal Tribunal of a man who had been employed at a paper mill for 20 years and had consistently ignored safety instructions. In the final incident, the man was told 4 times to put his safety goggles back on (the equipment he was operating required it). The last time he was told, he was ‘disdainful and abusive’ to his boss. So he was fired. He took it to the Tribunal and got a favourable judgement. Apparently the company had not taken into consideration that the man had limited education and skills, had a mortgage, a wife and a couple of kids and wouldn’t be likely to get another job. The Tribunal ordered him reinstated in his job and paid $16,000 for the period he had been out of work. theaustralian.com.au/business/legal-affairs/bosses-rapped-for-valid-sacking/story-e6frg97x-1225831970896

We do not provide health insurance packages for employees. Medicare, our national health insurance which premiums are paid from a percentage deduction from our wages, takes care of the basics but people are encouraged to take out their own health insurance on top of that to cover what Medicare doesn’t, like dental. Fortunately, we have affordable private health insurance. My policy, which covers my family, costs about $2100 per year and is with a non-profit organisation.


That’s a bit scary. I worked for a company that did work for the oil industry last year. I was actually barred from one site until I shaved :o.

Safety is serious business. Having a mortgage and dependents isn’t an excuse for being stupid (it really should really motivate you to be safe). Nor does someone have a right to a job, regardless of years of work or experience or education.

Even in the gold processing industry, everyone has to be clean shaven. Otherwise the safety masks that protect from toxic fumes won’t fit properly.

Businesses are feeling caught between a rock and a hard place and are becoming very cagey about who they hire. Since you can’t fire them, you have to be choosey, and think long and hard as to whether you really need to hire another person as well. Not very good for economic recovery and producing more jobs.

Maybe parents could become more involved and volunteer to supervise school related extra-curricular activities. Then they wouldn’t need teachers to do it. It would be one way to deal with the ‘overtime’.

I get 2 personal days and 5 sick days per year. Four weeks leave . . . :eek:

I’m not sure what my hourly wage would be if I counted from late August to when school gets out in June. Would I add the hours I proctor detention? Would I add the hours I spend at home working on lessons and grading papers? The evenings I stay for conferences? The Friday night I had to stay for the Christmas pageant? The night of my husband’s birthday when I will be at the county spelling bee? :shrug:

I teach in a small Catholic school and let’s face it, it’s a service profession. Sometimes we have to go above and beyond.

I start every morning in the chapel thanking God for calling me to be a teacher.

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