Teacher backpay under threat
QUEENSLAND'S Catholic school employers have warned teachers could miss out on thousands of dollars of backpay if a new wage deal isn't struck by the middle of the week.
Staff could also miss out on wages if they continue to take part in work bans beyond Thursday, which have been in place at almost 200 schools since early November.
As wage negotiations drag on between employers and the Independent Education Union, the state's 22 employers have told all staff the current offer will remain on the table until 5pm on Wednesday.
The union has been pushing for a $1250 one-off payment to be included in any new agreement - which they say will keep Catholic teachers on par with the state sector - but employers have argued the public school payment is akin to a stimulus package.
Instead, they have offered a 2.5 per cent wage increase, backpay to July 1 and a $500 one-off payment in return for staff agreeing to a four-year wage agreement.
Now employers have written to staff explicitly outlining how much backpay teachers and staff could be set to miss out on if an agreement was not finalised.
IEUA Queensland and Northern Territory branch secretary Terry Burke accused Queensland's Catholic school employers of resorting to "threats and bullying tactics, in an attempt to force an outcome.
"The employers' 'take it or leave it' offer is more about intimidation and threats than any real dialogue or a negotiated outcome," he said.
"That Queensland Catholic school employers would resort to such shameful tactics goes against the very ethos of what a Catholic school represents."
Employers also warned the thousands of staff at almost 200 Queensland schools currently participating in work bans - during which they do not attend staff meetings, supervise lessons, or undertake playground or transport supervision - could be stripped of wages unless they perform all duties.
Along with the work bans at select schools, a 30-minute stop work action occurred last week.
Queensland Catholic Education Commission executive director Lee-Anne Perry said up to $2400 in backpay could be "at risk" if the agreement was not resolved.
"The $500 payment and backpay up to the end of November would represent significant payments to many teachers and staff," she said.
"We have engaged in the enterprise bargaining process in good faith, offering fair and reasonable conditions for staff that keep Catholic education sustainable and affordable for families.
"It is impossible to keep schools functioning at their best with the disruption caused by work bans and strike action.
"Employers are now in a position where they can't be confident all staff will fully take part in the vital preparation days at the start of the next school year."
Mr Burke said members would meet next week to discuss their response.