Region’s Catholic teachers vow to continue industrial action

Some of the thousands of Catholic school teachers who walked off the job yesterday. Photo supplied

Catholic teachers from schools in the Lismore Diocese said yesterday they will continue industrial action next year against their schools, who they say are trying to erode their rights.

The teachers took part in a statewide stop-work meeting of Catholic teachers as part of a continuing award agreement dispute.

Staff say they are at ‘boiling point’ after their Catholic employers put an enterprise agreement to a vote without gaining union endorsement, Independent Education Union NSW & ACT branch secretary John Quessy says.

‘This has never been done before in Australian history. Catholic employers are coming for our members’ rights and they will not tolerate that. We are urging a ‘no’ vote,’ Mr Quessy said.

‘We certainly sent that message to those that were there today and they will send it to their colleagues at their workplaces.’

More than 2,000 people attended rallies via an internet hook-up around the state, with many other meetings taking place in regional communities, Mr Quessy said.

Catholic Commission for Employment Relations executive director Tony Farley says he’s ‘appalled’ by Monday’s industrial action.

He says it’s a scare campaign by the union designed to trick teachers into voting against their latest enterprise agreement.

‘We’re actually giving employees pay increases and teachers will have increased opportunity for salary progression,’ Mr Farley said in a statement.

– with AAP

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