Independent Education Union supports teachers' strike | Video, photos, pictures

CATHOLIC school teachers and support staff in Bathurst are set to walk off the job in protest against a proposed enterprise agreement (EA).

This will be the second strike in less than a month after staff from 10 schools across the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst went on strike on November 8.

The four-hour industrial action will occur from 10am on Monday, December 4 as teachers and staff continue to fight for rights to arbitration and work loads.

Rallies will be held across NSW and the ACT, with some staff from the Assumption School and St Philomena's Catholic Primary School to join the Bathurst rally at Paddy’s Hotel.

Independent Education Union (IEU) Central West co-ordinator Jackie Groom said around 350 schools in NSW/ACT were expected to take part.

She said the union’s demands for arbitration rights have not been met following the November 8 strike.

  • Video: Teachers and support staff strike action on November 8

Also, the newly-proposed EA has revealed workloads, including face-to-face teaching, meetings held out of school hours and class sizes, may now be impacted.

“There’s a lot of things in the agreement that seek to undermine rights that we’ve already got,” Ms Groom said.

IEU Secretary John Quessy said union members were at “boiling point” after employers took the unprecedented action of putting an enterprise agreement to the vote without gaining union endorsement.

“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,” he said.

  • Video: Teachers and support staff strike action on November 8

“It is clear they want absolute power over their employees and the members are standing firm against this.

“Our action is sending a clear message that we reject their enterprise agreement.”

The employers’ vote is due to begin on Tuesday, December 5.

A spokesperson from the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst said: “It will be a normal school day with no disruption to classes and students”.