WORKPLACE negotiations between Catholic school staff and the diocese's education department have hit a stalemate with the union claiming the deadlock is "unprecedented".
Teachers claim they are being bogged down by repetitive data collection and not given enough time to prepare for lessons, while practical class sizes are also under the microscope.
There are 550 teachers and 115 support staff in 33 schools across the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst, which covers 17 parishes in the Central West.
Last week the diocese's newly appointed executive director of schools, Christina Trimble, cancelled negotiations for a new Work Practices Agreement (WPA) and the meeting is yet to be rescheduled.
Independent Education Union of Australia (IEUA) Central West organiser Jackie Groom said the move was "unprecedented" and it further delayed staff receiving a pay rise that was due on January 1.
WPAs are negotiated at a diocese level and until each one is agreed on, staff across NSW will not receive the pay rise that was due to them under a statewide enterprise agreement.
"We were under the understanding that they were prepared to consider what we'd given them," Ms Groom said of the Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst (CEDB).
"They told us the current Work Practices Agreement should be renewed with no changes and no extra support.
"This impacts on the health and wellbeing of the teachers."
This impacts on the health and wellbeing of the teachers.Independent Education Union of Australia Central West organiser Jackie Groom
IEUA secretary Mark Northam said despite requests from the union no new date had been set for another meeting.
"Rather than reneging on an opportunity to meet and discuss this, it would be better for all parties to meet," he said.
By comparison, Mr Northam said teachers in the Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn received 2.5 hours of "release time" each week to prepare and plan for lessons, while staff in the Bathurst diocese only received two hours.
In a statement issued to Australian Community Media, the CEDB said it intended to work collaboratively with the IEUA to reach a "mutually satisfactory new WPA".
"Claims that have a cost attached or that may impact on the operation of a school require very serious consideration," the statement said.
"The current agreement will remain in place until such time as a new agreement can be finalised."
The CEDB also said negotiations for a new enterprise agreement were expected to be finalised within "the next two months or so" and the expected salary increased would be backdated to January 1.
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