Action from a previous Independent Education Union rally.
Action from a previous Independent Education Union rally.

TEACHERS' STRIKE: 350 schools in NSW affected

Update Monday 8.20am: A NUMBER of North Coast schools will be affected by a teachers' strike this morning.

Thousands of Catholic school teachers and support staff from 350 schools across NSW and the ACT will stop work for four hours this morning.

The Independent Schools Union will hold a meeting at the Lismore Workers Club at 9.45am.

Please check with your school as to whether they are affected.

The following schools may be impacted by the strike, according to the union:

  • St Joseph Primary, Coraki
  • St Carthage's Primary School, Lismore
  • St John's College, Woodlawn
  • St John's Primary School, Mullumbimby
  • Xavier Catholic College, Skennars Head
  • St Joseph's Primary, Tweed Heads
  • St Francis Xavier Primary, Ballina
  • St Mary's College Casino
  • Mt St Patricks College, Murwillumbah.


Original story, November 30: FOR four hours next Monday thousands of Catholic school teachers and support staff from 350 schools across NSW and the ACT will stop work.

This is the next round of industrial action to protest Catholic employers' refusal to strike a bargain.

"The mood of members has lifted with more than 100 additional schools taking part in this second round of action following a series of a stop works in early November," IEU Secretary John Quessy said.

Mr Quessy said members were at "boiling point" after employers took the unprecedented action of putting an enterprise agreement to the vote without gaining union endorsement. The employers' vote is due to begin on Tuesday, 5 December.

"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.

"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."

Mr Quessy said the dispute is not about pay as a 2.5% pay rise was settled nearly a year ago, but has yet to be paid. Rather the dispute is about Catholic employers vetoing the right of the union to access the Fair Work Commission for arbitration. Details of the enterprise agreement also remain unresolved.

Mr Quessy said it was outrageous that employers were indicating staff needed to vote 'yes' on December 5 in order to get their pay rise.

"Our members will not be held to ransom by employers dangling a meagre pay rise as a carrot," he said.

"Teachers and support staff want their conditions protected by their enterprise agreement and by the Fair Work Commission. They do not want and will not put up with employers' bullying.

"The IEU calls on Catholic employers to stop their attacks on the rights of workers."