Maitland Catholic school staff join regional stop work action over right to arbitration

Maitland Catholic school teachers were among the hundreds around the region to commence stop work action on Monday, irked by an Enterprise Agreement proposed by their employers. 

Teachers from St Mary’s stopped work for four hours on Monday as part of the protected industrial action, which followed a meeting of Independent Education Union members at Mayfield Bowling Club that morning.

Staff from fellow Catholic school St Peter’s are due to stop work on Tuesday to avoid clashing with the school’s year seven student orientation, held on Monday. 

Union member and St Mary’s teacher Damian Norris said the rallies were prompted by concerns that losing the right to arbitration in the new EA could lead to worsening work conditions for Catholic school staff. 

“If we lose this, conditions could erode over the next 10 to 15 years,” he said.

“It’s distressing at a few different levels. The fact that it’s a Catholic employer, when  the church is supposed to stand up for social justice and the rights of workers, means we’ve had to stand up for our rights."