Lumen Christi Catholic College teachers join IEU strike

Independent Education Union NSW/ACT members at a rally in Sydney on Wednesday, November 1. Photo: IEUNSWACT
Independent Education Union NSW/ACT members at a rally in Sydney on Wednesday, November 1. Photo: IEUNSWACT

Teachers at Lumen Christi Catholic College are set to strike for the second time in the space of five weeks.

They will join Independent Education Union staff in stop work action on Monday, December 4 as part of the ongoing protest against the Employers’ Enterprise Agreement.

In a message to parents and carers on the school’s Facebook page, Lumen Christi principal Steve Centra said there would be a degree of disruption to the normal college program between 8.30am and 12.30pm.

“Please be assured that the college will remain open during this time and that students will be supervised,” Mr Centra said.

IEU secretary John Quessy said the mood of members had lifted, with more than 100 additional schools taking part in this second round of action following a series of a stop works last month.

“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.

“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.”

Last month Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn education director, Ross Fox, said some statements made by the union leadership had been misleading.

“The disputes resolution clause – the only outstanding item – has been in place and working for seven years,” Mr Fox said.

“The same clause has been endorsed by the IEU in agreements with 450 independent schools in NSW and the ACT. Why a process that has worked in other agreements is now not acceptable for Catholic schools is unclear.”

About 350 NSW and ACT schools will participate in the action.