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Catholic teachers threaten stopwork

Catholic school teachers in South Australia are considering industrial action for what they see as a failure to address class size and workload issues.

Stopwork meetings are among a number of strategies to be voted on by teachers who claim they have no regulations determining workloads or maximum class sizes.

In the latest round of wage negotiations, Catholic schools have offered their 4000 teachers an 8% pay rise until July 2005, taking top salaries to $61,093.

But the independent teachers' union (ANGEE) said on Friday the first 1.5% instalment would not be paid until May 2004 - 14 months after the last pay rise under the old agreement.

Teachers wanted a 10% wage increase to $62,366, starting in November. They also sought caps on extra-curricular responsibilities, contact teaching time, length of the school day, relief lessons they have to take and meetings.

Association of Non-Government Education Employees secretary Glen Seidel said teachers wanted class sizes capped at 26, with some schools understood to have classes in excess of 30.

Catholic Education director Allan Dooley said some concessions had been made on the workload issue and teachers had also been offered more maternity, paternity and family event leave.

"Our offer has been made in consideration of school budgets and we believe that the offers we've made at the moment in terms of workload and salaries are in (line) with what schools can actually afford," he said.

Catholic school teachers are planning a mass meeting next term to discuss the latest offer and any further action.

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Catholic Education Office
Schools funding squeeze boosts Sydney class sizes (26/5/03)

15 Sep 2003