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Catholic teachers join in pay case strike

A day after NSW public school teachers walked off the job, 13,000 Catholic teachers will hold their own 24-hour stoppage today in support of their colleagues.

Catholic teachers are currently applying for a 25% pay increase in the Industrial Relations Commission. Their case is being run separately but concurrently with that of their state system colleagues.

The IRC last year awarded Catholic school teachers an interim 5.5% pay rise and a final decision is expected soon.

Independent Education Union (IEU) secretary Dick Shearman said Catholic school teachers would today call on Premier Bob Carr to safeguard the education budget.

"Premier Carr's threat to cut the education budget to fund any teacher pay rise is tantamount to economic vandalism," Mr Shearman said.

In a letter to systemic school principals, Br Kelvin Canavan, executive director of schools for the Sydney archdiocese, said he respects the right of teachers to stop work in appropriate circumstances. However, it is important that "the awareness of teachers be raised in taking such action".

It is advisable that any strike action be "managed in such a way that the impact of it on the parents of our students is considered", Br Kelvin said.

Catholic school teachers strike (The Australian 28/5/04)
Catholic teachers join in pay case strike (Catholic Weekly 30/5/04)

Parents claim teachers' strike not justified (Sydney Morning Herald 25/5/04)

28 May 2004