Frequently Asked Questions
What have employers offered for EB10?
By letter dated 8/6/23, employers advised employees of:
- the status of negotiations,
- the aim is to reach in-principle agreement by the end of June 2023; and
- their role in making the ultimate decision to finalise negotiations.
The letter also included a table summarising what the employers were offering to resolve the negotiations.
How will the Cost of Living Payment be applied?
The offer outlined by employers on 8/6/23 includes a cost of living payment (COLP) each year to assist employees in responding to the current challenges in the cost of living. The COLP is based on:
- the percentage difference between the March 12 month CPI figure and wage increase each year (where CPI exceeds the wage increase) up to a maximum of 3%; and
- the earnings received by an employee (less the % wage increase already received).
Here is an example of how it would work in 2023 –
- An employee has base rate of pay earnings for 1/7/22 to 30/6/23 of $60,000.
- The wage increase for that pay period was 4% in mid 2022.
- CPI for March 2023 was 7.4%
- 7.4% (CPI) – 4% (wage increase) = 3.4% (but maximum can only be 3%)
- The $60,000 earnings is discounted by the 4% wage increase already paid ie. 96.15% of $60,000 = $57,690
- COLP = 3% of $57, 690 = $1,730.70
- $1,730 would be paid in the first full pay period after 1/9/23 or when EB10 operates, whichever is the later.
What happens to backpay if EB10 negotiations are not finalised by 30 June 2023?
As mentioned in EB10 Video Update #1, employers advised unions that if an in-principle agreement (IPA) on a total package is not reached by 30 June 2023 (i.e. the nominal expiry date of EB9), then the date for initial wage increases will be the 1st day of the month IPA is reached (see FAQ below for further details about reaching IPA).
If IPA is reached by 30 June 2023, this means:
- non-teachers (such as school officers and service staff) will maintain an initial wage increase date of 1 May 2023
- teachers will maintain an initial wage increase date of 1 July 2023.
Employers also commit to maintaining the above dates if IPA on a total package is reached with the unions by 31 July 2023. That is, non-teachers will maintain 1 May 2023 and teachers will maintain 1 July 2023.
Backpay will be paid to these dates provided you are still employed at the time EB10 comes into legal operation (i.e. 7 days after approval by the Fair Work Commission, which employers are aiming to be obtained by the end of Term 3, 2023).
Employers will be taking all reasonable steps to reach IPA with the unions by 30 June 2023.
The above approach by employers is:
- the same approach taken by the Queensland Department of Education in its EB negotiations
- taken to discourage unnecessarily protracted negotiations.
What is the difference between IPA with the unions and the vote taken by employees?
The aim of the negotiation meetings with the unions is to consider all the items in the parties’ logs of claim (see above FAQ for details of those items) and agree on what items will be included in a proposed EB10 agreement. This is known as reaching “in-principle agreement” (IPA).
Reaching IPA does not mean that a formal enterprise agreement comes into operation at that time. It just means that the parties have finalised the formal negotiations. After IPA is reached, there are a number of steps that must be taken to provide employees with the opportunity to formally vote and approve the proposed agreement as required by legislation.
What steps occur after IPA is reached and before the vote by employees?
After IPA is reached with the unions, the following steps are required by legislation before the employee vote can occur:
1. finalise drafting of the enterprise agreement by incorporating the agreed changes from clauses tabled during negotiation meetings
2. draft relevant explanatory information so that employees can understand the changes to the proposed agreement
3. provide employees:
- a copy of the above documents for their consideration
- an opportunity to ask questions about the proposed agreement
- details of when and how to vote to approve the proposed agreement
- the opportunity to vote to approve the proposed agreement.
The above steps can take a couple of months between IPA being reached and the employee vote taking place.
When will the vote take place?
Employers are keen to give employees an opportunity to vote on proposed agreements as soon as possible. The aim is to have this occur as soon as possible after the nominal expiry dates of the current EB agreements (i.e. 30 June 2023) – so during Term 3, 2023.
Who can vote on the replacement agreements?
All staff who will be covered by the proposed agreements (whether a member of a union or not) will have the opportunity to vote on a proposed agreement at the conclusion of the negotiation process.
Voting will take place online and will be conducted independently by an external provider.
What happens after the vote by employees?
If a majority of employees vote to approve the proposed EB10 agreement, then the legislation requires the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to check the steps mentioned above (and other issues) have been satisfied before the agreement comes into legal operation and applies to employees. The FWC will take at least another month to consider those issues.
From this, you can see that employees are the most important stakeholders in deciding whether an agreement is to be approved. Your vote is critical and you are encouraged to take that opportunity and have your say.
What happens if a majority of employees do not approve of the proposed agreement?
If a majority of employees do not approve of the proposed EB10 agreement, then the terms and conditions of the current agreement (EB9) will continue to apply. No enhancements under the proposed EB10 agreement will come into operation (including any proposed wage increases and backpay).
Who is to be covered by EB10?
The employees to be covered include teachers, deputy principals, school officers, counsellors and services staff employed in Queensland Catholic schools.
The 23 Catholic school employers to be covered are:
- Catholic Education – Archdiocese of Brisbane
- Catholic Education – Diocese of Cairns
- Catholic Education – Diocese of Rockhampton
- Catholic Education – Diocese of Toowoomba
- Catholic Education – Diocese of Townsville
- Edmund Rice Education Australia Colleges Ltd (9 Colleges)
- Edmund Rice Education Australia Flexible Schools Ltd (12 centres)
- All Hallows’ School, Fortitude Valley
- Brigidine College, Indooroopilly
- Downlands College, Toowoomba
- lona College, Wynnum West
- Lourdes Hill College, Hawthorne
- Mount Alvernia College, Kedron
- Mt St Michael’s College, Ashgrove
- Padua College, Kedron
- St Patrick’s College, Townsville
- St Rita’s College, Clayfield
- St Ursula’s College, Yeppoon
- St Ursula’s College, Toowoomba
- Stuartholme School, Toowong
- Loreto College, Coorparoo
- Marist College, Ashgrove
- Villanova College, Coorparoo
Are all staff to be covered by the same agreement?
No. One agreement will cover relevant staff working in schools run by the five diocesans in Queensland.
Staff working in schools run by Religious Institutes or Public Juridic Persons will be covered under a similar but separate agreement.
How many staff will be covered by the EB?
More than 22,000 employees across Queensland’s 312 Catholic schools.
When will negotiations between employer and employee representatives take place?
The first negotiation meeting for EB10 took place on 29 November 2022 in which negotiation protocols were discussed and logs of claims were exchanged by the employers and the IEU-QNT.
Further scheduled meetings for 2023 are:
Thursday, 2 February
Tuesday, 21 February
Thursday, 16 March
Thursday, 20 April
Thursday, 11 May
Tuesday, 30 May
Tuesday, 20 June
What protocols govern the negotiations?
The EB10 negotiations are governed by a set of protocols agreed by representatives of Catholic school employers and the Independent Education Union – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch.
The protocols can be accessed on the Staff Updates section of this website.