Students at risk of staff working conditions being cut

PLANNED cuts by Lutheran Education Queensland (LEQ) to working conditions of the staff in its 26 schools, including St John’s Lutheran school here in Kingaroy, will put quality education for 18K plus students at risk, according to the union representing employees.

Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland and Northern Territory (IEUA-QNT) Branch Secretary Terry Burke said LEQ’s planned cuts would make it far from an employer of choice in the state.

“LEQ claims to ‘offer an inspired, Christian educational experience that sets our students apart’ – and its plan for employees will certainly set it apart as an employer for all the wrong reasons,” Mr Burke said.

“LEQ’s planned cuts will result in all other major education employers – state, Catholic and Anglican – offering far superior working conditions.

“LEQ’s planned cuts will have serious negative implications including:

  • Lower wages for some of the most experienced teachers when compared to the majority of the Queensland education sector.
  • Proposed delays to wage increases which will have compounding negative effects into the future.
  • Removal of workload safety nets.
  • Removal of provisions ensuring job security and procedural fairness related to employment.

“Any cut to working conditions, is a cut to the foundation of quality education in these schools,” Mr Burke said.

“Our members are asking why LEQ wants to make these cuts now.

“Especially after the hard work and dedication shown by Queensland Lutheran teachers and school support staff throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

“Instead of valuing and rewarding staff for keeping their schools operational throughout the pandemic, LEQ has shown disregard for them.

“The cuts are at odds with the teachings of the Lutheran Church and its Christian values.

“Undoubtably LEQ’s plan will also raise some serious questions amongst students’ parents and parishioners alike.

“We hope that they too will call on LEQ to stop the cuts to working conditions in order to protect quality education in Queensland Lutheran schools.”