Catholic teachers fed up with increased work without pay

CATHOLIC school teachers from a dozen Ipswich schools joined more than 8000 of their Queensland counterparts in industrial action yesterday.

Furious at the increase in workload and their employer's refusal to provide equal pay to other states, teachers from as far afield as All Saints Boonah rallied at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

St Augustine's teacher and pastoral leader Pamela Brown said the demands on teachers had increased over the last two decades, but recognition of the additional effort was sadly lacking.

"This is my 17th year as a teacher, and the planning time we are allowed is the same as it was when I started," she said.

"I had a student emailing me at 8pm last night - it's an example of the how the demands on teachers have changed over time."

Paperwork and reporting has also increased dramatically.

As a result, teachers are spending many hours doing unpaid work.

Adding insult to injury is the fact that teachers in other states earn up to $7000 more than those in Queensland.

Independent Education Union delegate Craig Darlington said all Australian teachers worked to the same curriculum, which means they are essentially all doing the same job.

"In Queensland, Catholic teachers are the lowest paid in the country in terms of the top automatic pay level they can get to," he said.

Catholic employees are also campaigning for an increase to four weeks annual leave for school administration workers and teacher aides.

The Queensland Catholic Education Commission seems unlikely to budge on their current annual wage increase offer of 2.5% with back pay.

Director Lee-Ann Perry said she believed the offer was fair and that teachers in other states were paid more because they worked different hours.

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