Catholic teachers strike over enterprise bargaining. Photo: Megan Pope / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Catholic teachers strike over enterprise bargaining. Photo: Megan Pope / Fraser Coast Chronicle Megan Pope FRA060912catholic1

School to shut down, 150 teachers to go on strike

REGULAR classes at Xavier Catholic College will be shut down on February 25 when almost 100 staff members go on strike.

More than 150 staff from three Fraser Coast Catholic schools have been authorised to stop work and join the 1pm rally at the Hervey Bay bowls club.

Xavier college principal Kerry Swann said this was the first strike that would affect parents and students.

"Up until now it's been inconveniencing the school; stopping work for 20 minutes, not replying to emails straight away, but that doesn't affect anybody else," Mr Swann said.

"It didn't affect Brisbane Catholic Education who has got to negotiate with unions."

Mr Swann said the school was asking parents to keep their children at home on the day of the strike.

"We will have relief teachers to offer study support," he said.

"But normal classes will not be possible on that day."

Across Queensland, more than 7800 Catholic school staff from 206 Queensland schools will hold rallies and strikes in other areas including Toowoomba and Bundaberg, pushing for higher wages "improved work conditions".

Independent Education Union of Australia Queensland and Northern Territory branch secretary Terry Burke said it would be up to school employers to determine whether schools would stay open in light of the strike.

"Members have voted to escalate their campaign after continued indifference from Queensland Catholic school employers on critical matters affecting the quality of education in their schools," Mr Burke said.

"This will be the eighth stop work Queensland Catholic school teachers and support staff have taken since negotiations over working conditions started ten months ago."

Star of the Sea and St Mary's College & Primary have been contacted for comment.