VOTING TIME: Primary school teacher Christine Garrett. Picture: Sylvia Liber.
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FIVE Catholic schools across the Hunter continued industrial action on Tuesdayas voting commenced on an enterprise agreement put forward to staff without union endorsement.

The vote, which is being completedelectronically by teachers, support staff, cleaners and grounds workers,commenced at 8:30am on Tuesday and runs until 5pm on Monday.

The Independent Education Union (IEU) representing employees,believes a large majority of staff will widely reject the proposal.

“Since the early 70’sthe union’s been party to every state award or agreement,” IEU Newcastle officerTherese Fitzgibbon said.

“It will be interesting to see what response we get from members, because certainly what we’re seeing is they are feeling very strongly for a‘no’vote.”

Complicating the vote for staff is the lure of2.5 per cent pay increase backdated to January 1, which somestaff have been told they could receive before Christmas should a‘yes’ vote succeed.

Earlier this week,The Heraldreported that theCatholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER) had decided to puta non-union endorsedenterprise agreement out to vote after 12 months of negotiations.

Teachers from St Paul’s Primary School, Gateshead during stop-work action. Pciture: Supplied.

However, a resolution on anew enterprise agreement for Catholic school teachers and support staff appears a long way off.

The continued industrial actionfollowed Monday’s mass strikes involving over 300 local union members.

Schools where workers stoppedwork on Tuesdayincluded:St Peter’s Campus,Maitland;St Therese’sPrimary School,New Lambton;St Paul’s Primary School,Gateshead;St Joseph’sPrimary School,Charlestown;andSt Pius X High School, Adamstown.