Catholic school strikes won’t disrupt Maranoa students

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Maranoa students shouldn’t see any disruption to their usual school schedules, with classes still running as normal during the state-wide teacher strikes this Thursday.

At St. Patrick’s School in Mitchell, administrative staff say everything will run as normal with students remaining unaffected by the strikes.

Teachers are protesting a 10-month-long wage dispute, claiming Queensland teachers are nearly $7000 per year worse off than counterparts in New South Wales.

“Everything will remain normal, nothing changes on Thursday,” says a spokesperson for the school.

“The school will still remain open and parents can rest assured their kids will go to classes as per usual.”

Executive Director for Diocese of Toowoomba Catholic Schools, Dr Patrick Coughlan says he has consulted with principals across the region and all schools will remain open during the full-day strike with teacher supervision in place.

“Toowoomba Catholic Schools employ 127 teachers in Dalby, Tara, Roma and Mitchell. There are 72 school officer and support staff. Of these, less than a quarter of the Surat Basin schools staff voted for industrial action,” Dr Coughlan explains

“This matches the evidence we have that the majority of staff are keen to resolve the bargaining process in a reasonable and considered way.”

“Some schools will provide limited programs or supervision but importantly, all our schools will be open, which minimises disruption to parents and students.”

Independent Education Union secretary Terry Burke says eleven group rallies will take place over the next few days and it’s up to schools if they decide to remain open.

“Queensland Catholic school employers need to stop their smoke and mirrors approach and try to mask the reality of wage issues,” Mr Burke explains.

“It is a deliberate act of Queensland employers to pocket the income and not pay their teachers comparable rates. It’s our last resort to take a stand.”

Schools will remain open on Thursday across Maranoa and will ensure minimal disruption to students during their school day.