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No Easter Holidays for School Support Staff
SCHOOL support staff who are stood down without pay during school holidays are amongst the lowest paid workers in the whole public sector. Most are classified at Band 2, work part-time hours and are only paid for 40 weeks a year. If this isn’t bad enough the Department of Education has found a way to reduce their salaries even further by refusing to pay them for the public holidays over Easter.
Prior to the introduction of the 4 term year, Easter normally fell during first term and therefore school support staff were paid for the public holidays but this year because Easter coincided with the first term holidays the Department decided it doesn’t need to pay them for these holidays or for any public holidays that fall during term breaks. To make matters worse the Department has now decided it can ignore the industrial rights of this group of workers and mandate that school support staff can’t take annual leave during term holidays but must instead take their leave during term time or have their leave paid out at the end of fourth term each year.
The CPSU is appalled at the heartless way this group of workers has been treated by the Department. We have written to the new Education Minister, Jeremy Rockliff, seeking a meeting so we can explain our concerns and unless the issue is resolved we will meet with members to discuss options for industrial action to ensure they are treated fairly.