The union representing Catholic school teachers in the ACT and New South Wales says it has had a win in long-running pay negotiations.

Catholic school employers and the Independent Education Union (IEU) have been at the table for over 14 months, but now appear to have settled on a new deal.

But the pay rises have not led to any great celebrations.

“They're certainly not what you'd call generous. They're very meagre,” union spokesperson John Quessy told ABC reporters.

“In New South Wales we're looking at 2.7 per cent. In the ACT we're looking at a little better than that, at basically 3 per cent.

“So they're certainly not going to allow people to buy houses in Joe Hockey's words, but at least there is salary movement.”

Mr Quessy said the argument focused not on annual pay rises, but working conditions.

“This was never a dispute about money, this was a dispute about fundamental working conditions,” he said.

“We believe that the agreement that we are asking members to consider not only preserves their conditions but in a few places it enhances them."

The original agreement reportedly sought to scrap basic rights, like a 30 minute lunch break.

“I mean it goes to basic human dignity. We had to put these things back,” he said.

“One-by-one, piece-by-piece, but with the support of our members we've managed to achieve that.”

IEU members will vote on the deal early next term.