New South Wales teachers surge as state faces severe shortage of educators
New South Wales teachers could soon join the highest paid in Australia after the state government and the union reached a tentative agreement providing for a significant pay rise.
Following an increasingly bitter pay dispute, the NSW Teachers Federation is recommending that its members accept an offer that includes a significant pay rise in the first year.
All teachers will get an initial pay raise of up to $10,000 a year under the proposed deal, which will go to the union’s state board on Saturday.
Starting in October, the starting salary for first-grade teachers will increase from $75,791 to $85,000, an increase of more than 12 percent.
Salaries for teachers at the top of the scale will rise from $113,042 to $122,100, an increase of eight per cent.
NSW teachers are set to receive a huge pay rise after a tentative agreement is reached with the NSW Teachers Federation (stock image)
The rates for casual teachers and school counselors will also be increased, while the controversial 2.5 per cent cap on salary increases in the following three years of a four-year deal has been dropped.
The union leaders will recommend to the Council of State to approve the agreement at the next meeting.
NSW Teachers Federation acting president Henry Rajendra said the proposed increase was “once in a generation”, with children being the ultimate beneficiaries if approved.
“The shortage of teachers is a crisis that has been brewing for 12 long years. It can only be solved by paying teachers their fair value,” he said.
“We will attract and retain more hard-working teachers and prevent them from moving to other professions or other states.”
Teachers in Catholic schools can also expect a pay rise, as a tentative deal between the Independent Education Union and New South Wales dioceses requires the latter to pass on pay rises to teachers in the public system.
Union NSW branch secretary Mark Northam said the reported wage increases were unprecedented and would help rebuild the profession.
If the latest offer is accepted, the public school teacher reward will be amended and extended until October 2024, while negotiations continue on salary increases for subsequent years.
Mr Rajendra said the union would take into account the state of the economy and gather information from its members before negotiations on the price continue next September.
Education Minister Prue Car (pictured) said the deal would mean teachers in the state would rise from the lowest paid class leaders in the country to the highest paid.
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Education Minister Prue Car said the deal would mean teachers in the state would rise from the lowest paid class leaders in the country to the highest paid.
She hoped the deal would go through so teachers could start seeing more money in their salaries.
But Opposition Leader Mark Speakman accused the government of “bowing under pressure from the unions” and agreeing to a deal that would plunge the state budget into another crisis.
He said the government had yet to reveal where the cuts would be made in order to fund the pay rise.
Discussions will continue on what salary increases teachers can expect for the remainder of the four-year period after the government backtracked on its 2.5 per cent offer.
The union effectively refused to lock itself into that figure, which it said reflected the public sector salary cap of the former coalition government and would again lead to a worsening teacher shortage.