NSW teachers’ salaries are rising as the state faces a severe shortage of teachers
NSW teachers could soon be among Australia’s best-paid teachers after the state government and union reached an agreement in principle on a significant wage increase.
After an increasingly acrimonious salary dispute, the NSW Teachers Federation is recommending its members to accept an offer that includes a significant salary increase for the first year.
All teachers will receive an initial pay rise of up to $10,000 a year under the proposed agreement, which will be presented to the union’s State Council on Saturday.
Beginning in October, the starting salary for first-year teachers will increase from $75,791 to $85,000 — an increase of more than 12 percent.
Salaries for teachers at the top of the pay scale will rise from $113,042 to $122,100, an eight percent increase.
NSW teachers expected huge pay rise after reaching agreement in principle with NSW Teachers Federation (stock image)
Rates for casual teachers and school counselors are also being raised, while a controversial 2.5 percent cap on pay rises over the following three years of a four-year contract has been put on hold.
Union leaders will recommend that the State Council approve the deal at the upcoming meeting.
NSW Teachers Federation acting president Henry Rajendra said the proposed increase was “once in a generation” and children would be the final beneficiaries if approved.
“The teacher shortage is a crisis that has dragged on for 12 long years. It can only be fought by paying teachers what they are worth,” he said.
“We will attract and retain more hard-working teachers and prevent them from migrating to other professions or federal states.”
Catholic school teachers can also expect a pay rise as a tentative agreement between the Independent Education Union and NSW dioceses commits the latter to passing on pay increases for teachers in the public system.
The union’s NSW branch secretary, Mark Northam, said the announced wage increases were unprecedented and would help to rebuild the profession.
If the latest offer is accepted, the award for public school teachers will be amended and extended to October 2024 while negotiations for later-year pay increases continue.
Mr Rajendra said the union would take into account the economic situation and gather information from its members ahead of further negotiations on the award next September.
Education Secretary Prue Car (pictured) said the deal would mean the state’s teachers would go from being the lowest-paid classroom teachers in the country to being the highest-paid
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Education Secretary Prue Car said the deal would mean the state’s teachers would go from being the lowest-paid classroom teachers in the country to being the highest-paid.
She hoped the deal would go through so teachers could start seeing more money in their pay packages.
But opposition leader Mark Speakman accused the government of “giving in under pressure from the unions” and agreeing to an agreement that would throw the state budget into even more trouble.
He said the government has not yet announced where cuts would be made to fund the wage increase.
Talks continue on what salary increases teachers can expect for the remainder of the four-year period after the government withdrew its 2.5 percent offer.
The union effectively refused to commit to the number, which it said reflected the previous coalition government’s wage cap in the public sector and would again exacerbate teacher shortages.