NSW teachers given 6 per cent pay increase over two years, leaving union furious
New South Wales teachers have been awarded a 6 per cent pay rise over two years by the state government but the decision has infuriated the teachers’ union.
Teachers and the government have been caught up in a pay dispute for months, which has caused educators to walk off the job multiple timesdemanding a 6 per cent pay increase per year – a total 12 per cent rise.
Today the Industrial Relations Commission sided with the state government to offer a pay deal of an additional 0.25 per cent on top of the existing 2.5 per cent this year and a 3 per cent rise from January 1 next year.
Employee Relations Minister Damien Tudehope said it was a “fair deal” for teachers.
“Our wages policy provides amongst the highest public sector wages growth in the country and I’m pleased we can deliver our teachers a pay rise well above the 2 per cent per annum increase recently made by the Victorian Government,” he said.
Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said she hoped the pay rise means the NSW Teachers Federation will now work collaboratively with the government to improve the education sector.
But the union is furious with the government’s announcement.
“The decision of the Perrottet Government and Department Secretary to have the Award arbitrated in the IRC, restricted by
Government regulations, rather than negotiate salary increases above the salary cap with the profession shows how little they respect the value of teachers’ work and the impact they have on those they teach,” NSW Teachers Federation president Angelo Gavrielatos said.
Gavrielatos said the profession is in crisis and the low pay is only exacerbating the shortage.
“You can’t fix the teacher shortage problem without fixing the wages and workload problem,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Independent Education Union of Australia, which looks after private school teachers, has decided to stop work for an hour next Tuesday to protest against the government’s “derisory” pay offering.
“Teachers’ salaries have been falling relative to other professions for more than a decade now and this year’s intensifying cost-of-living pressures only make matters worse,” acting secretary Carol Matthews said.
“Teachers care deeply about their students and understand the inconvenience next week’s brief stop work will cause.
“They are left with no option but to take action in an attempt to bring their employers to the negotiating table.”