Union commits to real growth in salaries, improved working conditions

Results of the
schools salary survey of members were reported to Annual Conference and the Federation
will now embark on developing a log of claims in preparation for salaries negotiations
to begin in term 4 with the Department of Education.

Salaries will be a
priority report at all Executive and Council meetings for the remainder of the
year. The union will keep members up to date on progress in the campaign including
via meetings throughout the state for all members to hear progress reports on
negotiations and/or to finalise an agreement during term 4.

“Federation has an
absolute commitment to real growth in salaries and superannuation and to
protect and improve the working conditions of all teachers,” delegates declared
in the Annual Conference decision on salaries. They authorised Federation Executive
to call statewide industrial action “if there is any attempt by the State
Government to reduce salaries and weaken working conditions”.

Government’s Public Sector Wages Policy means public sector workers cannot
achieve salary increases beyond 2.5 per cent per annum without additional
employee-related cost savings. Annual Conference affirmed: “Federation will
never accept trade-offs to achieve higher salaries.”

President Maurie Mulheron said legislation introduced by the State Coalition restricts
the Industrial Relations Commission to applying the government’s policy and
there is no scope for a work value case.

Mr Mulheron said
teachers had not just experienced an increase in simple workload but had seen
their roles redefined, for example “principals from lead educator to lead
manager” and “teachers becoming data collectors”. He said it was not just a
matter of getting more teachers or more release time to do pointless work, but
to “protect the nature of what a teacher’s work is — professional autonomy
inside their classroom around assessment and other things”.

The union’s peak
decision making body also confirmed Federation will continue to engage in
negotiations with the Department to seek a settlement of outstanding anomalies
including the pre-2016 pay discrepancy, school counsellors’ access to standards-based
pay and the principal classification scheme.