Forced transfer on hold for dry areas

Negotiations with the Department in August last year resulted in an agreement to suspend forced teacher transfers in parts of the state affected by drought to support schools and the community

At the time, Federation Senior Vice President Henry Rajendra said public schools in rural and remote communities across NSW were suffering and the likelihood of declining student enrolments would result in a reduction in staffing entitlements and usually trigger teacher transfers.

“At a time of high levels of student distress due to drought, now is not the time to remove teachers from our public schools,” Mr Rajendra said.

“We need schools to be fully staffed so teachers can provide support for students and their families as they face the difficulties of drought.”

In addition, members of rural and remote schools received their first payments in the middle of this year under the new Rural and Remote Incentive packages, which was negotiated by the union.

Mr Rajendra said teachers from rural and regional areas had sought a moratorium on forced transfers to ensure drought-affected schools could properly cope with the crisis and the NSW Department had agreed.

“This will ensure drought-affected schools have the resilience to cope with the current crisis and not face additional staffing shortages when the drought breaks.”

Federation worked with the Department to identify affected schools and areas.

“Students and their families in rural areas are undergoing a very stressful time because of the drought,” Mr Rajendra said.

“Teachers and schools play an important role in supporting children to cope with these difficulties. It would have made no sense to reduce the numbers of teachers in rural areas at a time when they are most needed.”

Mr Rajendra said counselling services were also desperately needed in these affected communities.

Federation will continue to pursue with the State Government and Department extra counselling services for drought-affected rural and remote schools.


Since 2016, Federation has worked with the Department to develop:

  • the Rural Teacher Incentive and Experienced Teacher Benefit (an additional $30,000 to $40,000 per annum)
  • the Rural and Remote Recruitment Bonus ($10,000 once-off payment)
  • the Rural and Remote Retention Benefit ($5000 per annum for 10 years)
  • an Incentive Transfer for Connected Community School executive principals • Rural Conversion from Temporary to Permanent Teacher Procedure.