Statewide meetings endorse new award

Federation members came together at more than 200 venues across the state on 5 December to overwhelmingly endorse the new salaries and conditions Award for the next two years

Endorsement of the new Award comes after weeks of intense negotiations between Federation and the Department.

The endorsement brings with it significant gains in relation to school counsellors, various liaison officer positions, Saturday School of Community Languages teachers and principals.

The new Award also resolves the pay anomaly affecting pre-2016 teachers.

Federation President Maurie Mulheron welcomed the outcome of the mass meetings, “despite the state government’s draconian Public Sector Wages Policy members will, from January 2020, see the maximum allowable salary increases delivered to them”.

Furthermore, all existing entitlements, conditions and allowances have been protected with no trade-offs.

“Members asked the negotiating team to secure a real growth in salaries, protect all working conditions and resolve a number of anomalies,” Mr Mulheron said. “This has been achieved.”

Mr Mulheron acknowledged the commitment of members, which he believed placed Federation’s negotiating team in good stead throughout negotiations.

“The collective will and visibility of the union throughout numerous Weeks of Action did not go unnoticed by those opposite,” he said.

Acting Deputy President Henry Rajendra welcomed the outcome for school counsellors and liaison officers. “School counsellors may now seek accreditation against Teaching Standards and therefore paid according to standards-based pay,” he said.

“We have consistently advocated for this, the existence of dual-qualified school counsellors will remain the foundation of the school counselling service. This is the superior model of support for students and is something we have consistently advocated for.”

Senior Vice President-elect Amber Flohm said this endorsement was a significant win for all teachers and congratulated those members who engaged in Federation’s pre-2016 teacher campaign. “The members who visited their local political representatives and actively engaged in the campaign helped bring about this change,” Ms Flohm said.

Award settlement: What it means for you
The negotiation of a new Award has resulted in real salary increases at a time of historically low inflation as well as a number of additional benefits for members. Some of the key features of the Award are outlined below.

Entitlements defended

All current working conditions and entitlements are protected in this Award.

Pre-2016 pay anomaly

The pre-2016 anomaly has been resolved. Affected teachers will receive pay rises in line with all other teachers, as well as additional increases in pay and/or incremental credits. The settlement of this matter also brings forward the end of separate incremental clocks for temporary and casual service for our teachers employed before 2016, who remained on the Common Incremental Scale.

Federation has prepared additional advice for members in relation to pre 2016 teachers and Standards-Based remuneration, which can be found here.

Saturday School of Community Languages

Enhancements for teachers and executives currently engaged at the 15 centres across the Saturday School of Community Languages. A move to the Teaching Services Act will protect qualifications and status as language teachers. The agreement to no disadvantage or changes to current employment practices provides the surety required by these teachers.

Home school liaison officers, Aboriginal student liaison officers and education officers with teaching qualifications

The settlement will mean these teachers are required to be credited and therefore be paid in accordance with standards-based pay. This means they can now access:

  • a shorter salary scale, reduced from nine to seven years
  • an increased daily casual rate
  • support for teacher accreditation and professional learning, and
  • the application process for Band 3.

School counsellors

The scope now exists for the additional qualifications and expertise of school counsellors to be recognised at a higher pay level. This settlement also ensures that teachers with dual teaching and psychology qualifications will remain the foundation of the school counselling service. This is the superior model of counselling support for students.


Federation has achieved another opportunity for principals to “opt in” to the new salary classification system. Principal transfers, including incentive transfers, will proceed at the new classification structure with no pay disadvantage for “opt-in” principals.

During the term of this proposed Award, there will be joint discussions about the current principal classification system.

A “bold and just” staffing campaign flagged for 2020
The new school year will bring with it a key commitment to the enhancement of permanent staffing provision across the state. This includes pursuing additional release from face-to-face teaching, inbuilt teacher relief, reduced class sizes as well as the expansion of existing programs and systemic support for schools.