Response to media reports on Government’s re-announced teacher policy

In response to the ground-breaking announcement from the NSW Government Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos said:

We have a crisis in New South Wales -a teacher shortage crisis that has hundreds upon hundreds of classes merged, split or sitting in playgrounds under minimal supervision. As a result, thousands upon thousands of students are having their learning disrupted every day.

This crisis has been brought to us by government neglect and deliberate policies which have made the profession an unattractive option for potential teachers and contributing to an exodus of teachers.

This reannouncement is a desperate attempt by the government to divert attention from the crisis. It will not deal with the supply issues that exist right now.

The latest data available tabled in Parliament shows 1,657 vacancies in June of this year, which is a 67 per cent increase on the number of vacancies that existed at the same time last year.

Further, the Minister has recently conceded that we will need an extra 3,800 teachers by 2027.

The government knows the cause and therefore the solutions required to address the teacher shortage.

Teachers need time. Time to plan and prepare, noting teacher planning time hasn’t changed since the 1980s for primary teachers and in over 70 years for high school teachers, and teachers need competitive professional salaries for the teaching profession as a whole.

The Premier said he wanted NSW teachers to be the best paid in the country. NSW teacher salaries currently rank third last in state by state comparisons.

Offering teachers a 7.59 per cent over three years when inflation is expected to rise to 7.75 per cent this year will only exacerbate the shortages.”