Our commitment to job security

Ahead of the state election, Federation will seek commitments from all major political parties to increase permanent teacher employment, as part of its ongoing campaign to stop the excessive use of temporary engagements.

Although the temporary teacher classification was welcomed by Federation and the profession in 2001, the increasing number and length of temporary engagements must be addressed to ensure job security for the profession.

Only 22 per cent of pre-service teachers enter the workforce in permanent roles (Rapid Teacher Supply Strategy, January 2020), so sectors with more permanency may be more attractive to graduates.

Some 67 per cent of early career teachers are in temporary or casual roles. (Meeting with the Secretary 3 November 2020).

Early career teachers may be leaving NSW government schools due to a lack of permanent roles, a lack of wellbeing and/or a lack of professional support. (Teacher supply strategy briefing, 20 August 2020).

The latest data tabled in parliament shows the number of temporary teachers has increased by 70 per cent during the life of this government.

Prior to 2001, teachers could be employed as a day to day casual and cover classes for extended periods of time without access to holiday pay, leave provisions or equitable pay commensurate to their permanent teacher colleagues. After many years of campaigning, the union welcomed the temporary teacher classification, which ensured equitable pay for equal work between temporary and permanent teachers, access to paid leave, including sick leave, maternity leave and family and community leave, as well as school holiday pay.

The Staffing Agreement is an important industrial agreement between Federation and the Department that prescribes whether a teacher is employed as a day-to-day casual or temporary engagement. If working full time for four weeks or more, or part time for two terms or more, teachers must be employed through a temporary engagement. Temporary teachers will receive pro-rata pay throughout holiday periods dependent on the length of the engagement(s) for the year. For example, working casually for terms 1 and 2 and employed as a full-time temporary for terms 3 and 4, pay is provided for the term 3 holidays and half of the summer holiday period.

Members are encouraged to contact Federation’s Professional Support section for assistance.