Teachers burnt out, time poor: government survey

An alarming two thirds of public school teachers have told the NSW Government they feel burnt out, while just one in five say they have the time to do their job well, exposing the realities of the unsustainable workloads and uncompetitive salaries forced on the teacher workforce.

Almost all of the key indicators for teachers worsened in the 2022 edition of the NSW Government’s People Matter Employee Survey of its public sector employees.

Just a few examples include:

  • Only 32 per cent of teachers agreed they can keep their work stress at an acceptable level (14 points lower than 2021 and 26 points lower than the public sector average)
  • Just 19 per cent agreed they have time to do their job well (16 points lower than 2021 and 33 points lower than the public sector average)
  • Only 19 per cent agreed they are fairly paid for the work they do (19 points lower than 2021 and 29 points lower than the public sector average).

Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos said the shock new figures confirmed the extent of the classroom crisis in NSW, with the results far worse than those seen in previous years.

This is the Government’s own research confirming we have a crisis in the teaching workforce due to unsustainable workloads and uncompetitive salaries,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

The most telling response from the annual survey was to the statement, I feel burned out by my work.” Just 13 per cent of teachers disagreed with the statement, while 67 per cent agreed or strongly agreed.

Further, 63 per cent of teachers who responded say they would leave within the next 10 years, almost one in 10 say they will be gone within a year and 21 per cent plan to exit within two years.

Mr Gavrielatos said the high rate of teacher burnout and overwork was reflected in the growing shortages of teachers across NSW.

The Perrottet Government is failing teachers and failing students,” he said. Kids are missing out because of the shortages and teachers are burning out.

You can’t fix the teacher shortage problem without fixing the wages and workload problem.

The government’s own briefings show NSW is ‘facing a large and growing shortage of teachers’ and the situation is only going to get worse with rising enrolments, an ageing workforce and a 30 per cent decline in the number of people studying to become a teacher.

The number of early career teachers leaving public schools is also at a 13-year high. The Perrottet Government has known about these worsening problems for years and it has done nothing meaningful to fix them.

The decision by the Perrottet Government to cap pay increases at 2.53 per cent a year for three years when inflation is 7.3 per cent and rising defies their own research that shows the uncompetitive salaries of teachers are a major reason why the number of people studying to become a teacher has plummeted.”