Premier’s court-ordered pay deal ignores cause of teacher shortage crisis

The Perrottet Government has today used the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) to force its wages cap onto public school teachers without any meaningful negotiation with the profession.

NSWTF President Angelo Gavrielatos said delivering a real wage cut to teachers would only worsen the teacher shortages and make the profession less attractive in a highly competitive labour market.

The Perrottet Government-instructed decision will cap further pay increases at 0.25 per cent from 1 July 2022 and 2.53 per cent from the first pay period after 1 January 2023 and will only contribute to the large and growing shortage of teachers.

Figures released by Education Minister Sarah Mitchell this week, show 2459 vacant positions in public schools in early October, at the start of Term 4.

Since the release of the Government’s Teacher Supply Strategy there has been an almost 150 per cent increase in the number of vacant permanent positions

A parliamentary inquiry has found 60 per cent of teachers want to leave in the next five years because of the crippling workload and uncompetitive salaries than don’t reflect their efforts or responsibilities.

The 2022 People Matter Employee Survey showed two thirds of public school teachers say they feel burnt out according to new NSW Government research that lifts the lid on the impact of unsustainable workloads and uncompetitive salaries.

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 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 decision of the Perrottet Government and Department Secretary to have the Award arbitrated in the IRC, restricted by Government regulations, rather than negotiate salary increases above the salary cap with the profession shows how little they respect the value of teachers’ work and the impact they have on those they teach.

Kids are missing out because of the shortages and teachers are burning out.

Mr Perrottet thinks the answer to the teacher shortage crisis is to cut teacher pay, cut teaching standards and employ unqualified teachers through the failed Teach for Australia program his own Education Department has long opposed.

The March election will be a vital test of which party has a plan to address the real causes of the teacher shortages and secure the teachers we need for the future.