The NSW Government must honour its agreement to lift teacher salaries amid a damning Auditor General report into regional, remote and rural education, the Teachers Federation said today.
The report finds:
- There were 922 permanent teacher vacancies in regional and remote schools in January
- Only 52 per cent of regional and remote students are on track for all five Australia Early Development Census domains
- Only 54 per cent of remote and very remote students are above the national minimum standard for reading, and even fewer, 52 per cent, for numeracy
- Less than three quarters (73 per cent) of remote and very remote school leavers are in further education, training or employment.
Henry Rajendra, NSW Teachers Federation acting President, said the 12 years of neglect under the previous Government demanded urgent action.
“We are seeing the bitter harvest of more than a decade of neglect,” Mr Rajendra said. “The Minns Government has no time to waste. It must revive and honour the agreement it had to tackle the teacher shortage, by paying teachers what they are worth.”
Last week the Government abandoned an agreement for a one year deal to lift wages for beginning and experienced teachers when it insisted on adding an additional three year clause which capped wage movements at 2.5 per cent, below projected inflation.
“While workloads of teachers have increased every year, their salaries have fallen in comparison with other professions,” Mr Rajendra said. “Vacancies will continue to increase unless this is addressed.
“If we don’t pay teachers what they are worth, we won’t get the teachers we need.
“Investing in teachers is investing in our future.”
Contact: Nick Lucchinelli 0422 229 032