The State Government must rule out a 2.5 per cent wage cap or risk a worsening teacher shortage.
The Government agreed to a deal to make NSW teachers the nation’s best paid, but then reneged earlier this month when it tried to amend the agreement to include three subsequent years of 2.5 per cent pay movements.
Yesterday, the Premier sought to defend the 2.5 per cent cap for years two, three and four of the proposed agreement.
The 2.5 per cent policy undoes the benefit of lifting wages in the first year, eroding the very reform needed to address teacher shortages.
NSW Teachers Federation acting President, Henry Rajendra said a chronic and widespread teacher shortage would not be solved without an enduring commitment.
“We have more than two thousand vacant teaching positions across NSW. This will not be solved by a pay offer that is one step forward, two steps backwards.
“The teacher shortage was not created by the Minns Government, but it also won’t be fixed without an enduring commitment to lift wages. We are grappling with 12 years of neglect under the previous Government. That doesn’t get fixed by lifting wages for one year only to be followed by a 2.5 per cent wage cap that will pave the way for other jurisdictions to leapfrog NSW.
“This problem has been brewing for years and demands a robust commitment. Workloads of NSW teachers keep increasing and intensifying as the teacher shortage gets worse. Yet salaries have fallen in comparison with other professions and states. An enduring commitment to higher salaries and reducing workloads remains the solution to addressing teacher shortages.
“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 and then sustaining that commitment.
“If we don’t pay teachers what they are worth, we won’t get the teachers we need and vacancies will continue to grow.
“Investing in teachers is investing in our future.”
Contact: Nick Lucchinelli 0422 229 032