The NSW Teachers Federation’s Executive has reached an in-principle Heads of Agreement with the NSW Government to tackle the teacher shortage by making beginning and top of scale teachers the nation’s best paid.
This includes the withdrawal of the Government’s previous four-year proposal with a 2.5 per cent increase in years two, three and four.
The proposal represents the most significant improvement to NSW teachers’ wages in decades. The Executive will recommend to its State Council meeting on 9 September that the proposed Heads of Agreement be endorsed.
The starting salary for a NSW teacher will increase from $75,791 to $85,000 and the salary for a top of the scale teacher will increase from $113,042 to $122,100. All teachers will move to a new higher paying step.
School counsellors will be paid according to a new salary scale consisting of five (5) annual steps, which recognises their dual qualification and acute staff shortages in their discipline. School counsellors at band 2.3, senior psychologists education and leaders psychology practice will have their salaries adjusted to the same level as head teachers/ assistant principals, deputy principals and principals, respectively. School counsellors at bands 1 to 2.2 will move to a new higher paying step on the salary scale.
Casual teacher and casual counsellor school rates are also adjusted upwards from a two-step scale to a three-step scale linked to the steps 1, 3 and 5 of the new full time salary scale. Award based allowances are also increased by 4 per cent.
NSW Teachers Federation acting President, Henry Rajendra, said:
“This is a historic advance. Our children are the ultimate beneficiaries of this agreement if it is approved.
“The agreement we struck with the government has been resurrected and honoured.
“The teacher shortage is a crisis that brewed for 12 long years. It can only be tackled by paying teachers what they are worth.
“The proposed agreement is a breakthrough moment. We will attract and retain more hardworking teachers and prevent them drifting to other professions or states.
“Thousands of teachers have fought tirelessly to bring us to this point. They have done it because they believe in the value and social purpose of the teaching profession. And they believe all kids deserve a decent shot at life, regardless of background or bank balance.
“We cannot forget this staffing crisis was a direct result of the former government’s wage cap that artificially suppressed teachers’ pay and their policy failures that pushed more and more work on to teachers resulting in intolerable and unmanageable workloads.
“Investing in teachers is investing in our future.” Under the proposed agreement the current award will be varied and extended until 8 October 2024. The Federation and the Department will negotiate a new three-year award to commence at the expiration of the varied award.