Teachers stop work for pay rise

By Daniel Hughes

Teachers across NSW have been offered the maximum allowable pay increase after successfully lobbying the state government.

Pays will increase by 2.5 per cent from January 2020, and then by 2.28 per cent from 2021.

The deal struck between the NSW Government and the NSW Teaching Federation will also see an increase in superannuation payments of 0.22 per cent.

To ensure the deal went through, many local schools delayed the start of the school day on Thursday by 90 minutes, to allow teachers to support the negotiations and vote on the final proposal.

Finley Teachers Association secretary Matthew Whitty said there was "resounding approval" from voting members.

"Apart from the pay increase, one of the key wins from the agreement is that school counsellors and home school liaison officers have been moved across to the Teacher Salaries Standards Based Remuneration system,” he said.

"The Teaching Federation also had a late win with the drop in the number of years it will take to reach the top tier.

"The agreement also lessens the pay gap for starting teachers.

"We had an overwhelming majority of the state that voted in favour of the agreement.”

In previous agreements, teachers who started teaching after 2016 received $14,000 more than those who started before 2016, due to statewide pay scale changes.

With the new agreement, teachers are expected to reach the industry's top pay bracket ($109,427) in seven years, which two years earlier than previously.

NSW Teachers Federation president Maurie Mulheron said the increase for 2020 is the maximum increase allowable under the restrictive NSW Public Sector Wages Policy.

He said Thursday’s vote also included a motion ‘‘to condemn the New South Wales Government for its unjust wages policy which includes a 2.5 per cent salary cap’’.

‘‘New South Wales is the only state with legislation to enforce its salary cap which applies to all employee-related costs including salaries, wages, allowances and other remuneration, improvements to conditions, staffing levels, superannuation and other employment benefits,” he said.

Classes at local schools participating in the stop work meeting resumed at 10am on Thursday.