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Byron Shire
July 20, 2024

Payrise for NSW teachers on World Teachers’ Day

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This week NSW teachers are enjoying more money in their bank accounts, as the state’s educators see the benefits of what the Minns Government has described as a historic pay rise.

Last month, a deal was secured with the Teachers Federation, and endorsed by the Teachers Federation Council, giving a once in a generation pay rise to all of NSW’s 95,000 teachers. Teachers’ starting salaries will increase from $75,791 to $85,000, and salaries for top of the scale teachers go from $113,042 to $122,100.

The pay rise took effect from the first pay period after October 9, and increased salaries from this pay period will be paid into those accounts from this week.

Also announced was the establishment of a seven-step scale, designed to ensure educators are progressing more rapidly through the system, and seeing ongoing recognition for their work.

Restoring respect

Striking this pay deal was a key election promise of the Minns Labor Government, which it says is vital to restoring respect to the teaching profession, as well as attracting more teachers to the profession after the previous government presided over a ‘teacher shortage crisis’ which saw resignations outstrip retirements for the first time.

Teaching. Unsplash.

Recently, the NSW government reached a key target of converting 16,000 temporary teaching and school-based support staff roles from temporary to permanent positions.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car said, ‘Pay is a mark of respect and I am thrilled that this week teachers have woken up to an increased pay packet landing in their bank accounts.

‘This pay rise was desperately needed and I am proud the Minns Labor Government was able to deliver this major achievement within our first months in office.

‘Striking this deal was vitally important, so our hardworking teachers can see they are respected by their government, and being paid adequately for the hard work they are doing to educate the state’s students.’

Education crisis ongoing?

Nationally, Australian education specialists have used World Teachers’ Day to highlight what they say is an ongoing crisis in the industry.

Dr Fiona Longmuir is a Lecturer in Educational Leadership in the Faculty of Education at Monash University. She says only 14 per cent of teachers feel their workload is manageable.

Teaching. Unsplash.

‘With the current crisis of teacher shortages it is important that we seek to understand the reasons why people are choosing to leave the teaching profession.

‘Social and community expectations of teachers have expanded, and a culture of results, competition, and endless improvement has come into place in Australia and around the world,’ she said.

‘We need to work together as a country to change the ways that we talk about teachers and teaching in order to enhance respect, trust and appreciation for educators who are working hard supporting our children and young people everyday in our schools.’

Burnout and attrition

Rebecca Collie is Scientia Associate Professor of Educational Psychology in the UNSW School of Education. She said, ‘Teacher burnout and attrition are growing problems in Australian schools, and the conditions that teachers work under are a significant contributing factor.

‘In particular, high workloads and disruptive student behaviour commonly experienced by teachers can negatively affect their wellbeing and commitment to work and impede effective learning and teaching.

‘At the same time, teachers who are given opportunities to participate in decision-making, those who work in schools that prioritise positive relationships, and those who receive effective professional development and mentoring are more likely to experience wellbeing at work, stay in the profession, and teach effectively,’ said Associate Professor Collie.

World Teachers’ Day

‘To provide the best possible support for teachers, it is essential efforts are taken to alleviate unfavourable working conditions while also enhancing positive working conditions.

This has ramifications not only for teachers, but also for student and school success,’ she said.

You can get involved with World Teachers Day in Australia via the Hats Off To Teachers campaign here.

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