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Teacher permanency in the spotlight with member app update
With the most recent update to Federation’s ‘Card Plus’ membership app, Fed Reps and principals can use the app to check their school's staffing entitlement.
The ability for NSW public education teachers to be employed on a permanent basis —regulated by the Staffing Agreement — was won thanks to the sustained campaigning of Federation members.
As of March 2015, the Department employed about 49,000 permanent school teachers (NSW Department of Education’s 2015 Teaching Workforce Supply and Demandreport).
Back in 2012, Federation successfully fought off a push by the NSW government to include staffing costs in school budgets — a move that would have jeopardised teacher permanency.
Federation President Maurie Mulheron said Federation members fought hard against the government's plan.
"We were in the media daily and we organised community forums across the state for months, slowly building support. As the government dug in, we took industrial action, an initial two hour broadcast meeting in May and a subsequent 24 hour strike in late June. To cut a long story short, because of the sustained months of campaigning, we won," he said.
"The Department backed down and agreed that the staffing budget would not be actual but merely notional and that all staff salaries would continue to be paid and funded centrally. The Staffing Agreement was renewed, class sizes would be included in the Agreement, and all permanent vacancies had to be filled with permanent appointments. Staffing would continue to be determined on enrolments and, if numbers fell, any permanent teacher would retain their employment and be placed in the nearest suitable vacancy."
Permanent employment attracts teachers to work in the public education system and encourages them to stay.
Figures from the NSW Department of Education’s 2015 Teaching Workforce Supply and Demand report show that on average, between 2008 and 2014, only 1 per cent of teachers resigned.
For teachers in their first year of teaching, the resignation rate declined significantly over the same period, averaging 2.7 over the six years.
NSW Department of Education | 2015 Teaching Workforce Supply and Demand