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Union commits to real growth in salaries, improved working conditions
Results of the schools salary survey of members were reported to Annual Conference and the Federation will now embark on developing a log of claims in preparation for salaries negotiations to begin in term 4 with the Department of Education.
Salaries will be a priority report at all Executive and Council meetings for the remainder of the year. The union will keep members up to date on progress in the campaign including via meetings throughout the state for all members to hear progress reports on negotiations and/or to finalise an agreement during term 4.
“Federation has an absolute commitment to real growth in salaries and superannuation and to protect and improve the working conditions of all teachers,” delegates declared in the Annual Conference decision on salaries. They authorised Federation Executive to call statewide industrial action “if there is any attempt by the State Government to reduce salaries and weaken working conditions”.
The NSW Government’s Public Sector Wages Policy means public sector workers cannot achieve salary increases beyond 2.5 per cent per annum without additional employee-related cost savings. Annual Conference affirmed: “Federation will never accept trade-offs to achieve higher salaries.”
Federation President Maurie Mulheron said legislation introduced by the State Coalition restricts the Industrial Relations Commission to applying the government’s policy and there is no scope for a work value case.
Mr Mulheron said teachers had not just experienced an increase in simple workload but had seen their roles redefined, for example “principals from lead educator to lead manager” and “teachers becoming data collectors”. He said it was not just a matter of getting more teachers or more release time to do pointless work, but to “protect the nature of what a teacher’s work is — professional autonomy inside their classroom around assessment and other things”.
The union’s peak decision making body also confirmed Federation will continue to engage in negotiations with the Department to seek a settlement of outstanding anomalies including the pre-2016 pay discrepancy, school counsellors’ access to standards-based pay and the principal classification scheme.