NSW Greens push teacher pay rise at poll

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Overwhelming evidence shows teachers in NSW are underpaid and overworked, deserving of a 15 per cent pay rise, according to the NSW Greens.

Thank you will not solve teacher shortages – fixing salaries and conditions will,” Greens Education spokeswoman Tamara Smith told the NSW Teachers Federation on Saturday as she described the education platform party.

The pay pledge overshadows a recent ruling by the Industrial Relations Board which awarded NSW teachers a 2.5 per cent pay rise for 2022 and a 3 per cent pay rise from January 1, 2023.

The decision was called insulting by the head of the Teachers’ Federation, Angelo Gavrielatos, and follows months of strikes and industrial action by educators.

Given inflation, currently at 7.3%, Gavrielatos told AAP this has led to an effective reduction in teachers’ pay.

Ms Smith will say: ‘The overwhelming and irrefutable evidence is that state school teachers in NSW and TAFE are overworked and underpaid.’

“Whoever forms government after March 2023, our Green MPs will be there to push them further to deliver what is undoubtedly needed to respect, value, recruit and retain teachers in public education now and in the future. .

“We know that your heroic efforts and professionalism in the face of extreme adversity, inadequate resources and misguided policy settings have not been appreciated or recognized by Liberals and during this term.”

The Greens intend to push for action on teacher salaries, working conditions, insufficient resources at TAFE colleges and expanding access to public schools.

They will also push for a 15% salary increase for teachers, followed by two years of inflation-indexed salary increases.

Labor has also pledged to remove the statutory 2.5% salary cap in the civil service, which currently controls teachers’ salaries.

The party also wants to provide $1 billion to address a backlog of maintenance issues, provide at least one school counselor to each school and give teachers two extra hours of face-to-face learning.

He also wants to develop a plan to provide 12,000 new teachers over the next ten years.

Ms Smith cited the 2020 Gallop Teacher Workload Survey, which recommended hiring at least 11,000 new teachers over the next decade to cope with rising enrolments.

These are 2,000 extra teachers pledged by both Labor and the Coalition, who have both pledged to provide 10,000 extra teachers if elected.

TAFE NSW is also in dire need of reform, with nearly 8,000 casual teachers having no path to permanent jobs as salaries lag behind other professional sectors, Ms Smith said.

“It’s a shame,” Ms Smith said.

The party will seek to raise salaries for TAFE teachers to bring them in line with teacher salaries, provide casuals with a pathway to permanent employment, end the closure of TAFE campuses, and remove all fees for TAFE.

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