Australian Education Union members have voted in support of the State Government’s Enterprise Agreement offer for teachers, principals and preschool directors in a ballot result that is hoped will finally resolve the long-running pay dispute.
Treasurer Rob Lucas welcomed the majority result (54%) of the AEU members’ ballot – which closed at 5pm tonight – as a “big tick of approval for the offer” which gives exceptionally fair and reasonable salary increases and greater assistance and support for teachers in the classroom.
The offer – which covers the period 2018-19 to 2022-23 – will now be put to a state-wide ballot of all of the state’s 28,000 teachers, principals and support staff in the first week of Term 1, 2020.
“This is a huge vote of confidence in the offer from AEU members who are at the coalface in the classroom,” said Mr Lucas.
“We hope this ballot result will bring us a step closer to resolving our long-running enterprise bargaining negotiations for the benefit of all teachers, principals and support staff as well as students.
“We look forward to putting this offer to a ballot of all of the state’s teaching workforce next term and the prospect of a formal agreement soon after. We urge them all to support the offer.”
Mr Lucas said in addition to fair and reasonable salary increases of 2.35% per year for teachers and 3.35% for principals and preschool directors, there was also additional support and assistance for teachers in the classroom, including a $15 million per year ‘complexity allowance’ for schools.
“Every school will receive funding, which will be used to assist teachers in managing their workload relating to students with complex needs, for example, by engaging additional teachers or support staff and to meet the cost of expert assistance.”
On average, schools will get $29,469 per year (and up to $158,914 per year), with individual schools to decide how their funding is spent.
There are also a range of other initiatives, including enhanced country incentives, reduced face-to-face teaching time for principals (and teachers in standalone preschools), new positions for highly accomplished and lead teachers.
In exchange, there will be greater flexibility in human resource management and some more sensible rules about the system of allowances for teachers in country schools.
If the state-wide workforce ballot shows majority support, the agreement will be formalised.