South Australia’s 25,000-strong teaching workforce has voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Government’s Enterprise Agreement offer, in a move that locks in pay rises of 2.35% per annum for teachers and 3.35% for principals and preschool directors over three years and officially ends the long-running pay dispute.
A two-week state-wide ballot, which ended at 5pm tonight, resulted in 78% of staff voting in favour of the agreement.
Treasurer Rob Lucas welcomed the positive result of the state-wide ballot as a ‘strong endorsement of the Marshall Liberal Government’s ongoing commitment to public education by building and retaining an expert teaching workforce’.
The agreement – which covers the period 2018-19 to 2022-23 – also includes improved conditions, such as enhanced country incentives, reduced face-to-face teaching time for principals and a $15m per annum ‘complexity allowance’ for schools to help teachers manage their workload relating to students with complex needs.
“We are delighted that our state’s teachers, principals, preschool directors and support staff have voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Government’s Enterprise Agreement offer, which gives exceptionally fair and reasonable salary increases and provides greater assistance and support to teachers in the classroom,” said Mr Lucas.
“This agreement supports our ambition to be the nation’s leader in education by building and retaining an expert teaching workforce. This result should also send a strong signal to other public sector unions that taxpayers simply cannot afford anything more than reasonable salary increases.”
The agreement also includes:
- Complexity funding for every school 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 receive $29,469 per year (and up to $158,914 per year), with individual schools to decide how their funding is spent.
- Enhanced country incentives to attract and retain teachers in country schools, including increasing the incentive from 5 years up to 8 years in areas that are difficult to staff;
- A reduction in face-to-face teaching time for teachers in standalone preschools;
- A reduction in face-to-face teaching time for principals;
- New positions for highly-accomplished and lead teachers;
- A new level 6 classification for Aboriginal Education Workers
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.
The Government will now proceed to the SA Employment Tribunal to formalise the agreement.