Pay cap must be scrapped, teacher workload addressed

Thursday, 19 January, 2023

Pay cap must be scrapped, teacher workload addressed

In order to redress the teacher shortage, the NSW Government must scrap its cap on government employees, according to the Independent Education Union of Australia (IEUA).

Internal figures from the Department of Education show that teacher position vacancies in public schools had reached 3253 by November 2022 — which was triple the number of vacancies in 2011.

The documents also reveal that the teacher turnover rate has increased from 2.7% in 2011 to 4% in 2022.

The pay cap on public school teachers and support staff influences the pay for Catholic and independent school teachers. According to the IEUA, low pay is one of the reasons for the current teacher shortage, which impacts on student learning.

In addition, when overworked teachers in understaffed schools suffer burnout, this can discourage Year 12 students from choosing the profession.

“The reduction in the number of students choosing teaching degrees and the increase in the number of those failing to complete these degrees is creating a perfect storm,” said Veronica Yewdall, IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Acting Secretary.

“The failure of government and employers to seriously address workload issues means that the number of teachers available for all schools, government and non-government, has been severely restricted.

“Not only are there vacancies, but teachers are being asked to teach subjects outside their area of training, skill and experience. This is not fair on teachers and their students.

“Government and employers need to collaborate with each other and co-operate with teaching unions to remedy workload issues as a matter of urgency.

“Twelve years of the NSW Government teacher wage suppression is taking its toll on the profession. The salary cap must be scrapped.”

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