Teachers endorse new award

Teachers walked off the job on Tuesday morning to endorse a new three-year salaries and conditions award that will begin in 2014.

Around 50 teachers met at Eden Fishermen’s Recreation Club for the two hour meeting, hearing from NSW Teachers Federation president Maurie Mulheron (via video link) and local representative Tony McDonnell before unanimously voting to support the Gonski-based award.

Public school teachers will receive the maximum annual salary increases allowable under state law – 2.27 per cent, 2 per cent and 2.15 per cent- as well as securing preservation of current working conditions, teaching standards and qualifications.

From 2016, changes will enable teachers to stay in the classroom while still climbing the pay scale and principals to opt-in or out of a new system of entitlements and classification.

Mr McDonnell said New South Wales teachers fared better in the negotiations than other states.

“What we are particularly pleased with is when NSW agreed to sign up for the National Education Reform Agreement, which is based on Gonski, part of that was to align with Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership,” he said.

“That’s our saving grace, because it basically locks NSW into accepting all standards set by the institute.

“Despite the poor amount, we are guaranteeing teaching class size and conditions, guaranteeing teacher permanency and we’re guaranteed the right of every student in NSW to be taught by a qualified teacher.”

Teachers are now gearing up to join forces with Unions NSW and other public sector workers to overturn the NSW Government’s legislative changes that cap public sector wages at 2.5 per cent per annum.

The campaign will run through 2014, intensifying in the lead-up to the March 2015 state election.

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