Government offers 2.35% p.a. pay rise for state’s teachers and an extra $13 million for more than 200 highly accomplished…

The Marshall Liberal Government has announced it has made a formal enterprise agreement offer to the Australian Education Union and the Public Service Association of SA on behalf of the state’s 28,000 teachers, principals and support staff, which includes salary increases of 2.35 per cent per annum up until May 2022.

The offer – worth more than $699 million over the period 2018-19 to 2022-23 – supports the state’s ambition to be the nation’s leader in education by building and retaining an expert teaching workforce.

It earmarks a further $45 million over four years of additional support for schools identified as having high levels of complexity, $13 million to create new positions for highly-accomplished and lead teachers, while $4.3 million will attract and retain teachers to country schools.

The offer also recognises the essential role of principals and preschool directors and provides a further $15.3 million for an additional salary increase and around $7 million to reduce a principal’s classroom teaching time by 2 hours and 15 minutes per week.

The offer also protects the doubling of total maximum paid and unpaid parental leave to 104 weeks.

Treasurer Rob Lucas said the EA offer was ‘exceptionally fair and reasonable’ and followed months of constructive negotiations with union representatives.

“The Government’s offer is the culmination of extensive and productive discussion with the union and recognises the important work of our state’s teachers, principals and support staff in education and developing our next generation,” said Treasurer Lucas.

“We have gone to great lengths to ensure a suite of funding measures that not only support teachers’ personal entitlement and professional advancement but provide additional investment in schools and children identified as having additional and complex needs.

“In exchange, the Government is seeking greater flexibility in relation to the recruitment and selection of teachers, including specific projects such as the transition of Year 7 into high school, and also the phasing out of the Advanced Skills Teacher 2 classification in favour of a new nationally-recognised High Achieving Teachers classification.

“I’ve made it clear to the AEU and others that at a time when the state faces a significant $517 million write-down in GST revenues, taxpayers simply don’t have the capacity to fund extravagant or outrageous wage claims.

“Late last year, AEU union bosses were demanding a 3.5 per cent interim pay rise – equating to about $80 million a year and nearly double the rate of inflation – and other conditions, including an extra 60 minutes’ non-instruction time per week per teacher for ‘collaboration with peers’ which would have cost taxpayers up to $59 million a year.

“South Australian taxpayers simply can’t afford those type of extravagant claims.”

“The Government has budgeted for reasonable wage increases and this offer is consistent with this budget.

“In this offer we believe we’ve struck the right balance and look forward to its consideration and, we hope, ultimate acceptance in due course.”

Key details of the Government’s offer include:

  • Additional 225 Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher positions
  • Expansion of salary increments for support staff who achieve qualifications at relevant classification levels
  • Less face to face teaching time per week for Principals
  • Additional support to manage special classes in mainstream schools
  • Incentives to move to the country
  • Greater support for complexity in schools
  • Additional salary increase for Principals and Pre-school Directors
  • General salary increase to allowances

In addition to these new conditions, the offer protects a number of key conditions:

  • Maximum face-to-face teaching time in stand-alone preschools
  • Availability of 104 weeks paid / unpaid parental leave including for adoption or surrogacy
  • Ability to use personal sick leave to care for a family member
  • Up to 15 days paid special/family domestic violence leave