Supporting the independent education community

10th JUN 2014

The Union has now met twice with the Association of Independent Schools (AIS) to discuss our pay and conditions claim for staff in independent schools, the first time on 19 May and then on 4 June.

The Union has pressed our claim for 3.5% pay rises for teachers and support staff and we have strongly rejected the AIS offer that does not maintain wages in real terms.

In May the AIS offered increases of one off payments of 2% in 2015 and in 2016 for teachers with a 2.5% increase in 2017.  One off payments are not included in the base salary so, notwithstanding the one off payments, base salaries would remain at 2014 levels until February 2017. 

The AIS offer for support staff was a 2% increase in salary in 2015 and in 2016 with a 2.5% increase in 2016.  Inflation over this period is projected to run at 2.5% to 3% per annum so for both these groups the offer is below inflation. 

At the meeting on 4 June the AIS did not increase their offer but they have agreed to review the failure to offer any percentage pay rise for teachers in 2015 and 2016.

At the meeting the Union also tabled a detailed claim for support and operational staff.  The claim includes a general review of provisions to ensure compliance with theFair Work Actrequirements, review of hours provisions for nurses and boarding house staff, review of shift penalties, review of conditions for child care workers, improved access to the Senior Nurse classification for sole practioners and specific inclusion of rostered day off provisions.

The Union has also at both meetings reiterated our request for a separate agreement for school counsellors.  This has been rejected by the AIS.

At the 4 June meeting the AIS responded to the Union's claim for greater support for teachers undergoing accreditation and for greater clarity on teacher workloads.  The Union does not agree with the AIS response but we will discuss the matter further. 

The parties have also agreed to have further discussions on the issue of short blocks of long service leave and greater clarification in relation to the right of the employer to suspend a teacher.

The AIS has reiterated that some schools will be prepared to pay teachers more than the offer by way of an unregistered "side deal".  The Union will discuss with members how additional payments can be pursued at school level.