Supporting the independent education community

Union seeks better pay rates in independent schools

31st JUL 2014

Carol Matthews, the IEU's Assistant Secretary, says the Union has today (31 July) advised the Association of Independent Schools (AIS), representing approximately 200 independent schools, that the proposed rates in the multi-enterprise agreements are too low.

She says "the Union is aware that many members are unhappy with the proposed increases of 2% One Off Payments in 2015 and a 2% increase in 2016.  The Union is seeking a better offer."

The One Off Payments (OOPS) in 2015 are paid as lump sums and are not built into the base salary in future years.

Members have also complained that the proposed increases are lower than teachers in DEC schools will receive over this period and lower than projected CPI.

The AIS has rejected these claims, arguing that schools cannot afford higher increases and that some schools are facing financial difficulties.  For this reason, and to maintain the MEAs as agreements applying across all schools in the industry, the Union agreed to the OOPS payments in 2015 rather than a pay rise. 

However the Union does not accept the AIS argument that AIS enterprise agreements currently provide for rates 8% and 10% above DEC rates. 

Carol Matthews says "it's a question of comparing apples with apples.  Members know that Band 3 in the Standards Agreement is difficult to access, and the rate cannot simply be compared with the top incremental step in the DEC pay scale that you reach by automatic progression.

To a lesser extent, in the AIS Incremental Model Enterprise Agreement, the top step is Senior Teacher 1 and not all teachers on Step 13 apply for ST1.  The AIS Step 13 rate is only 2% above the DEC Step 13 rate, not 8% as the AIS claims. "

Union Position

The Union considers the proposed increases should be at least 2.5% (2.5% as OOPS in 2015 and 2.5% from 1 February as a pay rise in 2016), closer to the NSW government increases, even if the base pay rates are not maintained in real terms going forward, in recognition of the problem facing some schools.   

Offset for Super

Under current federal legislation, compulsory superannuation increases of 0.5% are expected from 1 July in each of 2015 and 2016.  If this legislation remains in place, then NSW DEC teachers will receive a 2% pay rise from January 2015 and 2.15% from January 2016  (because under state law public servants can receive a maximum 2.5% pay rise, inclusive of increases in super). 

The Union has therefore indicated to the AIS that if the super increases remain in place we would recommend that members accept an increase of 2% (OOPS) in 2015 and 2% salary from February 2016.  However if the federal government removes or delay the super increases, we would insist on a payment of 2.5% in each year.

The Union understands that the AIS is considering this matter and we will report further to members as soon as possible.

ACT Teachers

The AIS proposal for ACT teachers is not yet finalised.

Support and Operational Staff

The AIS has offered support and operational staff pay rises of 2% per annum from the first pay period on or after 1 February in 2015 and 2016. The Union has claimed 2.5% each year with the proviso that if super increases by 0.5%, the pay rise will be 2% per annum.

Member Support

The Union is calling for members to meet in the next fortnight to discuss the pay claim with Union members and non-members.   Members need to let their principals know pay issues are important.  Union officers are available to attend meetings to explain the issues.