Media release: Teachers are not to blame for school fee increases

Media release: Teachers are not to blame for school fee increases

The Independent Education Union rejects statements from Catholic and independent school employers in the media and to parents, guardians and caregivers that imply pay rises for teachers and support staff are the only reason for school fee increases.

School employers are increasing fees for many reasons, including changes to government funding, increases in building materials and maintenance costs, insurance, electricity price rises and inflation generally, and salaries are not the central cause.

“Teacher and support staff salaries stagnated for more than a decade, enabling employers to make substantial savings over this period, so they can generally afford this year’s salary increases,” said IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Secretary Carol Matthews.

“The IEU is concerned about employers blaming staff for school fee increases without acknowledging the many factors involved, along with very low pay rises over many years.

The work of teachers is every school’s greatest asset. To single out teacher salaries as a reason fees are increasing pits parents against teachers and school support staff, leading to unnecessary resentments that jeopardise this crucial relationship.

“Schools overall are in a position to meet the long-overdue salary increases for which staff fought very hard,” Matthews said.

“While we of course understand some parents may have difficulty in meeting fee increases, many independent schools have not offered the same increases as provided in NSW Government schools.”

Media contact: Monica Crouch 0486 046 975

The IEUA NSW/ACT Branch represents over 32,000 teachers, principals and support staff in Catholic and independent schools, early childhood centres and post-secondary colleges.

Authorised by Carol Matthews, Secretary, IEUA NSW/ACT Branch