Supporting the independent education community

AIS stalls on salaries while some schools step up


This story is from the latest edition of the IEU newspaper, Newsmonth, available to read in full online NOW.


The Association of Independent Schools (AIS) has indicated it is uncertain about pay increases for this year. Further, the union understands the AIS doesn’t intend to visit schools until March/April to determine pay rates for 2021.


April is too far away to achieve what teachers, support staff, principals and business managers and budgets require – certainty and predictability. The AIS not knowing takes us nowhere.


How did we get to this position?

The AIS commenced bargaining for a new multi-enterprise agreement (MEA) in late 2019. Following a six month pause in the bargaining, the AIS finally agreed to recommence negotiations with the union. Meetings were held between the union and the AIS on 5 November, 24 November and 17 December 2020. Further meetings are scheduled for 15 February, 15 March and 29 March. A central position on salaries for 2021 has not been determined by the AIS. IEU members have had to approach schools directly to find out about intended pay rises.


What’s next?

The union accepts that the student census in week three of February will provide firm student numbers upon which federal government funding is based. School budgets stem from the census figures. It is critical that union members in schools where offers of less than 2% have been made, meet as a chapter and seek pay parity. Union organisers are available to assist in convening meetings and moving endorsed motions forward.


The vast majority of independent schools were lavish in their praise of how their staff managed and responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. And rightly so. The missing dimension is pay outcomes in line with Catholic, Christian and government schools.


Schools paying 2% or more

Abbotsleigh Senior School

Al Zahra College

All Saints Grammar Secondary

The Anglican School, Googong

The Armidale School

Arndell Anglican College

Ascham School

Aurora Steiner School

Barker Senior College

Biala Special School

Bowen College, Youth off the Streets (YOTS)

Burgmann Anglican School

Byron Community Primary School

Canberra Girls’ Grammar, Junior Campus

Canberra Girls’ Grammar, Senior Campus

Canberra Grammar School

Central Coast Grammar School

Claremont College

Craig Davis College (YOTS)

Danebank School

Eden College (Koch Centre for YOTS)

Elouera Special School

Emanuel School

Hunter Valley Grammar School

Inaburra School

Inner Sydney Montessori School

Kambala Girls School

Karuna Montessori Preschool

Key College, Chapel Campus, (YOTS)

Kincoppal-Rose Bay School of the Sacred Heart

Kinross Wolaroi School

Knox Grammar School

The Lakes College Blue Haven (YOTS)

Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar Primary

Loreto Kirribilli

Macarthur Anglican School

Macquarie Anglican Grammar

Malek Fahd Islamic School

Mamre Anglican School

Meriden School

Monte Sant’Angelo Mercy College

Montgrove College

Mount Annan Christian College

Newcastle Grammar School

Newington College

Northside Montessori Preschool

Nowra Anglican College

Oran Park Anglican College

Orange Anglican Grammar School

Pacific Coast Christian School

Pacific Hope School

Pacific Valley Christian School

Penrith Anglican College

Pittwater House Grammar School

Presbyterian Ladies College, Croydon & Armidale

Pymble Ladies’ College

Queenwood School

Radford College

Ravenswood School for Girls

Reddam House, Senior School

Redfield College for Boys

Richard Johnson Anglican School

Roseville College

Rouse Hill Anglican College

Sathya Sai Primary School and College

SCEGGS Senior and Junior School Redlands

SCEGGS Darlinghurst

Scots All Saints Bathurst

Shellharbour Anglican College

Sherwood Hills Christian School

Snowy Mountains Grammar School

St Andrew’s Cathedral School

St Catherine’s School

St Euphemia College

St Luke’s Grammar School

St Mark’s Coptic Orthodox College

St Mary and St Mina Coptic Orthodox

St Mary and St Mina Coptic Christian

St Paul’s College

St Peter’s Anglican College

St Stanislaus College

Sydney Montessori School

Tangara School for Girls

Thomas Hassall Anglican School

Valley Hope School Townsend

William Clarke College

Wollemi College

Wollondilly Anglican College

Woodbury Autism Education and Research



To this end, IEU members in AIS schools have had a lot of contact with their organisers. Member concern at being ‘left behind’ is valid.


Teachers in NSW Catholic systemic schools and government schools have been in receipt of a 2.28% increase since the first full pay period in January. Schools represented by Christian Schools Australia and Christian Education National (46 schools) are paying teachers 2.3% in February 2021, 2.3% in February 2022 and 2.5% in February 2023. The Independent Christian Schools NSW Teachers Multi-Enterprise Agreement will pay teachers 2.25% in February 2021, 2.25% in February 2022 and 2.25% in February 2023.


Members’ action at school level has resulted in more than 90 schools indicating (in writing) they will pay 2% or better from 1 February 2021.


The vast majority of independent schools were lavish in their praise of how their staff managed and responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. And rightly so. The missing dimension is pay outcomes in line with Catholic, Christian and government schools.


Research undertaken by Associate Professor Rebecca Collie at UNSW based on 325 teachers’ responses found that “the COVID-19 pandemic placed teachers in a situation likely to increase the challenges they already faced, potentially heightening the risk of negative personal outcomes, such as illness and exhaustion.”


Associate Professor Collie went on to explain that “school leaders and senior teaching staff can promote teachers’ initiative and empowerment by encouraging their participation in decisions and making general efforts to support them in their work.” A key ingredient of ‘support’ for teachers is ensuring that pay increases are commensurate with other sectors.


Some 90 schools have stepped up and backed their teachers and support staff by providing pay increases from 1 February 2021 of 2% or more in one or two instalments. The MEAs expire on 31 January 2021 but remain in force until agreement is reached for a new MEA. The union will provide regular updates to members.


The IEU website has a ‘map’ of pay outcomes for independent schools. Please check the schools in your area. IEU organisers can provide details of the funding your school receives from the Federal Government.


View the map in full