Supporting the independent education community

MEDIA RELEASE: Scrap pay cap and address workload to fix teacher shortage crisis (18 January 2023)

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The Independent Education Union of Australia NSW/ACT Branch, which represents over 32,000 teachers, support staff and principals in the non-government education sector, is calling on the NSW Government to immediately scrap its pay cap on government employees, including teachers and school support staff.

According to internal Department of Education figures teacher position vacancies in public schools were 3,253 by November 2022 – triple the number of vacancies in 2011.

The documents reveal that the teacher Turnover Rate has increased from 2.7 per cent in 2011 to 4 per cent in 2022.

The pay cap on public school teachers and support staff influences the pay for Catholic and independent school teachers. Low pay is one of the reasons for the current teacher shortage, which impacts on student learning.

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, with overworked teachers in understaffed schools suffering burnout, discouraging Year 12 students from choosing the profession.

“The reduction in the number of students choosing teaching degrees and the increase in the number of those failing to complete these degrees is creating a perfect storm,” IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Acting Secretary Veronica Yewdall said.

“The failure of government and employers to seriously address workload issues means that the number of teachers available for all schools, government and non-government, has been severely restricted.

“Not only are there vacancies, but teachers are being asked to teach subjects outside their area of training, skill and experience. This is not fair on teachers and their students.

“Government and employers need to collaborate with each other and co-operate with teaching unions to remedy workload issues as a matter of urgency.

 “Twelve years of the NSW government teacher wage suppression is taking its toll on the profession. The salary cap must be scrapped.”

Veronica Yewdall Acting Secretary, IEUA NSW/ACT Branch, 0400 485 069
Media: Sue Osborne, 0430 220 254

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 Mark Northam, Secretary, IEUA NSW/ACT Branch