Teacher unions to rally at local member’s office ahead of crucial pay decision (Coffs Harbour) 

Tuesday 11 October 2022 


Teacher unions to rally at local member’s office ahead of crucial pay decision 

Local member: Gurmesh Singh 

Date: Wednesday 12 October 2022 

Time: 7.30am 

Place: 1/9 Park Avenue, Coffs Harbour 

The Independent Education Union (IEU) and the NSW Teachers Federation will unite on Wednesday morning for a joint rally outside local MP Gurmesh Singh’s office.  

“Teacher shortages are particularly acute in regional NSW,” said IEU NSW/ACT Branch Secretary Mark Northam. “A workforce strategy that includes competitive salaries is vital to ensure schools are properly staffed.” 

On Wednesday the NSWIRC will begin arbitration on the state government’s award application for teachers in government schools.  

The IEU was successful in the NSWIRC today in obtaining leave to intervene in this arbitration, effectively giving the IEU a voice in proceedings that will directly impact its members. 

“The IEU will return to the NSWIRC, where it hasn’t appeared for more than a decade, to advocate for our members – both teachers and support staff,” Northam said. 

“We aim to leave no doubt in the minds of Catholic employers and the NSW Government that we will not accept locked-in low pay rises for the next three-to-four years.” 

The IEU represents more than 32,000 teachers and support staff in non-government schools. 

While Catholic employers come under the federal industrial relations system, they have long replicated the pay increases the NSW Government imposes on government school teachers.  

Legislative changes in 2011 mean the NSWIRC has been hamstrung for more than a decade, with no choice but to apply the state government’s restrictive wages policy. Since 2011, running a work-value case in the NSWIRC has been futile.  

“All teachers in NSW will be impacted by the outcome of this arbitration,” Northam said. “This is why we’ll be standing shoulder-to-shoulder on Wednesday morning to speak to the media and make submissions at the NSWIRC hearing.” 

“We’re leaving no stone unturned in our quest to have our members’ voices heard,” Northam said. “Once again we urge Catholic employers to stop sitting on their hands and engage in meaningful negotiations with the union.” 

Since early February, IEU members have been pursuing five key claims underpinning a new enterprise agreement for Catholic systemic teachers and support staff: pay teachers what they’re worth; give support staff a fair deal; let teachers teach – cut paperwork; allow time to plan; end staff shortages. 

“Without fair pay rises the teacher shortage crisis will only escalate,” Northam said. “Talks began in early February. It’s now October. Let’s sit down and sort this out.” 


IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Secretary Mark Northam 0427 667 061 
Media: Monica Crouch 0411 645 751 

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