Two thousand more teachers will join Victoria’s public school system, reducing face-to-face teaching hours and giving teachers more time to prepare for lessons during their paid hours.
Teachers will also receive a 2% annual pay rise over the next four years, but no reduction in class size, after the Australian Education Union and the Andrews government reached a new four-year deal on Friday, putting end to an 18-month union campaign. .
Union Victorian branch president Meredith Peace said the union was pleased with the outcome of the tentative agreement, which focuses on reducing teachers’ excessive workload, and welcomed the Andrews government investment in the public school workforce.
“It has been a long time coming, but this landmark agreement will deliver a series of commitments to deal with these excessive and unreasonable workloads,” Ms Peace said.
The 2 per cent pay rise teachers will receive under the deal is well below the 7 per cent a year increase demanded by the union, but in line with the government’s public sector pay policy.
While acknowledging that the government would not accept the 7% raise, Ms Peace said there would be further pay rises for members of the Australian Education Union through structural adjustments. Teachers and other school staff will also receive a new allowance of up to 1% per year, depending on their role.
“This will see our lowest paid education support staff better valued and respected for the important work they do in their schools, securing a meaningful pay raise for them,” Ms Peace said. “We believe this combination is a fair and reasonable result and properly values and respects the work of our staff in the schools.”
The proposed agreement will lift salary classifications for entry-level teaching graduates and introduce new salary structures for principals. It includes $12 million per year to reduce the administrative burden on principals.
Ms Peace said it was disappointing that the deal did not include a reduction in class sizes.