New Agreement levels the field for Tasmania’s teachers

Tasmanian educators are this week set to receive union-won pay increases and backpay, putting them on par with their national counterparts. 

Australian Education Union Tasmania teacher members overwhelmingly voted in favour of a new Teachers Agreement, which has now been signed and registered, bringing an end to drawn-out educator negotiations with the Rockliff Government.

The 90% member ‘Yes’ vote means teachers, principals, education support specialists, and school psychologists will see pay increases between 4.1% – 5.8% in the first year, marking the highest single-year increase of any state.

AEU Tasmania President David Genford said a significant win in the new Agreement was the lifting of Tasmanian educators from the bottom of the national pay scale.

“Although the number one priority through these negotiations was more in-class support and workload reductions, the Agreement is a welcome win for Tasmanian educators, who for too long have been the lowest-paid teachers nationally. 

“But it shouldn’t have taken teachers stopping work to achieve this recognition. 

“The Rockliff Government could have showed its value for teachers two years ago when negotiations began, but instead it forced schools to close through stop-work action and teacher burnout to continue.”

The new Teachers Agreement sees First Year Teachers with five years of training earning $74,824 per year, with experienced classroom teachers earning $111,536 at the top of their pay scale. Assistant Principals will earn $130,935 while Principals can earn up to $184,234 under the new pay deal.

The endorsed Teachers Offer will also introduce a range of measures to improve working conditions for educators, including improved paid parental leave, in-class support for every base grade teacher, and workload protections for those teaching Years 11-12. 

Despite the significant benefits, Mr Genford said more was needed to address the state’s education crisis, including proper investment to bridge the funding gap leaving every Tasmanian public school student missing out on $2,000 per year.

“It’s critical Tasmania’s public schools get funded to a minimum of 100% of the Schooling Resource Standard to give every child an equal chance at success,” he said.

“This includes fully funded loadings for students with disability, Indigenous students, low-SES backgrounds, remote students, and those requiring literacy support.

“This funding would provide more teachers, support staff, smaller class sizes, additional learning programs, high-quality classrooms, and improved facilities ultimately leading to higher levels of student achievement.”