Strong union advocacy has delivered much needed salary payments and allowances – including a $5000 relocation bonus – for teachers working in some of the state’s most hard-to-staff schools.
Announced in the new Tasmanian Teachers Agreement this month, full-time employees working in isolated schools will receive an additional $2759 upon commencement and again after each of their first three years of employment.
Isolated school teachers will also receive $5523 upon completing their fourth, fifth and sixth years of employment.
The union-won allowances are on top of the 4.1% – 5.8% pay rises won for all educators covered by the Teachers Agreement.
Australian Education Union Tasmania President David Genford said the new salary payments and allowances recognised the challenges faced by teachers in remote parts of the state.
“These new measures are aimed at tackling some of the difficulties for educators working in Tasmania’s remote areas including cost of living and travel demands,” he said.
“Having added allowances is a key way to retaining experienced teachers in isolated communities, which historically, have been the hardest to staff.”
Teachers who have worked for 12 months at Band I Level 13 in an isolated school will also receive an experienced teacher allowance of $3250 per annum pro-rata after 12 months of continuous service.
This allowance recognises the mentoring role provided by experienced teachers and aims to retain experienced teachers in isolated schools.
Additionally, a teacher who is appointed to an isolated school which involves the teacher relocating is eligible for a settling in payment of $5000.
“Teaching in remote areas can be isolating and demanding, so it’s important that we provide additional support to those who choose to work in these communities,” Mr Genford said.
“These union-won payments are off the back of members taking stop work action and standing up for better working and learning conditions, and it highlights the power of union action.
“It’s pleasing the Rockliff Government has acknowledged the value of our teachers in remote communities, but it shouldn’t have taken strong member action, including teacher walk-offs for our depleted education system to receive some much-needed relief.”
It comes after AEU Tasmania last year successfully applied to the Tasmanian Industrial Commission to have District Allowances increased by 20.9 per cent to retain staff in isolated schools and cover rapidly increasing costs.