Anglican employers finally commit to $101,000 top teacher rate
Concerns remain with other wage and workload proposals
After five months of negotiations and member action highlighting the growing wage disparity suffered by Anglican school teachers, the employers have finally committed to a top teacher rate of $101,000 in 2018.
While members will welcome the revised employer offer to match this particular outcome achieved in other Queensland education sectors, concerns remain with respect to the employer wage offer for the remaining teacher classifications, Positions of Added Responsibility (PAR) and non-teaching staff.
Despite the clear and repeated message by members that workload pressures require immediate action, the employer position still fails to provide any confirmed changes to hours of duty or workload relief.
School Chapters will consider in detail the revised employer proposals and provide critical advice as to the next step in the negotiations.
Winners and losers under new employer wage offer
The employer offer contains a number of significant issues that will require detailed member consideration:
- Extended length of agreement: despite initially seeking just a 12 month agreement, the employers now propose a 3.5 year agreement to expire on 30 June 2021. Employees have previously endorsed a position seeking a 2 year agreement to expire on 31 December 2019.
- Wage increase dates: the employers seek to delay the application of wage increases to 1 July each year rather than 1 January. Such a change would directly reduce employee earnings over the term of a new agreement and result in an initial period of 18 months without a wage increase.
- Teacher disparity remains with other schools: while the proposal would match the top teacher pay step of other sectors, the employer offer of a standard 2.5% increase for all other employees would see the remaining teacher classification steps still lag up to $3500 behind other sectors.
- Freezing of PAR allowances: the employers want to ‘freeze’ PAR allowances for a period of 3.5 years by excluding PAR payments from the 2.5% increase. Such a proposal would devalue the contribution and financial recognition of PARs over this extended period.
Employers again ignore your workload concerns
While the employer position includes a long-term review of hours of duty and possible school based trials of alternative models, the call by members for immediate help with workload pressures has still been ignored.
Employees have suggested a range of solutions to help address workload problems, including many that are of no cost or minimal expense to the employer.
Employees need these changes for the 2018 school year.
PARs face particular uncertainty and disadvantage
In addition to the proposal to ‘freeze’ PAR allowances until 2021, teachers who undertake these essential roles would face the added uncertainty of vague employer plans to ‘reform’ PAR arrangements.
The employers want to change the agreement to provide them with a greater ability to amend or restructure PAR arrangements on a school by school basis. Members who hold such positions will be rightly concerned as to the adverse effect of any such changes on their job security and financial certainty.
Read more on the negotiations at www.betterbalance.org.au