Classrooms were left with minimal supervision for up to two hours on Thursday morning as public school teachers walked off the job to attend union negotiations.
In Wagga, 177 teachers attended the NSW Teachers Federation meeting at the Tolland Hotel, where discussions took place over proposed changes to salary and conditions.
All in attendance voted unanimously to accept the terms outline by the NSW Department of Education, which will include a payrise of 2.5 per cent beginning in January.
Additionally, the new packages will allow for public school teachers to receive a 2.28 per cent rise from 2021, and another 0.22 per cent paid in superannuation.
This is the maximum allowable increase as expressed in the NSW Public Sector Wages Policy, but Riverina organiser of the federation John Pratt told The Daily Advertiser the capped increase may prove detrimental to the profession.
"At a time when we're really trying to attract quality people, the salary is bound by a low per cent increase," he said.
"You end up with teachers saying, 'with our qualifications we could go anyway and do anything and not be bound by such low wage increases'."
Mr Pratt further condemned the NSW government's decision to restrict the federation from going to the NSW Industrial Relations Commission in order to have the cap increased.
"We will continue to campaign for a percentage that reflects the increase to workload and expertise that teachers have experienced," he said.
"We're in the only state that legally enforces a salary cap. Our classroom teachers have faced enormous increases to their workload and our members should be able to decide what's an appropriate increase to their wages."
Aside from the salary adjustment, the new award will also bring into line the rights of non-teaching staff.
"It is a good result. There were no surprises [in the agreement], no trading salaries for conditions, and no sacrifice to [school-based] counsellors or home schooling liaisons," Mr Pratt said.
"[Counsellors and liaisons] have all been brought into the award, which will give them a career structure to follow."