Public school teachers are pushing for a 10-15 per cent increase in wages over the next two years following the conclusion of a year-long independent review of the profession's value.
Commissioned by the NSW Teachers Federation, the Valuing the Teaching Profession report was handed down over the weekend and indicated a raft of recommendations to be implemented over the next six years.
Report chairperson Dr Geoff Gallop told The Daily Advertiser that the salary growth should be given a much shorter timeframe.
"Some changes should be implemented quickly and that includes the wage increase, but other issues can be much more gradual. Change has to be phased in," Dr Gallop said.
In other education news
According to the deputy president of the NSW Teachers Federation, Henry Rajendra, this year, a starting teacher could expect a $70,652 yearly salary. The federation wants that increased to roughly $80,000.
"Providing education to all students is a critical good and it needs to be treated like that," Mr Rajendra said.
"There needs to be a reset of the working conditions and the salary for our teachers because we will be in strife otherwise to attract the necessary skills into our schools."
It comes after the state government announced its 'Fast Stream Program', which will allow up to 50 teachers to fast-track their career progression to principal.
However, according to Mr Rajendra,the program is too small to motivate enough teachers.
"There are only 50 positions, in terms of the number of teachers we have across the state, that's insignificant," Mr Rajendra said.
In other news
Along with the increased pay, teachers are also pushing to be given an additional two hours each week outside the classroom to focus on planning lessons.
But another critical area to be addressed, Dr Gallop said, was in the supply and workflow loads of teachers.
"Too many teachers are teaching outside of their disciple areas, and that's especially so in the regions," Dr Gallop said.
Mr Rajendrathat there was at least 1250 vacant teaching positions across the state at the start of this year. As a result, he said, "in some cases, you've had to have science teachers stepping in as PE teachers [for example]."
"We're expecting a 25 per cent increase in student enrolments over the next 20 years, and already we've got reports coming from across the state that many schools have unfilled teacher vacancies," Mr Rajendra said.
The NSW Department of Education was repeatedly sought for comment but did not deliver a response by the time of publication.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: