Tasmanian teachers are calling for a 3 per cent wage increase in the first year of a new Teachers Agreement, according to the state’s education union.
On Tuesday, the Australian Education Union Tasmania branch delivered a list of priorities to the Education Department and TasTAFE, to potentially inform updates to both the Teachers Agreement and the Public Sector Unions Wages Agreement.
These logs of claims have been put together over the past 18 months, through extensive consultation with AEU members.
The priority list speaks for teachers, principals and support staff in schools, colleges and the TAFE system.
AEU Tasmania branch state manager Roz Madsen said Tasmania’s teachers were the lowest paid in the country and that this would continue under the state government’s 2 per cent cap on public sector wages.
“Tasmanian students deserve to be taught by the highest quality educators, so we need to keep them here with a nationally competitive salary,” Ms Madsen said.
“Tasmanian students have amongst the highest needs of any state in Australia, so why should Tasmanian teachers be paid the least?”
The AEU is seeking a wage nexus following the 3 per cent increase, which would ensure that education workers were paid relative to other teachers across Australia.
The union is also demanding action on the health and wellbeing of principals, saying they were logging 60-hour weeks, which was supposedly having “detrimental effects”.
Labor education spokeswoman Michelle O’Byrne echoed the AEU’s statements, saying that “funding teachers is something this government needs to take seriously”.
A government spokesperson said it would not be acceding to the union’s demands.
“A 1 per cent additional increase is the equivalent to over 200 teachers, that we wouldn’t be able to employ,” the spokesperson said.
“The government won’t compromise on its plan to invest in the services that students need and deserve.”