The Australian Education Union Tasmania said the latest wages and conditions offer put forward by the government secures key workload wins and fair pay, and strengthens quality education for the state.
After ten months of negotiations, the AEU Tasmania's executive branch voted unanimously to endorse a new wages and conditions offer tabled by the state government on Thursday.
The offer will be put the union's members in a confidential, online vote next Thursday afternoon.
If the majority of teacher members vote 'yes', a detailed agreement will be finalised as soon as possible and put to members in a formal ballot where a majority of teachers are needed to accept the agreement.
AEU Tasmanian president Helen Richardson said the AEU branch executive would be strongly recommending members support the offer in the upcoming vote.
"Teachers have won workload fixes that allow for more class planning and preparation time, new educators and principals will have more support and our teachers will have a nationally competitive wage that recognises the work they do," Ms Richardson said.
"The offer outlines an 8.5 per cent wage increase over three years for the majority of teachers which will boost our ability to attract and retain the best teachers and means their salary will be nationally competitive.
"They have been a long and tough negotiations, but we have worked collaboratively with the Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff and the Department Of Education to secure an offer that we believe is a 'win-win' for teachers and students.
"This new offer is a result of the hard work of teachers and principals who have negotiated and campaigned for almost a year and who have always had the concerns of students as their number one priority."
Teacher and AEU executive member David Genford said the wages negotiations were a key component of the offer.
"Over 60 per cent of our staff will see receive 8.5 per cent over three years with this agreement," Mr Genford said.
Mr Genford said the branch executive was positive about the new offer because it addressed teacher workload, especially in primary schools and in regards to reporting, and included clauses addressing in-class support.
"We believe that the agreement has improvements for our students and for our members and we are very pleased with the outcome," Mr Genford said.
"It's now up to our members to give us further direction if they are also happy with this agreement."
The new Teachers' Agreement offer includes:
- An 8.5 per cent wage increase over three years for the majority of teachers covered. The minimum pay rise is 7.5 per cent
- Recognition of the Department of Education's most experienced teachers including the introduction of a new Band 1 Level 14
- Improves the delivery of primary education by offering every primary school student access to two hours of specialist teaching (such as music, drama, art, agriculture and robotics), per week by 2022, allowing classroom teachers more time for preparation and planning
- Provides our early career teachers with the support that they need to become great teachers, by acknowledging that experienced mentors make a big difference, and providing increased access to increased professional learning
- Acknowledges the considerable complexity that principals must manage, day to day, in leading our schools, by providing an additional 10 FTE staff to assist them to discharge their role, including assistance with managing critical incidents and managing staff
- Improves relief arrangements, by proposing a pool of permanent relief staff to ensure that hard to staff schools have ready access to relief teachers
- A new position of Education Support Specialists which means support staff, such as Teacher Assistants, will have a pathway to being recognised as education professionals and will be paid for 52 weeks of the year
- Teachers working at Ashley Youth Detention School will receive a 6.5 per cent Correctional Facilities Allowance in acknowledgement of the complexities of that working environment
The government said it hoped other unions would follow the lead of the AEU "to deliver a fair and affordable wages offer to their hardworking members."
Treasurer Peter Gutwein said he would encourage other unions to come back to the table and negotiate "sensible" savings and efficiency measures.
"What we've seen here is a very constructive working arrangement with the AEU that will benefit teachers and especially students, and importantly protects the bottom line," Mr Gutwein said.
"At a whole-of-government level we are working with all the unions, and I would encourage the unions to come back to the table to have sensible discussions about this."
Mr Gutwein said it was now up to teachers to vote on the offer.
"It's an affordable and responsible agreement as far as the government is concerned. It's a good outcome for teachers, it's a good outcome for students, and I welcome the AEU taking this offer to its members," Mr Gutwein said.
A joint release by Mr Gutwein and Premier Will Hodgman said member agreement with this offer meant the government could proceed with its plan to employ hundreds of additional teachers and support staff for schools.
"Critical to the agreement has been the AEU this week moving away from a 3 per cent per year pay rise demand," the release said.
"The government has consistently said from day one that such a pay increase was simply not affordable for the budget.
"The offer ensures that teachers will receive a fair and affordable pay rise of 2 per cent in the first year, 2.5 per cent in the second year and 2.5 per cent in the third year."
Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff said the new deal would allow the government to employ 345 new teachers.
"We value our teachers and the work they do to support students to reach their full potential. I am confident this agreement delivers teachers a pay rise that recognises teachers' impact and cost of living pressures, addresses workload issues, supports a high quality workforce and, most of all, benefits our students," Mr Rockliff said.
"Importantly, this offer delivers a pay rise that is fair and affordable, with savings agreed to which will offset salary increases above two percent and a range of improvements to current terms and conditions."