Victorian Teachers Scent Victory!

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 AEU members at a rally in Melbourne

Teachers in Victoria who have been on a series of highly successful strikes to demand improved pay and conditions have won significant gains.

Below is the statemtent from the Australian Education Union:

Today Joint Primary and Secondary Sector Council overwhelmingly endorsed a Draft Agreement for ratification by AEU members.

2008 Schools Agreement at a glance

  • Top rung classroom teachers now best paid in Australia
  • Best starting salary in Australia
  • $10,000 pay rise from May 11 for 16,000 teachers
  • Around $5000 pay rise for 5,000 teachers
  • $1000, $1500 or $2000 bonuses for most teachers/principals
  • Pay increases which average between 5.2% and 11.5% per year
  • Crackdown on contract abuse
  • Guaranteed summer pay for contract teachers who work full year and pro rata school holiday pay for all others
  • No loss of pupil free days
  • No loss of holidays
  • Enhanced consultation
  • Laptop discounts.

The finalisation of a Draft Agreement follows intensive negotiations over the past week after Premier John Brumby announced "in principle" agreement in relation to salaries/career structure and productivity/service improvements.

While we were still in negotiations we were unable to publish details of the relative positions of the parties.

We share members' frustration at the lack of capacity to publish details, given the media reports and speculation.

Thankfully, we are now in a position to do so.

Details of the proposed Agreement including pay scales/career structure can now be found on our website at www.aeuvic.asn.au/campaigns/schools_agreement_08/.

Salaries
As of May 11, Victorian teachers at the top of the incremental scale become the highest paid teachers in Australia, at $75,500 -- an increase of more than $10,000, or 15.4%. Graduate teacher salaries will also be the highest at $51,184, more than $5000 or 11.1%. The NSW figures are $75,352 and $50,522 respectively.

All classifications increase by a minimum of 5.2% to 11.5%. This is achieved by a combination of one-off payments, restructuring and salary increases which include 4.9% from May 11, 2008, and 2.71% in January for each of 2009, 2010 and 2011.

While there are different outcomes for teachers and principals depending on their classification, no principal or teacher receives less than an average 5.19% per year over the life of the agreement -- significantly better than the Government offer of 3.25% per annum.

The effective date of increase is the pay period beginning May 11, 2008 subject to the agreement being ratified by AEU members.

In relation to "productivity" there is no loss of holidays and no loss of pupil free days. However there will be a change to the configuration of the pupil free days with two days being moved to the start of the year. There will be no more than three before the start of the student school year, with the capacity to vary one of these with the agreement of the employer. Teachers will not start the school year any earlier. Students will start later. Existing Department regulation will be restated, that requires 300 minutes of pupil instruction per day or 25 hours per week.

The introduction of 210 Teacher Assistants proposed for 2010 will be brought forward to the start of the 2009 school year, to relieve secondary teacher workload, with further discussions about expanding the program in subsequent years.

There are also very significant improvements in contract teacher employment.

Significant Achievement
Given the Government's offer of 3.25% plus further increases dependent on productivity, these salaries are a significant achievement indeed. The strong support of members for the campaign, the television ads and the ongoing media coverage have all built community support and pressure on the Government
 

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