Pay Them What They Deserve: Salaries for NSW Teachers Could Be Going Up

Teachers: They save you from eating crayons in primary school, passing cringey notes to your crush in high school, and imploding from stress in your final year. Then, when you are finally somewhat well-adjusted, you bounce, thus, leaving them to repeat this cycle for eternity. Oh, they also teach you how to write and do math, saving you from the life of a medieval serf.

However, despite the fact that teachers do such hard and incredible labor, they don’t get paid enough in NSW. This can be demonstrated by the fact that a ton of teachers have gone on strike this year or dropped out of the profession entirely. Moreover, as the NSW Teachers Federation’s President, Angelo Gavrielatos, said back in June, “We asked the Premier to reconsider his decision to cap the pay of teachers at 3% when inflation is more than 5% and rising. Yet, he did nothing.” 

Gavrielatos additionally asserted, “Acting on uncompetitive salaries and unsustainable workloads is the only way to stop more teachers leaving and attract the people into the profession we need to fix the shortages.”

Nevertheless, while NSW is floundering in this situation, something finally might be done about it. This is because the Minister for Education and Early Learning, Sarah Mitchell, has announced some exciting new plans that could change the NSW teaching game. Here are the deets that we know so far:

Keeping Our Best in the Classroom

Basically, the NSW Government is thinking about providing new, higher-paid roles for the teachers that are considered to be exceptional at this job. “The structure of our teaching profession should reflect our teachers,” stated Mitchell. She wants it to become “innovative, ambitious, and modern.” Mitchell believes that such a change would keep more outstanding teachers in the classroom.

The NSW government is yet to classify exactly what makes an outstanding teacher outstanding. However, the Sydney Morning Herald has reported that the salaries for these folks could be up to $130,000 a year. This scheme is also being planned by educational expert, Professor John Hattie. “The rewarding of excellence and expertise is the right topic to realise high standards and maximise positive impacts on students,” stated Hattie.

Related: NSW State Budget Policies, Explained

Related: Here’s a List of all NSW Trains’ Planned Strikes

Will This Scheme Actually Help Out NSW Teachers?

While it’s great that some teachers might start earning $130,000 a year, this move doesn’t really  address what they are hoping for. All of our educators want and deserve a raise. Giving a select few an extra cash of splash might not stop the other underpaid ones from jumping ship. Moreover, this initiative isn’t focusing on reducing our teacher’s workload. In fact, I’m worried that such a scheme might incentivise them from doing even more work in an attempt to land one of these six-figure roles.

All of our teachers are outstanding. They taught our kids through a pandemic. They already work hours that you wouldn’t believe. They are keeping primary school kids from painting themselves in glue and high school kids from huffing glue. To be honest, this just isn’t it chief.

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.