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Teacher’s pay resolved for now

By johnboy 14 March 2007 27

The ABC reports that Andrew Barr is declaring agreement has been reached over teacher’s pay going forward.

Despite some teachers being palpably better than others they’re all going to get guaranteed pay rises over the next two and a half years.

The final deal features an 11.5 per cent pay rise over three years.

Education Minister Andrew Barr says graduate teachers coming into the ACT system will be the highest paid in the country under the deal.

So, 18 months until the next wrangle, why, that’s after the election isn’t it? Clever.

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27 Responses to
Teacher’s pay resolved for now
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nyssa76 1:50 pm 16 Mar 07


You have my assurance that I won’t go on strike for a payrise.

And if it does happen, well July 08 is the last payrise for this “current” EBA.

Maelinar 1:35 pm 16 Mar 07

Who wants to put money on teachers threatening to go on strike for a payrise next year ?

Unfortunately, I’ve got serious compassion fatigue. Since all it seems teachers and nurses do with their spare time is whinge and bitch and organise attending the occasional lefty rally with the children under their care, they’ve become institutionally reliable to predict.

More accurate in my estimation than the amount of audited copies of the recycling bin fodder that gets put in my letterbox every week.

smiling politely 12:25 pm 16 Mar 07

Table 12 is titled “Table 12. Average Weekly Cash Earnings (a) – Sector and composition (May 2006, May 2004 and May 2002)” and doesn’t seem to have the data you refer to. But it doesn’t really matter in this instance – the point you made about a significant difference between the two figures still stands, as does mine about how the difference might be reasonably considered to be so marked (and thank you for the acknowledgement in your responding post).

Both your view and that of Thumper’s have some degree of merit to them. To be better informed though it would be useful to get some broader information about AWAs, particularly a) the difference for employees who take up an AWA compared to their previous award agreements, particularly those in lower income bands; and b) any trend data about the sorts of entitlements and benefits that are being used and disposed of. Unfortunately, following a decision made last year the relevant part of the DEWR portfolio no longer collates this data for public dissemination.

I, personally, believe that for low-skilled workers with little bargaining power that AWAs are not desirable – it would be better for them (and their households) to be in a better position to negotiate. A position that I suggest collective action *may* be more likely to provide – points about the effectiveness or otherwise of various unions and union officials notwithstanding. Thanks for the discussion.

neanderthalsis 10:18 am 16 Mar 07

Smiling politely,
if you check table 12 in that document and compare the totals for full time registered individual agreements against the award only average weekly total cash earnings, the difference is $511.

And yes, individual agreements are more prevalent in the higher income bands and those people are often in a greater position to negotiate a better package, but teachers are normally intelligent, highly educated creatures and could easily negotiate an individual contract instead of pandering to the whims of the union and the Labor flunkeys in the Education Department.

I was previously employed at award rates in the Adult Education sector, but for the last 3 years have been on individual agreements and earning close to double my previous award rate. In the current climate of skills shortages, those whose skills are in high demand, can easily negotiate a premium rate.

So the individuals are still better off right?

Collective agreements are fine for unskilled labouring jobs (and yes, I did my share of these while at school and uni), but for anyone in a semi-skilled or skilled job, I think they do little more than protect the useless. The good employees suffer as a result.

smiling politely 5:42 pm 15 Mar 07

neanderthalis – “…Indeed the May 2006 ABS Employee Earnings and Hours showed that workers on individual agreements earned, on average, $511 more per week than those on award wages.”

I suggest that this significant monetary difference may be less to do with the merits or otherwise of individual employment agreements. It may merely reflect the situation whereby individual employment agreements tend to be used more by people in higher income bands – senior members of the public service and those working in the mining industry as two areas that come immediately to mind.

ABS product no. 6306.0 in May 2006 appears to be the source you refer to – please correct me if I’m wrong. Table 10 of this publication has a $460.90 difference between average weekly earnings for people on the award only and those on registered individual agreements. By comparison, the difference between the latter group and earnings for people on a registered collective agreement is $78.40 per week more for individuals.

Link as I have no web-fu:

nyssa76 4:27 pm 15 Mar 07

tristero, I worked in a Non-Govt school and did 21 hours a week with 7 classes out of 8.

I don’t give a rats about 22hrs 40mins.

It was scare mongering by the AEU which led to the drawn out process in the first place.

As for the 19hrs, the arbitrator decided on that because, according to hard data, ACT teachers worked less face to face hours than anyone else in Australia. He also put it in so that DET and the ACT Govt couldn’t demand 22hrs 40mins.

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