Teachers win 13% pay rise

The lengthy industrial dispute between teachers and the Andrews government is over.


The government and the Australian Education Union announced on Thursday that they had reached a deal, and teachers and support staff would receive a 13 per cent pay rise over four years.

It follows 11 months of “long and difficult” negotiations and threats of statewide strikes.

The $2.2 billion deal will create 3000 new “learning specialist” roles and give permanent jobs to 2500 teachers and 5000 support staff who are currently on contracts.

The salary increases are significantly less than the 21 per cent pay rise that the union had initially been pushing for, but Victorian branch president Meredith Peace said it was “fair and reasonable”.

About 70,000 Victorian principals, teachers and education support staff will be affected by the new deal.

Principals will receive a 4 per cent annual pay rise.

The sticking point had been teachers’ “crushing workloads”.

Ms Peace said the new deal would address this “critical” issue by introducing four professional practice days for every teacher during which they can plan classes and assess students’ work.

“It’s a great win for our members,” she said.

“We were prepared to take industrial action to fight for what we have achieved. We are really pleased we that we have been able to arrive at this outcome without having to do that.”

Education Minister James Merlino said the new learning specialist roles would create a career path to becoming a principal, and let teachers mentor and coach their colleagues.

“The teachers make all the difference in our children’s lives,” he said. “This enterprise agreement respects the profession.”

The minister said the negotiations had been “long and difficult .. but they have always been conducted in good faith”.

The deal will increase a teacher’s graduate salary from $65,000 to $67,000.

In February the union’s branch council voted to take steps towards industrial action.

The previous enterprise bargaining agreement expired on October 31.

The union had hoped to avoid a repeat of its bitter 18-month pay dispute with the former Napthine government, which led to Victoria’s largest ever strikes over three days in 2012 and 2013.

It followed the former state government breaking its promise to make Victorian teachers the highest paid in the nation.