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‘Breakthrough moment’ in NSW teacher pay dispute

A deal on teachers' pay could be sealed within days after their union and the NSW government reached an in-principle agreement for a big one-year increase.

A deal on teachers' pay could be sealed within days after their union and the NSW government reached an in-principle agreement for a big one-year increase. Photo: AAP

A pay deal for NSW teachers is close to being signed after the government and the union struck an in-principle deal.

The NSW Teachers Federation has been weighing up an offer from the Minns Labor government that includes a major first-year pay bump.

Under the proposed four-year deal, which will be put to the union’s state council on Saturday, the starting salary for first-year teachers will go from $75,791 to $85,000 – an increase of more than 12 per cent.

Salaries for teachers at the top of the scale will rise from $113,042 to $122,100, an eight per cent increase.

Union leaders will recommend that members endorse the deal at the upcoming meeting.

The government says the deal will mean the state’s teachers go from among the country’s worst-paid classroom leaders to its best-paid.

Discussions will continue on what pay increases teachers can expect for the second, third and fourth years of the deal, after the government walked back an earlier offer of 2.5 per cent annually.

The union effectively rejected being locked into the subsequent increases, which it argued mirrored the former coalition government’s public-sector wage cap.

If the offer is accepted, the current award will be varied and extended until October 2024, while negotiations will continue over the subsequent three-year deal.

Education Minister Prue Car said she was hopeful the new deal would be accepted so teachers could start to see more money in their pay packets.

“The Minns Labor government is hopeful this agreement will be made so NSW teachers can get the pay rise they so urgently deserve,” she said.

“Negotiating an outcome that demonstrates respect to teachers has always been my highest priority.”

NSW Teachers Federation acting president Henry Rajendra said the proposed deal will result in better outcomes for both teachers and students.

“The proposed agreement is a breakthrough moment,” he said.

“We will attract and retain more hardworking teachers and prevent them drifting to other professions or states.”

– AAP

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