It’s time for Catholic employers to break the nexus and acknowledge that being in lock step with the NSW Government wages policy is both unnecessarily constraining and counter to the wellbeing of the education profession and the communities they serve.
The climate of insecure work, universities not attracting students into teaching degrees, the cost of the degrees, an unacceptable teacher attrition rate and the reality that cost-of-living increases are outstripping the Perrottet government’s imposed 2.5% wages cap (which is even lower when there are legislated increases in the Super Guarantee Levy) – has created the perfect storm.
The community expects better. IEU members expect better. In recent times the CEOs of Coles, Woolworths and Harvey Norman have signalled that significant price increases are not far off. To limit the pay increase for NSW public servants to 2.5% is to restrict economic wellbeing and the post-COVID recovery.
For several decades the Catholic policy has been not to pay more than the State Government. This is despite Catholic systemic schools being in the federal industrial relations system. Catholic employers can step up and break the impasse.
Professor John Buchanan from the University of Sydney Business School declared in the Sun Herald on 27 February: “What Australia’s got now is a problem of militant employers ... just look at how the NSW Government has been treating the nurses, the teachers and the train drivers.”