NSW Christian schools - IEU says vote ‘yes’

Members who are teachers in NSW Christian schools are being asked to vote in support of their well-deserved pay rises, which could be delivered as early as February 2021.

The union has been in negotiation with the Christian Schools Australia (CSA) and Christian Education National (CEN) concerning the proposed MEA in recent weeks.

By agreement, schools have circulated to teachers a multi-enterprise agreement for endorsement called the NSW Christian Schools Teaching Staff Multi-Enterprise Agreement 2021 (the MEA).

Increases in pay


1 February 2021
2.3 %
1 February 2022 2.3 %
1 February 2023 2.5 %

Schools have proposed a three-year agreement from February 2021 to December 2023, with pay increases as set out below:

Detailed provisions on flexible working arrangements

The MEA has been amended to set out in detail the procedure for a teacher to request flexible working arrangements (for example, because the teacher would like to work part-time to care for their child or because the teacher is a carer for aged parents). The new provisions include the school’s obligations in responding to the request.

Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher classifications

The MEA will contain new classifications of Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher from the beginning of 2021 for teachers who have been accredited as such by NESA. The rate of pay will be approximately $6,000 above a Step 13 teacher, but the additional amount is not paid on top of a promotions allowance, if the teacher holds a promotion position.

Recognition of overseas and early childhood teaching service

For teachers appointed after the start of the MEA, overseas teaching service in a school and service as an accredited early childhood teacher in an early learning centre will be recognised for incremental progression.

The provisions applying to teachers moving from inter-state or overseas will also be clarified, so that experienced teachers who do not have NESA Proficient accreditation on commencement will not be penalised, provided the teacher attains their Proficient accreditation within one year.

Concurrent parental leave

An improvement in the new MEA will be more flexible timing of the two weeks paid concurrent parental leave (including paternity leave). The leave will be able to be taken any time within 12 months of the date of birth or date of adoption rather than just from around the date of birth or adoption. Leave accessed will still be deducted from personal/carer’s leave.

Personal/carer’s leave

There has been a minor change proposed by schools in the wording concerning evidence required in support of personal/carer’s leave. This is not an improvement, but the union does not expect the change will make it more difficult to access this leave. Other changes in this clause are purely minor drafting matters.

IEU recommends a ‘yes’ vote

The IEU understands that schools will conduct voting on 2 November. Although a small number of the union’s claims have not been met, the union recommends a ‘yes’ vote to members.

Please ensure your colleagues are aware of this and urge all teachers to participate in the vote on the enterprise agreement that will be conducted by your school. If teachers at your school vote to approve the agreement, it will then be referred to the Fair Work Commission for approval. Whether or not there is a high level of participation in the vote of employees on an agreement is a consideration for the Fair Work Commission in deciding whether or not to approve an agreement.

The IEU supports members. Invite your colleagues to join here: www.ieu.asn.au/join-page