Funding disparity raises questions

A significant disparity between NSW/ACT Catholic employers’ pay offers and funding provided by the Federal Government emerged in late 2022.

The 2023 Indexation Rate is 4.3 per cent. This information goes to various dioceses in the form of a ‘funding estimates tool’ called the Funding and Data Collection. The Federal Department of Education has confirmed the following:

  • In 2023 the rate is 4.3 per cent.
  • The floor of indexation is 3 per cent.

Further adjustments to the base figure are made via a calculation utilising wage indexation (75 per cent) and CPI (25 per cent). With CPI hovering around 7 per cent, the indexation has moved upwards. Further estimates are:

  • 2024 - 3.7 per cent
  • 2025 - 3.1 per cent
  • 2026 - 3.3 per cent

The Catholic systemic ‘offer’ is 2.54 per cent with an undertaking to match the NSW Department of Education in 2024 and 2025.

For ACT members the increases will match those provided to the ACT public school teachers.

The obvious inequities between the ‘offer’ and the actual funding level must be addressed. The IEU will be contacting Catholic Employment Relations (CER) formally to signal that good faith bargaining demands transparency.

Damning review

The Productivity Commission’s Review of the National School Reform Agreement was released at the end of January, revealing the extent of the workload crisis facing teachers.

In relation to the review, Productivity Commissioner Natalie Siegel-Brown said “effective teaching is the single most influential ‘in-school’ factor for creating an effective learning environment.

“Compared to many countries, our teachers work longer hours but have less time for activities that make a real difference in the classroom.”

The Commission’s review confirms what our union has been saying for years: time spent on teaching and learning is the basis of education; teachers need more time to teach.

Reducing non-teaching workload is essential. The IEU calls on all levels of government and employers to implement meaningful reforms to fix the workload crisis, reduce teacher workload and ensure teachers have time to teach.