AUS wide

South Australia

Royal Commission into ECEC

The State Labor Government made an election commitment to have a Royal Commission into the Early Education and Care (ECEC) sector. They appointed Julia Gillard as the Commissioner. The Royal Commission has three terms of reference relating to: The first 1000 days of life, Universal three-year-old Preschool and Access to Out of School Hours Care.

The IEU was invited to be a part of the roundtable into preschools. Government, employers and unions were represented. It was pleasing to see that many matters were not contentious. For example, there was a unanimous view that teachers should be developing and running programs for preschools. Despite this view, the Commission has recommended that while workforce supply is being developed, programs could be developed by diploma-qualified educators. This will need to be monitored and we believe that stringent checks and balances need to be in place. We are also supportive of a birth-to-five degree, but note the regulatory challenges, particularly accreditation from the Teachers Registration Board. It was pleasing that there was a commitment to a play-based, culturally responsive approach and an emphasis on providing evidence-based tools to improve pedagogical approaches.

Read the interim report at:

Northern Territory

IEU members set for highest pay in Territory

The collective action of IEU members at The Essington School (Darwin) will see employees receive a 10 per cent pay increase over three years, making them the highest-paid teachers in the NT.

While at the time of publication the collective proposed agreement was still to be balloted, NTIEU Organiser Jengis Osman said in-principle agreement for following wage increases was secured:

  • October 2022: 4%
  • February 2023: 3%
  • February 2024: 3%

“Members’ determination and tenacity throughout the negotiations have paid off, with the employer agreeing to a cumulative 10 per cent wage increase over the next three years of the agreement,” he said.

“The collective strength shown by Essington Chapter members throughout this round of collective bargaining is what has led to them becoming the highest paid teachers in the NT.

“Their wages will be on average 3.5 per cent higher than teachers in the NT public sector for October 2023 and February 2024.

Other key wins for Essington Chapter members during this round of collective bargaining negotiations include:

  • increased superannuation whilst in receipt of government
  • paid maternity leave
  • increased secondary carer leave (two to three weeks).
  • sun-safe benefits for outdoor staff.


Celebrating our school officers

IEU chapters in Queensland and the Northern Territory will celebrate School Officer Day 2023 on Wednesday 14 June 2023.

Each year on School Officer Day, we take the opportunity to recognise and celebrate the skills and strengths of our school officers, including support and services staff, and the difference they make to our school communities.

Schools simply would not function without school support staff.

From laboratory technicians, classroom assistants, grounds staff and administrative staff to speech pathologists, library staff and IT specialists, support staff are dedicated professionals.

Our union understands the specific challenges facing support staff – particularly regarding classification, contract arrangements, wages and recognition.

A recent study conducted by the Grattan Institute into work pressures in schools drew conclusions that connected the “critical role of the wider workforce in schools” and their potential to ease workload pressures for teachers.

Part of our union’s plan to address teachers’ unsustainable workloads is that collective agreements have provisions for school officers to take on a broader range of responsibilities and access better professional development opportunities.

For more information on School Officer Day 2023,


Support staff pay rises on the way in Catholic systemic schools

After a year of negotiations concerning pay rises for support staff, the IEU is close to matching increases received by support staff in government schools in 2019 for support staff in Catholic systemic schools.

The pay rises are targeted at classroom and learning support and administrative staff, as they were the groups that benefitted from the 2019 court case conducted by the public sector union representing government school support staff, the Public Service Association (PSA).

Pay increases will generally range between five per cent and 10 per cent, but a few classifications will receive significantly more than this.

Congratulations also go to NSW/ACT Branch Professional Engagement Officer Veronica Yewdall, recently elected Federal Assistant Secretary and NSW/ACT Branch Deputy Secretary Carol Matthews, who has been elected as Federal President, IEUA.


Amendments update Education Act

IEUA NSW/ACT Branch has been invited to a consultation session with the ACT Education Directorate on amendments to the Education Act 2004.

Amendments to the Act will ensure that the ACT has legislation that reflects the principles of its education system: providing excellence and equity in education to all ACT children. The aim is to ensure that updates relating to enrolments, attendance and participation will keep the ACT up to date with the requirements of a modern educational environment, and to ensure that parents/carers and school staff have greater clarity around their obligations.

The proposed amendments to the Act that will apply to enrolment and attendance non-government schools:

  • Review the definition of ‘student’
  • Clarify the meaning of ‘the right to choose a suitable educational environment’
  • Clarify what is considered a ‘reasonable excuse’ in different sections of the Act
  • Clarify the application of information and compliance notices for NSW residents enrolled in ACT schools
  • Clarify attendance requirements for education providers other than a school
  • Enable flexible attendance requirements
  • Review procedures to encourage attendance at schools
  • Require confirmation of a student’s next education enrolment destination
  • Review the application of exemption certificates


Wage increases coming

Under the terms of the IEU-negotiated enterprise agreement covering staff in Tasmanian Catholic schools, wage increases recently negotiated by AEU Tasmania for government school teachers are expected to flow on to all staff in Tasmanian Catholic schools.

This means that staff in Catholic schools should soon see significant pay increases, with further increases locked in for 2024 and 2025. Features of the government school deal include:

  • a salary increase of 3.5% in 2023, 3% in 2024 and 3% in 2025
  • salaries for teachers at Level 5 and above and principals will increase by $1000, while teachers at Level 4 and below and education support specialists will receive a $1500 increase to their base, and
  • there will also be a series of additional one-off payments for staff at the lower end of the pay scale – teachers at Level 4 and below and education support specialists –$1000 in 2023 and $500 in each of 2024 and 2025.

The IEU is currently in discussions with Catholic employers in Tasmania around how these payments will be implemented in Catholic schools.


Farewelling Deb

Retiring IEU Victoria Tasmania General Secretary Deb James was farewelled at a special function on 12 May, with staff and luminaries from the IEU and the union movement saying thanks to the much-admired leader for her 33 years of service.

In Deb’s time, the union all but doubled its membership. She won countless battles on behalf of members, helped usher in vital anti-discrimination measures and oversaw the first major changes on workload in the current agreement in Victorian Catholic schools.

“It’s sad to say goodbye after such a long time on the job and one that I’ve loved so much but it’s the right time,” Deb said.

Deb said she was confident that under its new leaders, General Secretary David Brear, and Deputy Secretary Kylie Busk, the IEUVT “will continue to thrive.”

ACTU President Michele O Neil said Deb is, “a great unionist, sister, feminist, a fighter, a comic, an ally, a comrade”.

Former IEUA Secretary Christine Cooper said Deb’s leadership had been a particular inspiration to women.

“In a world of male leaders – where women are constantly pushed to have a masculine style in leading – and we are at war with our own ‘imposter’ self-talk – it was refreshing to not only be encouraged to be ourselves – but to be shown a leader who was able to do that.

“This made a difference to my way of thinking about myself – and I know it changed our members’ lives as well.”

For more on the career of Deb James, see the In Focus feature