Extra pay in AIS schools

The Board of the Anglican Schools Corporation has agreed to pay staff a special one-off payment of 1% of annual salary in April “in recognition of loyalty and to also contribute to cost of living pressures” in addition to the Multi-Enterprise Agreement (MEA) pay rise in 2023. The decision to make the payment was supported by the principals and the Chairs of the School Councils across all 17 schools.

Other independent schools have also made additional payments or are already paying above MEA rates.

Delegates at the IEU’s March Council recognised the problem and called for extra pay to staff in independent schools above the pay rise in the Independent Schools MEAs. IEU Council called for an immediate additional cash payment of at least 1% of salary to staff in schools covered by Association of Independent Schools (AIS) MEAs, with a higher increase where schools can afford to pay more.

The current round of MEAs was negotiated in mid 2021.

At the time the MEAs were negotiated, the NSW public sector salary cap was 2%. The NSW salary cap was increased by the Liberal/National Party government in mid 2022 following widespread industrial action (including by IEU members) from 2% to 2.5% and the new Labor government has pledged to completely abolish the public sector pay cap.

The public sector pay cap has held down wages in NSW non-government schools. Although it only applies legally to public sector workers, non-government employers have followed it for political and other reasons. In 2021, AIS schools refused to offer increases above anticipated government sector pay increases.

Inflation has increased markedly since the MEAs were negotiated. Over the 12 months to December 2022, CPI increased by 7.8%, well above the 1.1% increase in March 2021 and the 3.8% increase in June 2021.

The IEU will be requesting that in Term 2 all independent schools follow the lead of Anglican Schools Corporation schools and make additional payments to staff in recognition of the difficult economic circumstances facing teachers and support staff in the current high inflation environment.