The IEU welcomes the change in government following the March state election. NSW Labor centred much of their campaign on the importance of essential workers in providing critical services to this state.
New Premier Chris Minns acknowledged this in his election night speech, saying, “I am proud to say today, the people of NSW voted for the removal of the unfair wages cap in NSW . . . they voted for our nurses, our teachers.”
Premier Minns went on to say that “there was a basic acknowledgement at the end of the day, that during the COVID emergency, the people of NSW that work in our hospitals, in our schools, in our emergency departments, put themselves second and the public first and put their own safety and health to one side to look after the people of NSW”.
The new government is committed to scrapping the public sector salary cap. State government employees and their unions will again have the capacity to put forward a case for fair, just and proper wage rises to a revitalised and independent industrial umpire.
Employees in non-government schools are acutely aware that their wages have also been suppressed over the last decade by the former government’s 2.5% salary cap. The capacity of the IEU to campaign and advocate for higher wages is strengthened by this election result.
The issues facing education in general, and our sector are, of course, not limited to the payment of fair and just wage increases. The IEU met with Chris Minns and Education Minister Prue Car prior to the election to put forward the concerns of our members. We are in the process of setting up further meetings.
Workload and the teacher shortage are key issues that the new Government must address.
More than 36.2% of NSW students are educated in non-government schools (ABS:2022) and as the union that represents workers in these schools, the IEU looks forward to regular and genuine consultation on these issues with the Minister.