AIS offer to Christian schools falls short

The IEU believes the Association of Independent Schools (AIS) offer to its Christian schools falls well short of what is required in the current climate of teacher shortages, cost-of-living crisis, and employer offers in NSW government schools, Catholic systemic schools and ACT government schools. Their offer is 4% January 2024, 3% January 2025 and 3% January 2026.

The following proposals have some merit provide that graduate teachers who are engaged on Band 1 and have at least two years of full-time service are able to progress to Band 2, Step 8 immediately upon becoming accredited as a proficient teacher.

However, the lack of movement on wage parity with government schools and parental leave is disappointing to say the least.

As was pointed out at the meeting,the ACT Government’s recent offer to teachers includes percentage increases of more than 20% over three years for most classifications and will result in a C10 teacher being paid $129,106 per annum by the end of 2025.

In relation to support staff, an experienced teacher’s aide (Level 4.4) under the Catholic systemic agreement now earns $88,852 per annum (unaveraged). The equivalent classification in the AIS Christian Schools agreement earns $74,037 (unaveraged).

The shortfall in parental leave benefits could not be starker, as the table shows

Teachers on Step 12 AIS Christian Schools EA compared to Band 2 Level 5 Catholic Systemic Agreement – 18 weeks Federal PPL scheme.

Generally, government funding of independent schools has increased substantially recently, however, it appears AIS Christian schools are unwilling to commit this additional funding to their most important resource – their staff.