Meanwhile in independent schools . . .

The large pay rises achieved in government and Catholic systemic schools are influencing those who work in Catholic independent, independent and Christian schools. Teachers and support staff in these sectors expect equal treatment.

Some schools have already taken steps to increase pay and conditions for their staff. They don’t want to lose all their staff to other schools.

However, some employers are still dragging the chain. The multi-enterprise agreements (MEAs) negotiated by the Association of Independent Schools (AIS) still have over a year to run (expiry January 2025), with one further modest pay rise of 2.53% next February. The IEU has sought meetings with the AIS about an interim pay increase, but they have refused to meet.

The Anglican Schools Corporation (18 schools) has agreed to pay an additional 3% to all staff from February 2024. Smaller schools have also agreed to increases and boards at other schools are currently considering their position. The IEU expects that many other schools will soon follow suit and raise salaries ahead of the MEA increases next year.

In Standards Model schools, both Band 2 (Proficient) and Band 3 (Experienced Teacher – _ISTAA accredited) pay rates are now below the top Proficient band in government and Catholic schools (in the case of Band 2, $17,000 below). In Hybrid Model schools Band 2 and Band 3 rates are also below by thousands of dollars.

The IEU has had preliminary discussions with Christian Schools Australia (CSA), which represents about 35 schools.

CSA said Christian schools will not match the rates in government and Catholic systemic schools for teachers in Christian schools until February 2025 – however, even then only the top and bottom steps would match, not the steps in between. CSA is reviewing its position.

On most steps there is now at least a $10,000 gap between the rates in government schools and NSW Christian schools. This must be fixed.

If your employer is not considering a pay rise, contact your IEU Rep or organiser, if you don’t have a Rep, and call a chapter meeting. Encourage your colleagues to join the IEU. Strength in numbers gives you a better chance of success.