Christian Schools Australia offer: 92% say no

In the last edition of Newsmonth, I reported that Christian Schools Australia (CSA) had offered teachers in 35 Christian Schools a 0% pay ‘rise’ in 2025 and a 3% pay rise in 2026.

The offer did not include a commitment to ensuring salaries in Christian schools do not fall behind those paid to teachers in Catholic systemic schools and government schools.

Pay rates for teachers in these schools are already lagging behind. While decent pay rises are being offered for 2024, our members do not appreciate an offer that would see them catch up only to then fall behind teachers in other sectors again.

The IEU has reached in-principle agreement with CSA on the Support and Operational Staff Agreement.

During our visits to Christian schools, we have become aware that many have already passed on pay increases this year. This tells us two things: first, that these schools have the capacity to pay competitive salaries; and second, that the principals and school boards understand the importance of rewarding and retaining their dedicated staff, particularly considering the current teacher shortage.

CSA came back to the union and offered to split the 3% on offer in 2026 so that teachers would receive 1.5% in 2025 and 1.5% in 2026. Again, there was no commitment to match teacher salaries in government schools.

The union could not accept an offer without a guarantee that salaries will not fall behind those paid to teachers in government schools.

We surveyed our teacher members in these schools to hear their thoughts. We asked: Do you think the IEU should agree to the offer proposed on behalf of your school for 2024, 2025 and 2026?

Within hours, close to 50% of those members responded. By the end of the survey, an overwhelming 92% had rejected the CSA offer. We also invited members to make a comment, and members had plenty to say: read a range of these responses.

We have advised CSA that we cannot accept their offer when 92% of our members have rejected it. As Newsmonth goes to press, we are yet to receive an improved offer. We will consult with our members in early Term 2.

There is real strength in numbers. The more members we have, the greater our bargaining power. It’s important to encourage all staff to join the IEU. We are stronger together.