What you said: Members in Christian schools

We surveyed our members in 35 Christian schools about the pay offer from Christian Schools Australia. Here’s what you had to say (see Deputy Secretary David Towson's column).

The NO vote

CSA are being foolhardy if they think they can retain a quality workforce whilst clearly paying them less than the government system which will offer more support and a greater number of teaching opportunities.

I think it is still undercutting staff. Our maternity and parental leave are still so low compared to other sectors, to not at least offer us competitive wages is a slap in the face to staff. Surely they can pay their staff fairly.

Very disappointed that CSA is lagging behind the huge bulk of the teaching world in recognising the enormous responsibility and task of being a teacher. I am sure this will create a great hesitancy in any new teachers to seek employment in CSA schools, and at the very least CSA will not be able attract quality teachers to work in their schools.

Dissatisfied with latest offer.

Thanks to the union for pushing for parity with other school systems.

CSA must guarantee that pay for CSA teaching staff will match the Department [government] and Catholic sectors.

The offer doesn’t go far enough, because it is behind the salaries of the state and Catholic schools. If CSA wants to attract teachers they need to increase salaries.

I’m worried about the pay levels for newer staff and how much worse off they’ll be than state teachers. The maternity/paternity leave also doesn’t stack up.

CSA can’t flip between the idea of teaching as ‘ministry’ and schools being run as businesses whenever it suits their (monetary) needs. They need to honour the work they ask their teachers to do (which generally goes well above and beyond what would be expected in the public sector) and offer equitable wages, particularly considering that many of the conditions (eg parental leave) are lagging behind other sectors.

I think teacher worth has been established and we deserve to be paid accordingly.

I think it is disgraceful for independent school teachers to be paid less than their state counterparts. It shows a distinct lack of respect for their staff. I’ve worked in both systems and the workload is considerably higher in independent schools and the wages should reflect this fact.

If other AIS schools can match the Department [government] and Catholic systems then so can CSA schools!

As an independent school teacher, to not match public school teacher increase is unrealistic and a slap in the face. From my understanding, CSA has not been able to come to a workload agreement for teaching staff and these are not sustainable for our profession. If this continues, I may leave teaching.

I would just like to thank the IEU for their steadfast position in these negotiations. The value of a teacher is at question here and I couldn’t agree more with the IEU’s position and opposition to another sub-par offer. Many thanks!

CSA must guarantee that pay for CSA teaching staff will match the Department and Catholic sectors.

Need to guarantee that we at least match state schools

You will struggle to get teachers if you don’t offer parity within a reasonable time frame. Most staff understand that you can’t just pull so much money out of thin air, but by the same token, they’re entitled to at least parity with their state colleagues.

They need to match government schools.

Teachers in the middle of the pay scale are still significantly underpaid when compared to the government and Catholic sectors.

I think it is important to have in there that we will at least get paid the same as public school teachers.

I’d like to see CSA schools matching DET and Catholic school salaries and maternity leave arrangements. If they can’t, I’d like to see an improvement in working conditions/hours be negotiated for CSA schools at a minimum.

It is not appropriate that teachers in CSA schools are paid less than our counterparts in other NSW schools. I am continually disappointed (and a little insulted) that our employers do not consider it important that we are paid and valued at the same level as teachers in other school systems. We should simply be paid an equal amount. By not paying us equally, we may well lose quality teachers to other systems, and may not attract quality new teaching staff, thus devaluing our own system. Please insist that CSA simply agrees to pay us as much as the other schools in our state. Thank you for all of your hard work.

The YES vote

The CSA offer is reasonable from the ability of schools to pivot in this space without impacting other conditions for staff.

It is a very fair offer and to go further may require offset actions by schools that could impact overall conditions.