The Australian Education Union (South Australia Branch) Executive is recommending its members accept a State Government enterprise bargaining offer to resolve a long-running pay dispute.
SA Branch president Mr Andrew Gohl said the offer received on 4 December makes several improvements to key measures of its platform and represents the largest-ever investment in a South Australian education Enterprise Agreement.
“Through our collective strength, we have been supported by thousands of educators at the bargaining table to secure this offer today,” he said in a statement from the AEU.
“The offer provides a salary increase of 13% over the life of the Enterprise Agreement, which will take SA educators from Australia’s lowest paid to a level closer to the national midpoint.
“Restoring the Country Incentives Zone Allowance (CIZA) for country teachers who once received it but have since ceased to be eligible represents, on average, an additional 3-5% increase each year.
“This will provide targeted support to retain educators in country areas where access to services is difficult and staffing shortages are most prominent,” he said.
According to the AEU, it has been the strongest advocate for the reduction of workload associated with Inclusive Education Support Program (IESP) applications.
Proposed reforms will abolish the need for IESP applications in categories 1-3, which represents approximately 67% of current IESP workload, ensuring students receive much-needed support without hours of additional work for teachers and support staff.
The rollout of additional Non-Instruction Time (NIT) has been brought forward, meaning that most primary and secondary teachers will have an additional hour of time to plan high-quality lessons by 2028.
The AEU has also secured $16 million each year to reduce administrative workloads for preschool directors, and three additional days for mentoring early-career educators.
“There is no silver bullet to fix a crisis brought by years of underinvestment, but the AEU has secured the most possible through negotiations, supported by our members,” Mr Gohl said.
“This offer, while imperfect, provides a strong foundation for our ongoing work to improve working conditions for public educators, as we continue to campaign for an education system that receives the respect and investment it deserves,” he said.
“Whether we accept this offer is now up to our committed members, who work tirelessly to support students in schools and preschools every day.”
All financial members of the AEU will be balloted on acceptance of the offer with a deadline of Friday 15 December.