Public Statement on the NSW Government’s Teachers Salaries Proposal from the Panel members of the Gallop Inquiry into the Value of Teachers Work (2020-2021, updated in 2023).
The Hon Geoff Gallop AC, former Premier of WA
The Hon Patricia Kavanagh, former Judge of the NSW Industrial Court
Mr Patrick Lee, former CEO of the NSW Institute of Teachers.
During 2020-2021 we conducted a wide-ranging inquiry into teachers work in the NSW public education system. We heard extensive evidence from many experts in different aspects of teachers work but most compellingly from practising teachers and principals.
While we found many aspects of the system profoundly needed rebuilding, our recommendations made it clear that the great goals of education for all, and the many elements of crisis we found in the nature of teachers work, could not be addressed without substantial improvements in teacher remuneration and working conditions.
We were heartened to see the then Labor Opposition campaign strongly in the recent election on a platform significantly informed by the recommendations in the Gallop Report.
It is our view that the proposed new salary scale is a substantial implementation of our Inquiry’s recommendations around what was necessary to begin restoring the teaching profession to a place of community respect and address the severe crisis it finds itself in. However, the insistence by the Government on then imposing a return for 3 years of the O’Farrell Government’s 2.5% salary cap is a severe misstep and would undermine the very important step taken with the new scale.
It also is in stark conflict with the Government’s promise to dismantle that cap.
The Government campaigned substantially on the themes and broad approach set out in our report. It is reversing the former Government’s temporary teacher employment scourge. Our Panel urges the Minns Government to drop the 3 year wages cap, honour the new scale under the one-year interim agreement, and pursue good faith bargaining for the following three years after that to build on this initial good and credible start in restoring the profession.
We note the Government’s own stipulation of an interim one year initial wages settlement pending its more comprehensive revision of the NSW industrial laws.
The October introduction of the agreed new salary scale will provide a huge incentive to school leavers, University graduates, new teachers, possible career- changers and experienced teachers to commence or remain in teaching.
The State’s public system needs this reform.
The imposition of a severe wages cap breaks faith with election commitments and begins the immediate erosion of the very reform that is needed.
Our Panel urges the Minns Government to honour the initial constructive agreement reached with the Teachers Federation, and provide the much-needed relief the profession is crying out for, and which was promised.
Contact: Geoff Gallop 0434608846, on behalf of the Panel.