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Pay equity for school administrative and support staff

More than 18,000 administrative and support staff in 2,200 NSW public schools will benefit from an 11% pay rise from 1 July 2019 after the NSW Department of Education and the Public Service Association reached an in-principle agreement in the union’s pay equity application in the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) on Friday.

Mark Scott, AO, Secretary of the Department of Education, has praised the work of the department and the Public Service Association in coming to agreement on proposed new Award, which includes a number of important improvements and benefits, in addition to the pay increase.

“This agreement is the result of several weeks of constructive discussions in conciliation in the IRC,” Mr Scott said.

“It represents a major achievement for the Department of Education, which is undergoing a significant process of reform and modernisation aimed at delivering improvements for staff and better outcomes for the 824,000 students in the NSW public school system.”

“The new three year award includes changes to SASS classifications, recruitment and work practices that will enhance the day to day operations of schools and directly benefit our many SAS staff, the vast majority of whom are women,” Mr Scott said.

“Professional administration and support are essential to the proper operation of any school, and we value the work of the staff who make this possible.”

The department and union have agreed to proceed to a Full Bench of the Industrial Relations Commission on Friday 13 September for a consent hearing of the application, and for a decision by the Commission.

The department and PSA’s agreement is for a three year award for SAS staff and includes a one-off 11% pay increase for all SAS staff classifications, starting from the first full pay period after 1 July 2019 – this was a pay equity application made under the equal remuneration principle allowing the Industrial Relations Commission to deal with the application.

Subsequent increases under the award will be consistent with the NSW Government Wages Policy.

Other elements of the agreement include:

  • a new classification structure for SAS staff that includes school learning support officers (student health support) and business managers
  • new classification descriptions and amended statements of duties
  • the requirement that SAS staff can be asked to perform first aid, administer medications and undertake health support procedures for students
  • the removal of outdated appointment and employment practices so SAS staff can be recruited on merit
  • provisions to enable principals to employ a school administration manager, business manager, or both
  • greater flexibility for SAS staff working hours.

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