More than 18,000 administrative and support staff in NSW public schools will receive a minimum 19% wage increase over three years with a one-off 11% pay rise.
The NSW Department of Education and the Public Service Association reached an in-principle agreement in the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) on Friday.
Secretary of the Department of Education Mark Scott said the decision was the result of weeks of “constructive discussions”. The PSA has been preparing the case since 2017.
“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,” 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 three-year award for SAS staff includes a one-off 11% pay increase back-paid from 1 July this year. Future increases will be consistent with the NSW Government Wages Policy, which is capped at 2.5% per annum.
PSA general secretary Stewart Little said the union fought hard for school admin and support staff to be recognised.
“A 19% pay increase is life-changing for these workers,” he said.
“We’re talking a $9000 to $13,500 annual pay increase.
“We have been hugely undervaluing the work done by school staff because they are overwhelmingly women.”
SAS staff will also be asked to perform first aid, administer medications, and undertake health-support procedures for students, under the agreement.
According to the department, “outdated” employment practices will be removed so staff can be recruited on merit, and staff working hours will be more flexible.
The department and union will return to the IRC on 13 September for a final decision.