Friday, November 21, 2008


Red News Readers,

I am not sure that that the quantum of money is the issue with many teachers. It is the 8 pages of offsets to get the pay increase. Nurses who risk their lives looking after the sick only get 10 days sick leave a year and would love to increase that to the teachers 22 days per year. Nurses also only get 6 weeks annual leave with a possible 7th. It reflects the changes in skill mix in the nursing workforce in recent years that the average pay is that of a 4th year Endorsed Enrolled Nurse. You have to add penalty payments to the quoted rate of pay to get take home pay, but even so, many EENs are studying to become registered nurses at university, so they have to pays HECs fees on graduation, as well as meet mortgage, bills and family costs. Nurses are still undervalued by the employers, government and the community.

Jenny Haines

Teachers better paid than cops, nurses, paramedics

By Maria Tsialis, Daily Telegraph

November 21, 2008 12:00am

TEACHERS are on average far better paid than other frontline workers such as police, nurses and paramedics, a comparison of entitlements reveals.Unions around the state have been fighting the State Government's 2.5 per cent cap on pay increases for months, as frontline workers struggle to deal with the rising costs of living.

While police who risk their lives daily have been told to accept less than the rate of inflation, teachers this week rejected a relatively generous pay rise of 11.4 per cent over the next three years.

Teaching graduates with four years of university enter the workforce on an average wage of about $50,000. After five years they can earn $61,000.

A senior constable with five years service earns $57,000, while ambulance officers with the same amount of time on the job earn $55,000.

After months of bargaining with the Government, nurses traded off working conditions for a 7.8 per cent pay rise over two years, which will mean a fifth-year nurse earns about $58,000.

A qualified firefighter who has been in the brigade for approximately five years also earns about $58,000.

The statistics show frontline workers with equal experience on the job are lagging behind in terms of average pay compared with the state's teachers.

They are also well behind in terms of entitlements, with teachers receiving more than double the number of annual sick days as ambulance paramedics.

Teachers get 12 weeks off a year - twice the amount of police and three times the amount of nurses.

While appearing better off than other workers in the public sector, teachers voted unanimously this week to reject the Government's offer of an 11.4 per cent pay increase over three years.

The increase would have come at a cost of their sick leave, which would have been slashed to 10 days annually.

The Teachers Federation rejected the offer on the basis their members should receive their 22 sick days.

Teachers this week went out on strike over the Government's refusal to agree to terms.

The Federation has vehemently opposed the Government's decision to scrap the transfer system, which would allow schools to hire teachers based on merit.

Education Minister Verity Firth said the Government's offer was a fair one.

"Considering most teachers only take seven to eight days sick leave a year anyway, I would have thought they would like the extra cash," she said. "I believe teachers deserve a pay rise and I believe they deserve more than 2.5 per cent a year but I also believe the offer of 11.4 per cent over three years, with 4.8 per cent in the first year, is a good offer."