Under most enterprise agreements in NSW and the ACT, gaining your Proficient teacher status is the gateway to pay rises in the short term and affects the timing of pay rises into the future.
Catholic systemic schools
Teachers who commenced employment with a diocese after 2014 (and who do not have prior continuous service with another diocese) are paid on the standards pay model under the NSW/ACT Catholic Systemic Schools Enterprise Agreement (EA).
Under the standards pay model, if you do not have Proficient status you are paid on the Graduate rate. You progress to the higher Proficient pay band if you have Proficient teacher status from your teacher accreditation authority and have two years full time equivalent experience. The first step on the Proficient Band is $14,000 higher than the Graduate rate so this is definitely a worthwhile move.
Not only that, future pay steps within the Proficient band occur on the anniversary of the date you progressed to that band.
Under the EA employers have to support Graduate teachers to attain Proficient status, but it is the responsibility of the individual teacher. Make sure you know the support you are entitled to, such as release from face to face teaching, and check in regularly with your mentor. Aim to achieve Proficient status within the two year EA timeframe to maximise your pay.
Independent schools on the AIS Standards Model
Over 100 independent schools are covered by the Independent Schools NSW/ACT Standards Model Teachers MEA 2017 (AIS MEA).
Under the AIS MEA, as in the Systemic Schools EA, teachers are paid on Band 1 until they achieve Proficient status. There is no minimum length of teaching service required to progress to Band 2, but the progression can only occur twice a year – in the pay period after 1 February or 1 July each year, after the teacher has gained Proficient status. For teachers currently working on their application but who haven’t quite finished, it is worth making an effort to get your application in to your supervisor as soon as possible and well before the end of the year. And don’t wait until the last week of Term 4!
Progression to Band 2 will result in an $18,000 pay rise! The date of the progression to Band 2 will also affect when you can later apply to Band 3 as you have to have spent five years in Band 2 in order to progress to Band 3.
Independent schools are also required to support teachers in working towards Proficient status. The school should allocate you a mentor who will provide you with regular feedback.
Other enterprise agreements
Check the wording of your enterprise agreement to see if you get a pay rise when achieving Proficient status. Bear in mind, that even if that is not the case, this date will be important if you later move to a school where your pay rate is calculated based on when you achieved Proficient status. Over 95% of schools in NSW now take this into account when classifying teachers.
Do not hesitate to ring the Union organiser for your school if you are experiencing problems with Proficient teacher accreditation/registration. We also have staff who can provide specialist assistance to members on accreditation issues.