For teachers not at the top of their pay range, there are a few simple steps you can take to get the most out of your pay packet.
Step 1 Get statements of service from previous employers A new employer will require a statement of service to substantiate your previous teaching service. A statement of service is on letterhead with at least your start and finish dates, leave without pay and whether your service was full time or part time. A pay slip is not a statement of service. Even if you are on an enterprise agreement (EA) where you do not progress based on teaching service, such as the Association of Independent Schools (AIS) Independent Schools NSW/ACT Standards Model MEA, having completed a certain number of years of teaching service is mandatory in order to apply to progress to Band 3. This is also the case under the Systemic Schools Enterprise Agreement which applies to all NSW and ACT Catholic schools (except for Catholic independent schools) where one of the conditions to progress to Band 2 is that you have completed two years teaching service. And don’t forget to chase up casual service or short periods of temporary service!
Step 2 Check what you have to do and when in order to get your next pay rise Most EAs now tie pay rises to your accreditation status. Under the Systemic Schools Enterprise Agreement in order to progress to Band 2, you must have Proficient Teacher status (as well as two years’ service). Under the Independent Schools Standards Model MEA you progress to Band 2 from the first pay period after 1 February or 1 July after you achieve Proficient Teacher status. Going from Band 1 to Band 2 gives post-2014 teachers a pay rise of nearly $15,000 under the Systemic Schools Enterprise Agreement and Band 1 to Band 2 results in a pay rise of nearly $20,000 under the AIS Standards Model MEA. So keep an eye on these dates!
Step 3 Know what counts as teaching service under your enterprise agreement In recent years the definition of teaching service has been expanded in EAs applying to Catholic systemic schools and AIS independent schools. For example teaching service in a school overseas, subject to some criteria, is now recognised in AIS independent and Catholic systemic schools.
In addition, in Catholic systemic schools for both pre-2014 and post-2014 teachers full time child rearing is credited on a one/third basis. For post- 2014 teachers, the recognition only takes effect after you have gained Proficient Teacher status, but the child rearing may have been before.
See the EA in each case for details and remember that you must apply and will need to supply proof.
Step 4 In AIS standard or hybrid schools, find out about Band 3 access
Schools that are under the AIS Independent Schools NSW/ACT Standards Model MEA, the Independent Schools NSW Teachers Hybrid Model MEA or the NSW Catholic Independent Schools Model A MEA have a pay structure where access to the top pay rate is dependent on achieving accreditation as an Experienced Teacher. This process is overseen by ISTAA, which is part of the AIS. Normally you will need to have five years of teaching service as a Proficient Teacher at the time you lodge your all your documents. Check with your Union rep about what is required at your school and find out who in your school coordinates the process. Usually applications commence in around Term 3 and the documentation is lodged about 12 months later. The Union can assist members with this process.
Good luck and don’t hesitate to ask your Union organiser if you have any queries.