Prior service payments flow

Anna Uren
Acting Research/Industrial Officer

Back payments could amount to thousands of dollars

The Department is beginning to process payments for hundreds of teachers who have been underpaid since the start of 2016 when the Department unilaterally changed its procedures for determining salary for teachers with experience outside of NSW public schools.

Some teachers will receive back payments of tens of thousands of dollars, in addition to having their salary adjusted, as a result of Federation intervention to negotiate a new procedure.

In 2016, under the guise of transition to standards-based remuneration the Department ceased to recognise the following when determining a teacher’s pay:

  • overseas teaching
  • any teaching after a break of five years or more
  • periods of full-time child-rearing
  • military service.

In addition, teaching service in Australia, including some prior service with the Department, was not being fairly recognised. For some teachers, decades of experience were being completely ignored.

After protracted negotiations the parties reached agreement in late December but it has taken until now to finalise the procedures required to revisit the determinations made for thousands of teachers. It will take some months for all payments to be processed. The Department intends to do this in the following order:

  • teachers who were permanently appointed in 2016
  • teachers who submitted an application to have relevant service recognised in 2016, either under the old Assessment of Prior Service procedure, or the Interim Teacher Salary Review Procedure
  • teachers who were permanently appointed in 2017
  • any applications made in 2017 or after the publication of the new procedure.

Given the number of teachers affected and the complexity of some of the cases, it is anticipated that Federation will need to continue to assist some individuals to ensure they are paid correctly. Details will soon be available on the website in the Federation’s industrial bulletin, Service Recognition for Determining Salary Under Standards-based Remuneration.