Pay increases won for HSC exam markers

Greg Butler
Research/Industrial Officer

The award sets guidelines for appointing new markers

Higher School Certificate (HSC) markers will receive a pay increase in 2017 and 2018.

Agreement on a new award for HSC markers was reached by the Federation, the Independent Education Union, the National Tertiary Education Union and the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA).

Federation endorsed an offer from the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) having considered feedback from members who mark or are likely to mark the HSC. Feedback from members was received either during a meeting held at Federation House on 24 May or by email received before 25 May.

The new award for HSC markers will deliver pay increases of 2.5 per cent in 2017 and again in 2018. This agreement is within the terms of the Public Sector Wages Policy and the Industrial Relations Regulations, which provide for public sector wage increases of 2.5 per cent per annum.

New provisions in the award include the requirement for NESA’s approval of agreements made between markers and their Supervisor of Marking (SOM) to extend a marking session at a marking centre by up to one and a half hours.

Also, the Director of Marking may set Saturday marking session hours at either 8.30am–4.30pm or keep Saturday hours at 9am–5pm. This does not remove the collective right of markers to request the earlier hours of their SOM.

The new award also confirms that NESA must appoint at least 10 per cent new markers to mark each course but not if meeting that target would mean having to appoint applicants who have not previously taught the HSC course they wish to mark. NESA will still be required to give applicants a reason for why they have not been selected for marking.

The new award will not include earlier proposals by NESA to which Federation held objections. For example, NESA had originally proposed a reduction in weekday hours for briefing and practice marking sessions for external markers. This would have reduced rates of pay during briefing sessions, particularly disadvantaging rural markers attending metropolitan briefing venues. Financial modelling by the Federation of the impact of NESA’s proposal forced NESA into retaining the current 9am–5.30pm weekday hours for briefing sessions.

The agreed terms for the new award are expected to be approved by the Industrial Relations Commission in time for pay increases of 2.5 per cent each year to be paid to all markers for the 2017 and 2018 marking operations.