Tuesday, 16 April 2024
    Public sector losing teachers over salaries

    Public sector losing teachers over salaries

    In the past 12 months, jobs advertised in inner-city private schools have offered base salaries up to $160,000, and rural principals have reported high offers in the regions too, ABC News reports.

    Those salaries are tens of thousands of dollars higher than what the state system can offer most teachers.

    In New South Wales, a state school classroom teacher's base salary tops out at $113,000, and in Victorian schools it is $112,000.

    Some teachers will be able to top up their salaries through bonus and retention mechanisms but, with Australia facing an "unprecedented" teacher shortage, public school principals have told the ABC they still cannot compete on pay and conditions.

    John Freyne, the principal at Traralgon Secondary College in Victoria's Gippsland region, said several teachers had come to him asking for more money, having been offered higher salaries to work at local private schools.

    He said he could not match the offers.

    "We're certainly not as free as private sector schools would be … [to] offer higher salaries," he said.

    Mr Freyne said his school was between four and six teaching positions short at the end of 2022.

    While shortages at Traralgon have been filled by relief teachers lured via state government-funded bonus payments, other principals are turning to teaching students to fill the gaps.

    Fellow regional principal, Wodonga Middle Years College's Maree Cribbes, said she had recently lost a staff member to a private school, making her 13 positions short ahead of the school new year.

    Mr Freyne said the fact private schools get significant government funding, on top of their student fees, enabled them to pay higher wages to attract teachers.

    Mr Freyne said he had "never seen anything like this" in his 34 years in the profession.


    Private schools are poaching teachers from the public sector with better salaries, principals say (ABC News)


    John Freyne says losing teachers to private schools is impacting students' education.(Supplied: John Freyne)