Perrottet given a week to up teacher pay

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The two unions representing teachers across NSW have given the premier one week to increase his wages offer for teachers, and vowed to meet again when the NSW budget is handed down next week.

After an offer of a three per cent pay rise for teachers by NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, the NSW Teachers Federation and the Independent Education Union NSW/ACT have urged the premier the change his policy before budget day.

NSW Teachers Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos said the two unions would hold a historic joint meeting on budget day, June 21, to decide their course of action if the policy was not changed.

"This is an extraordinary moment," Independent Education Union (IEU) NSW/ACT Branch Secretary Mark Northam said on Tuesday.

"We are standing shoulder-to-shoulder - fixing the education crisis in NSW demands no less."

The comments were made after executives from the NSW Teachers Federation and the IEU, who represent public school teachers and Catholic and non-government school teachers, convened simultaneous meetings.

It follows thousands of teachers striking and engaging in industrial action in recent months, as they campaign for improved conditions and better pay.

Earlier this month Mr Perrottet flagged the three per cent wage boost for public sector workers over the financial year, and another 3.5 per cent raise the following year dependent on productivity gains.

The rise would take wages above a 2.5 per cent cap imposed in 2011.

However, the offer fell short of demands from the Teachers Federation of a lift in wages of 7.5 per cent.

"At a time when inflation is more than five per cent, the government's updated policy represents a real wage cut. It will only lead to a greater shortage of teachers," Mr Gavrielatos said Tuesday.

"Of equal importance, the government's announcement last week completely ignored unsustainable teacher workloads.

"Unfortunately, the Perrottet government continues to fail students, their families and the teaching profession."

Mr Northam said the offer of three per cent did not address unsustainable workloads or staffing shortages faced by teachers.

"It still represents a real pay cut for school staff while keeping workloads at unsustainable levels," he said.

Mr Northam said on June 21 the IEU will consider the NSW budget and offers from Catholic employers to determine their course of action.

"The profession is at breaking point," he said.

"Staff shortages and sinking salaries mean teachers and support staff are really struggling."

On Tuesday the NSW Department of Education filed a lawsuit against the NSW Teachers Federation over strike action taken in May, accusing the union of breaching orders made by the Fair Work Commission.

Treasurer Matt Kean defended the pay offer, calling it fair and sustainable in the current economic climate.

The treasurer said unemployment was as its lowest on record and competitive wages would retain talent.

The increase in wages could be funded by expected economic growth, he said.

Labor Education spokesperson Prue Car said the two teachers' unions holding simultaneous meetings was a sign of how dire the teacher shortage had become.

"Teachers have tried to warn the government about the growing teacher shortages for years, whilst the NSW Liberal National government has failed to act," Ms Car said.

"This is the last thing we want, particularly at a time when outcomes are declining and COVID-19 has caused significant disruption to learning."

Ms Car called on the government to listen to teachers, principals and parents.

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