By ERWIN CHLANDA
Members of the Australian Education Union NT today voted to accept the current EBA offer including 3% wage increases, one backdated to September 1, a further one before the end of the year, one in October 2015, and one in October 16.
There are also changes to bring the agreement in line with public service conditions, and a new system for offering permanency based on a merit selection processs.
Across all regional and workplace meetings, 84% of members who took part voted in favour of accepting the agreement.
Teachers have been without an updated agreement for fifteen months after initial negotiations stalled, says Jarvis Ryan, president of the union.
“Our concern in prolonging this dispute was that teachers would continue to fall behind in salaries, with no guarantee that we could force more concessions from the government. We were able to force government to remove a proposal to make teachers work an extra two days during the school holiday period.
“Resolving this agreement means that teachers will get a much-needed pay rise and preserve most core working conditions,” says Mr Ryan.
“However, teachers are still extremely concerned about the real issues that face them each day. These include increased face to face teaching loads, reduced in- class support for students and the early effects of global budgeting in schools.
“Teachers are already seeing the results of staffing cuts in their schools and are tired of not being listened to. The vote to accept the bargaining agreement is not acceptance of this government’s erosion of public education in the Northern Territory”.
Union endorsement of the offer means the overwhelming number of members are in favour of the agreement.
There will be a vote in an electronic ballot of all employees, including non-union members.
Electronic voting will open on Friday November 21 and close on Thursday December 4. The outcome of EBA negotiations will be decided by the electronic vote.
By ERWIN CHLANDA