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$2,200 ‘cost of living’ payments for thousands of workers

·3-min read
Money and women walking
Teachers in the state could end up with a 20 per cent income boost over three years if the deal goes ahead. (Source: Getty)

Queensland teachers are in line for a “cost of living” payment potentially worth thousands as well as an 11 per cent pay rise that would likely make them the highest-paid teachers in the country.

After 16 weeks of negotiating, the Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU) has recommended its members accept the pay conditions recently offered by the Queensland government.

Under the agreement, which would be back-dated to start on July 1, teaching staff would see a 4 per cent boost to wages this year, a 4 per cent increase in July 2023, and a 3 per cent boost in July 2024.

On top of increases to base salaries, the government has offered a “cost of living adjustment”.

Basically, with each year of the agreement, if annual inflation is higher than the base wage increase, teachers would get a one-off lump sum to make up the difference.

This lump sum would be capped at 3 per cent each year of the agreement, and would ensure teacher pay wouldn’t fall behind inflation.

With inflation on track to hit 7 per cent by the end of the year, as forecast by the Reserve Bank of Australia, teachers in the state could be in line for the full 3 per cent payment this year.

That would see an entry-level teacher, who is currently earning a salary of around $75,471 per year, receive a $2,264 bonus payment as well as a pay rise of around $3,000.

“These increases will result in Queensland beginning teachers and ESTs [educational support teams] becoming the highest-paid in the country,” the QTU said in a newsletter to members.

The union said the pay agreement would accommodate the soaring cost of living, as well as attract and retain teachers in the state.

The union also considered the “potential positive impact the offer would have on teacher, head of program and school leader workload and well-being”.

The pay deal would also offer bonus payments to teachers to move to regional or remote schools.

Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace said the agreement would usher in “some of the highest pay increases and best working conditions for teachers in Australia”.

“The Palaszczuk Government highly values the vital work of our teachers, and that is reflected in the excellent offer that is currently on the table," she said.

“It’s part of our commitment to providing Queensland students with a world-class education, no matter where they live in our state."

Queensland teachers have until the end of the month to vote on the offer.

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