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Phoebe Loomes

NSW Greens push teacher pay rise at poll

Greens education spokeswoman Tamara Smith says 'thanks' is not enough to fix teacher shortages. (Dean Lewins/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Overwhelming evidence shows teachers in NSW are poorly paid and overworked, deserving a pay rise of 15 per cent, according to the Greens.

"Thanks won't fix teacher shortages - addressing pay and conditions will," Greens education spokeswoman Tamara Smith told the NSW Teachers Federation conference on Saturday as she outlined the party's education platform.

The pay commitment dwarfs a recent decision handed down by the Industrial Relations Commission which gave NSW teachers a wage increase of 2.5 per cent for 2022 and a three per cent pay rise from January 1, 2023.

The decision was called insulting by NSW Teachers Federation president Angelo Gavrielatos and followed months of strikes and industrial action by educators.

Taking into account the current inflation rate of 7.3 per cent, the wage decision meant teachers had their pay effectively cut, Mr Gavrielatos told AAP

Ms Smith said the overwhelming, incontrovertible evidence was that NSW public school and TAFE teachers were "overworked and underpaid".

"Whoever forms government after March 2023, our Greens MPs will be there to push them further to deliver what is beyond doubt needed to respect, value, recruit, and retain teachers in public education now, and into the future," she said.

"We know that your heroic efforts and professionalism in the face of extreme adversity, inadequate resourcing, and misguided policy settings, have gone unappreciated and unacknowledged by the Liberals and in this term."

The Greens intend to push for action on teachers' salaries, working conditions, inadequate resourcing at TAFE colleges and expanding access to public schools.

They will also push for a 15 per cent pay rise for teachers, followed by two years of pay rises indexed to inflation.

Labor has also committed to scrapping the legislated public service wage cap of 2.5 per cent that currently controls teachers' salaries.

The Greens also want to provide $1 billion to address a backlog of maintenance issues, provide at least one school counsellor to every school and give teachers an extra two hours away from face-to-face learning.

They also want to develop a plan to deliver 12,000 new teachers over the next ten years.

Ms Smith cited the 2020 Gallop inquiry into teacher workloads, which recommended hiring at least 11,000 new teachers over the coming decade to accommodate swelling enrolments.

This is more than promised by Labor and the coalition, which have both committed to delivering 10,000 more teachers if elected.

TAFE NSW is also in dire need of reform, with close to 8000 casual teachers having no path to permanent jobs, as salaries lag behind other professional sectors, Ms Smith said.

"This is a disgrace," she added.

The party will seek to increase TAFE teacher salaries so they are in line with those of teachers, provide casuals with a pathway to permanent employment, halt the closure of TAFE campuses and abolish all fees for TAFE.

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