Teachers are again protesting NSW government plans to lock in a new three-year award which they say is a tangible wage cut.
NSW state and Catholic school teachers rallied outside the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) on Wednesday morning as the industrial umpire began arbitrating the government's award application for teachers.
NSW Teachers Federation president Angelo Gavrielatos says the government wants to secure pay increases of 2.53 per cent a year at the IRC, while inflation is running about six per cent.
"At a time when there are growing teacher shortages, we need real action on uncompetitive salaries and unsustainable workloads," he said in a statement.
"A real wage cut will only increase the shortages and make it harder to secure the teachers we need for our future."
NSW teachers, who have gone on strike twice this year, are agitating for a pay rise of five to seven per cent.
The Independent Education Union (IEU), which represents Catholic school teachers, has been granted leave to intervene, giving it a voice in proceedings that will impact its members.
IEU NSW/ACT branch secretary Mark Northam says the union will appear in the commission to advocate for 32,000 teachers and support staff.
"We aim to leave no doubt in the minds of Catholic employers and the NSW government that we will not accept locked-in low pay rises for the next three-to-four years," he said.
The unions have rejected a recent government proposal to create a higher-paying career path for top-performing teachers, saying it would pit them against each other.